Tuesday, May 19, 2009

40 week midwife appointment

Today we are forty weeks. We went to the midwife this morning. The baby is still healthy, everything seems fine. I have dropped a lot. Last week, when I was at -2 station, my uterus was measuring 37.5 cm. Today it measured 35 cm, the first time it has shrunk, an indication of how much the baby has dropped. But she didn't give an estimate of the station. This midwife is much less quantitative than the other. She also said the cervix was soft, but didn't give a percentage effaced. I'm guessing fully? But the cervix is closed up tight - no dilation. So no baby yet.

Last week the baby was slightly to my right side. So I've been doing the yoga positions cat/cow and child's pose all week to try to move the baby to the center. Today the baby was completely to my right side, in a worse position than last week. Basically we are headed for back labor. She said to spend more time on my hands and knees, but I feel like I've been doing that all week and not only have gone nowhere with it, but have gone backwards. This in particular was very disappointing to me.

We made a plan for the next two weeks which we hopefully won't need. Next appointment in 1 week on the 26th at 41 weeks. At that appointment we will do a Non Stress Test. Then on the 28th we go in for a Biophysical profile. Then back on the 29th for another Non Stress Test. Then induced on June 1, just 1 day shy of 42 weeks. So by June 1st or 2nd we will have a baby.

I asked what induction means. I will check into the hospital on June 1. If there is no dilation, they will apply something to my cervix (I don't remember what it's called) and let it sit overnight. Then the next day start Pitocin. If there is some dilation, they will just start me on Pitocin.

This means that we may get this Memorial Day weekend to celebrate before the baby is born. This is the good. We're trying to think of some low key and local ways to celebrate together.

This also means that K's mom may be here for the birth. This is the bad. This thought stresses me out more than any other. She's trying when I'm in my best of moods.

This also means possibly weeks of coworkers coming by daily to see if I'm still here. Yes, I'm still here. Today is my due date. Half of all births occur after the due date, so it's not shocking that I'm still here. No, I'm not going to stay home for the next few weeks. That sounds excruciating and there is no medical reason to do so. Yes, I'm excited. Yes, I'm nervous. Yes, I'm tired. They all mean well, but one after another is a lot. The women are pushy, the men are tentative. The women say things like "I can't believe you are still here!" The men tip toe into my office and say softly, like I'm sick in bed, "How are you feeling?" Two women stopped by today and I finally said to them, "Hey, you've both given birth. You know what it's like. Don't pressure me." I'm sure I've been the annoying coworker, but I vow, never again!

Here's my google research:

About dropping/lightening: It cannot be directly linked to indicating that labor will start within a certain window but it usually occurs up to two weeks before labor in 65% of first-time moms. Although it can't pinpoint the beginning of labor, it is a sign that things are headed in the right direction.Read more: "Lightening During Pregnancy as an Early Sign of Labor" - http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/lightening-during-pregnancy.html#ixzz0Fym4TZUg&A

So if I dropped sometime before last Monday, I should have the baby sometime before next Monday (if I'm like 65% of other first time moms) or sometime later (if I'm like 35% of first-time moms).

About the Fetal non-Stress test: The test involves attaching one belt to the mother’s abdomen to measure fetal heart rate and another belt to measure contractions. Movement, heart rate and “reactivity” of heart rate to movement is measured for 20-30 minutes. If the baby does not move, it does not necessarily indicate that there is a problem; the baby could just be asleep. A nurse may use a small “buzzer” to wake the baby for the remainder of the test. The test can indicate if the baby is not receiving enough oxygen because of placental or umbilical cord problems; it can also indicate other types of fetal distress.

About the Biophysical Profile: A biophysical profile (BPP) test measures the health of your baby (fetus) during pregnancy. The BPP measures your baby's heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing, and the amount of amniotic fluid around your baby. Special ultrasound methods are used to keep track of movement, increases in heart rate with movement (nonstress test), muscle tone, breathing rate, and the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby. If these five areas are within a normal range, your baby is considered to be in good health.


j.k-c. said...

Glad you are taking care of the yeast infection, I had one around 35 weeks (?), not fun, but manageable.

I was induced one day before 42 weeks. I was admitted into the hospital that night and they put a small pill (misoprostil (sp?)) into my cervix. They gave me another dose several hours later and labor kicked into gear. My labor progressed without the need for pitocin for several hours.
Please feel free to email me if you want more details.

Baby Mama said...

Thanks. Hopefully it won't come to this.

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