I had my 36 week appointment today with a midwife at my doctor’s practice. My doctor is out on a well-deserved vacation this week, so I got to meet another person who might be there on Baby Sister’s birthday. I think I know 4 of the doctors/midwives now, which is comforting since you never know who will be on call when it is go time!

The appointment was good. It was different than with a doctor – much less clinical, in that she didn’t give me numbers when she checked my cervix, and instead just generally summarized what she felt. Today was also the group B strep swab, and she offered to let me do it myself, which I declined. That’s not usually an option with the doctors, and I was very uncomfortable with the idea of collecting samples for a medical test, especially when I can’t see past my belly to know where I’m aiming! Anyway, interesting to note the differences!

Baby Sister and I both checked out just fine. Heart rate was good, cervix is soft and starting to open (how much? “A fingertip”, whatever that means!), baby is head down, but not as low as when I went to the hospital for pre-term labor check. That didn’t surprise me, because I don’t feel her down quite as low as I did before. And her hiccups have been more at my hip than in my pelvis.

I got some advice about when to go to the hospital with my contractions now that we are this far along, since they’ve been changing again and I didn’t know what to think or what would be of concern this late in the game. The contractions have been strengthening to about a 3 on the pain scale, coming frequently (but not regularly), and even continuing when I lay down to rest. The midwife said that now that I’m 36 weeks, nobody is going to do anything to try to stop labor, so I only need to go in if it is real, aka I’m unable to cope and continue my business when they’re happening. That was really helpful information, and I’m feeling comforted knowing that contractions are actually a good thing now!

That being said, they do suck. Especially now that I rarely get a break with them coming every 3-10 minutes no matter where I am or what I’m doing. They kept me up last night, alongside my stuffy nose, the chills and sweats from my fever, needing to pee, and general difficulty rolling over because I’m huge. Not much sleep to be found, unfortunately. But my fever broke overnight so life is somewhat improved today, even if I’m exhausted.

Oh! I forgot the best part of the doctor visit! I only gained 3 lbs in the last 2 weeks! Heck yes!!!!

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