Mama Geek

Stretch Marks and Strep B

Posted on: May 29, 2009

There are two things that are somewhat bothering me about the final weeks of pregnancy: one extremely superficial and one a touch more serious. 

1 – Stretch Marks. I knew I would get them, considering I got a good number of them during puberty and when I was weight training in high school. However, the doppler effect now radiating across my lower stomach – and oddly, the sides of my hips – caught me a bit off guard. I realize there is nothing I can do, and I still apply my Belly Butter just to keep them from itching constantly. And yet – I am really hoping that once my stomach returns to a smaller size they will be much less noticable.

2 – Strep B. I understand that this is not a big deal, but this worried me. I actually found out about this last week, but it took some time to consider it rationally. I had read about this in those “what to expect this week/month” chapters and websites, but they all have no more than a sentence on the topic. I actually had not known anyone with Strep B during pregnancy, so I did not realize how commonplace this was. Apparently, 10 – 40% of women are Strep B carriers. What I can not figure out is how many actually test positive during pregnancy.

What does it mean? Basically, I need to be more careful about keeping track of the baby’s movements, call if I have severe headaches or swelling, and have an IV of antibiotics during labor. As soon as my water breaks or my contractions establish a regular pattern, I need to get to the hospital so that the IV can be started at least 4 hours before delivery. 

Finally, I will not have regular internal exams leading up to pregnancy to reduce the risk of infection. If I have contractions (like I was this week the morning of my appointment), she will do a quick check for dilation, but no stretching or stripping of membranes, etc. So there will be no helping along of the labor process – as I reach my due date, I am still on my own. And since I am expecting to be at least a week late anyway, I am probably closer to three weeks from giving birth than my projected two.

This is really not a big deal – there is almost no risk to the baby as long as I get to the hospital and receive the IV prior to going into active labor. Still…I would have rathered not have the worry.

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