This appointment was my very favorite of the entire series… because it was the home visit! How dreamy would it be if caregivers still made house calls the way doctors used to once upon a time? I briefly considered a midwife who does home visits for all of the prenatals, but personality and philosophy trumped convenience in this case. Sarah does the home visit at 36 weeks (I believe at least one home visit around this time is typical for most home birth midwives) so she has an idea where I live, how to get here, where to park, if gate codes are necessary, etc. It’s a good thing she did it too because she got a bit turned around and I had to walk her through how to get here! Not the kind of thing we want to be taking care of when I’m in labor.
I showed her the apartment, where the birth tub would be set up, some of the supplies I’ve purchased, and we walked through how and where she likes things to be set up. Then we had a prenatal appointment while sitting on my bed! Baby’s heart rate sounded great and I measured about a week behind once again, which Sarah assured me was nothing to worry about, and actually made me a bit happy as measuring a bit behind is better than measuring ahead in my opinion. We talked about who is going to be present, if I’m having a photographer, and if we are going to have a video camera present. I was pleased to hear that Sarah is willing to take part in starting/stopping/moving the video camera we will have set up on a tripod, as I wasn’t sure how that was going to happen since I didn’t want to overwhelm That Husband with jobs since I consider coaching and supporting me to be his most important role.
The appointment ended with Sarah walking me through some paperwork I’m going to have on hand for the birth, including informed consent forms for blood work, antibioitic eye ointment for baby, and the vitamin K injection. I’m waiving having my own blood drawn during/after labor since the test is checking for syphilis, HIV, and Heb B, diseases my lifestyle choices prevent me from worrying about. We will be consenting to the testing of a small amount of cord blood to learn the baby’s blood type and double check that That 1 is Rh negative, as we are expecting him/her to be. We are also waiving the eye ointment and vitamin K, the eye appointment because it’s administered to treat STDs (again, not necessary), and the vitamin K shot because we won’t be circumcising and I’d rather focus on keeping my vitamin K intake high and giving it to baby through my breastmilk.
Appointment 8, which happened yesterday, found me back at the birth center again. Probably a good thing since I didn’t step on the scale at my home visit and it’s important to have that reminder that baby is growing bigger by the day, and I don’t need a nasty diet to be contributing to my discomfort level due to some extra chub on the little one. Since the beginning of my pregnancy I’ve gained 55 lbs, an average of 1.5 lbs per week, and I must say that the part I look forward to most about not being pregnant is seeing the scale dip back below 200 again. Sarah checked my legs and feet, as my tootsies are still looking more like overcooked campfire marshmallows than anything else, but my blood pressure is still rocking at 101/68, news that couldn’t possibly make me happier. Baby deserves a pat on the back as well, head down with a heart rate of 140 bmp. I’d say we are both ready to get this party started!
We had considered waiving the Group B strep test altogether, but decided to get tested at this, my 37 week appointment. I took the little test tube kit into the bathroom and gave my va-jay-jay a good swab (Sarah doesn’t do the anal swab, thank goodness!) and I should have results back by the beginning of next week. If I do test positive I still won’t be doing an IV (I’ll be pushing even harder for a water birth due to the possibility that the water birthing environment helps prevent newborns from inhaling harmful bacteria at the time of delivery) unless I transfer to the hospital (they will force me to have one there), but knowing if I’m positive will give us the info we need to watch closely to see if baby is showing any warning signs that an infection has set in.
I couldn’t think of any other questions or concerns this week, as I’ve hit the “Yeah, I’m pregnant, whatever”, stage, and all I want is for Sarah to have some kind of magical crystal ball that will tell me when the big day will arrive. Sadly she possesses no such thing, so my next appointment will be at 38 weeks, swollen feet and all.