Life At 34 Weeks (+ a new ailment!)

I still can’t believe that I made it to 34 weeks.  It really is a day by day operation over here and eventually days turn into weeks.  I’ve mentioned before about my list of pregnancy ailments (irritable uterus, heart palpitations, wonky thyroid etc.) but when I went to the doctor 2 plus weeks ago I got more crazy news….

34 Weeks Pregnant

This little babe-in-utero isn’t so little.  At 31 weeks and 6 days my fundal height was 35cm!  This was cause for concern so she ordered an ultrasound that day.  With the fundal height there is always a chance that the baby could be in a weird position making it appear larger or there could be excess amniotic fluid, etc.  Only an accurate measurement via ultrasound would tell us.

Well, I sure don’t know what I’m looking at mostly on those ultrasounds, but when she measured the skull I knew for sure I was in a pickle: the baby’s head was measuring 35weeks and some-odd days.  My eyes didn’t make it to the “day” measurement as my brain was in shock that I saw the words “35 weeks”.   My baby is more than 3 weeks ahead of schedule, size-wise.  I will admit I immediately freaked out and went into panic mode.  I kept associating the size with an early delivery.  And an early delivery is up there on the list of worst fears in my head.  (I hadn’t even had time to process the fact that I should add delivering world’s largest baby to that list!)

So also at that same doctor visit I told her about a lump in my breast I discovered a few days earlier.  It was small and I know it hadn’t been there long and so I wasn’t too worried about it because our bodies and especially boobs do weird things during pregnancy, but I thought I should mention it.  Even my practitioner was like, “oh, I’m sure it’s nothing, let’s take a feel.” But then she did feel it and made “the face”.  You know the one that says “Hmmm… that was unexpected.”  So, another ultrasound was ordered for my boob.  But that wouldn’t happen for a few days.  Needless to say… with the news that I had a genetically mutated baby and my boob was going to fall off, it was a long few days.

Well the good news: I get to keep my boob!  The “lump” turned out to be “nothing” (whatever that means).  I do need to follow up 6 weeks post lactation, but the radiologist was almost unnervingly confident.  That same week I found out that my heart palpitations were nothing more than PVCs — nothing harmful, just really annoying.  And my doula reminded me that since B and I are tall, that means that the baby could be LONG, not just fat.  I kept thinking that I had an obese baby, but she said it could be long and skinny (and probably is).

So I had a really nice wave of good news… then the latest happened.  A little over a week ago on a Friday night (of course) I was laying in bed and I felt a itchy sensation on my bum.  I got up to exam it and right smack in the middle of my left cheek was red rash.  I didn’t think much of it at the time (other than it was very weird).  I’ve had eczema at different times in my life and I had been swimming at the Y so it could have been a reaction to chlorine, etc.  I just put a little steroid cream on it and thought no big deal.  It didn’t itch much and was just a bunch of red bumps.  I also didn’t want to be completely neurotic about it and I didn’t google anything… yet.  Well, 24 hours later it was larger and redder… and seemed to have a little fever.  To Dr. Google we go.  I looked up everything like “33 weeks pregnant rash”; “pregnant rash on buttocks”; etc.  First of all… do NOT do this w/o preparing to be accosted visually.  But EVERYTHING I came up with said it was PUPPPs.  It all made sense.  This is a rash that women develop around 35 weeks, with large babies, during their first pregnancy.  The only thing that didn’t line up is that this rash typically develops on/in stretch marks.  Well — shocker — I don’t have a single stretch mark (thank you genetics!).  So to the itch-stopping-cream isle we go.  And really, the first few days were not that bad.  But then Tuesday night happened.  I woke up howling in pain… and it was spreadingTo my nether-regions and beyond.  Wednesday morning I sent and email to the nurse telling her about my super-astute diagnosis and since I had an appointment scheduled two days later, I would just see the doc then.  Since I didn’t hear anything back, I thought we were on the same page.  Note to self… never assume.

Whilst at my regularly scheduled 34 week checkup, I mentioned how this PUPPPs thing really hurt.  She said the nurse had not forwarded my email (which is rare because this practice is ON IT!) and so as soon as I dropped my drawers to show her, she immediately made “the face” and said, “Girl, that is NOT PUPPPs! It doesn’t look anything like it!”  “Well — what the hell is it?” I yelped!  “The face” melted into pity and she said, “I’m so sorry, but that is shingles!”  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  Who in the hell under 60 years old get shingles?!? And while pregnant!?!  She immediately put me on anti-virals and prescribed a cream and basically told me to hold on for the ride because there isn’t anything I can do for the pain.  And oh.the.pain.  I have another post in mind for how I’ve dealt with it because it really does deserve it’s own.

But I’ve turned a corner now, mentally and physically.  I’ll share how I managed that a little later.  But one thing that helped was that I had my baby shower on Sunday!  My mother’s friends and some family pulled together a little shin-dig and if there’s anything that can pull you out of a funk it’s presents and cake and a super fun new dress!  I ordered that striped little gem on etsy in early march and let me tell you it BARELY fit, but I pulled a Tim Gunn and made it work.

And now, stuffed full of cake and a house full of diapers, we are back to a day at a time.  The babe and I continue to bond.  I can say that being able to lay in basically one position with my tokus airing out weeping soars isn’t exactly the dignified pregnancy that I thought I would experience, but again it is what it is and I’m hoping this will all be one funny story I tell my little monkey one day.  (And hold over him/her for all of eternity!)

7 comments

    1. I would have never considered getting the vaccination, but now everyone I know over 50 (who has seen me suffer) is going to get it. In the states you can’t get the shot before 50 and I think I read that it’s 60 in the UK! The main thing… don’t stress! Apparently stress is THE trigger. 😦

    1. Actually I did get chicken pox…. and that’s how this silly thing works. Anyone who did have chicken pox has the shingles virus already in them. The silver lining is that it is VERY, VERY, VERY rare to get the shingles rash more than once, so at least I don’t have to worry about getting it when I get old!

  1. oh my goodness. you look adorable Carrie, and reading this update really puts into perspective how awesome you really are!!!! Tomorrow you go for the ultrasound, right? I may have a lunch thing tomorrow, but can come over in the afternoon, or Friday morning, or Friday lunch time I could come and bring something. What does any of that sound like to you?

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