Tuesday, July 21, 2009

*ANOTHER 35 Week Update*

After spending the afternoon doing some online research, getting feedback from other mothers on the wonderful ivillage forum and talking things over with Ryan, I have made a decision. I have decided against having the test done Thursday morning for fetal lung maturity. My reasoning is as follows.

1. Almost every site agrees that fetal lung maturity is usually reached by week 35, which I am at. Add in that Owen is a larger than average baby and has had the steroid shots to help develop his lungs, and it’s pretty guaranteed that his lungs are mature. From my understanding, the reason Dr’s have to perform this test is to protect themselves from being sued due to performing an elective c-section at such an early gestational age, which I completely understand.

2. The Doctor said repeatedly that if I were to go into labor that they would go ahead and deliver me. I wouldn’t have to reach hard active labor, since they’ll intervene with a c-section anyway, so whenever I get to the point of early labor (regular contractions 5-10 minutes apart), then they would go ahead and take me in.

3. Based on 1 and 2, I have decided to let myself off bed rest. I of course won’t attempt anything too strenuous like long walks or lifting Carter (it has been over 2 months since I’ve had any type of exercise!), but I will start doing stuff around the house again, like cooking and cleaning. If his lungs are mature and it’s ok if I go into labor, then I figure we can still schedule the c-section for 39 weeks as originally planned and if nature takes its course sooner, then so be it, but I don’t want to force him out.

4. The test is an amniocentesis, which does come with risks. The risks are low, but still risks. They include infection, hemorrhaging, leaking amniotic fluid, and preterm labor. The risks alone aren’t deterring me from having the procedure, but just one more thing against it. Also, I could live without the pain of having a needle shoved through my stomach and uterus, which apparently isn’t the most comfortable feeling in the world.

5. Finally, the test is expensive, and based on the above reasoning, an unnecessary expense. The cost of an amnio ranges from $1200-2000. Even after insurance we’d be paying a few hundred dollars out of pocket.

So we won’t be eliminating the guess work of when he’ll come by scheduling a much earlier c-section, but I’ll feel better about letting him “cook” a little longer if that’s how it’s meant to be. As for my suffering through the pain of cramping and contractions, I’ve already found it easier to cope with just by being up doing stuff and distracting myself. It’s much harder to re-direct your attention when you’re stuck in bed doing nothing.

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