Dr. Clark felt my tummy and measured my fundal height, she said, "His size is good. Probably 7 1/2 pounds." I wonder why a different doctor felt different just two weeks ago? Either way, we're glad that he is normal size.
I was a little scared when she pulled out the sonogram and was listening for his heart. It took her a little longer to find it. I was relieved when I heard the swooshes of his beating heart. She immediately looked at me and said, "He's pretty low. How far do you live from the hospital?" This excited me and had me thinking that labor was nearing. We talked about the forecasted weather (which called for anything from 1 to 10 inches of snow) and about being careful driving to the hospital if I went into labor.
When she examined me, she let me know that I am about 2 1/2cm dilated. That's a half centimeter of progression from last week. I had hoped for a little more progress, but 1/2 is better than none! She also said, "He's still up there a bit and you have some more thinning to do. I think he'll hold out until after the snow." She also told us that if I make it to 3 or 4 centimeters without any contractions, it's a good indicator that labor and delivery will go smoothly. Let's hope that happens!!!
We also discussed what to expect if my water breaks or if I do start to experience contractions. If Jackson does not come by his due date, February 5th, they will have me do a non-stress test. I didn't ask too many questions about it while I was at the office, but I went home and googled it. Here is some of what I found about the NST:
- The test involves attaching one belt to the mother’s abdomen to measure fetal heart rate and another belt to measure contractions. Movement, heart rate and “reactivity” of heart rate to movement is measured for 20-30 minutes. If the baby does not move, it does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem; the baby could just be asleep. A nurse may use a small “buzzer” to wake the baby for the remainder of the test.
- The primary goal of the test is to measure the heart rate of the fetus in response to its own movements. Healthy babies will respond with an increased heart rate during times of movement, and the heart rate will decrease at rest. The concept behind a non-stress test is that adequate oxygen is required for fetal activity and heart rate to be within normal ranges. When oxygen levels are low, the fetus may not respond normally. Low oxygen levels can often be caused by problems with the placenta or umbilical cord.
- A reactive non-stress result indicates that blood flow (and oxygen) to the fetus is adequate. A nonreactive non-stress result requires additional testing to determine whether the result is truly due to poor oxygenation, or whether there are other reasons for fetal nonreactivity (i.e. sleep patterns, certain maternal prescription or nonprescription drugs).
So come on Jackson. Everyone is cheering for you. Make your way down and let's get this labor going!