Ultrasound Appointment #9, and 32 Weeks

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! I hope everyone has a nice relaxing holiday. Of course, it stinks that this year we aren’t able to celebrate with family or even our typical gourmet feast (the commissary leaves a lot to be desired)… But, I am extremely thankful for a healthy and uneventful pregnancy. So, it’s time for my every-other-week update!

For those of you (I know you’re out there!) who skip straight to the ultrasound video, bad news. I didn’t get any of the fun 4D footage at yesterday’s appointment. Just the grainy black and white, you know, “medical” stuff – checking measurements and position and whatnot. No “glamour shots” for this post… Sorry. I mean, I can’t really complain. After all it is ultrasound number nine and in the States I’d be lucky to get more than two for a normal, healthy pregnancy. So before you whine about it, you should know that you’ve already been spoiled. That being said, here is the short, grainy, black and white video.

Play-by-play for the video is as follows, since I know it can be tough to figure out what’s going on, especially since she doesn’t entirely fit in one shot anymore. First you see the baby’s head, which is facing downward, and this is awesome since supposedly they tend to settle into their final position by 32 weeks. Dr. A takes the head diameter measurement. There’s a quick shot of the ribs and such, then we get the abdominal circumference, followed by the femur length. The video is stalled on the femur for a while, during which time Dr. A has her calculator out, doing the conversions to tell me the baby’s estimated weight is 4.5 lbs. (According to BabyCenter, that would be almost 3/4 lb heavy for 32w2d.) We see the chart, placing her above the growth curve but within normal margins. Dr. A takes a measurement of the amniotic fluid (still fine). There’s one quick shot of baby’s face, then finally a look at the placenta (also normal).

Not that there’s anything wrong, but a few notes on those measurements. Down in the corner of the video, you see all the numbers. The byouin’s software says the abdominal measurement is about 2 weeks ahead, but this website says it’s about exactly on target. Their software says the femur length is 3 weeks ahead, but that website says it’s more like 1 week. The website also calculates, based on those measurements, the baby is closer to 4.1 lbs than 4.5. I’m still sticking with the theory that the byouin’s software programming is skewed toward scrawny, short-legged Japanese babies. At any rate, we can be pretty sure that (provided she goes to term) she’ll be bigger than almost all the other babies in the nursery. Whether or not she’ll be gargantuan by Caucasian standards is yet to be seen.

So yeah – baby is looking great, and I’m doing fine too. As follow-up to the previous appointment, I did go in to the Navy clinic to get my BP meds increased. Today, my blood pressure was fine. When I saw the Navy doc, she’d casually mentioned that in the U.S., they’ll typically induce a hypertensive mom at 39 weeks, but she didn’t know whether that was the case here in Japan. Of course, I brought the question up at this morning’s appointment. Dr. A looked totally baffled: “39 weeks? Before the due date?” So, no, the byouin has no intention of inducing me early. It’s possible I’ll have to be induced if things go awry, but as long as my BP stays controlled and no major complications pop up then they will just let things proceed naturally.

Really only two other things that came out of this week’s appointment. 1) Last appointment’s blood test was negative for the type of leukemia that I guess they routinely test pregnant women for in this country. And hey, it’s always nice to hear that one doesn’t have leukemia. 2) They want to take a unit of my blood in a few weeks, so that they can give it back to me at delivery if I need it. … Wait, huh? Ok, I thought this was pretty interesting. Dr. A said that blood type O negative (mine) is very uncommon in Japan, so if I wind up needing a blood transfusion during delivery, it could be a problem. Therefore sometime next month, I’m going to donate myself 400 mL of just-in-case blood. I don’t know, maybe this isn’t actually an uncommon thing, but it came as a surprise to me.

Here’s the belly:

32 weeks

Yep – I’m feeling the aches and pains that come with carrying an extra 30 (approximately) pounds, but I’m managing fine. Some days are more uncomfortable than others, and the few lazy days off work where I lounge around in the recliner watching Netflix tend to be the days I’m least achy by the time I go to bed.  (Imagine that.) It makes me look forward to my last work day, 3 weeks from tomorrow.

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