Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Week by Week: 37 Weeks

Our Baby (a.k.a. Lil' Feisty):
  • Is anywhere from 6-8 pounds by now (although I keep having visions of us having a 10-pounder) and 18-20 inches long. As I've said these last few weeks, there's no way to know exactly how big until Feisty joins us in person. 
  • Is now, officially, considered full-term, but it STILL would be best if Feisty waited another week or two. When Feisty decides to make an appearance will be the perfect time. 
  • Is doing all the things that will eventually happen outside the womb--blinking, breathing, sucking, gripping, wiggling. 
I (traditionally): 
  • Will not really notice a lot of changes over the next few weeks--including weight gain. 
  • WILL notice an increase in Braxton Hicks as each week goes on. 
  • Will be checked each week by my health practitioner to let me know how dilated and effaced my cervix is.
  • Could pass the mucus plug any day now. It's exactly what it sounds like. It's a plug. To keep the cervix closed. Made of mucus. 
  • Am trying some different techniques to ensure that Feisty is head-down.
  • Am packed and have our route to the hospital/birth center mapped out. 
  • Am getting any last-minute prep work done during this time. This could include housework, pampering, purchases, or schedules. Usually this is prompted by an intense drive called nesting.
  • Might start noticing some spotting at this point, and FINALLY, this is considered a NORMAL thing at this point in pregnancy. 
  • Will likely have more and more new stretchmarks as each week rolls past. 
  • Am having more and more trouble getting sleep and feeling comfortable as my belly gets more and more enormous. 

I (actually): 
  • Have remained steady on weight gain for once. As in, nothing more and nothing less. 
  • HAVE noticed an increase in Braxton Hicks. I even downloaded an app! More about that below. 
  • Will likely not be checked by my midwife. And even if she offered (and there was no real reason to check anything) I'd likely decline. I'd be the kind of person who'd be dismayed to learn that nothing was happening. I'd also be the kind of person who'd be anxious and obsessive to learn that I was walked around at 2 cm. It's better if I just don't know. 
  • Have not passed the mucus plug. 
  • Haven't been continually practicing anything to keep Feisty head down because a little head has been grinding on my pelvis for weeks now. I'm feeling fortunate for that--and also a little peeved at how weird/painful it can feel. 
  • Am still packed for the hospital and the route to the hospital is same as the route to my appointment. We're not going to have trouble finding our way. 
  • Have done all the prep work I can possible do at this point. The nursery walls are ALMOST done, and I find myself standing in the doorway practically foaming at the mouth to get in there and CLEAN it and ORGANIZE it. Basically, I just shouldn't go upstairs again until I can use a vacuum. 
  • Have no spotting yet. 
  • Have what I think might be a stretchmark or two. I'm not really sure because I can only see it if I stand in front of our bedroom mirror. The thought of being able to look at my own belly without a mirror is laughable at this point. 
  • Change in comfort level from day to day. Some days I have no discomfort. Other days I feel sore and stretched. Some nights I sleep so well I don't even need pillows between my knees. Other nights I'm tossing and turning and sweating and sighing. One thing though, no matter how comfortable I feel I DO get up every three hours or so to go to the bathroom. There's just no way to avoid that at this point. 

Obviously, this whole post is about pregnancy, and this whole blog has been overtaken with posts about pregnancy. It's SO hard not to be consumed by this. And, honestly, when your body has been taken over with another life, it's kind of understandable. But there are people in my life who, though they are happy and excited for me, still enjoy connecting with me on other things. I realized this last week that I am not as engaged with people as I used to be unless we're talking about me. ME, ME, ME. I don't want this to turn into a normal thing for me, so I'm making a bigger effort to connect with others on something MORE than being a mom or being pregnant. I may be those things, but that's not ALL I am.

It sort of LOOKS like it's all I am, though. This belly is BIG, people. The clothes that fit me are few and far between, and the clothes that I still ENJOY wearing are even more rare. I basically rotate between three different shirts, my cardigans, my maternity jeans, and two pairs of shoes. Thankfully, I don't have to be out at a job or a place where people can see me every day, so no one really notices if I'm wearing the same shirt I wore three days ago.  

My Braxton Hicks contractions are more and more regular, and one night I even downloaded an app to time them and measure them. They're most common at night, but they usually disappear after about an hour or so. During that time they're still mild and can range anywhere from 10 minutes to 5 minutes apart. Nothing regular yet. But it's still exciting and surreal to be at the stage where I'm actually timing contractions!

Freak-Out Moment:

I did learn that my cervical cultures showed the presence of Strep B bacteria. It's a little bit disappointing because I didn't want an IV during labor, but it's not the worst thing in the world. It could possibly change some of the things I wanted to try during labor, but I won't know exactly how that will change until I talk to my midwife. That'll happen on Friday. And, honestly, it's more important to me that we take the necessary precautions to ensure that Feisty is healthy than it is to make sure I have the picture-perfect labor of my dreams. Big picture, people.


Another great week! Only a few more before Feisty is with us. Ah!

Keep it real, y'all,

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