Weight: 2622 grams
Length: 47.4 cm
Baby weighs about six pounds (2,5 kg) and will gain approximately one half of a pound per week from now until birth. The protective fat layer will make up about 15% of Baby’s weight at birth. Even though Baby’s gums have ridges that look a bit like teeth, the real ones won’t make their appearance until about four or five months after birth. Baby’s cheeks are developing fat and the cheek muscles are developing, creating that lovely chubby appearance. Baby is sleeping 90% of the time, there isn’t much room to move around anymore either, although you’ll still feel regular movements.
If Baby has dropped, you’ll be breathing easier now and experiencing less heartburn and indigestion. This is a sign that your little one has descended into your pelvis. The firm muscles of your uterus and tummy will help to keep Baby in place. The main movements you are likely to feel now are jabs from arms or legs, and possibly painful kicks to your ribs. Women often experience a ‘nesting’ stage as delivery approaches. This sudden burst of energy might lead you to do your spring cleaning early, but save some of that extra energy for labor.
Friday July 19th D and I went to Nynäshamn to sign papers and handing in our keys! Our old apartment is f i n a l l y behind us! It felt great and I also heard back that my bile salt levels were lower now and more within a normal range. When I asked the OB why I was still itching like crazy at times, she said that my levels might rise on occasion, but as long as we keep it under observation, there was no real reason to worry.
That weekend D and I finally felt like we could relax a little. Between all the worries considering my glucose levels and then my bile salt levels and worrying about Mini’s well-being and safety, it was nice to just have some ‘us time’. The plan was actually to attend my friend E’s baby shower that Sunday, but I talked to her sister and explained that with everything that had been going on, I wasn’t going to make it. She was very understanding and I later spoke to E who told me all about the day and how happy and surprised she’d been. N had been really sweet and went and bought the present we’d planned on getting E (a wooden train that can be put forth during birthdays that shows the year on top of one train and candles on the others + a framed photo of E with her husband and daughter).
Mentally all of this had taken a toll on me, considering my pregnancy over all, up until now, had been problem free; this was all a bit overwhelming to say the least.
Monday (July 22nd) I was scheduled to meet up with my regular OB! I even managed to squeeze in a lunch with D in Nynäshamn before-hand and it was so nice to sit down and talk with him, it’d been way too long. I then proceeded to fill in my OB on everything that had gone down, we laughed about the fact that everything seemed to go down when she was gone (during the first part of her vacation I’d been into the maternity ward at the hospital due to not feeling Mini’s movements and this time all of the stuff that went down during week 35 went down). She promised me she didn’t have any other vacation planned for the duration of my pregnancy. My sugar levels were good and iron levels as well. My blood pressure continued to be on the low side, but that’s good. My weight was still increasing, but in a good and normal pace she reassured me (why is it that weight gain, even when pregnant(!) is still taxing for me, mentally?! Ugh, might write another post about that at some point). Mini’s heartbeats continued to sound good and she checked to see if Mini had fixated, but no. Still head down and all, but the head could still be slightly moved. I told her there wasn’t much relief when it came to breathing though, hah! Probably due to the fact that I’m quite short so even if Mini’s head is further down now than earlier, the majority of my upper body is still very baby filled. She confirmed that shorter women often does not get the same kind of relief as tall women get at the end of their pregnancies. When she measured Mini she noted that Baby hadn’t grown at the pace she would’ve wished. She said there was nothing to be worried about, but that she wanted to send me to get an extra ultrasound (tillväxtultraljud in Swedish) just to make sure. She said that maybe Mini had position itself with its butt/back tilting more outward, lying in a position like that might give a false sense of not having grown in length. I told her that Mini usually does like to lie in a position like that, making my stomach bulge more on one side.
While the thought of seeing Mini on an ultrasound again made me kind of excited, I was still a bit worried. Why was everything going down now during my final weeks? It kind of felt like a payback for having had such an easy pregnancy so far. I did remain calm though and I was booked in for a check up on Wednesday. On Wednesday the OB asked us whether we knew the sex of the baby and we said no, we said that if she did see it though, she could tell us. She asked us if we were sure and D and I exchanged a look. We’d talked about it the previous night, and we’d both agreed that we were too curious to not ask about it. I was kind of set on not getting to know it anyway, I figured the way that Mini was lying, head down it might be hard to even see anything…
I‘ll leave you in suspense, sorry. We did find out, though I just feel like it’s something I want to keep just for us at the moment.
During the ultrasound she was able to confirm that indeed, Mini was measuring smaller. She said the level of amniotic fluid looked good though and so did the blood flow through the umbilical chord. When she measured Baby’s head however she said that the flow there didn’t match what she’d seen in the umbilical chord. I was instantly worried. What did that mean? Less blood flow to Mini’s head? She didn’t explain it well, or I just didn’t understand. What I did understand however was that Mini measured -20,5% below its curve. It might just be because I’m small and just don’t ”make big children”. Which I guess is a blessing! She estimated that Mini, instead of weighing 2731 grams (which apparently was the expected weight for a baby at 35+5 weeks, Mini weighed around 2172 grams. She told me that she’d schedule me in for another ultrasound in two weeks to see how Mini’s measure is then. She explained that the hope is to see that the -20,5% is the constant deviation, making Mini following its own curve. Way to live up to your nickname, Mini <3. She then told me that she’d like me to see a specialist that same day, I’d be hooked up to a CTG for 20 minutes to make sure Mini wasn’t in any distress and after that a specialist doctor would see me. D, unfortunately, had to go back to work, but the CTG turned out fine and the specialist doctor that I spoke to explained what the OB hadn’t managed to make clear earlier. She said that on the ultrasound I just had done, the blood flow in the umbilical chord looked good. However, when they looked at the blood flow in Mini’s skull, there was a redistribution of blood; more blood flow to the brain than could be expected. She said that this is often seen when the blood flow through the umbilical chord isn’t good. When it isn’t, the baby’s body redistributes blood flow to important organs such as brain and heart, rather than flowing out into the extremities. She said there was no need to worry though and that this can happen and blood distribution can vary throughout the day, much like a person’s blood pressure. She said that in two weeks they’ll check the blood flow again to make sure everything’s good.
She also explained that if in two weeks the deviation, or variance, of -20,5% is constant, there’s no need to do anything else. They’ll probably hook me up to a CTG just in case, but if it’s constant it just means that Mini is following its own curve. She added that the curve against which Mini is measured is one based on the average Scandinavian child, who weighs 3,5 kilos at birth and is 50 cm tall. Since I’m not Scandinavian and shorter, it might just be normal for me to have a smaller baby. If, in two weeks however Mini measures below -20,5%, they’ll schedule ultrasounds more regularly to keep track of it all. If the blood flow looks to be worse next time, they might induce but she said that they rarely have to do that.
All in all, Mini seems to be doing well. I can also add that these last few weeks, basically from week 34 and onward, it feels like I’ve doubled in size. I haven’t taken belly photos that regularly, I don’t know why, I guess I’ve just felt kind of big and…well, not my best looking, but looking back and comparing belly now and from week 33, whoa! There’s such a difference. Hah. This week I’ve also begun getting swollen feet more easily, probably due to the heat too, that has returned with a vengeance. Don’t get me wrong, I love summers like these, but it’s no joke being heavily pregnant (yes, I’m höggravid according to the app – which is the term for it in Swedish) in this heat that ranges from 27 to 35 during the day. Ugh! My back’s been a bit sore too. Oh, yeah and my fingers are occasionally a bit swollen too. I guess this is to be expected at this part in the pregnancy though, inevitable. I was kind of waiting for it to hit too, since I think this is an important part of pregnancy. Before labor you want to feel sick and tired of being pregnant, it has to help with your mindset before the impending birth, no?