Hope you all had a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, blissful Yule, etc. I got what I wanted this year: Baby still on the inside! (And still doing fine.) (Also, I got a gorgeous JuJuBe diaper bag.)
As of this week (37), even though the due date is still a few weeks off, she is considered full term and can safely arrive at any time. But listen up, Baby: that’s not an invitation to show up early. You stay put for now, okay? Besides, you don’t want a birthday this close to Christmas. Think of all the presents you’ll miss out on over the years.
Since my last post, I finished up with my job and have been happily lazing about the house, sleeping as much as possible while I still can, watching Netflix, reading, and knitting small adorable things. Meanwhile there’s been some unexpected tumult with B’s job, too. We shall see how it all plays out over the coming months, but he’s off the ship – although we remain stuck in Japan for now. At least selfishly, there are several positive aspects, including less daily stress and misery for him, less underway time in the first half of 2013, and a much easier time getting approved for the paternity leave he’s entitled to.
I visited the byouin last week, and I’ll be going every week from now on. At last week’s appointment, they took the 400 mL of blood for storage, as I mentioned a couple of posts ago. That was a slightly bizarre experience, involving three nurses with only about a dozen English words among them, a Red Cross representative in a suit to oversee everything, and one surprisingly large needle. They set me up in one of the delivery rooms, so I got to see what those are like (small but tidy, private, and reasonably comfortable). I was hooked up to a fetal monitor the whole time – which, including waiting before and after, wound up being almost 2 hours. It was fascinating to see how every movement I make affects the baby’s heart rate, and now I’m all self conscious about that. Playing games on my phone, though, produces very few changes in her rhythms. Apparently somewhere along the way, I was supposed to get myself a sports drink and nobody told me, so after getting hooked up to the monitor I had to fish out 150 yen from my wallet for a nurse to go visit the vending machine for me. I learned the word “daijoubu,” which means something along the lines of “everything’s fine.” Oh, and some of my blood got on the bed.
After my blood was removed, I did get a regular checkup downstairs with Dr. A, which was short and sweet and uneventful. She did an ultrasound, but it was another black-and-white, measurements-only one with no glamor shots. And the measurements seemed hasty, which I suspect explains why they are slightly lower than the trend (but still higher than the curve).
Baby Azuki is over six pounds and still oriented the right way. My GBS test was negative (which is a good thing). My blood pressure was fine; in fact, they took it at least 4 different times throughout the morning, and after the unit of blood was removed, my BP was downright awesome. I know the major warning signs for preeclampsia, so I can be extra vigilant about that at this late stage, but so far we’re still okay.
36 week belly photo below. I no longer have a belly button and I think I finally have a stretch mark or two. Not pictured is the constant squirming ball of knees and elbows that keeps me alternately uncomfortable and entertained.