Wednesday, April 30, 2003: Due Date
I just got back from the midwife appointment. My blood pressure is still as perfectly normal as it has been throughout the entire pregnancy. I gained yet another two pounds, for a total of 19 so far. On the one hand, I'd like to stop gaining weight; on the other, this is an extraordinarily bad time to deprive my body of energy, so I'll just carry on as I have been. It will all go fast enough after the baby comes, anyway.
We talked about what happens when I go past my due date (so, tomorrow). First-time mothers typically go five to eight days over, so for the first ten days or so, we do nothing. After fourteen days, they have to consult with an obstetrician, and the ob will always say, "yeah, let's induce", and usually they will induce at that point because who wants to be more than 42 weeks pregnant?
Before that point, though, they have all kinds of midwife tricks to hasten labour. They can do something called a stretch and sweep, where they massage your cervix to soften it and release prostaglandins; there are various herbs you can take; you can take lots of castor oil to get your bowels moving, and thus, sympathetically, your uterus -- this is kind of extreme and disgusting, and they don't recommend it unless the baby is properly placed and you're really ready to go. Otherwise you're just submitting yourself to a lot of nastiness and dehydration for nothing. Finally, they can break your water; they only do this if you're scheduled for an induction the next day anyway, since once your water is broken you're working on a deadline.
After we talked about that, the midwife did an internal exam, to see where I am and get a baseline for comparison later. Apparently my cervix is still pretty long but she can get a finger in there, which I guess is 1 cm dilated. She guessed, based on that and the fact that Del is firmly placed on my cervix, that the baby will come sometime early next week. This means that Blake's nefarious Cinco de Mayo plan might come to fruition.
Number One midwife is off-call this weekend, from the 2nd to the 4th, so we can't have her this weekend. (Well, we can, but we'd have midwives Number Two and Three instead, and Midwife One said she would like to be there, so there you go.)
Watch this space; I'll try and update every day until the baby comes.