I went for u/s at peri. yesterday. Still no fluid has returned to lungs or abdomen. She is still growing on target - estimated weight is 3 lb 12 ounces, ( a whole pound more since last time). Her weight is in the 62nd percentle for her age. Baby's skin edema is still present. The dr. was a little concerned with the edema of the chest wall. He said it could be an indication that the heart is working harder than it should be. He wants me to start going for non-stress tests twice a week, starting on Monday. The renal pelvis are still measuring on the larger side (still within range but high). This is referred to as mild pyelectasis and can indicate a urological problem. The dr. is not too concerned b/c this can often resolve itself after birth, and measurements are still within range. This is sometimes considered a "soft marker" for Downs. Her femur and humerus are measuring a little smaller than other measurements. This too is to be expected in Downs babies and is sometimes considered a soft marker also. Everything else looked fine. Amniotic fluid and placenta look good too. She flipped back around again and is in "head down" position (she was breech at last u/s). I went today for regular ob visit. This was my last visit with this ob, as I am officially switching obs in order to deliver at hospital with higher level NICU. He seemed to think they most likely wont let me go 40 wks and will induce beforehand. Oh Boy! Down to the wire!
I'm a little worried, since they want me to start the NSTs so soon (and so frequently), but I'm glad they will be monitoring her closely. She hasn't been moving a whole lot today also, which always gets me worrying. So, next step is NST on Monday. I told DH we better start doing some preparation, b/c who knows, she could be here before we know it.
I went for first Non-stress test yesterday. Baby passed with flying colors. It only took ~ 15 minutes. The nurse explained to me that the test is an indication of how the placenta is functioning. I basically just sat in a recliner chair and they hooked a monitor up to my belly. The monitor measures the baby's heartrate and looks to make sure the h/r accelerates up to 15 bpm when the baby moves. This has to happen a certain # of times, or the result is considered nonreactive and the baby "fails" the test. Today was my first time visiting the hospital that I will deliver in. It looks very nice. The L&D dept. is in a brand new building. It is kind of far though. It took me an hour to get home (lots of traffic and lights). I'm really not looking forward to having to drive there twice a week for the next ~9 weeks. But, it is in the baby's best interest to be in the best equipped hospital. They have me doing the "kick count" in the evenings now. (at least 10 kicks in 2 hours after dinner). Last night she had 10 kicks in ~ 20 minutes.
I've gone for 3 NST's so far. She has passed with flying colors each time. I go to see my new ob this week. Next u/s isn't until next week (it feels like forever since I had my last one - I can't wait). We started clearing out the closets in what will be the baby room. Up until this point we have done nothing to prepare (haven't bought one baby item, prep the room etc.). Because her prognosis was so bad, we couldn't bring ourselves to do any of this. Now it is getting down to the wire though, and we really have to. I have to admit I was really getting excited when we were clearing out the room. I can only imagine the excitement I would be having if this had been a problem-free pregnancy and we were certain that we will be bringing her home. But, I don't dwell on the negative- I am just happy that there is a good chance now that we Will be bringing her home. We're still not having a baby shower though. We told everyone that if they want to give gifts to wait until after she is born. We had already created a registry before this all began, so, if all goes well and she makes it, we will probably tell people we are registered if they ask us what we need and if they want to give a gift, they can buy something off the registry. We started to tell our family about the confirmed DS diagnosis. It has not been easy and a lot of sadness is definitely resurfacing, but I am glad to be getting it out now, so we can celebrate her arrival.
I had another good u/s yesterday! Still no hydrops has returned and growth is on target (they estimated her weight to be 5lb11oz!). This puts her in the 70th percentile for weight. She still has some edema of the skin, but the dr.s are not too concerned about it at this point. They say her outlook is very good now! We told most of our family about the confirmed down syndrome diagnosis. They have accepted the news very well. Everyone is just happy that she looks like she will make it and we are all just looking forward to her arrival. I met with my new ob last week. He seems nice. It is hard to switch dr.s this far into the pregnancy, b/c I've been with my old o/b for a while, but it's in the best interest for the baby. Now I'm all set up to deliver at other hopital which is equipped with a high level NICU, if needed. I'm going for NST's twice a week. I won't go for another u/s until 3 more weeks. The Peri. said he would write an order for them to check my fluid level (by u/s) once a week when I go for my NST, b/c I told him I was concerned that they weren't doing enough ultrasounds at this point.
I went for my GBS test today. Dr. also did internal check. He said that my cervix is still fully closed and I was very slightly effaced. So, it looks like Julia won't be making her grand entrance into the world anytime soon. I forget if I mentioned yet that we have decided on a name: "Julia Rose". I thought she may have been dropping because I've felt some pressure in my pelvis after I stand for a while, and felt movement way down low - lower than I've felt before. The dr. said she may have dropped down slightly, but not a whole lot. This is a good thing I suppose, but I was kind of hoping there might have been some progress. She is still head down and should stay that way. The NST's have been going well - they also check my fluid weekly, and that also has been normal. They are going to do a BPP (biophysical profile) at my NST appt. on Friday, since I will miss an NST appt. next week due to the holiday. Yay! I get to see the baby again on the ultrasound! Next week I will get a full level I u/s at the perinatologist. We bought quite a few baby things; crib, mattress, bedding, changing pad, storage rack for closet, bath tub, first aid and bathing things, infant car seat/stroller, a take me home outfit and a few other things. I"m still not completely at ease opening everything, b/c in the back of my mind I'm still thinking.. "what if she doesn't make it". I've been finding myself not taking things out of packages, and holding onto boxes etc. I don't think I'll believe it until I actually hold her in my arms. I still don't want to have a shower before baby is born (even if I wanted to now, it would be cutting it close). My SIL is planning a shower for me in July or August. Alot of things we will need to buy before that, but we will try to hold off on getting anything other than what we really need before that. People have been giving us hand-me-down baby clothes, so I've been busy washing/organizing them. DH set up the crib, but we weren't happy with it. The drop down gate wouldn't work properly after working with it for hours. Finally DH took the crib down and we brought it back. We got another one and plan to set it up tonight. Hopefully the same thing doesn't happen with this one. Overall I'm feeling pretty good - mostly just stressed out and overwhelmed with everything we still need to do. My energy levels are running a little low, and my sciatic nerve is bothering me a litte. Oh and I pretty much have to pee every time I start walking. Next week I have 2 appt.s with pediatricians. So much to do!
The baby's room is shaping up. The crib is set up and I washed all of the bedding this weekend. The second crib worked much better when DH put it together. We moved the computer out of her room (that was an ordeal) and into our bedroom. I'm definitely in nesting mode now. I only wish I had more energy and was able to do more. I want to really clean everything so house is spotless when baby arrives, but am kind of limited in what I can do b/c I'm so pregnant. While I was busy nesting this weekend, I was getting alot of BH contractions, nothing painful, just overall tightening of my belly to a point where it would get really hard. I've been feeling a little nauseous lately too, in the evenings after I eat dinner, and in the middle of the night. I don't even think I have mentioned the terrible insomnia I have had throughout the pregnancy. It started at the beginning of my 2nd trimester and hasn't let up since. I have no problem falling asleep at all - but I wake up every night ~ 2am and am wide awake. Usually I just go downstairs and watch tv for an hour or two until I finally fall back asleep. I have never been a good sleeper and have had some insomnia for years, but during this pregnancy it has been at it's worst. I'm sure it's a combination of the hormones plus anxiety over all of the health problems Julia has had. Also, my mom has been in and out of the hospital/nursing home/rehab for the past year with some serious health problems too. I would say I hope the insomnia will go away after Julia is born, but at that point, I'm sure she will be waking me up whether I want to sleep or not. I guess I will be prepared for all of the late night feedings etc. This is a busy week for me with appointments. I'm meeting with 2 pediatricians, have an u/s, NST and regular OB appt.
I had another good u/s yesterday! They estimate Julia's weight to be 6lb 12oz, which dr. said is in the 73rd percentile. There was no fluid present at all. Her one kidney (the right renal pelvis) was still slightly enlarged, but within range. The peri. said he was still not really concerned with this but would recommend that a urologist look at her after she is born just to be sure. Her humerus was measuring a little behind her other measurements (by about 2 wks), but her femur was in range. Overall it was a great u/s and the peri. seemed very upbeat and optimistic. My fluid is starting to go towards the lower range of normal. Today I have an NST and they will check my fluid again. The peri. said this could happen if the baby starts to outgrow the placenta. I have a pretty bad cold, so I am really under the weather. Hopefully I can beat this cold before going into labor. At my ob appt. earlier this week, dr. checked my cervix and it is still closed. I tested negative for GBS which is good. I met with 2 pediatricians this week. One of them is with the hospital where I'll be delivering. She will be the one to check baby out while still in the hospital. The other pedi. I met is closer to home, but not associated with the hospital of delivery. If I want I can switch over to her after baby is born, to be closer to home. The other pedi. seemed more knowledgeable with Down Syndrome though, so we may just stick with the farther away dr. We will see how things go. I can't believe it is June already!! Only 22 more days to go (if I make it that far). Tomorrow I will be 37 wks! The peri. said today that he would reccommend to my ob not to let me go past due date. Also, if my fluid starts to dip too low they will have to induce me.
I basically feel like total crap today. I have a terrible cold that just won't let up. Hopefully this is the worst of it and I start to feel better soon. I had an unusual NST today too. Baby "passed" but she wasn't as active as usual. After about 20 minutes of her "sleeping", even after I drank tons of water and apple juice, the nurse decided to giver her some "stimulation" to wake her up. Well the "stimulation" was a probe that she put on my belly which made a very loud noise and felt like a shock. The nurse assured me that it doesn't hurt the baby, but by the way the baby jumped when she did it, I think it scared the hell out of the poor baby. I'm still kind of mad that I let the nurse do that. I don't think I will let them do that again. The baby did wake up and start moving around, but usually she is more active than today. So of course now I'm worried. They checked my fluid and it is still measuring ~10, which is on the lower end of "normal". So, this too has me worried. I kind of wish they had admitted me to monitor, but since baby "passed", they did not think it was necessary. I'm just going to take it easy this weekend, drink lots of fluid and rest up!
I am feeling much better than I was last post. My cold has mostly gone away except for a lingering cough. Julia was very active at NST on Monday which relieved my worries a little. Today I had regular ob appt. and he said he was not concerned with fluid being at 10. He said they wouldn't do anything until fluid was lower than 5-7. He did an internal check and said I was still not dilated at all and baby has not descended. He did say that I was ~ 50% effaced, so at least something is happening. At my appt. next Wednesday, dr. said we will schedule an induction date for on or before my due date if nothing happens before then! So, it looks like baby will definitely be here within the next 17 days! The peri. wrote in my last u/s report a recommendation that I not go past my due date and my ob said ok, so that is the plan. I still can't really believe it. I have been telling people at work that Julia has DS. It hasn't been easy, but it gets easier and easier with each person that I talk to. I have gotten a few "I'm sorry's", but for the most part people have reacted pretty good. (Just a little word of advice for anyone reading this who ever knows someone who has a baby with DS and doesn't know what to say - just congratulate them and tell them they'll do great - one of the worst things to say is "I'm sorry" - ). It feels good just to get it out into the open. I really try to emphasise that I am OK with it and am very much excited for her arrival. People tend to follow my lead, so if I am positive and happy, they tend to react the same way. She is our little miracle baby and I can't wait to meet her and celebrate her birth/
I went for NST and fluid check today. Baby passed NST no problem. My fluid level went down even lower though. It was 7.5 today. Last week it was 10, and the week before that it was 13, so of course I'm worried. Apparently 7.5 is still above the 5th percentile which is ok. But I am right at the border. The nurse called my dr. to let him know and he was ok with it. I'm scheduled to go in on Monday for another NST. I hope they check my fluid again then. I have been getting fluid checked every Friday. The nurse said to rest and drink plenty of water. I have a feeling I will be having baby within the next week.