38 weeks

This is 38 weeks, and the most I’ve been pregnant – officially! I’m measuring on track, which means my fundus is 38 cm. Fun fact: at this point (38 weeks) in my last pregnancy, my fundal height was measuring 52 cm. Which corresponds to measuring 52 weeks pregnant. Let that sink in.

Here’s the bathroom selfie:

IMG_20160616_115725380_HDR.jpg

There shouldn’t really be any difference between this one and the one from like 3 days ago.

I had an appointment today with the midwife, wherein I learned that I’m able to request an induction because of my history and my itchiness. I’m growing increasingly itchy again, which means that the amount of progesterone in my body is increasing. I confirmed that I do not want to be induced again unless it’s unavoidable. I also learned that my cervix is thinning but still closed. At this point with the last pregnancy, I was 2 cm dilated, so I’m feeling pretty optimistic about going to right around 40 weeks (to be clear – no one can predict when a baby will arrive, except that he’ll be here on his birthday).

Unless you’ve been pregnant or deeply involved with the whole pregnancy thing in some manner (as your career or with a person who is pregnant), you may not understand how cervixes work. Allow me to enlighten you! Think of a cervix as a muppet’s turtleneck. If you can, imagine the turtleneck prior to being pulled over the muppet’s head – it’s bunched up like a scrunchie (but “closed” – without a big hole in the middle). This is how it is normally and during pregnancy (I won’t get into mucus plugs here). Then, as the baby descends into the birth canal (with new moms, this can happen a month or more before labor begins, or any time thereafter – with repeat moms, this usually won’t happen until labor), the baby’s head pushes against the cervix, and starts to thin it – again, imagine a turtleneck as you’re pulling it onto the muppet’s head. The neck part of the turtleneck stretches around the muppet’s head, and the part that is closed thins until the muppet emerges, grinning, from the neck. So cervixes are described various ways during pregnancy – “long and closed”(no muppet trying to get through it), “thin” (muppet may be pushing against it), “dilated” (the opening is expanding to prepare for a muppet head) and so on. If it’s early for dilation and the cervix is thinning too quickly, a cerclage may be necessary – I’ll let you research that on your own.

The midwife also tried to prescribe me something for the itching, so I could start to step down my prednisone dose, but it turned out to have a really vague-yet-threatening walnut interaction alert (as in, the medicine, the machines it’s made on, and the facility have no walnut cross-over, but about 30 percent of patients react as if it does), so we decided to skip that altogether, and for now I’ll just deal with the itching. I’m not willing to increase my dose to more than 10 mg of prednisone, so any excess itching is what it is. Once I deliver, I can start to step down the dose and wean off of it.

We shall see what the next week holds.

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