On Monday, a day before I was officially 39 weeks, I had my weekly doctor appointment. Baby's heartbeat was fine, measuring at 36cm still, BP was high twice and after a few minutes of quiet and calm, it had gone back down to my normal lower end BP. But yet again, the doctor informed me that the baby was still really high up there and he recommended we start cervical sweeps (aka membrane sweeps/membrane stripping). I guess I wasn't ready for it to be suggested soon- I thought that was our last natural attempt before induction if I went past due date. Doctor explained that it usually takes a week to work and while we could go till 42 weeks if needed, the longer you wait, the bigger the baby gets. So you run into risks of needing a c-section and being induced. That it was up to me but we could start cervical sweeps that week if I wanted. Ok then. I got dressed and tried not to cry for no real good reason other than hormones. I went out into the hallway and made the appointment for Wednesday to begin my cervical sweeps.
I then spent the next day and a half overthinking the whole process. People said it would be painful. Also, definitely don't google these things. Was I rushing my baby to get out when he wasn't ready? My husband said I just have made such a nice home for baby in there that he's in no rush to get out. I had convinced myself I was going to be having a baby on Wednesday night now. I have an active imagination. My doula said it was a good thing and if I was anything like her, it would work. Then I talked to moms who said it didn't work for them at all. I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling anxious. I mean, I basically had read that my doctor would 'aggressively separate membranes from my cervix' like what the actual fuck had I agreed to here?
So here's the real deal. I showed up at the doctor's office that morning, feeling apprehensive. I did the standard empty my bladder then get undressed from the waist down procedure. Doctor came in, told me to lay down on the table, asked me to relax and explained he was going to reach up to my cervix now and then he counted "1, 2, 3, 4, 5" while sweeping his fingers around in a circle. I was a bit tense, realized it, and decided it was time to put the surge breathing I have learned in Hypnobirthing to use. He says "here we go again- and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5" and I was breathing in and out through my nose like I have been training and he says "much better sweep." and it was done! It was really not that terrible. Granted, he did say to me "you did a great job. Not all women can manage that as well as you did." So unexpectedly, I got a little boost of confidence when it comes to how well I am preparing myself to utilize my Hypnobirthing techniques!
So the doctor advised that in his experience, it usually takes three sweeps to work. While there are exceptions to the rule, he anticipates I will still be pregnant on Monday when I return for my next appointment and sweep. All day long my stomach would get really hard, I had some minor spotting, and experienced some cramping. But that was it. It really wasn't a big deal and if it helps move this little baby along without the need for chemical intervention, then it's worth it to me. I'm off to acquire evening primrose oil, get some walking in, and let this baby know that I'm ready to get this party started!
For a very long time (I mean, it feels like I've basically been pregnant for a year now), I have said to myself "I just want to make it to 38 weeks." Well, here we are. 38 weeks. We made it!!!
I can feel the baby move underneath my hip sockets lately. It is a very strange feeling. Almost like a tickle but the kind where someone squeezes that weird spot right above your knee and you just wish it would stop. It's that feeling over and over again. My mother commented on a photo from my baby shower asking me if I was carrying low. Between that, the hip socket squeeze, and random pelvic pains where I can barely walk and have to sit and breathe until it subsides, I was convinced maybe we were about to get this show on the road for real. So when my doctor performed a check at my last appointment, imagine my confusion when he said "Well the baby is head down but wow- he is high up there still."
Truth is, I am not really feeling ready for the baby to be here but I was still confused to hear this news. I know everyone says you will breathe easier when the baby drops and breathing is not something coming easily to me these days. There's quite a bit of mouth breathing as well as really loud short inhales and exhales when I take the short walk from my bedroom to the bathroom. So I look forward to the baby "dropping" but also am a bit concerned about what my pelvis is going to feel like then since I'm already totally uncomfortable. Supposedly that drop is what triggers the "pregnant waddle" but let me tell ya kids, I feel like I've been waddling for a good couple months now!
So that being said, as we reach the end of this journey (maybe. possibly. who knows when this is really gonna happen now.), I would like to share a few third trimester gems with you.
1) If there is a heartburn god out there, I have clearly pissed him off because it is back with a vengeance. I resorted to swallowing a shot of apple cider vinegar hoping it would make it better. It just added to the burn. Please send TUMS.
2) I have thrown up randomly twice since hitting the third trimester. That was SO FUN remembering what the first trimester felt like. Just in case I had forgotten the misery, my body wanted to remind me it wasn't over until the fat lady sings. The fat lady in this scenario is me, you guys.
3) DID YOU KNOW MATERNITY CLOTHES GET TIGHT AT THE END? When I bought these clothes, I was of the understanding that they were made for my full pregnancy. But noooooo...apparently, I am reaching a point where they may no longer fit. And then what? Do I just wear a trash bag? Wasn't there a Simpsons episode where Homer got so large he could only wear a muumuu? It may be getting to that point. And if anyone wants to comment on how pregnant I am, anyone but me, I will punch them in the face.
4) The CANKLES. OH THE HUMANITY. I have literally lost any definition of an ankle to leg ratio. I can no longer wear my wedding ring. My husband had to shove my feet into a pair of Toms the other day because I did not want to wear flip flops. I felt like Cinderella's ugly stepsister as Prince Charming huffed and puffed trying to get my new Shaq sized foot in a princess sized slip-on.
5) Apparently, I am snoring so loud that my husband said he was about to call an Exorcist. He woke me up last night as he tried to grab his cell phone to record how demonic my snoring sounds. I'VE NEVER BEEN MORE ATTRACTIVE, Y'ALL!
All that being said, I am close. I am so close! I am like panicking a bit and anxiety ridden, I wake up 7 times a night to pee, I am a hot mess, but I am so close! My doula has given me a list of ways to help induce labor naturally plus exercises for the end of pregnancy. I will share more of that with you all later. As for right now, I am gonna go eat a home cooked meal and enjoy these last couple weeks of baby free life.