34 Weeks AGAIN: Midwife Home Visit, Fluids, & Engagement

Our midwife made her first home visit last night!  She and her assistant came, and we showed them the painted nursery and where we plan to put the pool.  They ooohed and aaaahed over the nursery (fun because we hadn’t shown it to anyone yet) and liked the pool arrangement idea because it’s in the living room but behind the couch- that means I can have my support team in the room with me but maybe not feel so much “on display” if everyone isn’t sitting on the couch facing me. 🙂  I like that.

Let me turn aside and make a rant here….  We don’t wear shoes in the house.  We never have.  We have nearly white carpets and also we just think it’s gross to wear shoes inside.  Usually when people come over they notice that we’re not wearing shoes or that there is a small collection of shoes at the door and respectfully remove theirs as well.  When the midwives visited, the assistant midwife took hers off right away, but our main midwife just never noticed, never removed her shoes while we traipsed around….  my husband would have made a request had he notice right away, but he didn’t.  I tried tried tried to just be chill about it, but it was in the back of my mind the entire time and really bugged me.  She’s not a detail person, our midwife, so I’m really not surprised the shoe thing totally escaped her, though she does go into other people’s houses a lot and you’d think she would have learned to think of it…  We need to introduce the idea in some tactful way, because if people are dirtying my carpets with their shoes while I’m in labor I’m truly going to have to say something- and maybe not in a tactful way, from what I hear of the social skills of laboring women, lol!  Ok, just had to get that out there.  End of rant. 😛

So we talked about a lot of stuff during the visit- including some stuff that doesn’t apply to us at this point, but at least it’s good to know.

  • We now know that our midwife isn’t induction-happy and has let women go to 43 weeks and have a natural birth- super!  We also talked about the home induction methods that she can use (long explanation about stripping membranes- that always makes me cringe) and under what circumstances she would immediately ask us to pursue a hospital induction based on what has happened with her clients in the past (pre-eclampsia, liver disease).
  • We talked about pediatricians and she made several recommendations, both for conventional doctors and non-traditional.  We’ll have to discuss whether or not we want to begin seeing a pediatrician right away or wait until/if we really need one.  Our midwife will do visits and checks on the baby for the first 6-8 weeks and would tell us if there was a problem we needed to see anyone else about.  It would be nice to have a pre-existing relationship with a pediatrician in case we really needed one, but I’m not at all fond of the idea of taking the baby in multiple times in the first few days/weeks just to be weighed and stuff.  I want to chill out at home and hibernate with my squishy newborn!
  • It’s funny- our midwife has never once asked me any questions about my weight, but told me last night that my weight gain has been “perfect” (incredibly nice to hear after I worried in the beginning that it wouldn’t be enough!).  I don’t know how she knows except by looking at me….  then my husband piped up with a number, so I ended up trying to tell her how much I’ve gained.  It’s tricky because I’m not really sure myself- somewhere between 15 and 20 pounds I guess, but it’s honestly different every time I weigh, even within a day, so I don’t have a hard and fast number.  She said that was just what she’d wanted for me, though, so I feel really good 🙂
  • Baby is basically still in the same position: head down, trunk to my left, legs and feet all over the place across my tummy and on the right.  (Best convo ever- MW: “That’s a foot there.”  Husband: “But I thought this was a foot.”  MW: “Well… there are two feet!”  Me: “Excellent!”)  I had been wondering if Baby was moving his back around from left to right or if I was just feeling more on the right side because he’s growing and just filling more of the space.  I guess it’s the latter.
  • Baby isn’t engaged yet- not a problem at this point, but the midwife would like to see engagement by her next visit (36 weeks).  The head is still quite high; she could basically put the side of her hand underneath where the baby’s head is.  Move down,  Baby!
  • The one piece of advice she said she could give me would be to watch my fluid intake.  She said I have just an average amount of amniotic fluid at this point and need to make sure I’m getting enough each fluids day so it doesn’t go low.  Yeesh.  I knew I’d been slacking off on my tea and water the last few days and was kicking myself for it because then I had to hear a caution.  At least it’s not a problem yet.
  • Once I get to 36 weeks, I can have a homebirth (just 2 weeks to go!).  Before that, I’d have to go to the hospital, but there’s no reason to think I’ll go into labor before then!
  • Our pool will be delivered hopefully by the first of December, so we can blow it up and try it out different places to see what we like. 🙂  Fun!
  • Discussion about car seats.  Least interesting topic of the night.  I let my husband take care of the car seat installation in my car- it barely fits in my little Rupert (that’s my car’s name), and I’m now driving around with the base in there!

I think that about sums up the visit.  Now on to the worried/obsessive thoughts inside my head….

  • Even though I knew that the discussion of fluid intake was only meant to prevent a problem from happening and didn’t mean that there was a problem already, my first reaction was to begin to freak out a little bit.  I know that low fluid can be a serious problem.
  • Even though Baby doesn’t need to be engaged yet, I can’t help but wonder what will happen if he still isn’t in a couple weeks.  What can you do to make a baby engage?  What happens if Baby never does?
  • After the midwife left and I began googling “medium fluid levels” (look at how paranoid I am!), I also begin to realize that SOMETIMES when I have a Braxton Hicks, that is also the time I get that short-of-breath feeling and I also have been getting some heart palpitations- both during a BH and when baby kicks sometimes.  My radar is finely tuned in to heart palps after my experience just prior to this pregnancy and I hate that feeling!  So I begin to google that.  Turns out a lot of women report the same experience, and it looks like it can be caused by the baby (or uterus, during a Braxton Hicks) hitting the vagus nerve.  I was then wishing I’d made this connection just a couple of hours earlier so that I could ask about it.

So yeah, I spent a couple of hours beginning to feel anxious about those things.  I could feel myself sinking into a worry hole…  You know what though- I’ve decided that I’m JUST NOT GOING TO WORRY!  Thinking back to second trimester and all the worrying I did over my possibly bicornuate uterus and all the Braxton Hicks- well, I just don’t want to go there again!  The third trimester has been WONDERFUL so far because I’ve just relaxed about the pregnancy and enjoyed the ride, even the bumpy parts.  The best I can do is take good care of myself, listen to my body, and bring any remaining concerns to my midwife at our next visit (or before if they’re urgent).  The part I really need to listen to is the part where she told me (for the second visit in a row) that I’ve had a really good pregnancy, a really healthy pregnancy, and that the pregnancy has gone really well.  She doesn’t foresee any problems, doesn’t think I’ll have a difficult labor, doesn’t think I’ll deliver really late.  Hearing those things really does make me feel good. 🙂  I am truly blessed that everything has gone so well, that all of my fears have been for naught, and that the baby appears to be so healthy!

Oh yeah- are you ready for this?- I’m actually at 34 weeks TODAY, not two days ago.  I know, this must be blowing your mind.  I’ve been counting the weeks on the Mondays, which are actually the weeks since my last menstrual period.  My midwife, however, has calculated my due date as December 19, which is actually a Wednesday.  It’s just because of the way she counts it up, and it’s only 2 days difference, so I really don’t care either way.  Having a due date later rather than sooner is actually good because it puts that much less pressure on- both from myself and from other people (I have actually now begun to tell people “Christmas time” when they ask about a due date because I don’t want to start getting endless questions about “where’s that baby?” right at 40 weeks).  😉  I will still count the weeks on Mondays since that’s how I’ve been doing it all along, but just know that my “due date” will be at 40+2  🙂


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. KindaCrunchy
    Nov 07, 2012 @ 15:07:57

    You’re so lucky that they’ll let you go to 43 weeks! As a first time mama, I hate that I have a two week deadline over my head when most take 41 weeks anyway. The shoe thing would have totally bothered me too. Hopefully the assistant said something to her after they left! I’m just imagining you screaming at her in labor to take her freakin’ shoes OFF! lol!


    • travelnole
      Nov 07, 2012 @ 15:44:13

      LOL about the shoe thing- that’s about what I imagine as well! I think I might put a little note in the doorway since we’ll have extra people over in the next few weeks anyway. Or have a plethora of shoes inside the door. Or both 😛

      Yeah, I felt SO relieved when she started talking about her moms that went so late- and I was just hoping she’d be ok with 42 weeks! I know midwives have different feelings about that and we hadn’t discussed it much yet. I’m SO sorry you have the added pressure 😦 I would love to see 41 weeks be considered standard gestation for all women!


  2. laughingpromises
    Nov 07, 2012 @ 17:13:40

    I am a worry wart, too. I’ve adopted the attitude that if my midwife isn’t concerned about something, then I won’t be, either. It takes a bit of pressure off. I don’t think you have anything to worry about! Your baby is happy and head down and he will engage when he’s ready. So exciting that you’re getting towards the end!!! Woooo!


    • travelnole
      Nov 07, 2012 @ 20:24:16

      Good policy! And really, when you think about it, most things that we worry about we can’t fix anyway, so what’s the point? The stress of letting it weigh on us will only make things worse. I think that’s the biggest lesson I’ve been taught during this pregnancy: trust and letting go.


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