Yesterday Hubby and I attended our 38 week appointment. We met yet another midwife in the clan o’midwives. There are 12 or so, and they all rotate on clinical duty and with being on call. I think so far I have met 4 of them during my 4 month tenure at the birth center. My regular appointment was moved from Friday AM to Wednesday PM, and the gal I was seeing on Friday mornings is now out on maternity leave. And then next week due to the holiday, we move to Tuesday and will likely meet yet another (a fifth) midwife. In a way I wish I didn’t meet them in advance, since any one of them could catch Elliott when he is born-depending on their on call rotation. Meeting them in advance has allowed me to form opinions about each one, and being as judgemental and opinionated as I am…. in my head I have already made my like and dislike list. Had I not met them, I wouldn’t have any pre-existing biases or preferences towards them.
The appointment was kinda odd, as this midwife offered unsolicited advice, and it was kinda out of left field. Luckily, I had a couple of questions based on random paranoia of my own for her.
- I wanted to know if she could judge his size at this stage. I am starting to worry that he is going to be to big, and I am not going to be able to birth him. She said she could, but never told me and I forgot to ask, as I got caught up with the other questions.
- I also wanted to know if he was going to keep on growing, as I don’t feel like I can get any bigger and still move around. She said yes, he would continue to grow…and yes, so would I. Damn it.
- I have been getting sharp shooting pains in my breasts, and assumed that it was a sure fire sign that something was starting to brew. She confirmed that yes, that was likely a sign that my milk or pre-milk at this stage was beginning. And assured my all was well.
- Lastly, I wanted to confirm that I had enough amniotic fluid. For some reason, I am all of a sudden paranoid about this. I think that it stems from several things. The first is that the birth class gives you all of these random things to look out for, and one of them is when you water breaks at the top, and just slowly trickles out. A lot of women don’t realize their bag of waters has broken…and infection, etc. can occur. They give you some acronym to check for…but I forgot what it was-COAT I think (color, odor, appearance and time…?) The second wave of paranoia is that I am excessively thirsty (I asked last week if this was common, and the midwife said yes) and don’t feel like I have to pee as much as I consume. So, I was all wrapped up in the idea that maybe I was so thirsty because I was loosing amniotic fluid, and needed all the liquid I was drinking to replace and replenish Elliott’s supply. The last reason I started to get worried is that when I move into certain positions, I can actually hear and feel the fluid displace in my upper torso. Imagine you are in the bath tub leaning back, and you go to move or sit up, and then water moves from the back side of you to the front. It kinda feels like that. Phew, after all of that worry-everything is fine there too. She prodded my belly, and squished him around and confirmed that he had plenty of fluid.
I asked what the next couple of weeks held as far as setting expectations for my appointments. I asked if I would be having any vaginal exams (I haven’t had one since I have been with the birth center-my only one was my initial exam at 9-10 weeks with my previous OB) or other tests. She said that they will continue with weekly appointments for the next 2 weeks, weight, BP, make sure the baby is head down and his heart rate is normal. Then on week 41 if I am still pregnant, they will want to see me 2 times a week to perform the non-stress tests. Then at 42 weeks, we can start discussing other options. She said that they do not perform any vaginal exams until after 41 weeks because they are invasive and unless there is worry-unnecessary. She also said that they are also uncomfortable for the mother, and tend to get a women’s hopes up with out being based on any definitive data. She said that regardless of how effaced or dilated you are-that at any time you can go into labor…so it instills a false sense of hope.
For me, all is well. The appointment was fine-BP is normal, a small bit of swelling but nothing major, Elliott’s HR is good, he is still head down and in position. I stopped looking at the scale, partly because I cant see it from my vantage point, partly because if there was an issue I am sure I would have heard about it, and mostly because it just serves to depress me (and why would I want to stress over my weight, when there will be plenty of time for scrutiny and self doubt after the delivery!). *Laugh*
Mobility is limited and energy levels are low. But, my attitude is good and I am 90% ready to have this baby. I still have a few more things to get settled (make sure my disability paperwork was completed and sent, finish packing my bag for the hospital, and do a final pass at cleaning the house), but if I went into labor right now, I would be happy.