37 Weeks – Baby’s Full Term Now!

I woke up at 4:15 this morning so excited that you’d think it was Christmas morning.  OK, well, really I woke up at 4:15am because I had to pee (of course) but after climbing back into bed I realized that I was not getting back to sleep today.  All I could think about was, “Wow, I’m 37 weeks along today – Baby is full term!”  As everyone keeps telling me, and all the my pregnancy iPhone apps, books, and websites keep telling me, baby could come at any time now!

In fact, I got a little preview of the Labor and Delivery unit at Bellevue yesterday.  I went to my regularly scheduled doctor appointment yesterday morning and had another ultrasound.  Baby is looking good – all measurements are where they should be and they estimate that baby is about 7 lbs now, which is a little bigger than average at the 63rd percentile.  While I was having the ultrasound done, I realized that I just wasn’t feeling right.  “Great,” I thought, “my blood pressure is going to be high…”  I’ve been having lots of extra monitoring since mid-November since my blood pressure has been on the elevated end of the scale at almost every appointment.  Since 31 weeks I’ve been going in for weekly and sometimes bi-weekly appointments where I’ve had to have Non Stress Tests (where they hook you up to a monitor and measure baby’s heart rate while you click a button to count movements) and ultrasounds.  At my last two appointments before yesterday’s, though, my blood pressure had been great!  I knew that was a streak that was not going to last.

And it didn’t.  When the nurse sat me down for my post-ultrasound regular appointment and took my blood pressure, she gave me the “uh oh” look and said, “your blood pressure is high…” “I knew it was going to be,” I responded, “how high is it?”  “150/94,” she said, as she walked out of the room to find the doctor.  That was my highest reading yet.  The doc came in and told me that she wanted to start me on blood pressure medication and had me come with her to her office where she reviewed my chart.  I let her know that my husband could check my blood pressure for me at home and that usually when he did it’s always normal.  She requested that he take it every morning for me and gave me guidelines for when to call them related to the results.  She then asked the nurse to take my blood pressure again and it was 147/100.  She looked at me sternly and said, “Well, you’re 37 weeks tomorrow so if your blood pressure doesn’t improve, we’ll induce you.”  Then she picked up the phone and called Bellevue and said, “I need to admit a patient…”

I was instructed to go to Bellevue where I’d get a Non Stress Test and blood work done.  I knew that my condition wasn’t emergent, otherwise I wouldn’t be driving myself there, but it was definitely pretty surreal driving myself to go get checked in at the hospital.  I called Alex and the Wham to give them both a heads up – I figured that I’d be monitored and let go, but since there was a slim possibility that they might make me go on bedrest or keep me and make me have a baby (lol), I figured they should have some warning.  When I got to the hospital, the admission process went super quick and smoothly and the woman who helped me out was incredibly nice.  We joked around about a coworker who popped in to give a Christmas gift that she was giving to “all of the old timers”.  “She just called you an old timer!” I exclaimed as her coworker walked away and we both cracked up.  After my paperwork was complete and I was ID braceleted, I was sent down to the Labor & Delivery unit.

For some reason, I wasn’t expecting to be going to that unit.  So that was pretty surreal walking alone into the unit where pretty shortly I’ll be returning to deliver a baby.  I passed excited grandmothers in the waiting area and a scared-shitless-looking scrub clad dad waiting to be let into the OR for his wife’s C-Section.  I was led into one of the birthing suites by a nurse and and aide who were both super nice.  I got hooked up to the monitor and cozied into bed and given juice and the TV remote.  Now, having had about half a dozen Non Stress Tests at this point at my doctor’s office, I have to say, getting monitored at L&D is definitely the way to go.  At my doctor’s office, they don’t have a recliner or anything comfy to sit/lie in for the test, so you’re crammed onto a hard exam table, fighting with the stupid paper cover and the flat pillow and the too short table.  Not comfortable.  Oh, and the monitor at the doctor’s office is strapped on and sometimes I would have to hold the monitor against me to get a good reading of the baby’s heart rate.  At L&D, I had a big comfy bed, a table to place my juice and my iPhone, a TV to watch, and the monitor was slipped underneath a “belly tube sock” that kept it secure against me handsfree.  I got to lounge there and sip juice and talk to Baby to try and get him/her to move – it felt like heaven!

I had labs drawn and serial blood pressure monitoring and after I was there for an hour and a half was told that everything looked perfectly normal – yay!  They couldn’t get the doc on the line right away, though, so I’d have to hang out there until they could get a hold of her for discharge instructions – yay!  Actually, I was pretty OK with that part.  I got to hang out there for almost another hour just lounging in the bed and watching TV.  I told Alex later that it was pretty sad, but the highlight of my day was laying in that bed in L&D, LOL!  Since I have to save all of my vacation time for maternity leave, my only time off is weekends and since it’s December, my time off has been quickly eaten up by Christmas and Baby prep.  So unfortunately, that has not left me much time for lounging in solitude – something that I will not be able to do for a very long time once Baby arrives.  Ah well.

Speaking of Christmas and Baby prep – there’s still stuff to do in both areas.  I still have some Christmas sewing and then wrapping to get done – I guess that will get finished up tonight and tomorrow morning.  Then, after Christmas has come and gone, it’s time to focus on wrapping up Baby prep.  There are still some things that need to be bought, but I’ve been holding off on any more Baby related purchases until after Christmas since the Grandmothers have indicated that Baby K might be getting some things from Santa already!  I’ve been hoarding my gift cards and coupons and intend on doing some heavy duty shopping next week.  I also need to pick up some basic non-fun-labor-and-delivery-related supplies and pack my hospital bag.  Since “the baby can come at any time now!”, I better get moving on that.  Decorating in the nursery is almost done – and ohmygosh I’m in love with it!  I’m hoping to finalize some things in there over the next week and post pictures by next weekend.  I’m so happy with the way it’s turned out!

So now that I’ve been sitting here typing for about an hour (and written a book of a post), I guess it’s about time I get moving and start getting ready for work.  Should be a fun/easy day today (knock on wood!).  I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve already!  Oh, and here’s a message for my little baby-who-could-come-at-any-time-now: go ahead and hang out in there for a bit.  You don’t want your birthday to be so close to Christmas.  But consider coming around the end of this next week – Mommy and Daddy could use the 2011 tax deduction!

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