I had that membrane sweep done yesterday in the late morning. The midwife said the first one rarely works and that if it did, it would work within 24 hours. She was expecting I’d need another on the weekend, and was scheduling me for induction on Monday if nothing had happened. It was pretty unpleasant but not as bad as I’d thought it might be, especially after coming to terms with why I was so freaked out about it. At that time I was at 2cm dilation, 70% effacement and station –1.
Yesterday afternoon I started getting some irregular contractions. By evening they were pretty painful. I took a bath and went to bed, but I woke up pretty much every time one happened, so I was getting sleep in about 10-15 minute stretches. Early this morning DH timed the contractions, and they were between 8-5 minutes apart and lasting about a minute.
This morning I had an appointment for a biophysical profiling ultrasound, which is the one they do post dates to check the amniotic fluid, fetal movement, muscle tone, and fetal “breathing” (irregular practice breathing). This is because I’m pretty much at 41 weeks now. We had spoken to the midwife just before leaving for the appointment to confirm that she still wanted us to go, considering how frequent my contractions had become. It was not fun spending 45 minutes in the waiting room and having contractions every 5-7 minutes! The staff was really freaked out by me being in early labour in their office, and kept asking us if we shouldn’t be going to the hospital (not that they gave me any priority in terms of seeing me at my appointment time!). It was kind of funny. We were pretty calm (aside from me doing some breathing techniques through the contractions) and they were the ones panicking
We got a score of 6/8 for the profile; everything was good, except that the tech wasn’t able to catch her doing breathing movements. The baby is measuring approximately 7 lbs 13 oz (give or take half a pound) and DH got to watch the ultrasound and see her heart beating, and her little fingers wiggling and such. The profile took about 15-20 minutes. I couldn’t see the monitor at all!
Because we didn’t have a perfect score, we had to drive up to the midwife’s office (40 minutes away) to do a non-stress test. Bumpy country roads are really awful for a woman in labour BTW! For the test, I was hooked up to an external fetal monitor with two devices, one measuring the fetal heart rate and one measuring the contractions. Over twenty minutes, it did a graph print-out of the contractions and it was neat to see the way they regularly peaked (though I can certainly feel it already!). What they were looking for is her heart rate accelerating with movement and contractions. That test showed that the baby is just fine. It had to be done to make sure there were no problems. It also showed the midwife pretty clearly that the contractions are quite regular and spaced now at 4.5-5 minutes apart.
We are at home now, waiting for the contractions to become much stronger, which will mean I’m in active labour. At that point we’ll call the midwife and she’ll come to our house until I’m at 7cm dilation, and then we’ll head over to the hospital.
So, we will probably be looking at tonight or tomorrow for the birth (how exciting!). I hope it’s tonight because it would be a cool birthday – 11/02/11 – but I guess we’ll still keep her if she comes tomorrow
We're going to be exhausted after very little sleep last night and probably no sleep tonight!