Had my 41-week appointment today, which included an ultrasound and non-stress test. The non-stress test involves hooking me up to monitors to track the baby's heartrate and movements, and response to any contractions I'm having. Baby performed perfectly, and I was hooked up for almost 45 minutes.
And I am in fact having contractions - have been since last night - and had several while I was hooked up to the monitors. They are sporadic, though, and have not settled into any kind of regular pattern. However, some of them were plenty strong enough to wake me up last night, and when my midwife checked me at today's exam, I am now about 4 cm dilated, so although not super painful, the contractions are doing their job!
I'm pretty excited to be already almost halfway there in terms of dilation. Still a LOT of work to do before the baby is born, but it's nice that some of the work has been done so gradually, and almost without me noticing.
The ultrasound was mainly to check the levels of amniotic fluid, which were also fine. So all the testing went well, which was great news.
They estimate that I've got another 9-pounder in there (Gabe was 9lbs 11oz), and although I know those estimates can be way off, I think this one is probably pretty accurate, and given Gabe's birthweight, I was expecting a larger baby, so I'm not surprised. And really not worried either, since I know from experience that my body is perfectly capable of pushing out a baby that large.
I had hoped to have my membranes stripped, as it's often a good, natural way to really get labor going, but since I tested positive for Group B Strep, she was hesitant to do it, as there is a very small risk of the GBS infection getting passed to the baby before they can get me antibiotics (which I'll receive once I go to the hospital).
So we'll just hang tight, and I'll keep moving, and hope that the contractions strengthen and settle into a pattern and really get this show on the road.
Scott was able to come to the appointment with me, which was really nice, especially since we got to see the baby on ultrasound. We saw a great image of the face, and saw baby trying to get his hand up to his mouth (I'm just saying 'his' - we still don't know!).
Clearly, there is no doubt that I'm having a baby, and all the kicking and thumping, not to mention the enormous belly, and now the contractions, are constant reminders of that fact. But there's something about seeing that little person on the screen that makes it all seem SO much more real - particularly now that we're inching closer and closer to seeing him or her in personl!!!
I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much, but I am thinking that there's a very real possibility that we could be meeting the newest member of our family before the weekend is over......