38 Weeks Pregnant and a Traumatic L&D Visit

I hate being 38 weeks pregnant.  Today I am 38 weeks and 4 days, which is when I had Norton through c-section.  I’m not even bothering to hope that she’ll get out now.  On Friday, though, I was 38 weeks pregnant on the nose.  I found myself experiecing a surge of optimism that maybe, just maybe, that would be the day when my little spawn would get out.

Obviously, since I’m 38 weeks and 4 days pregnant today, that did not work.  So, what was this traumatic visit and the optimism?

I thought that I’d “sprung a leak”, or that my amniotic fluid was leaking.  If that was the case, then I’d have a baby soon for sure.  And since I’m Group B Strep positive, I called my doula to verify that I should high tail it to the hospital for my antibiotics so that Eudora wouldn’t have any issues from my Group B Strep.  Being the reasonable, responsible adult that I am, I called L&D to let them know that I was on the way.  Things just seem to work so much better if the hospital knows that I’m on the way rather than just showing up.

When I got there, I went into an assessment room while the husband parked.  He came up, and our doula showed up a few minutes later.  First thing that happened was the nurse collected the usual urine sample.  She took my pantyliner, too, to see if she could test it for amniotic fluid.  (She couldn’t, unfortunately.  Apparently a standard pad works better for that than a liner.)  That meant that the doctor on call had to do some swabs to see if what I was leaking was actually amniotic fluid.

The doctor came in and introduced herself.  Polite enough.  (And, really, if someone is going to be feeling around in your nether regions without taking you out to dinner first, at least an introduction and an explanation is nice.)  She explained that they couldn’t use the usual lube because if it actually was amniotic fluid, everything had to be kept very sterile to prevent introducing bacteria and causing infection.  Sure.  That made sense.

That being said, I was not prepared for what came next.  I wouldn’t wish that on the meanest girls from high school.

The doctor held the speculum while the nurse poured a bit of sterile water on it.  My loving husband was standing beside me holding my hand.  The doula was off to the side so that she could see what’s going on but not at an angle where she could see more of me than I wanted seen.  The speculum went in.  Yeah, that was uncomfortable.  Then she started opening it up… and she kept opening.  And it hurt.  A lot.  According to my doula, the doctor opened that puppy all the way up.

And then came the swabs.  Those hurt even worse.  I was cramping and nauseated.  I suspect that if I’d been a puker by nature, I would have hurled.  As it was, my doula nearly rushed to get me a garbage can, just in case.  I apparently turned lovely shades of white as the doctor did her thing.  End result: no, it wasn’t amniotic fluid, just general mucus, losing my mucus plug, etc.  After the nurse checked on the baby’s heart rate, we were free to go home.

The nurse, I think, took her training at the school of Marquis de Sade.  She put the little patch on that they usually strap to the belly for non-stress tests.  When she didn’t find the heart beat on the first spot that she randomly decided to use (instead of, oh, I don’t know, maybe putting the stupid patch where the baby was located), she mashed it into my massive belly.  To the point that I cried out.  I made it through that awful internal without a sound, but that?  No, that was too much.

Of course, kid was fine.

As for me, I was disappointed.  Depressed.  Miserable.  And bound and determined to never, ever experience anything like that again.  If not for the Group B Strep thing, I’d be tempted to not go to the hospital until she’s out, period.  As it is, I’m still trying to figure out how to get her out, know that she’s on her way out, and not go until it’s nearly time to catch.  I’m not into medical torture, thanks.  I’m certainly not into medical treatment that feels like a punishment for a false alarm… even though they kept telling me that coming in was the right thing.  Clearly not, or else it wouldn’t have been so miserable.  And I wouldn’t cramp just thinking about the awfulness of it all.

Between Norton and Eudora’s pregnancies, I’ve been to L&D more times than I’d like to count… especially since Norton included a twice weekly non-stress test and two failed inductions.  I’d never felt like going in was a punishable offense.  At least, not until now.

So, yeah, being 38 weeks pregnant is just a ton of fun.


About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. ChemistryMama says:

    You poor thing! That sounds positively torturous. I’ll be thinking about you over the next few days. I hope all goes well for you and baby. Big hugs!

  2. That sounds that a terrible visit to the hospital! Gosh, I would not have reacted as well as you did.

  3. How horrible! I certainly hope you get a better doctor and nurses when the time comes. You never know which ones you’re gonna get.

    I ended up heading to L&D several times with both mine, and you really learn which nurses you don’t want after a time or two!

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