Friday, October 30, 2015

Week by Week: 38 Weeks

Our Baby (a.k.a. Lil' Feisty):
  • Still weighs anywhere from 7-9 (or more) pounds with no way to know for sure yet. 
  • Measures anywhere from 18-21 inches long. We'll know soon!
  • Could have up to an inch of hair by now! How fun would it be if Feisty was born with a huge shock of brown hair?!
  • Is slowly shedding the vernix caseosa (that white, waxy goo covering the skin), but we could still see some of it at birth. 
  • Now has an abdomen about the same circumference as the head. All that fattening up has really been paying off!
  • Has a brain and a set of lungs that can fully function outside the womb, though they'll keep maturing long after birth. 
I (traditionally): 
  • Have "lightning crotch" as one website so aptly named it. Now, it could simply be a play on words (lightening vs. lightning), but it means all those strange, shooting pains and sensations as baby's head bumps against all kinds of nerves in my pelvis. 
  • Am on the lookout for my "bloody show," which is exactly what it sounds like. 
  • Still have difficulty sleeping. 
  • Pretty much live with swollen hands and feet at this point. 
  • Have even more Braxton Hicks contractions. 
  • Could have some pretty loose bowels, a sign that labor is coming. 
  • Might have non-stress tests when I go in for appointments. Basically, I track Feisty's movement while a monitor records the heartbeat. 
I (actually): 
  • Have plenty episode of lightning crotch. That feisty baby sure loves twisting that head around in my pelvis. 
  • Compulsively check my underwear every time I go to the bathroom, and for the first time since finding out I was pregnant I'm actually hoping to see some pink. 
  • Haven't had a terrible time sleeping. In fact, I feel like my hip pain has really calmed down, and besides making sure I'm not too hot, the only thing keeping me up at night is the call of my bladder. 
  • YES. Swollen fingers and feet. All the time. My rings can still squeeze on my hands, and I still have ankles, but the constant, mild swelling is hanging around until baby appears. 
  • Have had a lot of Braxton Hicks during the last half of this pregnancy. I'm just sort of used to them by now. They happen all day long, and I really only start to pay attention if I notice three or four in a row. 
  • Have not struggled with constipation for a couple weeks now. Obviously, labor hasn't started yet, so I probably wouldn't pay much attention to how loose my bowels are. 
  • Haven't had to do non-stress tests. My appointments now are about 50% weighing, measuring, and assessing and 50% comparing cute scarves and clothes with my midwife. Obviously if I have concerns or questions they're addressed, but I love how chill our relationship has become. 

This week the headaches returned in full force. My migraine this week contributed to a monster bout of anxiety--detailed below--and two days of cramming a pillow over my face in bed. I had been SO spoiled for the large majority of this pregnancy that the return of a migraine was pretty rough for me. Day #2 was the worst, by far. Interestingly, my body followed its normal pattern (exactly 48 hours of pain, marked in waves that last about 6 hours each), and during that entire time I didn't have one Braxton Hicks. Not one. Now, most things you'll read about labor will tell you that your body will shut things down when you feel unsafe or scared, and I bet a migraine was just unsafe enough that my body totally turned off during that period. This being my first, pain-free morning, they're back in all their glory.

This tiger has finally earned her stripes. Stretch marks have finally blossomed across my stomach in a fine and delicate map. I can still only see them in the mirror, and honestly, I hardly look at them. It just doesn't occur to me to care at this point.

What I DO care about at this point is getting my house in order. The cleaning, the organizing, the straightening, the RE-organizing . . . it's happening all over the place, people. Before the migraine shut me down this week, I finished deep cleaning the upstairs bathroom for my parents and washing all my old clothes and adding them back to my closet. I even folded and stored all the maternity clothes that no longer fit me or that I'll no longer wear for this pregnancy. I re-packed my hospital bag (I made my comfy clothes MORE comfy and added something slightly nicer than sweats to wear home) and Levi's as well. I edited my birth preferences sheet one last time and printed it out. I thought I was out of things to do, but it turns out there's always something.

Freak-Out Moments:

So the night my headache showed up, I found myself getting more and more anxious. One of the biggest complications at this point in pregnancy is preeclampsia, and a symptom is severe headache. And a number of other symptoms are things that go along with migraine (blurred vision, sensitivity to light, shortness of breath, etc.). Knowing this, I spent most of that night awake and POSITIVE that I was developing preeclampsia. I even took my hospital bag with me to my appointment because of course my blood pressure would be through the roof, they'd have to induce me right away, and I'd end up with an emergency c-section.

Obviously, none of those things happened. My blood pressure was totally normal. I could still wear my rings. I was encouraged to go home, take some Tylenol, and sleep. I did all of those things, and now the headache has finally gone. As have my most recent anxieties.


That's how week 38 went, folks! We're just now turning over into week 39. With how remarkably normal I'm feeling I'm sure I'll be able to keep y'all updated all the way through week 40+, so I'll see you next week!

Keep it real,

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