Week 38 ~ November 25, 2002
~ ~Not Much Longer
I made it to the end of week 38! Tomorrow I turn 39 weeks! (I feel like a child who counts half and quarter birthdays). This last week was actually easier in many ways than the one before. I was able to walk around better (well, not like a normal human being, but good for a fully pregnant person). I was able to continue with my morning workouts -- at a much milder pace than before -- but I think my body appreciates the motion and strengthening exercises.
I went to Dr. P on Wednesday and he said that I've dilated to 3 cm. and seem to be preparing myself for labor soon. I told him that the baby moves a lot at night, but I rarely feel movement during the day. So he had me take the test (not sure what it's called) where he hooks up a monitor to check the baby's heartbeat for several minutes, then puts some little zapping buzzer-type tool on the stomach to see how the baby responds. The baby moved a lot and the heartrate increased, which Dr. P said is a good response. He thinks I may just be busier in the day to not notice as much or that the baby may be sleeping more in the daytime.
Dr. P also confirmed our possible plans to induce labor the day before he leaves town, which means . . . I get to delivery my baby tomorrow! I'm supposed to check in to Labor and Delivery at the hospital tomorrow morning at 10:00. The plan is for my OB to first break my water, to see if I progress on my own, and to consider pitocin from there. I have a feeling that this isn't going to take too long.
Since Thursday, I've had lots of evening contractions and bloody show. The contractions have been steady, but sporadic (if that makes any sense). They've come at regular (long -- like 15 minute) intervals, but for 2 or 3 hours straight. But then I won't see anymore for another 24 hours. Many like to call it "false labor" but I just don't like that term. It makes me feel foolish for paying attention to them, timing them, or seeing if they're progressing. I saw in one magazine the term "pre-labor contractions." I like that a lot better. Makes me think that even though they aren't leading quickly to labor, they do play a part in readying the body for labor, and they do fill a purpose too.
On Thursday night (when I was thinking the contractions would just continue to get closer and closer until delivery), I began taking the antibiotics that Dr. P prescribed a few weeks ago. I'm a Strep B carrier for some reason (don't quite understand it all -- this is a new one for my pregnancies) and need to start taking antibiotics prior to delivery (Dr. P said that at least 2 days is best, but at the onset of suspected labor if it doesn't take that long from the first sign). So I started taking the antibiotics late Thursday night and have continued since. I wondered if I'd started too early after labor didn't progress, but Dr. P said that it was good that I did what I did and to continue with them -- even to take another one in the morning before coming to the hospital. I read a little on-line about this Strep B risk to mother and baby and am grateful that this is an area of awareness for the medical world when I need it and that I'm being taken care of by my doctor.
I'm imaging that all this commotion and action the past few days in my body has caused a little more dilation in my cervix and that when I check in to the hospital tomorrow, I won't have that far to go and that it won't take much more than breaking my water to get me going. But if I do need some pitocin, that's fine too. I'm just excited to be able to finally delivery my baby! I'm filled with emotion at this landmark point in my life. Finally coming to the conclusion of my last pregnancy. I've been doing this for over 13 years now. What a thought to know that I'm coming to the end of that road. And how thrilling to know that I will soon get to know and love this new little member of our family!