37 Weeks: The Measuring Ultrasound

As I mentioned in my 36-week pregnancy update post, the doctor estimates that Baby Hart is on track to be a fairly large baby, and so this week’s appointment involved an ultrasound to try to get a better idea just how big she’s getting.

I didn’t really expect to go in for any further ultrasounds at the doctor’s office — that was part of the reason we sprung for the elective 3D ultrasound at 30 weeks — so at first, this seemed like a nice fun bonus. Unfortunately, it seemed much harder to make out any meaningful images on the screen now than it did at 20 or 30 weeks. The ultrasound technician explained that since baby’s gotten much bigger, but the ultrasound transducer has stayed the same, of course it’ll seem less clear, since at any given time you’re just seeing a part of the head or whatever.

And that’s why I don’t have any good ultrasound pics for this post. But to make up for it, here is a blurry cameraphone picture of the ultrasound machine:

Ultrasound machine at the doctor's office.

Anyway, what did the ultrasound show? According to the measurements, Baby Hart is estimated to weigh — get this — 8.5 pounds. This is with three weeks left to go, and at this stage the baby can still gain up to half a pound per week… so if she’s born on or near her due date, she’s practically guaranteed to be a ten-pounder. (Granted, there is a margin of error of two pounds in either direction — so she might only weigh 6.5 pounds right now. Or she could be up over ten pounds already.)

In light of this news, my doctor brought up the possibility of an elective C-section. This isn’t because she thinks there’s no way this baby will be able to be born naturally — she still thinks I have a good shot at that — but because of the distinctly non-zero chance that I might go through labor in its entirety, push for several hours, and end up needing a C-section anyway because baby just can’t fit. Which sounds unpleasant, to be sure, but I’m not sure it’d be quite as bad as just having the C-section and then wondering afterwards whether it was really necessary.

Interesting side note: this hospital won’t induce labor early unless there’s some kind of serious problem, and they don’t count baby measuring large as one of those.

In other slightly unpleasant medical news, I also found out that I tested positive for Group B Strep. In case anyone is unfamiliar with this, it’s a bacteria that’s harmless to the ~30% of women who carry it, but that can be fatal to newborns. (More info here.) Luckily, there’s a highly effective way of preventing baby from catching it that just involves me getting some IV antibiotics during labor.

Anyway, not much else to report here at the 37-week mark. I’ve been feeling a bit more fatigued lately, which I suppose is to be expected, but I’m still working full time and walking two miles a day, and hope to keep up both for as long as possible. And since Baby Hart is full term now, and by all accounts large, we should probably be bracing for the possibility that she’ll arrive before her due date. Gotta get that car seat installed and put the finishing touches on the nursery ASAP…

5 Comments

  1. NONE of my babies came early! Joe was a week “late”, Rachel was 2 weeks late, after an attempted 6 weeks early labor that the hospital stopped, and Geoffrey was only a day late. Probably as much due to advances in spotting actual conception date as anything, though.

    I do recall the movie about C-sections, though, and yes, a planned one is better than emergency, since the latter involves baby already being stuck and having possible breathing problems. It’s a little longer in-hospital recovery time, but that can be a good thing too, since there’s nurses and all to help you get used to taking care of baby, before going it on your own at home.

  2. That’s a good point about scheduled vs. unplanned C-sections… I’ll have to talk to my doctor in more depth about the comparative risks of complications with each option.

  3. That is great that you are still working full-time and walking! You are quite a woman, Mrs. Hart! We’re proud of you!

    Yes, don’t worry about the Group B strep. I also tested positive for that, and all of my children turned out just fine.

    Since I have no actual experience with C sections, I’m not sure which would be better, planned or unplanned, but definitely work with your doctor to make the decision that is right for you in your own personal situation.

    Love you all so much! Keep up the good work, little mama! :)

  4. Hey cousin Sarah, YEAH!!!!!! Getting close. Can’t say anything about C section. Went natural, no pain meds (WHAT A MISTAKE), Chad was 8lb 80z, & they had to pull him out with forceps. Poor little head was misshapened for weeks & his little eye was bruised. If I a “rather” I would rather do planned C section, why not, you’ll know in advance, NO SURPRISES, what’s in store. God bless for safe & speedy delivery for mom & baby girl. PLEASE post all the pictures you can, from the ultrasounds, she’s a cutie pootie.

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