Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dr. Appointment Update - 32 Weeks

Tomorrow marks 32 weeks gestation, or about 7 months and 5 days. If the pregnancy goes exactly full term, which is 40 weeks, then we're 80% there! We have less than two months left and now is when things get really interesting!

This morning was our 32 week doctor appointment. Dr. Hallman says all is well! He began by asking me if I had any questions, concerns, or anything specific I wanted to talk about. As usual, I couldn't think of anything at the moment, but once we got to talking, a few things did come up.

We listened to the baby's heartbeat, which was right on track. He measured my belly, and said that was right on track as well. I don't know what that measurement is technically called, but they use a tape measure to measure from the top of your pubic bone to the top of your uterus and my understanding is that the distance is centimeters matches your weeks of gestation, give or take 3 centimeters. So, my belly measurement should be roughly 32 cm - although I always forget to ask him exactly what mine is. He just tells me that it's right on! He also told me that it's a common misperception that taller people have smaller pregnant bellies because they have more vertical room for the baby. However, he said the measurements are actually about the same, that's it's just an optical illusion.

My wieght was up another 2.4 lbs from my last visit, so I've gained a total of 16.4 lbs from my lowest weight during pregnancy, which is right on. (my scale at home says I'm up 3 lbs from my last visit, but I think it rounds up, since it doesn't have decimal points).

I keep hearing and reading that a pregnant woman should sleep on her left side and should specifically avoid sleeping on her back (and on her stomach for obvious reasons). I have been fairly comfortable sleeping on my left side, with the helpful support of a body pillow, but I do wake up every night around 2:30 pr 3:00 AM and can't seem to go back to sleep. It sometimes helps me fall back asleep if I lay on my back or my right side. So, I asked why we're told not to sleep on our back or our right side. Dr. Hallman said that the womb naturally tilts one way (I can't remember which) and that there is a theory that laying on your back or on your right side can put additional pressure on your aorta, which can decrease the blood flow to and from the womb. However, this theory hasn't been proven and he suggested that as long as I feel comfortable and the baby's activity continues as usual, it's okay to lay in whatever position is most comfortable.

Speaking of sleeping, There have been few nights that I was not able to go back to sleep at all after waking up during the night and only ended up getting four or five hours of sleep. One or two nights of little sleep are okay, but after three or four consecutive nights I get pretty tired out. I've found relief in Tylenol PM a couple of nights and it's been really helpful to take that before bed on the weekend when I know I can sleep in. Tylenol PM contains 25 mg of diphenhydramine, which is an antihistamine with sedating properties and is the same drug in Benadryl. 25 mg of Benadryl has the same sedative outcome as the Tylenol PM, without the pain relief. Dr. Hallman says this is okay to take occasionally to help me sleep, as is Unisom.

"An active baby is a healthy baby"
I've started counting kicks. Most books say that a baby should move about 10 times in two hours. Dr. Hallman said that about 7 movements per hour is good, and that anything from a distinct kick to a little tickle counts as a movement. Some hours are a little slower than others, but I often get to 7 movements in ten minutes or so and then stop counting. He said that baby is on about a 90 minute sleep cycle, so that if I don't count 7 movements in one hour, wait a half hour or so and then try counting again - it may just be that the baby is sleeping. I notice that the more active I am, the less the baby moves - I think my movement must rock it to sleep. The more restful I am, the more the baby moves. We don't know right now which direction the baby is facing and it's likely still rolling around quite a bit inside. We won't worry how the baby is positioned until 36 weeks, or about 4 weeks from now. That's when we want to make sure that baby is head down.

All in all, things are going very well and we're happy the pregnancy has been relatively "uneventful". Until early November, it's safe to say "no news is good news".

Watch for a review of our first childbirth prep class coming soon!

1 comment:

rutzie said...

Interesting. I guess I thought they were kind of asleep most of the time. What are they doing in there when they are awake? Just hanging around I guess. I can't wait for the shower tomorrow.