Small Legs Big head :(

Sorry I didn’t post sooner, I had a very stressful day.

I woke up early full of excitement about my BPP U/S (biophysical profile Ultrasound) to get a sense of how big the baby is and make sure things look Ok in there. There are a couple of concerns with post date babies other than size, like declining amniotic fluid levels and exchange between baby and placenta.

In order to get a growth estimate they need all these specific measurements which then calculate into some formula and then they tell you how big the baby is.

Everything started out well enough, until the tech asked me “Is your husband short?”

Me: “What? No, he’s 6’1″, why is the baby too short??”

Tech: “No.. just curious”

(Me: yeah right!)

Then she proceeds to take the femur length measurement about 100 times. At this point I know something is wrong…

“Is there something wrong with his leg?” I ask.

Turns out there’s this screen at the end of a BPP that shows you what weeks and days all the measurements come out to. Baby’s head is appropriately sized for 40 weeks 5 days, (i.e. big!) and his abdomen too. But the first measurements she got of his leg was for just 37 weeks and change. After trying to get better angles she managed to up this to 38 weeks, but I could tell it still isn’t enough because she talked about getting a colleague in there to try to get a better shot etc. You know it’s bad when they need someone else to take a look!

After we’d been at it for over an hour, she tried to reassure me that it’s probably something technical, i.e the measurement is off and that I shouldn’t worry etc.

Telling me not to worry is a complete exercise in futility – worrying is second nature to me, and when I think there is something wrong with my baby, there is NO stopping my head from constructing the worse possible scenarios.

After the U/S I went up to L&D for a Non Stress Test (NST) and to go over the U/S results with the Midwife on call Judy, who happened to be the midwife I saw at my last 40 week appointment.

Everything but the leg came back normal, though they did estimate his weight at 8lbs 8 oz. and based on ALL the measurements put my due date at 8/17/08 rather than 8/10/08. I guess everything but his head measured a bit behind?  But how could he be a week behind and weight that much? It doesn’t even make sense.

Judy agreed. She palpated my stomach and said she really didn’t think he was 8.5 lbs. I voiced my concern over the leg measurement and she told me that a 38 week leg measurement is a term measurement and I shouldn’t worry.

She also shared with me that at one of her son’s growth scans the tech told her his limbs were the size of dwarfism limbs! She was trying to make me feel better, but then she did say he is really short (though definitely NOT a dwarf.)   So I guess maybe Jasper will just be really really short? I’m not sure what to make of all this.

Of course I googled short femur measurement and immediately wished I hadn’t. There are all sorts of genetic disorders that this can be a marker for, even developing this late in the game. Things like Down’s syndrome, dwarfism etc. etc.

I know 38 weeks doesn’t seem like that far behind in measurements, but at this point I’m 2 days shy of 41 weeks, so it’s 3 weeks behind which is several standard deviations below normal. The midwife isn’t concerned at all, but that is small comfort to me when it comes to my baby!

In terms of progress news, she also did an internal and said I’m now a “Loose” 1cm, about 60% effaced and -1 station. So that’s a tiny bit of progress.. maybe the acupuncture session last night had some effect.

She also said they won’t let me go all the way until 42 weeks, I need to have the baby before then. They also don’t like to induce over the weekend, so if I don’t go into spontaneous labor (and she told me she thought I would within a few days) we’re looking at a next Thursday or latest next Friday induction.

Now I don’t give a rat’s ass about any of that though.. I just want to know he’s healthy. Short little legs and all :(

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