41 Weeks (Still-) Prenatal Visit

We just got back from our last midwives appointment and some errands.

The baby and I are still fine according to all the usual measurements and the non-stress test, which involved being hooked up to monitors that tracked the baby’s heartbeat and uterine pressure. And the baby’s battering ram activities are perfectly normal, if exceedingly uncomfortable when she’s really going at it.

Plan B is in place — we’ll go to the hospital on Monday at 7:30 am if the baby hasn’t arrived before then. Depending on how things look at that point, they’ll decide how to proceed with induction. Options include cervical ripening with local prostaglandins if necessary, or jump-starting labor with Pitocin if the cervix is already ready. The midwife assured us that they and the hospital are very conservative about such things and that it’s unlikely any negative stuff like hyperstimulation of the uterus would be allowed to continue for any length of time — apparently, it doesn’t take long for the Pitocin or prostaglandins to stop acting once they’re shut off.

After our appointment, we stopped at the grocery store to refill some water jugs, celebrated our one-week overdue-ness with lunch at a little Chinese place, and stopped by the post office to check my business box. Now that we’re back home, I think I’m going to have a little nap and Mark’s going to get some more work done.

I actually slept a little more normally last night, and I think it shows — I feel a little more energetic and a lot more emotionally stable today than I have for the last few days. Those of you who are praying for us, pray especially for us to manage the inevitable sleep deprivation to come!

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40 Weeks Prenatal Visit

Today is our due date — no baby yet, but who knows!

We had our weekly prenatal visit this morning, and finally it was a week without weight gain. All other measurements continue to be fine, and the baby’s still in good position.

The midwife offered to “sweep the membranes” if we so desired; not having read or heard much about it, we decided to leave well enough alone and keep waiting for the baby to decide when it’s time to go into labor. I just read a few sites found through Google, and membrane sweeping seems somewhat controversial — one site warned against it for folks with Group B Strep, which includes me. Some say it can lead to irregular labor, requiring more interventions than otherwise. Some say it’s less invasive than a chemical induction, and that makes some sense, but at the same time it still seems wise to wait until it’s really necessary. Some point out that labor usually starts within two days — but that doesn’t seem like a clear cause and effect — the labor might have started then anyway.

I hope the baby gets things started soon enough that we won’t have to think about trying to give her extra motivation.

39 Weeks Prenatal Visit

Another week, another appointment.

I’ve got a weird bump on my finger that’s been there about two weeks or so — looks a bit like a blood blister. The midwife says it’s most likely a hemangioma and doesn’t need any treatment unless it gets in my way.

The swollen feet most likely account for most of this week’s weight gain.

Blood pressure and all the other measurements are still fine.

The Braxton-Hicks contractions are doing their job; “soft as butter” she said, and “a loose one centimeter.”

Will there be another appointment next week or will the baby beat us to it?

37 Weeks Prenatal Visit

Today was our first visit at the midwives’ new office across from the hospital. They just moved in over the weekend, and while it looks great and seems nicely organized, they’re still getting used to where things are and all that.

Our appointment was for 11:15. That’s when I arrived. Mark had been there since 10:55 because of the bus schedule. And then we waited through the end of one person’s appointment and than another person’s whole appointment before it was our turn. I’m not sure how that happened, but it meant Mark left campus at 10 and didn’t get back until after noon.

Fortunately, we were able to reschedule our next two appointments on the hour, which should make Mark’s waiting time less.

I’ve gained maybe one or two pounds — they have a new scale and it seems everyone is “heavier” on it, so it’s unlikely I really gained the three pounds it measured. My blood pressure and the baby’s heartbeat and everything else are fine.

I’m positive for the Group B Strep — like 1 in 5 other women — so I’ll have to have an IV thing in my hand during labor and get antibiotics periodically throughout the process. They don’t have to have a tube connected to it at all times, so it shouldn’t limit my ability to move around and such.

36 Weeks Prenatal Visit

This morning was our last prenatal visit at the current office across town; the midwives are moving over to our side of town to an office across from the hospital. Convenient for me, and Mark says there’s a bus from campus to the hospital every hour, so not too bad for him either.

I’ve gained five pounds, if I remember the previous weight right, and all other measurements continue to be fine.

The baby was hiccuping and squirming during her heartbeat check — it was hard not to laugh hearing those blips in the doppler thing.

She has begun to drop a bit — I especially felt that increased pressure on the pelvic floor while walking around last night and a little today.

Since the midwife was already doing a group B strep test, we decided to do a pelvic exam, too, to confirm the drop; turns out the cervix is starting to get ready, too, softening and dilating just a bit. Doesn’t at all mean we’ll be in labor any time soon, just getting ready.

By the way, we’re at the point now where if we do go into labor, they won’t stop us — the baby can be born any time now and be healthy. Or she can take her time and end up two weeks late, who knows.

We brought in our birth plan to discuss. Primary idea is to keep a long-term perspective, making decisions that will be best in the long run rather than anything that would only be for immediate comfort. Second is to use as few interventions as possible, and to assist me in all the alternatives that can help us avoid interventions, such as massage, position, and so on. And then a few other things like our planning to breastfeed and wanting the baby to room in with us.

I feel better after ranting on Tuesday; I think I just needed to vent. By the way, I wasn’t complaining about lack of support from any of you blog readers, but mostly from the childbirth class and a bit from the midwives. And it occurred to me that I hadn’t mentioned any desire to go “natural” to the midwives, so of course they hadn’t talked much about it. Hence the birth plan discussion today.

We’re also getting ready in other ways — starting to set aside things to take to the hospital, setting up a month of diaper service with a pre-birth delivery a week before the due date, organizing the baby things, etc. Mark is carrying our cell phone now, since the lab office phones don’t have answering machines and there’s often no one in the office.

34 Weeks Prenatal Visit

This morning we had another prenatal visit.

I’ve gained two pounds, and all other measurements continue to be fine.

This time she was back to her previous position, head down and back along my left side.

We asked again about medications used in labor and delivery. The midwife said that they could use Nubain instead of Demerol, and that Nubain is not a narcotic. However, everything I’ve found online about Nubain says it IS a narcotic. From what I’ve read, I’d still really prefer to go unmedicated if at all possible.

By October 15, the midwives will all be at a different office — on our side of the lake, virtually across the street from the hospital. So we’ll have one more visit across town at the current office, and the rest will be closer to home, which is nice for me, but not so great for Mark.