I had my 39-week exam yesterday. After much debate about whether to insist on an internal exam — because at my hippie practice, they don’t do them as a matter of course — I ended up with the new midwife who recently joined Hippie Center from a more medical practice and thus made the recommendation herself.
Verdict: 70% effaced, not dilated, kid’s head at -1 station.
I will clue in the non-pregnancy people: that really means very little in terms of the future. I could go from not dilated to dilated in an a matter of hours. If I was dilated, I could stay at 2cm or whatever for weeks. Effacement (the thinning of the placenta) is a natural process that often takes time, but again, could take anywhere from no time to forever to complete.
And yet, I feel better. The looming sense of doom has lifted, probably because that estimate confirmed how I’d been feeling: like I’ve been progressing but am not going to go into labor in the next few minutes. Or hours. I am not in labor and not knowing it!
I tend to believe in not worrying about finding things out if knowing them won’t change your actions. I got that from a brilliant vet for whom I worked in college. If knowing the result of a test would have an impact on her recommended next steps, she’d suggest the test, regardless of the cost or apparent ability of the customer to pay. If that same test result wouldn’t make a difference either way, she’d advise against it regardless of cost. “It’s our job to recommend a strategy that makes sense, not to take people’s options away because we don’t think they can afford it.”
But this time, I was feeling the constant sense of doom. It sounded like this in my head, “OHMYGOD We have to _____ because for all we know, I’m in labor and don’t know it and we could have this kid today!” It also sounded like that when it came out of my mouth.
Because I was pretty much right, though (and yes, I am THAT MUCH OF A NERD so I guessed at my own answers before the exam as though it was a test I could ace – and I did), which is giving me the confidence to tune in to myself more and tune out all the rest.
*big sigh of relief*
In other news, my mother-in-law lent me “an old sewing machine I’ve had in storage for a while” that turned out to be an early 90’s Bernina, the kind that is entirely mechanical and made of metal parts. Yum. It weight a ton and I’m totally in love, so look out for photos of my latest sewing crafts.
Despite hating the act of sewing, I love the results – plus, I need something to distract me from sitting around and waiting. So far, two quilted bibs, two PUL-backed* changing mats, and a quilt I’ll be piecing tonight. Oh, and I’m starting on a car seat slipcover**.
*PUL is the fabric used in cloth diapers that is laminated and waterproof, but more like regular fabric than true laminate.
**Yes, I know, check the warranty for car seats so as not to invalidate them by adding a slipcover, yada, yada. I’m thinking of this as more like a throw to soak up the sweat and protect the kid from hot parts than a slipcover that would stay on the seat.
Oh! I need to take pics of the stuff I made for the Birth Day party too.