40 weeks. Considering that about 48% of babies stay securely (and defiantly) inside to this point (and beyond). We’re not freaking out just yet. Having been “full term” for three weeks though, and knowing that- from tomorrow on- when people innocently ask “so, when’s the big day”, we will be referring to a date in the past… the tide is shifting a bit.
Despite the stories, encouragement and tales of family members and friends who have gone up to 2 weeks past their due date, I’m feeling a bit edgy today. At the FPMS practise of BC Women’s Hospital, the protocol is 9 days of leeway. If this little one decides to take any longer than that, she will be forcibly evicted from her apparently too-pleasant-to-surrender surroundings.
And it’s not like we haven’t tried; over the past few days i’ve consumed plenty of pineapple, forced down a smoothie made with castor oil (which, incidentally, had only one effect: middle of the night puking) and gone on more than one Very Long Walk. I’ve had not one, but two sweeps (a special moment for anyone, i’m sure), the result of which has only been a slow and consistent ooze of brown’ish mucus (sorry) that has lasted since friday, making the common suggestion of “go home and have lots of sex” seem both unappealing and moderately frightening (the sweeps, for me, anyway, left me feeling like I had a bit of bruising).
So where does this leave us? Last week, my first days on leave were a flurry of activity – filling out the required paperwork with the government, final preparations and purchases (trying to keep reminding myself that the shops don’t all close down the minute the baby is born) and my regular weekly appointment, which happens on Friday’s…
(and herein lies this week’s story)
When the fabulous doctor we’ve been seeing for 9 months did that initial sweep, he observed that I was a mere 1cm dilated, explained that really could mean anything from 48h – 1 week to go, and made an appointment for me to come back on Monday if nothing had happened yet. The weekend came & went with “nothing” happening, so I went back yesterday.
Now, FPMS at BC Women’s runs as a clinic – in this case, a different doctor rotates for each day of the week. We’ve been VERY happy with out Friday doctor. He has 5 kids of his own, seems very chill and down to earth. We like him.
But this was a Monday.
The drama started from the outset as, though the reception staff was expecting me, for some reason I wasn’t on the clinic schedule. Though I checked in and gave my information to 3 different staff members circulating through the waiting area (that only had – at most – me and one other woman waiting) I found myself waiting for just over an hour with no explanation from anyone. By the time I was brought into a room, I was hungry and pretty frustrated.
The doctor seemed confused as to why I was there “you’re not even full term – why a sweep?” she assesed me with a raised eyebrow and asked suspiciously as she opened my chart. “oh, I see… I guess you are full term…” she trailed off as she skimmed the notes. “okay – up on the bed.“.
She measured my stomach and poked around, saying “There’s his head, theres his back, there’s his bum… ” and took out her fetal heart rate monitor. “121. He’s definitely a boy today… Have you been told otherwise?”
“Well, as I imagine my chart indicates, the 20 week ultrasound came back pretty definitively “girl“.” I responded.
“Ahh. Well, one must maintain a certain sense of humour about these things… go ahead and remove your pants and we’ll do the sweep. ”
The doctor then proceeded to apologize that her fingers were not as long as they could be (I think one would have had to been through this experience to understand why that would add to the discomfort of the sweep), proceeded with the, um, procedure, and observed that I was now about 2cm dilated.
“so, i’d say you can sit back and enjoy the next week or so. Find something else to think about. ”
Clearly I was the first first-time-mom-to-be she had ever met. Sure – i’ll just go find something else to think about. Maybe i’ll re-take up cross stitch. That’ll do it.
“This whole concept of “due dates”… It’s a nice idea, but one must maintain a certain sense of humour about these things… “
The moral of this story – don’t mess with a good thing when you’ve got it. Looking forward to getting back to our Friday staff (and/or hoping the baby just arrives of her own volition by then!)
baby size: Jackfruit – Average size: 18.9-20.9 inches, 6.2-9.2 lb.
“Happy due date — you made it! Since 40 weeks was the deadline you set for baby, you’ve probably already made sure the bassinet is made up, the car seat is installed and your hospital bag is by the door. Now, do some little things you might have forgotten, like making sure your cell phone is fully charged before you go to bed and the car is filled with gas. Some moms-to-be also choose to put a waterproof mattress cover on their bed, just in case their water breaks in the middle of the night. It’s not a must-do, but it’s not a bad idea either, especially because once baby comes, there might be other messes on or around your bed. Week 40 can be mentally rough, since you’ll probably be constantly wondering when baby will decide to finally make his entrance and question every twinge you have. Try not to stress, and rest assured that baby will arrive when he’s ready — and your body will give you the right signals that it’s time.”
easy for them to say 🙂
mummy size: 5 foot 11.5 & 179 pounds. -1 pound since last week (all that castor oil and walking… ) making the grand total for this journey (assuming that it ends in the next 6 days) 31 pounds. WELL within “normal”. hurray!
what’s going on? Still LOTS of movement. We keep telling her (assuming she’s still a “her” that she’d have plenty more room to stretch and push if she would just Come Out. But sadly, she doesn’t seem up to responding to logic at this point. *sigh*. Overall I’m just ready to be done. Again, not that pregnancy has been horrible, because it hasn’t. But seeing all the people in our group with their babies, watching the time tick by, I’m just starting to feel a little edgy.