38-39 Weeks Pregnant – The Dressed-Up, Small Baby, Broken Arm Edition

by Lisa Douglas

Nesting hit me like a freight train this week, and I have been go-go-go like my life depended on it. Chock-full of energy and buzzing around here like a possessed 50’s housewife, my poor husband doesn’t know what hit ‘im.

In all my unbounded energy, I decided playing dress-up for the doctor’s appointment might be fun. (That and I couldn’t find my wear-with-everything leggings. Ahem.)

I showered, primped, and prepped, and tore off the tags to my beautiful ruby red Moody Mamas maternity dress I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to wear. And I loved it, I felt adorable and pregnant and celebratory and full of smiles. I was ready for the doctor to welcome me into her office with warm words of encouragement, hopefully with more dilation progress.

Except that isn’t what happened. At all.

I was met with my doctor in a sling, wearing scrubs, seeing her walk from one exam room to another. I gasped. “Oh no! Are you alright?! What happened to you!?”

She acknowledged my question but didn’t respond before heading in. Not good.

I quickly got into my exam room, changed into my gown, and posted an update to Facebook, worried.Facebook screenshot

Turns out, no, she won’t be okay enough to deliver me.

My awesomesauce OB, with whom I hand-picked to deliver this baby (an opportunity rarely found in the military) broke her arm while running the Austin marathon over the weekend. Being a marathoner was one of the many reasons I chose her to begin with. I adored the fact that we shared that same passion for running, and that she just ‘got me’ and would understand my need to stay active during pregnancy, as well as a desperate need to get moving ASAP after giving birth. She just “gets it,” you know?

It was painful to see her arm, uncasted, because she broke her humerus (the bone underneath the bicep/upper arm) and that bone can’t be casted properly. She will need to heal for at least four weeks, and no, I can’t wait that long. (She asked me if I could. Heh.)

I have confidence in her chosen business partners, and am seeing one of them on Tuesday. But it’s such a strange scenario to be in, you know? This new-to-me doctor to meet me and shake my hand, just in time to deliver my youngest out of my lady parts. “Nice to meet you! Here’s my crotch….”

More disturbing news: at my appointment, the poor thing had to use her broken arm to check me (she broke her dominant arm) and didn’t try very hard to see dilation progress, I could see her in pain. She did tell me, though, that my cervix was 60% effaced now, and I could tell by where she stopped that it wasn’t pain that stopped her, but the baby’s low-lying head. She didn’t tell me what ‘station’ I was at, but I could tell, the baby is LOW. The pressure is THERE. I waddle with REASON, and sit with legs wide open (lady-like, I know), because I’m afraid I’m making the baby cone-headed. Like right now, I’m sitting cross-legged in my office chair. Yikes!

I was also concerned by two additional things at the appointment. One, the baby’s heartrate was in the 120’s. She asked me immediately about decreased fetal movement, and this mover-and-shaker has never given me cause for concern.. until now. She didn’t express much concern for it, really, as a baby’s heartrate is normally within the 120s-170s. She did want me to keep special watch for the rest of the day, though, and explained that, with being so close to birth, the baby’s movements can and will decrease, which causes the heartrate to decrease, too (all normal). But of course, Worry Wart McGee that I am, this freaked me out, still, and I immediately got in the car after the appointment and poked him or her until she woke up. Once I arrived at home, I ate a banana, and baby-dancy-dance time began (and seemingly never stopped all.day.long). Thank goodness!!

The second thing that concerns me now is something I am hearing from a lot of folks, not to mention something I’ve noticed myself but thought nothing of, until now: my belly is small. Therefore, we feel the baby will be small. I hadn’t even watched her tape my belly’s measurement for fundal height before, but after seeing it yesterday read “31” when it was my 39 week check concerned me. “This baby’s going to be a small one..” she said.

Small baby? Normally deliciously good news to hear, considering birthing a small one naturally is wayyyy easier than birthing a big one. But am I too small? She doesn’t seem worried, and I probably shouldn’t be either. She attributed the extra-smallness of my fundal reading this week to the baby having dropped so low. I am curious, however, as to what it read before – was I on target? I will be sure to ask on Tuesday.

You know, during my introduction-to-my-crotch appointment with the new doc. (We’re going to have LOTS to talk about, during those awkward moments, you know.)

38-39 weeks pregnant belly pic

Baby bump progression thus far:

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