Saturday, July 9, 2011

My last prenatal visit, and cat worries assuaged

Still no baby.


I have now had what is 100% guaranteed to be my last scheduled prenatal visit. For this pregnancy, at least. With the induction scheduled for Monday, there's no wiggle room on this one. They did the no-stress test (apparently named such because they are checking to make sure the baby is under no stress) and my cervical (3cm, 40% effaced) and finally gave me some kind of weight estimate (8 pounds, give or take a pound. So not helpful) though I have to say, it seemed like my OB was not used to making these particular measurements and estimates, so I have no idea how accurate she might have been.

They did the no-stress test first. This involved hooking me up to a fetal monitor and a uterine monitor. The particular fetal monitor they used records movement in the womb, not fetal heartbeat. The uterine monitor they used records muscular contraction. So on one side of what looked suspiciously like a prenatal polygraph was a nice relatively smooth line occasionally broken by a peak or a hill when I had a contraction (which, according to both my brain and the nurse, were relatively mild) and on the other side waaaaaaas... almost nothing. Apparently Elliot spent the first ten minutes or so asleep. Then they gave me apple juice. Suddenly it was like being at the seismograph when the Loma Prieta went off during the World Series in '89. And considering I actually remember being in the Bay Area that day, I have a pretty good idea of what I'm talking about. Peaks, valleys, squiggles, actual JUMPS on the machine where the pen could not keep up with how quickly and strongly he was moving... and this continued straight through my cervical and ultrasound. To say the least, the doctor is not worried about Elliot's current energy level. She actually commented that he must be showing off during the ultrasound.

To predict the size of the baby, they hook up an ultrasound machine, and make several measurements. They measure the length of the femur, the diameter of the skull across the parietal bone, and the circumference of the abdomen. Apparently there are 2 other possible measurements that she didn't do because she was running behind. The parietal was normal for 41 weeks, the abdomen was around 40, and the femurs were normal for 38 weeks. Which my doctor assured me does not mean that Elliot will have stunted legs. I think she just missed some leg up there, because between my husband and I we could supply the average Christmas Elf with enough femur to play for the NBA. My personal guess is that Elliot will weigh around 8 1/2 to 9 pounds.

My mother also brought up an interesting point on the phone. My original due date was for July 15th. They moved it to July 1st after the 18 week ultrasound, when he was the size of the average 20 week fetus. My mother pointed out that he's probably just actually big for his "age," which means that when they induce he'll be at the 39 1/2 week mark. A perfectly good time for a baby to enter the world, and perhaps not break my pelvis in the process. So this is good news!

More good news, it seem like the cats have no interest at all in being inside the crib! This was a big concern for me. I was afraid that the cats would want to snuggle and suffocate the little longpiglet in his sleep. I think that's where the stories of cats stealing babies breath came from. Babies are generally pretty warm, and soft. Cats love warm soft things. And if you've ever owned a cat you have probably consigned yourself to waking up every now and then with a cat on your stomach, chest, or face. This is essentially fatal for babies. And that's just if the cat was being nice and wanted to snuggle. On the off chance that one of our cats had been int he crib when the baby started actually CRYING... well let's just say that I would fear for my OWN skin, let alone a baby's soft and supple hide. Moo and Chimi have been getting into it lately, and Chimi has a pretty deep hole in his face right now, something I would really NOT want my baby sporting, no matter how sexy scars are.

So yes, I am elated that after only one attempt to get INTO the crib the cats seem very content to lay underneath it, where the shade seems to be keeping them cool. We also have something called a crib tent, which I have yet to set up. It involves dropping the mattress in the crib a few settings, and that involves moving the crib. We've a pretty sizable crib, so this is not something I can do alone. This isn't really something I can even HELP with;  it involves a level of coordination that surpasses me. The crib tent is some sort of magical cat barrier, or so the pictures would have me believe. You attach it both inside and outside the crib structure, and then you put the mattress INSIDE the tent. You then somehow put all the sheets on the mattress. I can only assume the crib tent, while repelling cats, allows this with some modicum of ease. I have not yet figured out if the (breathable!) crib bumpers go inside or outside the tent. In my fantasies little gnomes come and do it for me while I'm asleep, pitching the miniature tent poles and raising the great mesh beast, then pulling the mattress in and, since they are the perfect size to stand up inside the tent, making my baby's bed with ease. It's also really cute when I dream it. They even hook up the mobile. Then they make a lasagna.

Man, I need to find me some gnomes.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, only you could write this with an eloquence that makes me feel as though I am reading a beautifully written novel. Kudos! And I am glad you are nearing the end of this journey. Soon the next one will begin! Good luck!