Well, this is it. 37 weeks. Officially early term.
I had my second NST + AFI with the local OB today, and everything is looking good. Baby has finally flipped, so hooray for head-down!
Today I was pleasantly surprised to be seen by my favorite OB in the practice rather than the one I had been scheduled with — I think I’ve only seen her once early on in this pregnancy, but she’s the main doctor I saw during my pregnancy with S and she’s really the reason I came into the practice, so it was nice to reconnect with her.
She did ask me about how I was feeling about induction vs. waiting for spontaneous labor. I told her I don’t want to go much past my due date, and she said that she understood and agreed and they’d be willing to induce me anytime at 39 weeks or beyond.
That was actually kind of reassuring to hear — I’m not into interventions, and I was really pleased to go into spontaneous labor one day before my scheduled induction date at 40+5 in my pregnancy with S. But at the same time, I worry a lot about the small but rising risk of stillbirth after 39 weeks — for me, even though the probability is low, my experience with late loss tells me that I would not want to torture myself with wondering if I could have avoided it by inducing earlier if I ever did wind up in that situation. In addition, the closer I get to my due date, the more stressful it is to have to worry every morning about whether or not I should inject myself with Lovenox (which I’m staying on right up until delivery thanks to the Heparin allergy we discovered in my pregnancy with S). I was a huge fan of my epidural while delivering S, and I know I can’t get an epidural until 12 hours after my last dose of Lovenox, so if things start on their own and happen quickly I could end up with an unplanned, unmedicated vaginal delivery, which I am just not interested in (though I know and respect that many women are) — obviously I’d deal with it if it happened, but I also worry about what would happen if I ran into complications and had to have a c-section. Without the option of an epidural or spinal, they’d have to put me under general anesthesia, and I both find general anesthesia pretty creepy and also would be sad to be unconscious for the birth of my son. Induction offers a nice way to have a little more control over the timing of stopping my medication and not worrying about the small but real risk of developing clots.
So, the way I left it with her is that I’ll wait to see what my cervix is doing in a week or two, and we’ll take it from there. As a multigravida who had a totally textbook vaginal delivery last time, the risk of c-section is pretty low this time, induction or not (especially given the results of the ARRIVE trial). My plan at the moment is to aim for induction during the week of my due date, unless my cervix is totally unfavorable, in which case I’d wait until the next week (the end of week 40) to induce. But I am not interested in the risks of going into week 41 and beyond, so if I haven’t gone into spontaneous labor by then I will stop caring what my cervix is doing.
And there it is. Unbelievably, our baby could be three weeks away… or even less! It’s thrilling and terrifying and unbelievable all at once. I can’t wait to welcome him to the world.