Carolyn and I had a perinatal day today. We had a fetal ultrasound with biophysical profile. We had an OB/GYN appointment. We had a quote “non-stress“ test. Carolyn peed in a cup. (OK, to be fair, she has to pee in a cup every time we go to the OB/GYN [at their request, not her whim], but still, it was a long-ish day of poking and prodding.)
All of this (well most of this) because she’s “measuring small.” We had a joke at the beginning that “I make big babies.” Apparently, this is not the case. Or at least not the case for babies I make with Carolyn. This is fortunate, because little Carolyn would have some real trouble with a big baby. What was particularly curious and nerve-wracking about today was that the baby’s falling behind in the curve. Every ultrasound that we had through the end of July was the same: “Baby’s doing great. I’m showing the due date as Oct. 5.” I mean, they were measuring her to the day! But out of the blue, today’s ultrasound shows her as between 2 and 3 weeks behind. Somehow baby was right on track for 30 weeks, then only grew about 2 weeks worth in the last 5.
I’m aprehensive. I’m not yet panicked, or even really nervous, but I am aprehensive. We’ve taken a lot on faith so far, declining tests that were suggested because, by turning 35 during the pregnancy, Carolyn has reached “advanced maternal age.” So, I’m pretty willing to extend that faith to this. But, at the same time, I don’t want faith to blind me to the needs of my child. If there’s something I need to be doing to ensure his or her wellbeing, I want to be doing it.
At this point, we delayed having to drive about an hour away to go to the recommended regional perinatologist. I guess we’ll go next week, if the regular ultrasound shows the baby as having fallen sufficiently below the expected growth curve. Apparently, we can get a “level 2” ultrasound from this guy. One of the midwives said that “His ultrasound can make out the eyelashes on a rock.” I can’t tell if that’s a good thing or not since most rocks that I know about don’t have eyelashes. The recommendation to drive an hour away to the perinatologist is interesting given that we’re not supposed to travel more than an hour away from our chosen birth hospital during the last month of the pregnancy. I guess if we’re going to travel somewhere during this time, to a perinatologist is the safest place to go. But, probably one of the least fun places.
It’s interesting too, because we’re starting to come across stories of people who gave birth not even as far along into the pregnancy as Carolyn now is. We’re definitely not ready. I guess this weekend we’ll at least pack our hospital bags so that we’ll be at least a little bit more ready. Oh, and if you were one of those very thoughtful people who gave us baby stuff (either at the shower, or otherwise), a thank-you card will find its way to you. Eventually, I promise.