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39 Week Pregnancy update: thoughts on cervical exams, membrane sweep, and labor induction

Thirty nine weeks pregnant. Thoughts on emotions, cervical exams, membrane sweeps, and induction.

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This is NOT me... This is my dear friend Cat from Birth Freely Birth Services

I really want to be putting up pictures for y'all but I just can't bring myself to take them honestly. I don't have maternity photos this time. I didn't even try to do my own like I did in the past, and I have no desire to. Actually... that's a lie. I do want to. But I don't want to put the effort in and I feel like I'll just be disappointed with the end result. Even the basic mirror belly selfie makes me cringe. For the longest time I wasn't keeping track of gestation. Ya'll know how I feel about due dates. I was ignoring my "due date" and here we are, at the end and I'm counting down days. Which I always say not to do. But hey. Easier said than done, right?

Well here we are. 39+1. How's it going??? Well for starters. I'm huge. I think I'm bigger than I was in any of my previous pregnancies. And more physically miserable. Husband says that based off level of complaining, I'm just as miserable as I was all the other pregnancies. So... who knows.

My hips and sacrum and symphysis pubic joint have been killing me. I feel best when I sit in a bath, so I've literally been taking 2 hour baths each night. But I did go to the Chiropractor today and left feeling absolutely amazing. Also, my feet are starting to swell. Not concerning swelling. Normal swelling. But it's uncomfortable and really makes me wonder how on earth people who swell dramatically, earlier in pregnancy survive. Because this ish is MISERY. I'm very whiney if you cannot tell. And of course, start and stop contractions are still a thing... although a little less frequent these days. But I am excited I have a massage scheduled for this week. I really, really need that and have for some time.

So on to more relevant things that you're probably thinking about if you're also around 39 weeks pregnant and miserable like me....

This tends to be the week most people start seriously considering things like cervical checks, membrane sweeps, and even scheduling an induction date. So I want to talk about my plan for these things.

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I'm really, really tempted to ask for a cervical check and sweep. If you've been around for a minute, you know I'm usually pretty against cervical checks at the end of pregnancy. But after my whole fiasco last week, having asked for a cervical check, I'm so curious to know if the contractions I've been having since then brought on any change. However, while I know "it doesn't matter" and means literally nothing, I know that I'll get all in my head about any change or lack thereof. Lack of change will have me disappointed. Change will also have me disappointed every time contractions start and stop and don't do anything obvious. So, as much as I want a cervical exam, I know myself and I know better. I haven't completely decided what I'm going to ask for yet, but I'm leaning toward no cervical exam... Maybe next week.... I keep thinking, "should I ask for a membrane sweep?" I've considered asking for a membrane sweep and just asking NOT to know about cervical condition. But 1. That'll kill me not knowing.... 2. Sweeps are uncomfortable 3. I know that any cramping or bleeding that is to be expected after these procedures would have me CONVINCED I'm in labor, even if I'm not... so not worth the mind games that will come. So where does my temptation for a 39 week membrane sweep come from? Part of me takes the stance... It probably won't work. But it could. And if it does, and we have baby this week, then it's more time before our move, and I can get back to feeling okay in my body sooner. We can get that first 3 weeks of postpartum intensity over sooner, and just in time for moving day. We can get the baptism scheduled sooner. We can just do the crap we need to do without waiting and wondering "when" for everything. Many people at 39 weeks start thinking about scheduling an induction date. I have no desire for inducing labor medically, as you know. Of course I'm going to try allll the natural induction methods (except castor oil... I really don't think I'm gonna try that one again unless I'm truly desperate). But I'll be doing it cautiously optimistic. After all, we all know babies come when they're ready. Both of my spontaneous labor babies were born 40+5... so I'm very curious to see when this kiddo will make his or her grand arrival. At this point, I'm hoping for April 24th, because then we will have a pretty cool pattern... My birthday is the 24th of November, Baby 1 is 1 June, Baby 2 is 24 May, Baby 3 is 1 Feb, and so if this baby is 24 Apr it would be pretty perfect. In fact, as much as I want this baby born, any other date would annoy me immensely at this point. Isn't that such a strange thing to think about?

Anyhow... this is 39 weeks pregnant. I'm feeling all the things and thinking all the things and just wishing for this to be over soon while simultaneously so grateful my baby is still inside of me growing healthy and I'm enjoying every little wiggle. There's nothing I adore more about being a woman than feeling life moving inside of me, and I'm really sad for that to come to an end. But I also am eager to feel that baby wiggling in my arms. How are all y'all holding up at 39 weeks? Tell me in the comments below and feel free to ask any questions!


Jaimie is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Birth Doula, Birth Photographer, and MOM. Jaimie helps women navigate pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and postpartum by offering prenatal counseling, prenatal classes, labor and birth support, and postpartum lactation support. Jaimie offers her services virtually and in person. Jaimie offers virtual one to one support bot prenatally and for breastfeeding/lactation. Additionally Jaimie provides self paced online breastfeeding classes for moms-to-be. Check out more classes coming soon! While you're at it, make sure to sign up for the free Mama Bear Resource Library!

39 Weeks Pregnant: Cervical Checks, Membrane Sweeps, and Labor induction

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