You ever start a week already with a sense of dread for the coming week? All the memes out there about tomorrow being Monday are 100% me this week. Work was kind of fun, we did an exercise for emergency preparedness. I won’t go into strong detail, but I had a good time hanging out with our safety team and discussing what to do in the case of an emergency. Learning the ins and outs of what needs to be done, communicated, etc when something happens. I am not a prepper or anything, but it was insightful about how our hospital works, and the string of events based on when police, fire, EMS would show up.

Rachel's 36-week bump - A little more information

On Monday I had my normal NST, which showed that I was contracting fairly regularly.

The doctor asked that I get a cervical check to see how things are progressing. I was deemed 2 cm. (A first for me without induction drugs!). Dear Husband freaked out and was worried that it meant I was going into labor that day. I explained to him the stages of labor, and that early labor can take hours to weeks. (If you are interested in learning more, here is a brief article by American Pregnancy Association about the first stage of labor.) He is still on edge today, five days later. Friends of mine are asking why he doesn’t already know this. With Rainbow we were both so on edge all the time, that I didn’t feel comfortable taking birthing classes, coupled with all the classes at the hospital were $$$. So, I did research on my own. When we needed to be induced, all of the stages happened in one day, so he didn’t know the actual timelines can fluctuate.

Needless to say, this week I have paid attention to every twinge, braxton-hicks, etc. Still in the early labor category.

This week I will also get tested for Group B Strep (GBS). This is a common test around 36-37 weeks of pregnancy.

It is something that until recently there was not a lot of information about. According to Group B Strep International’s website, GBS is a bacteria that is commonly found in the intestinal tract that can live in and around the vagina. It is not harmful to us, as it is our bacteria. However, if it gets into the uterus, or on the baby as you are giving vaginal birth, it can cause problems.

There are three types of GBS infections in infants. Prenatal-Onset which can lead to early water breaking or general preterm labor.  Early-Onset is when the baby contracts it from vaginal birth within the first 7-8 days. Late-Onset is an infection from 7 days to 3 months. There is a very rare Very-late-onset that happens after 3 months. You may be colonized with GBS if you are noticing symptoms similar to urinary tract infection with no positive UTI test. So you can ask your provider for the GBS test. Do not ask your provider to strip membranes if you have GBS, that could put the baby at risk. Notify your provider if you are allergic to Penicillin as soon as you can. When you are in labor, the standard of care is to administer IV (intravenous) antibiotics four hours prior to delivery.

If your baby is born before four hours of antibiotics are administered, the hospital may opt to swab and test your baby for the bacteria. Once again, I need to say that if you are concerned or have questions you can ask for this to happen. They are there to make sure everything is ok prior to leaving the hospital.

In my last pregnancy, I was told I had GBS, which was talked about very nonchalantly, like it was a common cold. After doing more research I found that it could be harmful to baby. I encourage you to learn more at Group B Strep International if you have been diagnosed and have questions about what you can do/ what it looks like. There is a wealth of information available on that website. However, since my induction took so long, I was on antibiotics for a good long time, and Rainbow was born happy and healthy!

I went to my 36-week appointment hoping to hear that I had continual progress towards active labor.

To my slight disappointment, I was still 2 cm and my cervix is still fairly high up. I also discussed induction with the nurse practitioner. We discussed that they will want to induce me at 39 weeks due to the gestational diabetes. The concern is that after 39 weeks, my placenta will begin to start shutting down and thus putting Caboose at risk. Since I was induced with Rainbow I really want to experience natural labor! I am told it is very different than induction labor pains. Let me tell you, that was painful.

So, here is to another week of being pregnant, and another week waiting to meet the Caboose, Pot o’ Gold, little man in my life.

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