The pregnancy bump is in full force, although most identify it only on side profile. I am all baby.
I am now onto the final few weeks of pregnancy and it has been another adventure to add to the books. I left off at a 33 week update and I would say that the home stretch has presented itself with a few more twists and turns. Pregnancy is an individual experience for every woman myself included. I always wondered what the last few weeks would bring as those are the weeks your baby is packing on the pounds, taking whatever it needs from its host. Yeah I said it, my baby is eating me.
I last left off questioning my iron and hemoglobin levels. I had a clinic visit on March 11th where my levels were deemed low but not so low that something needed to be done. But let me back up a little. Previous to this visit (end of Feb) is where I learned my levels had not increased but additional blood work was run. I received a phone call on March 4th from the dietitian that my zinc level and albumin levels were also low. Zinc is important for immune system function and albumin is a type of protein.
So what did this mean? Start taking 10mg of zinc 2x a day. This brought my individual supplement total up to seven. But wait there is more! Zinc competes with iron and calcium when it comes to absorption in your body. So they cannot be taken together and I need to take it twice a day, along with taking iron twice a day and calcium once a day. You can see where this is going. So for the past few weeks my supplement regime has gone something like this: wake up – prenatal vitamin and vitamin D, 2 hours later – Zinc, 2 hours later iron, 2 hours later, calcium, back to zinc, then iron….somewhere in there B12 and Omega 3. Inevitably, I forget one of them per day. I’ve tried putting them all in a bowl in the morning and slowly taking one whenever I head to the kitchen. I feel for all of those people who need to take daily medication.
I decided to finish working on March 21st. This would be about a month prior to my scheduled due date. This was not an easy decision and it ultimately boiled down to my inability to stand or walk for prolonged periods of time, I was down to fifteen minutes. The difficult part was that my brain was all gung-ho but my hip was saying, “Noooo”. The baby has been growing and started to push right onto my sciatic nerve during movements and would send shooting pain down my leg. I was fearful of falling while treating patients and this is what ultimately stopped me from working. Those who know me, know that I LOVE my profession and what I do so when I stopped, it was like a piece of who I am was also taken away. Not to mention, leaving my work fam for a bit.
But in my heart, I knew that this is temporary and my physio self will be replaced with a new self, “mom self” very soon and some of this void will be filled. I did not really want a full month (or more) off of work though. However, I have always suspected that the baby may come early at 38 weeks.
As people know, I am a big believer of the universe’s plan and working in certain ways for certain reasons. Let’s now jump ahead to my March 25th appointment – Ultrasound and clinic visit (week 36).
During this visit, I learned that my Ob-Gyn is a master at the sandwich approach of explaining things. For those of you who do not know, this is where a person will begin telling you the great things, followed by some bad things but closing with great things again.
She began by explaining that the baby is growing well at an estimated weight of 6lbs 1oz and the blood flow to the placenta was looking good. Amniotic fluid, also good. Then she asked how I was feeling and if I had been feeling the baby moving. I replied, that there was lots of movement. Here I thought, she would now say, “Great, see you next week for follow up”. But instead I got, “the radiologist called me after your ultrasound and mentioned to me that your placenta looked odd”. She followed up with drawing a picture that demonstrated that my placenta is calcifying and was getting calcium/fibrotic deposits inside. This is normal for someone who is around 41-42 weeks term but advanced for someone who is 36 weeks. Especially since my 32 week ultrasound was normal. From my understanding, this means that the placenta is hardening and eventually it will stop working as it should. This was the centre of the sandwich.
Next she went back to the good news, “but your baby is growing and the blood flow looked good”. Followed by, “I think we will want to induce you next week or the week after before it stops working as well”. I think after I heard, “induce next week”, I just nervously laughed and left the clinic filled with many emotions. Excited baby is coming very soon, shocked that baby is coming so soon, happy I only get a week maybe week and a half off work, upset that I only get a week or so off work, etc. I’m happy my mom was with me at this appointment to clarify some details for me afterwards. I’m pretty sure I went to La La land after that news.
However, I did ask if I could keep doing Zumba (since I was still doing it…36 weeks proud!). The answer was, “umm, I don’t think we want to increase your heart rate to make your placenta work any harder than it should”. I knew this would probably be the answer but I needed to hear, “No”. So to my Zumba community – I will see you all after the baby is born! However, I was cleared to continue with Yoga and general gentle exercise.
Once we left the clinic, I was booked for another ultrasound on April 1st (the following Monday) as well as a non-stress test (to evaluate baby’s heart rate and levels in utero). Then an induction date would be set based on these results.
Now back to my belief of universe working in certain ways. Although it was shocking to know that our baby would be here before the second week of April. I had always said, “I hope the baby comes around 38 weeks”. This will definitely be the case now. In addition, my hip continues to get worse as the baby grows and maybe this was also another way to get me back to normal faster. Finally, my eating has become more difficult and at my last clinic visit, I actually had lost some weight. I now sit at a 16lbs weight gain with this little guy.
So everything for a reason right? Brandon and I are really looking forward to meeting this little guy and having a new chapter open in our lives. I know that labour and raising him will be a challenge, but what’s life without some challenges? The harder the challenge, the sweeter the reward 🙂