Well, my due date (April 24) has come and gone, and still there is no baby in my arms. Here is the latest after my appointment this morning...
I am still only dilated about 1 cm (maybe 2), 70-80% effaced, and baby is at about a -1 station. (None of that has really changed much since the last two weekly updates.) The ultrasound today revealed that my AFI reading has gone down slightly. It was only about 7 cm today, as opposed to the 8+ range of the past few weeks. So, although I didn't originally have one scheduled, they also did another NST today to make sure baby's movements were still good. Although her activity was a little less dramatic during that half-hour test than in previous ones, she still tested within normal ranges for movement and heart rate. And I had two decent contractions while I was hooked up, so that was fun to see.
Also, the ultrasound tech estimated the baby's weight to be about 9 pounds right now (yikes!), but she freely admitted that their measurements almost always come out on the high end — usually between 1/2 to 1 full pound off, in fact. The midwife, based on her assessment, estimated that she is more likely only about 8 pounds.
Although everyone is hopeful that it won't be necessary and I'll finally go into labor over the weekend, I did schedule my next appointment for Tuesday. That will put me at 41 weeks gestation and they want to do another full round of tests at that time (i.e., ultrasound, NST, and cervical check). That is fine by me because the thought of waiting yet another whole week before learning any new information seemed way too long to bear.
The midwife I met with today mentioned that very few women (she didn't give me a specific number or anything) go beyond 41 weeks without going into labor. I'm not sure exactly how precise of an assessment that is, but it is encouraging. She also felt that waiting until I'm fully 42 weeks along (which would be May 8), is probably too long. She felt that, for the safety of the baby, we shouldn't go past the end of next week without getting things moving one way or another. That means that within one week from today, baby girl will be here!!! Yay! The end is in sight!
She did sweep my membranes again, as was done last week, and suggested taking an herbal supplement called evening primrose and drinking red raspberry leaf tea as possible natural ways to ripen the cervix and induce labor. The verdict is still out on whether these actually have any real impact, but I've already taken my first dose of the former and plan to purchase some of the latter later this afternoon. I figure, it can't hurt, I guess.
I am told (by two midwives now), that if I do, in fact, get to that point (41+ weeks), I don't necessarily have to have an immediate c-section. As long as my fluid levels and baby's heart rate, etc., are still ok, they can break my water (and possibly give me a low level of pitocin, depending on which doctor is on call when I come in to deliver) to give my body one final push to get things moving on its own. And of course, if that doesn't work, than it's off to the operating room I go. But I will be able to assuredly say at that point that I tried every.last.thing.possible to avoid that and it is just God's will.
On the bright side, the excruciating hip pain that I referenced here, which had kept me fairly immobile for a couple of weeks (and didn't help in the progression of labor department either), has miraculously eased quite a bit this week. I would not go so far as to say that it's totally gone, but I am motoring around MUCH easier these days and with significantly less pain than before. Can I get a Hallelujah????
And stay tuned for another post soon on some additional design details that we've managed to get accomplished in the nursery over the past few weeks. (One small silver lining in this waiting game hand I've been dealt.)