40 weeks + 1: Sleep, Sweep & Pressure

I went to my hospital yesterday for a general check up as it was my due date and everything went fine. Baby fine, head down, good blood pressure (me) and heartbeat (baby). At my last appointment my midwife said she would offer me a sweep. Or a ‘stretch and sweep’. Sounds horrible and I can’t say it’s the most pleasant thing but it was ok.

So here’s the dilemma. I am actually the type of person who would rather let nature take it’s course. We all know babies come when they’re ready – so why mess with nature and intervene even at 40 weeks? Well there’s this really odd situation where: a) babies never really arrive on their due date anyway so what’s the rush b) There is massive pressure on you to give birth before 42 weeks especially if you want to go to a birthing centre otherwise you will have to go to the labour ward c) once you go to a labour ward and they start to induce you – you’re more than likely to need assistance in giving birth be that the gels, foreceps, suction cup or a c-section. And I think that’s the scary bit, I would rather try the most natural way of helping the baby along with a stretch and sweep than wait 42 weeks and have to be induced via stronger methods which, as much as giving birth naturally is no breeze, is for me preferential to the alternatives.

Anyway. The stretch and sweep went well. Turns out I was already 3cm dilated (good for someone’s second baby I am told) and the cervix had flattened to a centimetre. All great signs but I am still here on Tuesday afternoon.  She had a great old poke around and said she swept around the baby’s head and pretty much touched the baby’s ears. For baby this must feel like the finger of God – it’s first real connection with the outside world. Today we had lots of show and some fab aches and pains, so it all feels like its heading in the right direction but we may yet have a way to go. With Lolo she was 10 days late and I was in labour for 4 days.

You also have the odd juxtaposition where on one hand you want to stay active (especially walking) to help speed things along… but not too much exercise as you need to keep enough energy for when you need to give birth. The whole thing’s a bit of a bunch of contradictions. But as hubby said quite rightly – ‘sleep when you can as God knows when or how long number 2 will take’. Wise words I feel. Walk Lolo to the childminders, come home, snooze if I need and then crack on with the day. These next few days will continue to be full of walking. Baby already feels pretty low, but it might just stay low for a few more days. It’ll come when it’s ready (arghhhhh)!

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