My sights have been set on today for a whiiiiiile. My every hope of having this baby before Christmas was resting on this appointment. Sound like a recipe for an enormous letdown to anyone else?!
First off, let me say that there are some horror stories out there about the pain of cervical exams. God knows at my first I was shaking in my boots (not proverbial boots, either, people. It's freakin' cold here!) Let me assure you: THEY ARE NOT THAT BAD. Nothing to lose sleep over, that's for sure. There was maybe a good five seconds where I wanted to say, "Excuse me, but could you please remove your hand immediately?!" Then, it was over. The best part of my appointment today was definitely when I asked my charming, handsome 35-year-old doctor if it was going to hurt, only to have him reply, "Seeing as I'm the only one in the room without a vagina, I can't tell you for sure, but it may get uncomfortable." And then he winked at me. If that's why I was so relaxed during the exam, so be it :)
There was also a low point, though. When asking if he needed me to undress for the exam he turned back around and said, "How far along are you?" Um, I'm not a doctor or anything, but shouldn't you know that, or at least have consulted my chart for a second before coming into the room?!? Maybe he's just a jokester...I hope. It doesn't exactly inspire confidence in me when he can't remember what week I'm in...at my 36-week visit.
Ok - so down to the nitty gritty. Miracle of miracles, I did NOT gain excessive weight due to Thanksgiving...just 2 lbs. since 2 weeks ago. I was worried that all the chocolate chip banana bread I'd been scarfing morning, noon and night would put on this visit's two pounds and the prior visit's two pounds as well, but I somehow got to escape those two without any penalty...cha-ching! I'm officially at 24 lbs. gained for my pregnancy. With three and a half weeks to go, that should bring me to a total of 27-28 lbs. I can live with that!!!
As for the exam, here's the depressing part. I am not dilated. That 1cm I claimed four weeks ago? She's gone. Zilch. Zip. Nada. I am, however, 50% effaced, which he assured me was more important. On top of that, my cervix has moved from facing the back of my body (posterior), to neutral-anterior, which means it's rapidly approaching it's final position to let out Baby B. AND Baby B is engaged, with her head being not just in the birth canal, but putting quite a bit of pressure on it. Dr. R said sometimes he can feel the baby's head but they'll still spring back up a bit, but that Baby B was set in her final position. That's great news, since if she hadn't budged, they were going to have to try to manually move her....ouch. My risk of having a c-section (unless she spazzes out completely and finds herself transverse again) has just tanked, at least until the actual day of...good news!
After typing the above paragraph, I've drawn two conclusions. First of all, TMI. Sorry folks, I'm sure you're not dying to hear about my cervix, but pregnancy and childbirth aren't for the faint of heart, so if you're weirded out, rest assured that I am too, and we can be weirded out together while I update you on my progress :) Second: I left the doctor's office practically in tears, and did what any reasonable, disappointed, sick-of-being-pregnant woman would do. I took to my BlackBerry and went searching for information. And from what I've read and discussed with family, it seems like in first-time mommies effacement is a.) more important, and b.) a more reliable sign of progress, especially when coupled with an anterior cervix and engagement. Baby B seems to be setting up shop to lay on the pressure and get things going. I'm totally fine with that now.
My 37-week appt. will be Tuesday since my doc is heading out of the office for the remainder of the week after that. I'll only be 36w3d, but I'm hoping for either more effacement or a centimeter of dilation...any suggestions on how to make this happen?