Written Wednesday Evening:
Today, around 3p, I went potty and wiped and there was a bit of dark blood. DH and I haven't had sex in a week, so I know that's not the reason. Baby has been active all day and still is. I cooked an early dinner and around 5pm and started having some mild contractions. They're pretty continuous/regular. Not painfully intense, but uncomfortable and lots of pressure. I'm actually having one right now. Sitting and rocking on my birthing ball to relieve pressure on my tailbone. I've had a lot of pressure on my tailbone these past few days. I took a bath with Layla in our big jucuzzi tub to help relax and see if they'd stop. While in the tub LAyla and I pretended to make noises that mamas make when they are in labor. We pretended to moan loadly, cry, laugh, breath heavily, and be completely silent. She is so excited about me "pushing the baby out." I didn't have any the entire time I was in the bathtub, but been out about 10min and they've started back up again. They're between 9-13 min apart for the last half hour. Maybe I've just been too active today? We moved my oldest son's bedroom downstairs today. I didn't lift much though.... was up and down the stairs a lot, but that was early this morning. I can't imagine that causing problems. I walk in the evenings, so ??? I am 34 weeks exactly today. I've never had an early babies. Actually, just the opposite. Mine never arrive till 42+ wks. I'm sure all is fine and baby is just moving down and the blood was from my cervix thinning out. With previous babies, I've always been completely effaced and thinned out for 2wks before baby comes. Never had blood, but every pregnancy is different. Waiting. ...I don't think this is labor (bc I've never gone early), but if this is I will welcome it and know that God is in control. Oh, and DH is working till 6am in the morning, so all alone. One more thing, all my babies have been 10+ lbs at 42+ wks, so I'm guestimating this baby to be about 6ish lbs right now.
WED. NIGHT UPDATE:
At this point the contractions have slowed a lot, but the heavy pressure is still there. Could've these been major BH contractions? Last night, I went to sit down and had the weirdest feeling. It felt like baby just fell into my pelvis..like he just plopped? I swear I could almost hear it. I haven't seen anymore blood since the first time, so hoping not to. Been drinking water and had some hot red rasberry tea. The warmth of the tea really relaxed me. I'm about to go to bed for the night. I do trust my body and know that baby will be fine. Will keep updated if anything else comes up...
All has slowed/stopped and I haven't seen anymore blood. It was just a bit the last time (and was dark, so looked like old blood-perhaps for my cervix ripening), so I'm not concerned at this point. I feel good and other than the continued heaviness and "duck walk" all is great!
Throughout this experience, I've had numerous mamas, both UC'd birthers, HBirthers, and just friends encourage me to have hubby check my cervix or do it myself. This is one bit of prenatal care that I do not practice for a variety of reasons. I appreciate the caring and supportive advice, but personally I don't agree with cervical exams even by myself or spouse. Just a personal choice. I can understand why some mamas feel the need to check, but do not believe it is an acurate way of determining anything. Like I said in my earlier update, I was 5cm dialated for 14 days prior to giving birth to my second son (hospital birth). This is my 5th healthy pregnancy and I have chosen to not have or do cervical exams for my last three pregnancies/labor. If this was to be labor I'd know it was true labor eventually and no amount of cervical prodding can help determine that. ..only time. Checking a pregnant mother's cervix does nothing, but give fear, worry, or false hopes. ......... Why am I dilated already? Am I dilated too much? too little? Am I dialating fast enough? Is this normal? Why? How? Bedrest? Fear? Is baby ok? Labor will take too long bc I'm dialating too slow! Labor should be over soon, right?........all ends in the misturst that my body knows what it is doing.
"Labor is not simply about a cervix that has dilated, softened or anything else. A woman can be very dilated and not have her baby before her due date or even near her due date. I've personally had women who were 6 centimeters dilated for weeks. Then there is the sad woman who calls me to say that her cervix is high and tight, she's been told that this baby isn't coming for awhile, only to be at her side as she gives birth within 24 hours. Vaginal exams are just not good predictors of when labor will start."
--Robin Elise Weis, LCCE
I am exactly 34wks and 3 days today. DH and I discussed what we would do if I happened to go into labor early and decideed if baby comes 35 weeks or after we will continue with our UC plan and assess baby after the birth and do what we feel is needed. I really do not believe I will have this baby before 40 weeks, but all things are possible. Saying this to anyone else but other UCing mamas would be suiciidal, but I have a connection with this baby and KNOW that all is perfect and the timing will be perfect for his labor--whenever that will be. I trust God's timing for choosing this little, precious baby's birthday.
The Myth of a Vaginal Exam
By Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE,
"What this cervical exams leaves to be desired is something that is not always tangible. Many people try to use the information that is gathered from a vaginal exam to predict things like when labor will begin or if the baby will fit through the pelvis. A vaginal exam simply cannot measure these things.
Labor is not simply about a cervix that has dilated, softened or anything else. A woman can be very dilated and not have her baby before her due date or even near her due date. I've personally had women who were 6 centimeters dilated for weeks. Then there is the sad woman who calls me to say that her cervix is high and tight, she's been told that this baby isn't coming for awhile, only to be at her side as she gives birth within 24 hours. Vaginal exams are just not good predictors of when labor will start.
Using a vaginal exam to predict advisability for a vaginal birth is usually not very accurate, for several reasons. First of all it leaves out the factor of labor and positioning. During labor it's natural for the baby's head to mold and the mother's pelvis to move. If done in early pregnancy it also removes the knowledge of what hormones like Relaxin will do to help make the pelvis, a moveable structure, be flexible. The only real exception to this is in the case of a very oddly structured pelvis. For example, a mother who was in a car accident and suffered a shattered pelvis or someone who might have a specific bone problem, which is more commonly seen where there is improper nutrition during the growing years.
During labor vaginal exams can't tell you exactly how close you are either, so keeping them to a minimum then is also a good idea, particularly if your membranes have ruptured.
Okay, so there's not really a great reason to have a vaginal in exam done routinely for most women. So are there any reasons not to have vaginal exams? There sure are.
Vaginal exams can increase the risks of infection, even when done carefully and with sterile gloves, etc. It pushes the normal bacteria found in the vagina upwards towards the cervix. There is also increased risk of rupturing the membranes. Some practitioners routinely do what is called stripping the membranes, which simply separates the bag of waters from the cervix. The thought behind this is that it will stimulate the production of prostaglandins to help labor begin and irritate the cervix causing it to contract. This has not been shown to be effective for everyone and does have the aforementioned risks."