Tuesday, June 23, 2009

36-week Cowcatcher

I didn't know what a cow catcher was, either, until Brian informed me. And since that time a couple of months ago, that's how he affectionately refers to my baby belly.

Today's appointment with Dr. Hazzard:
Blood Pressure: 120/76
Fetal Heart Rate: strong, fast & healthy
Fundal Height: 36 cm
Pee: free and clear
Weight: up one pound from two weeks ago, about 18 pounds overall

I also got my Group B Strep swab, and they'll give me the results at my next appointment, July 7. We decided to cancel my July 3 appointment, since everything has been going well and it's so late next week. Great for me, because Brian and I are going to spend the entire morning and much of the afternoon at the Hershey spa on July 3. One last somewhat extravagant date for the two of us, before we become a threesome.

I asked Dr. Hazzard when I can expect internal exams to start, and she said she doesn't do them, unless there's cause for concern or the patient requests it. She said her experience is that the information gained from an internal is kind of useless in most cases, unless the woman is in labor, and all it does is serve to disappoint expectant moms. Either progress isn't what the mom thought it would be, or the measurements give false hope. In either case, how far dilated or effaced I am really has little to do with when labor may begin (some women are two or three centimeters dilated at this point, but remain there for weeks), so what's the point in going through the discomfort of an internal exam. Sounds reasonable to me.

She also gave me some more food for thought regarding post-partum birth control. Her first recommendation is a progesterone-only "mini-pill," and she says most women start it somewhere between two and six weeks after delivery. She's confident the mini-pill has little to no affect on milk production, but the drawback is that it has to be taken at the same exact time, every day, to be effective. That could become a challenge, if my nights and days are mixed up with a confused infant.

The other easy option for me may be an IUD. This one seems like a no-brainer, but she said insurance companies are all over the map when it comes to coverage. Dr. Hazzard said, on average, patients get their money's worth out of IUDs when they're relied on for somewhere between two and three years. But if my insurance will cover the thing outright, it may be the best, hassle-free option. So I've got some homework to do.

And a few final things Dr. Hazzard said, that struck me as interesting:

First, she said I've likely been having contractions every now and then, and either I can't feel them or don't know to recognize them.

Secondly, she confirmed baby boy is still head-down and said he likely won't break any weight records. But she said smaller babies are a good thing, and we can just fatten him up after he's born.

And when she asked if we'd picked a name yet, I told Dr. Hazzard no, but that we have it narrowed down to a few. She advised me not to hope to be inspired to name him by baby boy's appearance in the hospital, as "they all look smooshed and wrinkley, and then three days later when they're home, they look completely different anyway." Besides, she admitted, the doctors and nurses will laugh at us if we try to pick a name based on how he looks in the hospital. Good to know.

1 comment:

Connie said...

Looking good! It looks like your belly has finally overtaken your boobs!