This ultrasound was basically just to check on her size, position, movement, all that good stuff. The good news: she rocks at movement and position. She passed whatever test the tech was doing for movement the second that wand/sensor thing was put to my belly. I'm telling you, the girl is a MOVER - I constantly have huge lumps in my belly, little baby limbs flying all over the place, and feet sticking out every which way. Even while the doctor was measuring my belly at my weekly appointment this week, she was like, "oh, there goes a foot..." as Baby Girl made her presence known.
Other good news: she's in a great position. Head down, facing the right way, etc. She's still very high (my ribs will vouch for that), but she's lying how we want her to. Upon hearing this news, my doula even described her as an "over-achiever." That's my girl!
The less-good news: she's freaking huge. Like, since the ultrasound, I have taken to calling her Chubs. I realize this is probably not healthy mother behavior, but I promise I'll stop once she's here. I'm not trying to give anybody a complex or anything. And really, I'm just glad she's healthy. She certainly seems to be thriving, no doubt about that! I guess she has really been enjoying all the pasta I fed her (especially in the first trimester when all I wanted in life was CARBS!).
How big is she, you ask? Well, the ultrasound tech couldn't get the exact angle she wanted to for measurements because Baby was all rolled into a ball, and very wiggly (shocking!). But, from what she could tell, she estimated eight and a half pounds. EIGHT AND A HALF. At 37.5 weeks. The tech also said we could expect her to gain a half pound per week from here on out.
She did give a margin of error of one pound either way, so she could be seven and a half pounds, or nine and a half. That's a lot of room for error, of course. And I have read extensive anecdotal evidence that weight estimates through ultrasound are quite unreliable, so I'm trying not to let it freak me out. We won't really know how big she is until she's here, so there's no reason to panic yet. Plus, my doctors haven't seemed too concerned, at least until this point (we'll see what they say after they have this ultrasound info to review), and have told me that they generally would not recommend a c-section or anything based just on size estimates. Basically, they'll let me try labor and delivery naturally and see how I do and go from there. That's fine by me.
We weren't able to get any awesome pictures of her this time, unfortunately. She's just too crammed in there with her giant self, so there was really no angle for good in-utero photography. All we got were these two profile shots:
Does her head look alarmingly large to anyone else? No? Just me?
It looks like she's puckering up for a smooch!
We've been pretty spoiled with awesome ultrasound pictures, so I think we were hoping for some more great shots this time. But Baby was just too crowded in there! I even wanted the tech to make sure she's still a girl (for whatever reason, I am very nervous that she will end up coming out a boy, and then he will be forced to wear nothing but pink for the first 6 months of his life), but she couldn't get in there for a good between-the-legs shot thanks to Baby's tight quarters. So, here's hoping.
As for other updates, I don't have too much more to report. My focus now is on preparation for the birth, and we've been doing a couple of things for that. In a perfect world, I would love to have as intervention-free of a birth as I possibly can. I realize that birth is unpredictable and never goes as planned, but that's the dream. For the past couple of months, Eric and I have been doing the Hypnobabies Home Study course, which teaches a lot of relaxation/self-hypnosis techniques for pain management. It also includes a lot of positive affirmations and helps you to restructure your thinking about birth. I've really enjoyed it so far. Of course, I have no idea how it will actually benefit me in labor - maybe it will be a total lifesaver, or maybe it will all go right out the window with the first contraction. I really have no idea what to expect. But at the very least, it has really helped me to feel more positive, calm, confident and relaxed up to this point, and that alone has been well worth the time and effort I've put into it. Before this course I was totally freaked out about birth, but now I'm feeling much more confident and am actually sort of looking forward to the physical challenge. I really want to see what I'm capable of.
We've also started our series of prenatal meetings with our doula. If you are unfamiliar with what a doula actually is, she's basically a source of support for both Eric and me before, during and after the birth. She is meeting with us three times before the birth, and then will be there through labor and delivery, and then will also come for one visit after the birth to sort of debrief, answer any questions, help with breastfeeding, and even bring us a meal. Our first meeting with her went very well, I thought. We talked a lot about what we're hoping for during the birth experience, fears, concerns, etc. I found it to be very therapeutic. She also did some breathing practice with us, and showed us some good positions to try during labor and some things that Eric can do to try to keep me comfortable. I really liked her and the whole session in general, so I think I'll end up being very happy to have her as an additional source of support on Birth Day.
And so, that's the latest! This post ended up being way longer than I expected, but now you're all up to date! We're really getting down to the wire here, aren't we? Baby is officially full-term now, and apparently already practically the size of a teenager, so now we just wait for her to decide to make her entrance into the world!