I had my first, weekly midwife appointment yesterday and told the nurse I thought I may have had some slight contractions for a few hours last week. Because of this, she told me the midwife would probably want to do an internal exam.
Once the midwife came into the room, she measured my belly, which was at 36 inches and listened to the heartbeat. It was in the 140s - lower than the baby's typical mid-150s but still normal. When she began feeling around for the baby, she said that she couldn't feel the head and wondered if the baby had dropped so she began the internal exam. Apparently the baby has dropped into my pelvis (also known as engaged or lightening). Lots of times, expectant mothers notice this occurrence because it takes so much pressure off of the lungs and other internal organs, and it can cause more pressure on the pubic bone... didn't feel either. Whoops.
My midwife also informed me I'm dilated to one centimeter, which apparently is more unusual for new mothers to dilate before labor but doesn't mean the baby's coming any earlier. Even with this reassurance, I felt a bit freaked since the baby isn't due until the end of the month (May 25). Ironically, I received an e-mail today from ePregnancy.com with a video about prelabor signs talking exactly about these topics and once again reassured me that experiencing lightening doesn't necessarily mean the delivery is imminent.
Time will tell! :)
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