Wednesday, January 16, 2008

36 week check-up

We saw Dr. Markoff today for my 36 week check-up. He did a swab for the strep b test - we should get the results at next week's appointment. And he checked for position and all of that. Baby is still head down. I'm 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced - both good signs that things are progressing normally. And the baby is already low in the pelvis at +1 station.

So based on those 3 indicators and the fact that I have a wide pelvis, the doctor said he thinks there's a good likelihood that I'll go into labor early. That would be nice. More than that, he said that my body was built for birthing babies. Always knew these wide hips would come in handy. He said that he's not always right in his predictions, but he predicts that I'll progress quickly in labor and so I should call when my contractions are about 6 minutes apart. And he thinks I should have a relatively easy labor/delivery, once again because of my lovely birthing hips.

He did mention that Shafi has quite a large head and asked whether his mother had complications with him. We told him no - and she's a lot more petite than I. So he said that even if the baby does have Shafi's big head, my big pelvis ought to be enough to make it not an issue.

We also asked about things like episiotomies and epidurals. He said they try not to do episiotomies, but if they think there's going to be tearing then they do a small episiotomy to try to control the direction of the tear - rather than risking multiple tears or tears that go in a dangerous direction - I'll leave it at that rather than getting too graphic here. He also said that at least 95% of his patients have epidurals. He sees very few negatives to having one. He just recommends that people wait until they are at least 3 cm dilated. Then he thinks they are actually beneficial because usually people can get a little sleep and relax a bit and they're not exhausted when it's time to push.

He continued that his prediction would be that I would progress quickly, so if I get the epidural when I'm 3 or so cm dilated, then I could probably take a nap and wake up when it's time to push. Maybe it'll take 30 minutes to an hour of pushing - and I'll have a baby. Doesn't sound too bad to me. Let's hope he's right on all his predictions.

Now we just have to finish up the few things we still have to do to get ready. I sterilized all the breast pump parts, bottles, pacifiers, etc. last night. And I washed other things from the baby care kit we ordered - scissors, nail clippers, comb, brush, medicine dropper, etc. I've got the diaper bag half ready - just lacking diapers really. We did buy diapers, but I figured I don't need to open the packages yet.

So this weekend I plan to finish up decorating the room - I have almost everything I've ordered for that - just waiting to get the decorative shelf that matches the bedding - should arrive Friday. And then it's just a matter of putting everything up.

And I need to pack my hospital bag. I've started that process a couple of times now, but for some reason I always find it a bit daunting and end up deciding to do it later. But this weekend is it...definitely time.

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