Like a hesitant child, I dangle my feet in midair off the side of the hospital bed and feel slightly out of my depth. I’m not a child though; I’m 42 weeks pregnant and in keeping with my decision to go with the flow, am at the hospital for my first session of daily fetal monitoring.
I slowly take in the whir of unfamiliar bleeps, pulses and machinery and hope that I’m doing the right thing. I hope when they hook me up their not going to detect something is awry with baby, who thus far appears good as gold, just a bit too comfortable in her uterine home. I hope that maybe I’ll give birth tonight and this henceforth daily process will be restricted to today.
The midwife approaches and straps me up to two sensors; one records the little lady’s heartbeat, one records my uterine activity. I hope you’re okay with this little lady….and hmmm, I wonder if it might pick up the increased cramping and Braxton Hicks-like tightening I’ve been getting?
I try to read my book but find my eyes keep straying to the monitor, which is printing out my “trace.” When I think trace I think CSI. Man, my mind is all over the shop. Chris has joined me for this appointment and pops his head around the bed to see how I am and to have a look at the monitor. The little lady gives me a kick; it’s comforting to hear her continual heartbeat thump thumping away.
Half an hour later, the midwife reviews my trace and confirms that I appear to have a very active and contented little baby. She also confirms that I’m having regular uterine contraction-like activity, which has got to be a positive sign. I’ll need to come in for monitoring over the weekend on the labor ward. She reminds me to phone in if I feel any decline in fetal movement, but she says all looks well.
Chris and I leave – we managed to get in and out within an hour – score! I’m on my way home for more bouncing on my ball rather than remaining in the hospital for an induction just because I’ve hit the 42 week mark.
I must reiterate that I’m not opposed to induction but have read it can be distressing for baby, particularly if my body isn’t ripe and ready for birth. We’ll have to assess our situation day by day, but I feel confident that we’ve made the right decision.
The further post date I go, the more it will play at my mind that the time is ticking, that my placenta may no longer be optimal and that maybe I should just book the induction. Still I don’t believe that because I’ve now hit 42 weeks that my body will suddenly morph into an inhospitable home for baby. This is why I’ve opted for monitoring, so we can check up on her day by day and hopefully give my body a few extra days to break up her tea party so she’ll come out and meet us.