Friday, July 25, 2008

The Thirty-First Week

Thirty weeks, two days today, and miraculously, there are not a lot of changes to report. It's been a pretty good, if busy, few days. My nurses have really been a lot of fun, and I'm feeling more secure than in my last post.

poppies from Laurie

a little pretty goes a long way

the 30-week growth scan

On Thursday, we had our latest ultrasound. It had been 3 weeks since the last one, and I was anxious to see the boys and how they were faring. Sadly, there won't be any pics to share... it's just too crowded in there. I didn't even get a clear glimpse at their profiles.

Zeus (whose membranes are ruptured) has gone from 2 pounds to 2 pounds, 12 ounces. He's just a little peanut, in the 24th percentile. I'm hoping for a little bump for him between now and the birth, since I've started taking some supplements that have been shown to enhance the function of the placenta.

Oden went from 2 pounds, 6 ounces all the way up to 3 pounds 5. A pound in 3 weeks! He's in the 50-something percentile for his size and age.

The doctors also looked at fluid levels. We clearly anticipated low fluid for Baby A, since the sack hasn't (yet) repaired itself, but there was almost nothing to measure. It shook me a little, thinking of my sweet boy tucked away in the womb, surrounded by his collapsed sack.

fancy soap, books and other distractions help!

how can Zeus continue to gestate without fluid??

There have been some questions about this, so let me address the situation to the best of my ability without turning to Dr. Google. When the bag of waters ruptures preterm (before 34 weeks), and there is no sign of infection or labor, the pregnancy is allowed to continue. If the baby/ies are past 24 weeks, their lung development is finished, although the lungs are not yet mature, and apparently the presence of amniotic fluid is most important when the lungs are still developing.

The baby/ies receive all of their nutrition, blood, and oxygen through the umbilical cord, so this is why they are monitored on a daily basis by both non-stress tests and doppler; if the umbilical cord is compressed, they will detect a deceleration of the heartbeat. If this were to happen (a prolonged decel) while I was being monitored, they would just keep us on the monitors longer to determine if the baby was in distress. Fetal distress would be one of the reasons for an immediate delivery.

So, the amniotic fluid at this gestational age is not critical to the baby's development. Because it is replenished every time the baby pees (did you know that amniotic fluid is mostly baby pee at this age??), Zeus does have increases in his fluid levels, allowing him to flex and stretch his limbs and build his muscle.

I was also told this week that babies who have been "stressed" like Zeus and even Oden have before they are born early are for the most part stronger and more resilient than preterm babies born my surprise.

things necessary for a long stay in the hospital:
good lip balm, hydration for the body and the sinuses

things to anticipate

Yesterday I had my maternity portraits done here in my hospital room. I'm really excited to see the resulting photos. That should happen sometime this week.

Tonight, my sis is coming to spend the night, which is always welcome. She went to the Portland Farmer's Market today to get the lambskin I've been wanting for the babies, so I can't wait to see that, and as an extra bonus, she'll be able to take me on a 30-minute wheelchair ride. As long as it's not too hot, we'll go out to one of the terraces that overlooks the whole city and faces Mounts Hood and St. Helen's.

Our friend Miriam just sent out a box, containing in part a belly cast kit, which we'll probably do either this week or next. I'd like to wait for for the first week in August, but if there's any indication that I could deliver next week, we'll try to get it done. She suggested that a photo be taken of the boys in the belly of the cast after they're born, and then again at a year. Sounds really cool to me, thanks Mir!

My mom is coming out a week from tomorrow for several days, so that's a major excitement. She's never been to Oregon, so although she'll be here at the hospital for much of her visit, I hope she gets to see something of this amazing and beautiful place. The same week, my friend Julie is going to be coming through, so it's going to be a ton of fun.

As for me, I have a work deadline this week, plus I'm striving to finish writing a bunch of thank you cards and get some knitting started and completed! Oh, yeah, and the small thing of keeping myself pregnant, which no doubt will involve spending most of my time lying on one side or another in bed. But we're not really thinking about that part.

In terms of hospital life, I don't think we have any special testing this week. Just keeping on keeping on is the plan.

baby-related task for tomorrow:
choose baby announcement design from Oblation and figure out wording.


  1. De-lurking to say hi, long time reader here.
    Just wanted to leave a comment saying how happy I am to see that you and the boys are doing good. I'm praying you and the babies hold off for the next few weeks.
    You look great!~

    (i have to publish as anonymous, my pc won't allow the comments to go through)

  2. Wonderful news! You are doing so well...thanks for the explanation of amniotic fluid, etc. I've been asked questions about how you're doing, and all are surprised that the babies haven't been delivered yet. This will better enable me to answer questions in a much more technical fashion. :)

    No, we aren't going to be doing portraits or a cast. I'm comfortable with the pictures we've been taking, and frankly, don't want to spend the money. Though Scott did mention this past week that he wishes we were doing the portraits.

    I'm glad you're getting some "free time" and enjoying seeing friends and family. Keep up the great work!!!

    Our growth scan is this coming Thursday... wee!!!!!!!

  3. can hardly wait to meet the boys :D

  4. Congrats on the 31 weeks and the great growth! I'm so glad to hear things are still hanging in there - and thank you for the explanation on the amniotic fluid. Even as a nurse, it's hard to understand it all if you don't work L & D. Now that our little girl is threatening to come early I'm trying to learn all I can. I hope you continue to get some nice visits, and hope you have a great and uneventful week. You're doing great and I will keep you all in my thoughts!

  5. What a wonderful update! I'm so in awe of your good spirits. Hang in there.

    Chantel from MDC