Another round of appointments, another round of developments. This girl is a real problem child. She will be going into immediate time-out when she is born for all of the trouble she's causing. :)
As I silently suspected, my amniotic fluid levels have gone up. I haven't blogged about it in hopes that it wouldn't be true, but my gaining 12 pounds this month made me suspicious. We were warned about increasing fluid levels and that they are an indication of a more serious problem, so this did not surprise us too much. In Abby's situation, an increase in fluid levels means she is no longer swallowing the way she should. This is because her neck muscles aren't developing properly as a result of the small jaw. If there was any question as to where we should deliver, that decision was made for us today. (We'd already made that decision ourselves though!)
I've also been having lots of contractions, and they decided to hook me up to a fetal monitior for half an hour to see what was going on. Yep, lots of contractions! These, coupled with the increase in the amount of fluid, point to a concern for pre-term labor. Basically, as the fluid levels increase, my body won't be able to hold it all and my water will break. I'm currently not dialated, but in my doctor's words, "We need to prepare for her to come now."
What's the plan of action? Well, I got a steroid shot for lung development today and will get the second one tomorrow. They are time sensitive, which means having to leave work for a little while, but at least I don't have to truck up to UMD! If I make it another two weeks, I will have another round of steroid shots. If I don't go into labor on my own and am planned, it will be no later than 38 weeks. We're praying that she stays in there as long as possible. Thankfully, she measured 3 lb 1 oz today, which is awesome!! She's a good size if she does end up coming sooner than later.
Our perinatologist is setting up a meeting with the neonatologist so that we can all sit down as a team and decide how we are going to continue. There are some intubation concerns that come along with a baby with a small jaw being premature on top of it, so he wants to make sure we have an experienced doctor present during my delivery with this specific kind of intubation. There is now absolutely no question as to whether or not she will be in the NICU. The length is to be determined, but she will go straight there for observation, at the least. I am so thankful for Dr. H's caution and planning! He truly makes me feel much more at peace because he's so proactive.
We will now be having weekly sonograms and fetal monitorings at UMD. At this point, I am not going to be put on bed rest. When the fluid levels are high, my water will break when it's ready, regardless of whether I'm on bed rest or not. I might as well work while I can and save my leave for the time being!
I met with an OB at my new practice today and was fortunate enough to really like her!! In a practice of 20 doctors, 10 midwives, and several CRNPs, it's amazing that we liked the first one we saw. We're sticking with her and praying that she is the one to deliver me. If I go into labor early, it will be luck of the draw. If it's planned, I'm going to try to schedule her. She is super sweet, soft-spoken, and very willing to defer to the perinatologist we're working with when it comes to my case. In fact, she called him while I was there to get some more information on my case. I like when doctors are willing to work closely with each other in the best interest of the patient instead of just thinking they can do it on their own. She only needs to see me every-other-week because Abby is the real problem here. Trouble maker... :)
I think that's all of today's developments. Who knows what next week will bring?! We did get some great pictures. It's amazing the difference a month can make in development. I guess one benefit of all of these sonograms is getting to see our baby develop step by step! That, and continued confirmation that it is indeed a girl. :)
Prayer requests for this week:
* My fluid levels stay where they are and do not increase anymore. The higher they are on a little person like me, the bigger my risk.
* I am able to carry Abby all the way to 38 weeks!! No preterm labor, please!
* Her neck development continues to progress.
* We will be delivered by the doctor we like. That will have a very calming affect on me in a very stressful situation. This hometown girl needs familiarity!
* Matt and I will digest these new developments. It's a lot to take in.