Big day today. I hit 37 weeks, which is considered early full term. I feel pretty good about things. I think I'm still having contractions. I wouldn't say they're totally painless, but in addition to feeling my uterus tighten, I feel uncomfortable along the bottom of my belly, and sometimes feel a bit crampy.
It was a busy day, too. I went to prenatal yoga, which went well. I was feeling good. Then home for a meeting with the people running the study on infant microbiomes, to go over the requirements for the study and sign the consent forms. There were a ton of questionnaires to fill out, and it was overall a bit intimidating. I can't help wondering if I've gotten in a little over my head. Still, in addition to the personal benefits to me with the lactation consultant coming multiple times, I am extremely interested in this field of research and feel very good about participating.
After doing some chores, I picked the kids up from school by bike - I admit, it's getting harder and harder to ride, especially over the bike bridge over the busy nearby street. We eventually made our way to swim practice. Where Josephine lost the band-aid that was helping to hold on her toenail, which is barely hanging on by itself, and ended practice freaking out in the office while a high school kid desperately tried to get a band-aid to stick to her wet toe. We raced home and were a bit late for my meeting with the lactation consultant. Which went pretty well. We went over my prior experience, she confirmed a lot of what I already knew and told me a few things I didn't know. I feel somewhat prepared, but not overconfident, which I think is good.
And now the bad news. I tested positive for Group B Strep. At least according to the test results released to my online health account. I see the midwife on Thursday, so I'm sure that will be a big part of our discussion. I sort of freaked out at first, but I've gotten a lot of good advice and feel better now. The comments range from how unlikely it is for the baby to get an infection to how simple it is to prevent an infection by having IV antibiotics. In theory, I need an IV inserted (just as a back-up, not hooked up to anything) because of the VBAC. I also read an article indicating that you only need the antibiotics administered every 4 hours and in between you don't need to be attached to anything, so my current plan is to discuss the VBAC and all other possibilities with the midwife - how does this affect laboring and/or birthing in the tub? Can I only be hooked up to antibiotics when necessary and not be hooked up to anything in between doses? What else should I be concerned about? What about thrush and other side effects from use of the antibiotics?
And a bigger question - I've read and heard from many people that Group B Strep requires a minimum 48 hospital stay after the birth. I hoped, if all went smoothly and there were no complications, to go home as soon as possible, but I'm guessing that's no longer a possibility. Assuming this all happens after the au pair arrives, I still can't leave her with the kids all day and night, for multiple days. And if I'm in labor during the night, I'll want my husband to be there. So I'm working on lots of back-up plans, and thinking of creating lists of people who can babysit, stay with my kids overnight, possibly bring meals, etc. It's really complicated not having much family in town. I'm asking my sister to coordinate, and possibly spend the night if necessary, but of course she'll have to go to work as necessary, and I'm hoping that our au pair will be settled in and can manage the kids during the day. The one thing that would be great to know is when the baby is going to be born, but of course that's not something I can plan ahead this time. I can just hope for a quick and uncomplicated labor and delivery, a healthy baby, and enough warning to get a support team together for my kids so I don't have to worry while I'm at the hospital.
I'll update more on Thursday after meeting with the midwife.