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36 weeks pregnant: OB pregnancy appointment and my first ever internal exam

by Jane · 14 comments

Another pregnancy appointment today at 36 weeks pregnant and it went great!Pregnancy Weight: Didn’t look.  Nurse said it was up 1 pound.  ”Doing good”, she said.

Baby’s Heartbeat: In the 150s.

Baby’s Position: Head down, just like a good little boy.

Weeks my belly is measuring at: 37 weeks.  I know this doesn’t really mean much, but it’s interesting to know because each week I measure the exact week that I’m currently in.

Internal: After hearing on our pregnancy blog and on twitter, I was nervous.  I mean, really nervous.  I’d heard some bad things about what is called the internal.  I was telling the nurse what I heard and she laughed.  Even my own husband, who does not have a vagina, giggled a bit and told me that it wouldn’t be that bad.

Guess what?

The nurse and Tarzan were both right.  I’m not sure what determines whether a pregnancy internal exam hurts or not, but mine was a breeze.  Seriously.  There was a tiny (and I do mean tiny) bit of pressure towards the end, but that was all.  Not even as much pressure as a pap smear.  I was worried about nothing!

Internal stats: 70% effaced.  -2 station.  Cervix closed.  No dilation.

Baby’s Momma: I’m hot and getting ready for many things:  To meet my little boy and to have my body back.  Everyone who has ever told me that pregnancy sucks in the summer time is 100% correct, especially when living in Houston during this ridiculous heat wave that won’t give up.

Stretch Marks: Still none.

Belly Button: Still in.  (Thank you very much.)

Next appointment: July 2nd.

Big milestones this week: The nursery is finished with the exception of wall art.  Since there is not a baby theme throughout the room it’s quite difficult to figure out what to put on the walls.

A/C is a must.  All. Of. The. Time.

Checking things off of my “things to do before baby comes” list left and right.  Today I bought some Size 1 diapers and that was such a fun experience starting at a bazillion diaper brands trying to predict the future and know what the baby will like.

My questions:

1.  The past few days I’ve been having a crampy feeling, like I used to feel right before I started my period.  It’s not full-on cramps, but just that awkward feeling that lets you know that bad cramps and a period are coming.  What is that?

My OB said that it’s probably Braxton Hicks contractions.  I was happy to hear this because another question I had was that I didn’t really think that I had felt any BH contractions and wondered if that was normal.  (It is normal she said.)

2.  What do real contractions feel like?

She said that they feel like really strong menstrual cramps, getting worse each time.  She also said that I would “just know” when they were coming and that my whole belly would be hard to touch.  She also said to call her after I’d been feeling contractions 10 minutes apart for at least an hour.  Easy enough.

3.  If and when my water breaks while at home, is it imperative to get to the hospital ASAP?  Do I have time to take a shower?  Take the dog to the boarders?

She said to give her a call if it does break.  Chances are she would tell me to just shower at the hospital.  She said that she probably wouldn’t recommend dropping our dog off first.  It would be a better idea to have a friend or family member come over to do that for us.

4.  Being that the weekend is here, what can I expect after the internal?  Spotting?  Bleeding?  Cramping?

She said that since there wasn’t any blood on her glove after she did the internal, she didn’t think that I would have any spotting or bleeding.  If I do have a little, it’s ok.  If I have a lot, like to fill a pad when on your period, I should call.  I shouldn’t have any cramping either.

You might also want to read:

  1. 37 weeks pregnant: Full term OB pregnancy appointment
  2. 38 weeks pregnant: OB pregnancy appointment, date night, & my labor dream
  3. 34 weeks pregnant: OB pregnancy appointment
  4. 39 weeks pregnant: OB pregnancy appointment
  5. 19 weeks pregnancy appointment: Big baby, movement, and pregnancy weight gain

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly

I asked my doctors what contractions felt like. I thought up until a 7 dialation that I wasn’t having real contractions. Then when a 7 hit there was no mistaking it. I thought I was having braxton hicks contractions. The only thing that made it not braxton hicks is I was dialating my water breaking didn’t make them more painful. I just had a feeling the baby was coming. Most of the time I don’t have any problems with internals. I’m glad you didn’t have any problems. They are going to check today I think and do my GBS. I thought they usually didn’t do GBS test after positive with the first baby, but I guess I was wrong. Congrats

2 Michele renee

I think the fear of the internals that you’ve heard is that many docs like to get in there and strip the membranes when it is due date time. I always said no to internals because there is no point. Your cervix could look like it is not ready and yet you could end up going into labor the next day naturally. In my opinion it is really a method for the doc to know how well your cervix would take to an induction. In my opinion they are invasive and unnecessary.

3 Sarah @

My belly button did what Jessi’s did for the longest time. I was so happy it finally decided to put all of its money on sticking out because it looked weird through shirts.

Now it just looks like a third nipple lol. And I have to hear everybody and their mother make Butterball turkey comments.

Congratulations on another wonderful appointment! It sounds like you have a quality doctor if you’re able to get through the internals without any pain =)

4 Jessi

Congrats on another great appointment. I was having real contractions from the time I was like 32 weeks, and they only gets like mild period cramps. They WERE dilating me. Its different for everyone. And my belly button only popped out halfway, it looks ridiculous.

My water didn’t break, they broke my water. Only like 10% of women’s water break on their own. So don’t rely on that as an indicator. But if it does break on it’s own, labor is usually quicker.

5 Jenny

It’s good to hear that things are going well. I have to laugh a little to myself when you mention that you are ready to have your body back. My oldest is 3 and my youngest is 4 months…I am still waiting to get my body back. If you opt to breastfeed, you are basically a glorified fridge – but the perk is constant cuddling and a child that generally lights up when you walk into the room (although the gaze typically goes to the food source sooner than later). While I wouldn’t trade my experience, I can’t wait to have a little more of me to myself.

Good luck during these last few weeks.

6 Tori M.

I always felt that the internal had more to do with who did it than what was being done. I had some that didn’t phase me in the least, and I had some where I thought someone was being utterly sadistic.

Keep in mind that only about 11% of women actually have their water break on it’s own. It’s nice to know what to do to be prepared, but it’s pretty unlikely supposedly. I know mine didn’t break on it’s own.

And I agree, you will know when it’s real labor. Those ctx SUCK. My one suggestion is to start getting familiar with contraction timers. If you do a google search, there are a few really great free ones online that let you print out your timing to take with you (which the triage people were always really happy I did). They are also great for deciding when to call :)

7 Julia Bastos

I’m so happy that everything is right on schedule and your internal didn’t hurt. Remember: you’re one step closer to having that little baby in your arms.

8 Melissa, the blogger

That’s so cool that the internal was easy! I think mine is coming up. I’ve been measuring 1 1/2 weeks larger than my due date, wondering if that means anything. Good luck this weekend! Hopefully you’ll feel great.

9 Tatiana @

Re: water breaking, everyone is different. I have read some stories where a lady’s water breaks before she’s even in labour, others where it breaks in the middle of labour but before “transition” etc… for me, I’d been having contractions off and on for eight hours, but they were short ones. Then all the sudden, just as I felt one coming, my water broke — and then my body wanted to push, BADLY. Like we called our midwife to come to the house and I spent the entire time that we waited for her telling myself: “Don’t push, don’t push, don’t push”, but with every contraction it just felt so gooood to push. Baby arrived two hours after my water broke.

I’m glad the internal wasn’t bad for you — it was the same for me, as I shared with you on Twitter, but it looks like I was one of the few who wasn’t scarred by the experience :P

10 Emily

My belly button never popped out, and I was actually kind of bummed- I don’t understand how that works, and was really interested to see it happen to me, but it never did! I was nervous about knowing what real contractions felt like, but I never even ended up having any Braxton-Hicks, and when labor did start it was pretty unmistakable!

11 helen mosher

I can’t believe we’re to this point already…. I’m at 20, and you’re at 36! Since you’re not following me on Twitter and I had to make my tweetstream private (so I guess you’re not seeing my replies), thought I’d let you know I’m having a boy too. :)

Glad to hear you’re still doing well now that you’re in the home stretch!


12 @martwood1

Sounds like you’re doing great!
(my internal HURT so bad and I did have bleeding afterwards….I had blocked that out til just now- haha!)

13 Crysi

Shouldn’t have any cramping afterward.. ha! I thought I was going into labor again on Wednesday. Contractions every 6-8 minutes for 3 hours. Then they went away for a bit before coming every 3-4. Then mostly gone again. So ready to be done. I’m 35 weeks today and measuring 42!

14 Natalie

I’m 1 week behind you exactly, and I follow you all the time here and own twitter. I live in Houston too, so I understand the heat problem… My internals hurt so bad! Lucky you!

Wishing you more good luck to come!

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