Weight: 2383 grams
Length: 46.2 cm
Baby weighs about five and a half pounds now and will start with a period of rapid weight gain this week. From now until birth your baby will gain approximately one half of a pound per week. A lot of this weight is the all-important brown fat to keep Baby warm for the first few weeks after birth. This brown fat is different from the white fat, brown fat contains more cells that produce body heat and this in turn prevents hypothermia. This brown fat appears on Baby’s upper spine, back and shoulders.
Your body is getting ready to give birth and your cervix may have begun to dilate. You’ll be feeling a sensation of kicking in your ribs if your baby is lying head down (which is a good indication). Keep in mind that the weight you are gaining is mostly the baby and you’ll lose this after birth.
Due to actually having had some muse to write a ”normal” blog post aka non-pregnancy related, which took me a while to formulate; I’m a little behind on my pregnancy updates, so there will be two after each other now (otherwise I’ll forget details). I also realized that I never commented on a thing mentioned in my previous weekly update (week 34). According to the app, most women will have trouble sleeping due to discomfort and thoughts about the baby. Well, I can happily report that during week 34 I had no trouble sleeping at all, but it sort of changed (luckily it was temporarily – read continuation down below).
So, first of all I can say that Mini is being quite kind to my ribs, I haven’t had much discomfort due to Mini’s kicks, even though Mini is lying head down. I can tell that Mini’s getting stronger though and sometimes I can feel what I assume to be a foot and sometimes a hand in my side, it’s like this little lump that moves and it’s so cool and sweet.
That being said, week 35 started off quite dramatically. As I mentioned in my last weekly update, on Thursday I was out to lunch with a friend, even that morning I noticed that itching, but I didn’t think too much about it. I figured I’d eaten something that I had a slight reaction too, I’m quite prone to getting allergic reactions, even when there are small traces of stuff (let’s hope Mini won’t inherit that). Then Thursday night the itching got worse and I’m not kidding! When we were watching Netflix on the couch before bed I could barely sit still due to the discomfort and then when we were lying in bed I just couldn’t lie still. Luckily D falls asleep quite easily, so I don’t think he was too bothered by it. Around 3 AM I still hadn’t fallen asleep, I went up and walked around in the apartment thinking that if I did something else besides lying down, maybe I’d be able to not think about it. It didn’t work and soon enough I went back to bed hoping to fall asleep, I finally did but woke up again around 6 AM and then couldn’t fall back asleep for a while. Then I think I got two more hours between 7 and 9 AM. I was exhausted when I got out of bed and couldn’t stop thinking about what a friend had told me about her first pregnancy when she suffered from ICP or Cholestasis of Pregnancy, which in her case got so severe before they figured out her diagnosis (it’s quite a rare thing to be diagnosed with) that her son unfortunately died soon after being born. I remember her sharing a lot about it on social media and how she said that two things to look out for was itching on the soles of your feet and hands. During the night I’d felt both. I was calm, but figured I should call my OB to check with her. I left her a message. Later that day another OB (the one who’d covered for her earlier in my pregnancy) called me and said that my regular OB was on vacation. I told her my symptoms, that the itching was worse at night and that it was all over my body, though not the classical pregnancy parts where you’re expected to itch due to your skin stretching (like stomach and boobs). She didn’t think there was anything to worry about. She did want to schedule an earlier appointment for next week (this was Friday), but where she told me she’d just go through the same regular procedures they always do; check sugars and iron levels, measuring the stomach and listening to Baby’s heartbeat. However, she wanted to give me something to help with the itching but for that she needed to get a hold of a doctor to prescribe them to me. She told me she’d call me back.
When she called back she said that she couldn’t get a hold of a doctor (a Friday in Nynäshamn, I’m not all that surprised). She told me that I could use one of the doctor apps available, so that at least I could get some relief from the itching and be able to sleep. I asked her again about additional testing, but she said that the regular stuff would do for now. She did add that if things got worse during the weekend, I should call the hospital where I planned to deliver and ask them for help. She also said that she’d call me on Monday to check in, but other than that I was scheduled to see her on Tuesday.
I did what she told me to do, I used on of the apps and got to talk to a doctor of obstetrics. When I told her about my itching and my symptoms she said that she didn’t want to prescribe me anything until Cholestasis (Hepatos in Swedish) was ruled out. She told me to call the delivery ward at the hospital to ask them for their opinion. So I did. The OB there told me to come in at 8 PM that night and it was around 5 PM when I spoke to her. At this point I started to worry a little, what if something was really wrong?
At 8 PM me and D entered the delivery ward at the hospital. It was busy (but with a calm vibe, which I was happy to notice) so an OB told us to sit down and wait, she also said it’d be a while. Around 8.40 PM an OB came and got us, I told her about my symptoms and she said that what they wanted to start with was a CTG (where they check the fetal heartbeat for any kind of distress). The room was quite dark, it was nice and we sat there, D and I, and listened to the sound of Mini’s heartbeats. I could also tell by the monitor that I was having some practice contractions. I think I might have had two during those 20 minutes, most likely because I was nervous, rather than a sign of anything else. When the OB returned she said that everything looked good and that the doctor would come and talk to us as soon as she was freed up. A little after 9 she came and said that she’d sent a referral for me to the lab at the hospital for Monday, so that they could take the blood tests needed to tell whether this was Cholestasis related or not. She told me I should be fasting before the test and that she’d also made a referral for me to see an OB specialist the following Wednesday to follow up. I also got a prescription for Lergigan to help me with the itching.
The pills worked! They made me a bit loopy, but damn, that night I slept like a log. Probably due to the fact that I’d slept so little the previous night too. On Monday the OB who’d previously been so calm about it all, suddenly was all over this! She was happy that I’d gotten to leave a blood sample and she told me she’d call me back when she got the results. Since I’d gotten a referral to a specialist on Wednesday, she said I didn’t need to come down the following day to see her.
On Tuesday I got a phone call from the OB specialist. She told me that my bile salt levels were a bit elevated, but they were no cause for concern right now. High levels indicates Cholestasis and very high levels can be dangerous for the Baby and induction might be necessary. She said that at these levels there was no reason for me to come in and see her and that my regular OB should be fine and she told me to contact them to let them know that. To be honest, it was a little frustrating and stressful to be in contact with so many different people and places. I wasn’t too keen on calling the OB either since she’d been so causal about it all in the first place. Even if things weren’t alarming and I had a very mild case of Cholestasis, my head was still filled with ”what ifs”. Anyway, I called her up and told her that the specialist didn’t see a reason why I should meet up with her, I also told her that during the night, even with my dose of two pills before bed I was still itching. She seemed a bit concerned and made another referral for initial testing to be done, she read me a bit of information on Cholestasis, but she seemed to be reading from the same document I had found online earlier. Anyway, I was pleased with the fact that she made another referral. Plus, I knew that on the following Monday I’d get to meet with my regular OB again! Which felt so nice. On Wednesday that week (July 17th) I went in for more blood test (my poor left arm! This would be the 5th time in a week).
That afternoon I went down to Nynäshamn since a co-worker of mine and her boyfriend were going to buy our old bed to have use it for the guestroom in their house. I ended up swinging by work too and had a bit of a chat with some co-workers, which was nice. Everything with the bed went well! Ikea furniture is way easier taking apart than they are putting together.
Other than the itching I was felt good. No swelling, sleeping well and even the acid reflux that I had experienced briefly during week 34 was gone! Now I just hoped my bile salt levels were going to stay put.