Today I am officially 6 weeks from my due date and 3 weeks from what is considered full-term. Sounds close, doesn’t it?
This morning I had a general pregnancy check-up. The heartbeat sounded strong, as usual. My main concern this morning was the braxton hix contractions I’ve been having quite frequently. For those who don’t know what those are, they are basically “practice contractions” as your body prepares for labor. They are usually not painful, but sometimes they can begin some of the work of labor, theoretically making your labor shorter. (I’ve never had that benefit.) I had them quite frequently with my last pregnancy as well, but these ones seem slightly stronger. The doctor was not concerned. I got the impression that because this is my third, he expects me to know when I am in labor and will trust my judgement.
One of my other questions for him was regarding the dull pain I feel sometimes when the baby moves. I have noticed it specifically in one spot and was wondering if it was possible that the baby had actually bruised me there. He said it is quite possible. I haven’t had this happen before, but he said that the uterus is thinner on later pregnancies, so it is more common to happen then.
I had one other important question for him. As I kept a close eye on my contractions this weekend, I had started wondering just what I was supposed to do were I to suspect that I was in labor. I am not planning on delivering in Siloam, so that adds another element of confusion to the process. Thankfully, the doctor had good answers for me. Obviously during office hours I would call or come in to the office first before doing anything else. If it is after hours or on a weekend, I am to call the Siloam hospital OB department as they will be able to contact him. Then he will talk to me on the phone and we’ll decide what to do from there. He said oftentimes, he can meet someone at the office on the weekend to do a quick check if needed. This all changes of course if I am already in the Springdale/Fayettville area as then it would be a lot quicker to just head to Willow Creek and let them contact the doctor. Also if my water were to break I am to head straight to the hospital. But he is still fine with me heading to Willow Creek, even with it being 40 minutes away (unless of course I am feeling that the birth is imminent). Now that I write all that out, it seems like it might sound a bit confusing, but it makes perfect sense to me, and now I feel that I have a good plan if something were to happen early.
As a side note, I learned a bit of trivia today. At this point in my pregnancy if I were to have the baby the baby would be termed preterm infant rather than premature. Basically, the main difference is that by this time the lungs are usually developed enough to not have trouble breathing after delivery. Of course, as my doctor told me today, this is still earlier than he would like for me to deliver, but it is nice knowing that I have reached another milestone toward a safe delivery.