Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pregnancy Week 37 and 4 Days: The Head 'Engagement' and Group B Strep Screening

I just had another bi-weekly antenatal visit in the hospital this morning. I have sailed more than 37 weeks of pregnancy with my first baby and that means my unborn child is now considered 'full term'. The waiting game has officially begun and I have to start noticing on potential signs of the onset of labour such as the 'bloody show', unusual vaginal discharge, water breaking or intense contractions.

During today's consultation session, I told my Gynae that my haemorrhoids have made a comeback. For more than a week, I often experienced rectal bleeding during bowel movement. On some unlucky days, I even had swollen blood vessels in the size of a pea that protruded through my anus after passing motion. *apologies for sharing too much information here but I could not think of other ways to best describe the sufferings from haemorrhoids during pregnancy* I must say that the swollen blood vessels in my rectal area were really painful, literally irritating and super uncomfortable for walking, sitting or even sleeping. In short, thanks to them, passing motion has become a traumatic daily affair for me. Nevertheless, my Gynae said that haemorrhoids are very common on pregnant women in their last tri-semester and usually they will be gone post giving birth. Unfortunately, haemorrhoids may revisit women on their next pregnancies as they already had haemorrhoids during their first pregnancy. In the meantime, my Gynae advised me to just continue applying the herbal haemorrhoids cream that my husband bought from the pharmacy to relief my haemorrhoids.

Next, from today's 2D ultrasound scan, my Gynae found out that my baby's head had 'engaged' or settled into my pelvis. She was happy to learn this but seemingly, this doesn't mean that labour is imminent for me as my baby's face is still pointing up. My baby's current head position explains why I had been having occasional sharp pains around my vagina and inner upper thighs in the last few days. Also, because my baby's head has engaged, there was no 3D baby's ultrasound scan photo taken today.

After the brief ultrasound scan, my Gynae did a vaginal swab test on me. A vaginal swab is apparently done at around 35-37 weeks of gestation to check whether the expecting mother has Group B Strep bacteria in her vagina that may be passed on to her baby during labour. I have read about this bacteria screening online before but it never actually crossed my mind that I would have to go through this screening too. The test sounded scary and gross when I first heard it from my Gynae because it involves my private part, as its name implies; but turned out when it was performed with a long cotton swab/bud, it was not painful at all and could be completed in two seconds. I felt so happy that I chose a female Gynae for this matter! My Gynae mentioned that the laboratory result of this test will be available in 10 days and that is when my next antenatal visit will take place.

On my next visit, I would have to do a repeat blood test to see if my Haemoglobin level has gone up. If it doesn't improve, my Gynae would have to arrange some standby red blood cells (as per my blood group) for possible blood transfusion in case I need those during my labour.

Lastly, I managed to gain 1 kg in the past two weeks which translates that I have gained a grand total of 14.5 kg during my pregnancy thus far. As for the little bun in the oven's weight, she has apparently gained a whopping 0.4kg within the same period. Her estimated weight is now about 2.7 kg. No wonder that her kicks and movements these days are so strong and painful!

Doctor bills: RM 169.60 (for the Gynae's consultation fee, urine and swab laboratory tests, iron and fish oil supplements).


  1. Such an exciting (and nerve wracking) time. I'm just so excited for you and your husband. They aren't joking when they say a woman can't get through childbirth with her modesty intact. But it's worth it! I can't wait for your announcement that your beautiful baby has arrived!

  2. Thank you, Stephanie! Yes, will share the baby pics and birth story the soonest possible after she is born!


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