Wednesday, August 13, 2008

These Membranes Are Stripped. And How!

Goodness gracious, having your membranes stripped is quite the painful experience! I guess I have to chalk it up to some extra practice for the pain of labour. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let me start from the beginning...

Had my LAST weekly doctor's appointment today before my due date. Baby is doing fine (yay!) and my cervix is soft and dilated 1-2 cm. And baby girl's head is "fully engaged". Thank goodness for progress!

So my doctor asked me if I wanted her to strip my membranes. Without a moment's hesitation, I blurted out "YES!" which was surprise even to me. I didn't even think about it, I guess I'm just ready to get this show on the road. Before she got started, I asked Dr. R if there are any side effects or risks to the baby that come along with stripping one's membranes. She replied that there would likely be some spotting and cramping afterwards, and there is a very slight chance of breaking my water, but there is no risk of harm to the baby. Before I knew it, I was on the table with feet in stirrups and Dr. R was asking me to take a deep breath...

With a gloved hand, she got waaaay up there and essentially swirled and pushed and pumped my cervix quite violently I might add, eliciting quite a bit of pain. Dr. R just kept telling me to try to relax, take deep breaths, and to trust her this hurts a lot less than labour. It really did hurt, yowza! And after about 30 seconds, it was done. She pointed out that I was contracting already, which is to be expected after one's membranes are violently stripped. Whoa.

When I finally was able to get off the table, get dressed and make my way out of the exam room, I noticed that everyone in the waiting area was looking at me. The receptionist started laughing and said, "are you OK? We could hear you all the way out here!" How embarrassing. I guess I must have been squealing and howling with quite a bit of volume. Thank goodness it was my last appointment for awhile!

I have been contracting on and off since my appointment this morning, which Dr. R said is to be expected. Let's hope it keeps up! They're not bad contractions at all, and I'm not even sure if I should be timing them at this point as I'm fairly certain they're just Braxton Hicks. I'm going to take a nice long walk today and hopefully that will keep up the pre-labour momentum.

Before I left the appointment, Dr. R said there was a decent chance that I could be in labour by the weekend if the membrane stripping worked. But then she was quick to add that it was also totally possible that it didn't work and if my body and my baby aren't ready to go, then nothing will happen. So we'll see what transpires.

If you don't see a post from me in the next couple of days, I think you can assume we're at the hospital! I'm trying not to get my hopes up here, but it's hard not to get a little excited. The idea that I could be holding my baby girl by this weekend is, well, there are just no words. Fingers crossed!