38 weeks and 5 days...!!
At my clinic appointment today I got lucky and had the head obstetrician of the hospital pick up my file and call my name. This was great, because I had about 50 million questions for him (they must hate having journalists as patients!).
Being a public patient, I see whichever obs is about - this means I have had so much conflicting medical advice. It really is quite incredible how varied it has been!
The doc I saw today is the man who made the call on when E was to be born, is a highly experienced professional (as you would expect from someone who leads the obs team of the busiest maternity hospital in Australia) - and I think that beneath a guarded exterior he's a lovely person.
In other words, I was itching to get his take on things. Is a VBAC a realistic hope for me? Would he like me to present at the delivery ward earlier than an average first-timer? And - crucially - this 'strip and stretch' business, is it going to bring on labour?
Well, it turns out that (like about half his obs team), he's not keen on the 'strip and stretch' and so today I walked away without having that done. On Thurs this very procedure had been recommended to me - in fact, written on my antenatal card - by one of his colleagues. See? Conflicting.
This particular doctor reckons it's not a terribly reliable way to get things happening and that we should just wait. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'd psyched myself up to have that done, for labour to start happening, say, the day after and to be holding my baby by, possibly, the weekend. Of course, all this may still occur. My body is certainly readying itself. And the good news is that the baby is apparently "partly engaged".
But on the other hand, skipping this procedure is of course one less medical intervention (ha - says she who's rattling with drugs that are keeping this infant healthy!).
I didn't get any sort of commitment from the Dr about whether or not I will be able to even have a VBAC - nor did I expect one. How can he say?
It's simply a matter of wait and see what happens.