I had my first membrane sweep today – I say first because I’m booked in for a second on Wednesday of next week. Maybe I won’t need that, but from today’s prognosis it appears that labor is not yet directly around the corner for me. As you can imagine, this was not the news I was hoping for. Let’s hope that appearances are deceiving in this instance!
Without going into TMI overload, as of this morning my cervix was still posterior and it took three attempts for a midwife to reach it to perform the sweep (though one midwife said her short fingers didn’t help the situation). On a positive note, it was also very soft and cooperative once the sweep got underway. I didn’t find the procedure painful; more uncomfortable but I never imagined that a midwife rummaging in my inners would feel like a treat.
Following the procedure I had a some show (also positive) and was sent home with instructions to eat more curry and pineapple, to bounce on my ball, walk but not tire myself and to have sex. The midwives are not shy and retiring – they tell it like it is.
I’m trying to keep my chin up. I would have loved to hear that I looked ripe and ready for labor imminently, but it sounds like I’m moving in the right direction so I need to focus on that.
I have one more week on the NHS to attempt a home birth. Though I'd like to do this, I've always prepared myself that this plan might not come off. What I'm struggling with more is that once I hit 42 weeks the standard NHS procedure is to induce labor. I'm not looking to fight medical advice, but if all is well with baby at that time I can't help wondering if that's an indication that my body isn't ready. My first priority is to bring our daughter into the world safely and I would not turn a blind eye to induction in the case of any health concerns for baby/me. Yet if all appears well, the push to induce "just because you are two weeks past your due date" when due dates are known to be a faulty science frustrates me.
I don't know if I sound like I'm losing site of the bigger picture....it's just after preparing to attempt labor as naturally as possible, induction means using intervention to kick off the very event and that's not something that appeals to me. But we'll cross that bridge if I come to it and hopefully I won't. As of now I am grateful that all is well with our little one. Come on out baby - we want to meet you!