Had a Fish Check first thing in the morning. It was the more extensive one, with an ultrasound to figure out the positioning of the baby, a Strep B culture taken to see about infection possibilities, and a palpitation of the cervix to see if the baby's positioning is good and where things are so far ast all that goes.
The initial part of the checkup was just as I'd expected from all the ones before. I'd gained my pound for the week. No fluctuations like the last three weeks. I had 114/63 blood pressure. The baby pushed another 2 cm's length of uterus up into my chest in the last week. My samples were good, and the baby'd heartbeat was strong and good.
In the birthing movies, the cervix check is undignified and seemed mildly uncomfortable. When Dr. Weinberg went in, it was actually painful! Very painful. But she kind of lit up as to why. I'm already 80% effaced, which means that 80% of the normal cervix material has already thinned out and away from the opening that the baby's going to come out through. Plus, I was already a centimeter dilated. Most of early labor has to do with getting the cervix to get out of the way and to start things opening up. Looks like we've got a head start. The baby was also head down, solidly, and planted in perfect position to get out. Ever since the ultrasound at 16 weeks, the Fish has been mostly seen planted head down, ready to come out, but this was a surprise. The thinned out and already starting to stretch cervix was much more tender than she had anticipated, which is why it hurt so much.
It doesn't actually mean that I'm going to go into labor early or anything. These measurements don't really point to that. What they do point to, however, is that it's likely that labor is going to be on the order of only ten hours or less, not 24, which, I think, is a good thing.
The ultrasound showed a much, much larger baby than at 16 weeks. Butt and back and the now two or even three times larger heart pumping away steadily. The string of pearls of his spinal column. All always surprisingly perfect. He's still a bit small, but ready. Give him another week and he'll be stronger and bigger and it's looking pretty good so far as positioning and amounts of amniotic fluid.
Most of the rest of the day was a mild daze and some recovery from all that. Told Bill about the effacement and he knew, instantly, what it meant, and was urging me to do more work before things happened. There is a lot to do. Lunch was at KT's with Bob and Bill and we talked work and babies and stuff. The afternoon included going over documentation for a design review for tomorrow morning. It was just very strange having the knowledge that the kid really was ready to pop, so very close it's pretty amazing, disconcerting, too, as I don't think I really was mental ready for it, yet. Even with the party and all that, it's pretty amazing to think that I'm really that close.
Problem, too, was that with the exam, I was aching pretty badly. The doctor had told me I'd likely be giving off a bloody discharge all day as she might have broken some blood vessels; but it's still sobering to watch ones blood flow.
John took good care of me. Got me home, put my feet up with a glass of cranberry juice cocktail, and he cooked dinner. Gorton's fish slabs and salad and mixed vegetables. It was really yummy and got me a little more cheerful. It was even more fun to just watch him play Crash Bash for a while. He is really good at the pong-like ball game, which I really, really suck at; but, conversely, he's really bad at the push-them-off-the-iceberg game and I'm really good at that. He got stuck, badly, on that one, so I took over just for the one game, and in three tries got him his trophy! Yay! So he was able to play on. He even got the gem and the crystal for that venue, as he only had to win once to get them. That was very cool and giggly fun.
Afterwards, I read more of my ebook and found that, with a long period of reading my eyes focussed kind of funny and didn't really like the format nearly as well as a paperback. It's good for short spurts, but for a whole novel, I could see my eyes getting buggy if I tried to do my usual 'read it all in one, long gulp' kind of reading. My batteries tried to die in the middle of it, too, so I ran upstairs, did a hot sync, and then changed out the batteries, as the critter itself suggested. I could see the wisdom of that. The changeover was very simple and easy and it worked like a charm.
John was really, really good, and turned off the TV early, around 9. So I made myself a hot chocolate with a touch of whipped cream and while still warmed by the drink and sleepy from the warm milk, I went to bed. John set the alarm for 6:30 because, of all things, it was snowing pretty heavily outside. After all the forecasts this last weekend for heavy snow, it was supposed to be light tonight; but from what John could see, it was going to likely be a rough morning commute.
Hopefully I'll heal up for tomorrow.