Tuesday, September 22, 2009

32 Week Appointment

Today was my 32 week appointment with my midwife group.  I finally met the third midwife in the group, Julie, and loved her!  She is really friendly and funny.  I feel like I'll be in great hands no matter who delivers me.  I was catching her up a little bit on what has been going on in my pregnancy and why we decided to do the fetal fibronectin tests.  I explained that I have no idea what is normal for a pregnancy, but I've been having over 15 and often between 20 and 30 contractions a day, some of which are strong enough that they are painful, and often several happen 10 minutes apart from each other for 30-50 minutes.  Julie said that most first time moms don't feel any Braxton Hicks contractions and what I'm experiencing is definitely not normal, but it also doesn't mean that I'll go into early labor.  She shared several stories of women who had been partially dilated and completely effaced but still hadn't gone into labor until 41 weeks. 
At my last appointment, midwife Amy thought that Baby Girl was head down already.  Today, Julie tried to check to compare.  She could feel something round down below and something round up above, but Baby Girl was moving so much that she couldn't feel which was the head and which was the bottom!  She tried several times and each time said Baby Girl was doing too much dancing.  It's something we've noticed at home, too- when we press on my belly a little bit, Baby Girl definitely responds.  It's a fun game to play with her.  
I was impressed with the midwife group today.  All pregnant women are tested for Group B Strep infections in the birth canal because 10 to 30 percent of women have Group B Strep but aren't aware of it, and 1 to 2 of every 1,000 infants contracts Group B Strep which is potentially fatal.  A round of antibiotics prior to labor will keep the baby safe if Group B Strep is present.  My midwife group suggests natural remedies to reduce Group B Strep colonization and asks each patient to take 3 to 4 billion live cultures per day (equivalent of 2 yogurts), 450 mg of echinacea 4 times per day, and 500 mg of vitamin C 4 times per day for the two weeks prior to the 35 week strep test.  I think it's fantastic that the midwife group is supporting working proactively to prevent the issue in their patients in the first place (rather than reactively giving antibiotics).  Between the proactive approach to the strep issue and meeting and loving the third midwife, I left my appointment today feeling really good about deciding to go with this midwife group.  Now we just have to make it far enough along to deliver with one of them- hopefully, 37 weeks so we can use the Alternative Birthing Center!

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