This afternoon we had the 36-week doctor’s appointment or I guess I could call it a nurse’s appointment since our doctor is still out of town. I really hope he is enjoying Disney World with his family and is all rested and ready to go when he gets back.
We learned some new information about my state. Titer score continues to go down so the Rh-isoimmunization concern is pretty much gone at this point. Yay.
My Group B Strep swab came back positive which I was a little surprised by since it was negative with Belén. I guess 25% of women carry GBS so it is not uncommon but another annoying thing to deal with during labor. In short, once labor starts, I will need to take some antibiotics to prevent the baby from contracting the bacteria which can be quite dangerous to her. If you are interested in reading more about it, I found this helpful article which puts the risks of the baby contracting the bacteria at 1 in 4000 if antibiotics are given. One concern I have is that if labor goes fast would they have to slow it down until the antibiotics kick in? I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there.
In the last couple of days I have developed an itchy belly which quickly developed little red bumps that itch like crazy. This is called PUPPP. According to babycenter.com,
Up to 1 percent of pregnant women develop a condition characterized by itchy, red bumps and larger patches of a hive-like rash on their bellies. This is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) or polymorphic eruption of pregnancy.
PUPPP usually begins in the third trimester and is more common among women carrying twins and those having their first baby. The eruptions usually show up first on the abdomen around or in stretch marks (if you have any) and may spread to your thighs, buttocks, and arms. PUPPP is harmless for you and your baby, but it can itch like crazy!
I have been getting some relief from pure Vitamin E oil but I might try some Benadryl cream as recommended by the nurse tonight as well.
Being this is our second child and that I have taken multiple pregnancy-related classes, I should be completely educated on dilation and effacement. Turns out, I still didn’t fully get it as it has been one of those topics I sort of let my eyes glaze over when being discussed figuring I would learn it when I needed to. Today, after much probing (the nurse clearly does not do this as efficiently as the doctor), I learned that she *thinks* I am about 75% thinned or effaced and am dilated to 2-3 cm. Another surprise because I certainly don’t feel any different from last week.
Even after her explanation and analogy to a banana, I still didn’t get what effaced meant, so I did some research tonight and found this picture which definitely educated me on my current status.
I am thinking my cervix looks a bit like the bottommost picture on the left. So definite progress towards labor but apparently I could stay like this for weeks. I hope I stay this way until at least next Tuesday when my doctor is back in the office. Actually if I have it my way she will wait to progress much more until after Belén’s Birthday Party on the 16th but these things can always be rescheduled.
My reaction to all of this new information could quite easily be panic but I have had kind of the opposite response. I suddenly feel like the only thing I really need to do is pack my labor bag and all of the work I have left to do and items on the TODO list without checkmarks could just disappear into the fog of new babyland. I do hope to dot some more i’s and cross a few more t’s before the day comes, but if not, once again, qué será.