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Third Trimester

40 weeks pregnant | Pregnancy week 40

So still no sign of baby, I am now term plus six days and I yesterday I had to see the midwife where I was given my sweep.

So what is a sweep? The membrane sweep is offered as a form of bringing on labor before other methods of induction are offered. As this is my second baby, I am offered this near to my 41 week date, rather than at 40 week which would be when a first time pregnancy would be offered.

 - 40 weeks pregnant | Pregnancy week 40
I'm asking you nicely baby, to just hurry up! © Valueline

Membrane sweeping was done by my midwife. This is an internal examination, which the midwife sweeps a finger around the cervix (neck of your womb). The aim is to separate the membranes around your baby from your cervix. This releases hormones called prostaglandins, which should kick-start labor. A membrane sweep increases the likelihood of starting labor within 48 hours however I am still waiting!

This was the first sweep I have had in either pregnancy, and I'm not going to lie, it was terribly painful to have done. It is usual to have bleeding, irregular contractions or the mucous plug to come away, however for me nothing happened. I was very, very tender after the sweep, bringing on almost period pains but strangely it also made my stomach very tender to touch.

Prior to the internal examination the midwife thought baby was in an engaged position. However from the internal examination the midwife found that my uterus isn't fully forward so babys birth canal is not quite in the correct position.

I have always had a retroflex uterus, which means it is in the opposite position to normal anatomy and therefore during pregnancy it has to tip forward in order for labor to be successful. This is one of the reasons I had such problems in my first pregnancy, although I did manage to give birth normally, despite the awkwardness.

I also have a very low pelvic bone meaning there isn't a lot of room, so this meant that the sweep was more painful than expected as to get to the cervix was more awkward. However the cervix is already softening and preparing for labor which shows we are on the right path. Having a membrane sweep does not increase the risk of infection to either you or baby.

The baby's heart is monitored prior to the sweep just to check that the baby is not distressed, as the sweep would not have happened. He is fine, very content, unlike his mummy. Baby’s heart is also monitored after the sweep. Baby got quite excited but then calmed down. I think he was unhappy of the intrusion, as was his mummy!!!!

So what happens now? Well I have another sweep booked for term plus ten days, and if baby still hasn't shown then I will be induced. So fingers crossed that this baby comes soon!

Mummy is tired of waiting!

Read more of Roanna's week by week pregnancy blog! 

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Roanna Dolan
07/12/2011
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