Week 37

Dear Baby,
We are officially full term!! Which means that you could technically be born anytime now! I’m so excited for that, and so so ready. At 37 weeks you’re about 19 inches long, and a little over 6 lbs in weight. You’re working on some mad skills right now too. You’re practicing: inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping and blinking. You’re also working on making your first poo right now too. Hopefully you’ll wait until you’re out of my tummy to let loose on that.

I have been having round the clock contractions. I’ll wake up with them, and go to bed with them, and sometimes I’m woken up with them in the middle of the night. So far they aren’t painful, just an intense tightening, that sometimes get a crampy feeling to it. So, right now I think I’m having a lot of false labor. I’m ok with this though, especially if it helps labor be shorter and easier. I’m ready for you to make your debut any time. I’m so so ready for it. We’ve pretty much got everything ready for you, we just need you!

I had a midwife appointment last Friday, and you and I are doing great. My BP was 120/74 – hooray for me! I’ve lost weight since my 35 week appointment (about 1 lb). Your heart beat was measuring in the 130s, and my fundal height was right at 36 cm. So, we’re doing great! I have another appointment this Thursday, and hopefully I’ll receive nothing but good news again.

I sent a bunch of your diapers off to have the elastic replaced so they’ll be as good as new for when you’re here. You’re room is ready. The house is pretty much ready for you too. 

I’m so excited for you to be here. I really am. I wish I was more eloquent and could describe to you all the thoughts and emotions swirling through me. I’m excited for your arrival. I’m anxious to see how your brother will react to you. I’m a little terrified at the prospect of raising two kids, but very excited about it as well. I’m starting to get tired of waiting, and just want you here. So, come on out already! I want to meet you!

I love you,

Momma

My Uterus is Playing Mind Games With Me 

I believe I’ve mentioned that I’ve been having contractions on and off for just shy of 2 weeks now. While they’re not painful, they’re timeable – coming every 10 minutes or so, and on some days progressing up to every 5 minutes. It’s a lot of false labor (prelabor?) that makes me assess every single twinge, tightening or pain that I feel.
Last night was a little different. I got home from work around 4, snuggled with Henry and then was just puttering around the house when I noticed that I had a contraction that felt different. It was much crampier than what I’ve been feeling. More along the lines of period cramps. Trying not get my hopes up, I kept doing whatever it was I was doing, and then noticed I was having another contraction. They were coming about every 7 minutes or so. So, deciding to take advantage of them, I changed out of my work clothes and into gym clothes and went for a short walk around the neighborhood. Sure enough, that bumped the contractions up to every 5 minutes.

I started thinking “I think this is it.” “I think I might be in labor.” So, I started timing the contractions. I let my mom know what was going on, and called and talked J to let him know. I called my doula to put her on alert.

I continued to have contractions for the next several hours. They were very crampy feeling, they had a peak to them. My back, legs and hips were all starting to feel a good bit of pressure. I was really starting to think that I was in labor, early labor, but still labor…..and then….they slowed down…..and then stopped around 9:30 last night ….

These contractions starting and stopping, starting and stopping and starting and stopping again is really starting to mess with my head. Does this mean that labor will be starting sooner rather than later? Or am I going to be 42 weeks and talking about induction? This waiting game is awful, and the contractions jumping in to syke myself out aren’t helping…

Week 36

Dear Baby,
This week you’re the size of a papaya. You’re about 19 inches long, and weight about 5.5 lbs. You’re getting pretty close to being able to breathe on your own, which is super impressive and extremely important. I really want you to have that under control before you decide to come out. Most of your other organs are good to go at this point. Your liver and kidneys are functioning, as well as your immune and circulatory systems. Just a little while longer and you’re going to be more than ready for life on the outside.

36 weeks has been a bit of a roller coaster for us so far. Yesterday I was having regular contractions. They started at regular intervals around 9 am, and by the afternoon they had worked themselves up to be 10 minutes apart, and by dinner time they were 5 minutes apart. I was checked at the doctor’s office, and it was determined that it was just braxton hicks contractions because they weren’t causing me to dilate any further. Around 9:30 last night they finally slowed down and I only had one through the night that I can remember.

I’ve had some contractions today, but nothing regular and nothing painful. I am having back pain that comes and goes in waves which has me wondering if that pain is contractions….I guess we’ll see.

So, yesterday spurred me to get my hospital bag together. It’s not fully packed, as I still need a bunch of stuff until it’s time, but for the most part it’s packed. Your Gram got a bag packed for Henry too, so that we can just throw it in the car when the time comes. We also got your carseat installed in your Dad’s car. We got the pack ‘n play set up to put in our room (I think you’re going to sleep in it for the first little while – assuming that you will). So, I think we’re in a good place.  

I’m really excited for your arrival. I really, really am. I’m so looking forward to you being around and becoming an addition to our family (not that you’re not already). It won’t be long now. It’ll be just a few more weeks. I can’t wait!

Love you,

Momma

Contractions 

Yesterday was a long day. I woke up 2 or 3 times the night before because of contractions. They didn’t hurt, but were a constant pressure, and once they ended I was able to go back to sleep. So, when the alarm went off at 6:00, I was tired, but I got up and started getting ready for the day.
At work, I started to notice that I was having a lot of contractions, and that it was causing me to not be able to focus on my job at all. So, I quickly downloaded an app to time them, and noticed that they were coming about every 15 minutes. The contractions weren’t painful, just a whole lot of pressure. As time went on, they began to get a smidge stronger, so I called my midwife’s office to see what they wanted me to do since I’m only 36 weeks pregnant, and the baby isn’t considered full term.  

I called them at 10:30 in the morning, after having regular contractions for over an hour and a half. I called them back at 12:30, but couldn’t get anyone to pick up, and then I called again at 2:45. After being on hold until 3:00, I was asked to come into the office so someone could check me to see if this was real labor or not.

After quickly packing a bag (just in case), I got to the office, and all 3 of the midwives in the practice were not in….So, I had to see an OB I’d never met before. The baby’s heart rate was in the 130-140 range and looking good. The OB checked me, and there was no change to my cervix. So, it was looking like braxton hicks contractions. I was told to go home, drink lots of water and rest.  

After I got home I noticed that my contractions still weren’t stopping, and that they were speeding up and getting a little more intense. At dinner time, my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. I could easily talk through them, they were more of a pressure/crampy feeling than anything else.

The contraction kept coming until around 8, when they slowed down, and they pretty much stopped by 9:30. I did wake up last night with a strong contraction, but I only remember the one.

I’ve had a few contractions today, but nothing regular. Another difference in today is the fact that I’m having back pain that comes in waves (contractions?). That is way more uncomfortable than the contractions yesterday.

I’m really starting to wonder if I’m having pre-labor, and if it is, how long before this escalates into active labor?

Gearing Up 

I had my 35 week midwife appointment yesterday.  
I told her about all the pressure and pain I’ve been feeling lately and she asked if I feel it on my feet, sitting and/or laying down. I told her all of the above. I had to be tested for Group B Strep, so since I was already undressed, she asked if she could check me to see where the baby’s head was. I wasn’t crazy about getting checked, but because of the intense pressure that I’m feeling I consented.  

My midwife checked me, and all the while didn’t say anything. When she was done, she sat down and explained that the baby’s head is fully engaged in my pelvis. She said that sometimes the baby’s head will go back up and then move back down, but that my baby’s head wasn’t going anywhere – it’s fully in my pelvis and that’s why I’m feeling all the pressure. She said that from here on out, it’s only going to get worse as the baby’s head moves lower and lower. She said right now I’m at a -2 station.

I asked her if I was dilated or effaced at all, and she said yes. At first she didn’t say anything after that, and I had to prod her to tell me how much. She smiled and said that I’m 70% effaced and am 2 cm dilated. She went on to say that she thinks that I’ll only have about another 2-3 weeks before the baby comes. That is such exciting news to me! I feel like I have a real chance of going into labor on my own!!!

I’m to start drinking red raspberry leaf tea this week, and next week she wants me to start taking evening primrose oil. I’m still doing my walking and yoga squats. All this pressure/pain that I’m feeling is a whole lot more welcome now that I know that there’s a good reason behind it!

Pressure

I have been having so much pressure in my lady parts the past few days. Yesterday it got so bad that I was having trouble walking. And, on top of the pressure I’m feeling, my lower back also started to ache yesterday afternoon. I ended up having to skip my evening walk last night because being on feet was just too painful.  
I’m starting to wonder if this pressure/pain is from the baby having dropped, and that it’s possibly causing me to dilate and efface already. I go to the midwife this afternoon, so hopefully she can give me some explanation and/or tips on relief for what I’m feeling. It seriously feels like I’ve been kicked in the hoo-ha.  

Staying off of my feet really seems to help, but I have to be on my feet a lot for my job (teaching). So, by the end of the work day I’m pretty much whimpering as I drive home. I’m hoping that I don’t have too much longer before this kiddo arrives, because I feel like I’m just struggling to make it through the day right now.

Week 35

Dear Baby,
35 weeks! Can you believe it? Sometimes it feels like these weeks are flying by, and this week was one of them. This week you’re the size of a pineapple: about 18 inches long, and around 5 lbs. Your hearing is now fully developed, but you can hear high pitched sounds the best. I hope you’re enjoying the songs that I sing. I know that they calm your brother when he’s upset or tired. I hope that they calm you too. You’ve about finished growing in length, and are just focusing on bulking up for birth. I’m trying to do my best to make sure that you don’t go over board on that front. Lately I’ve been a bit terrified that you’re going to be huge….especially since one of my friends just delivered a 9 lb + baby. My legs involuntarily close every time I think about that…

I’ve been feeling pressure on my pelvic floor lately. Every time I go on a walk I feel a ton of pressure. And, since I’ve started doing yoga squats, every time I do one of those I swear I can feel myself dilating, and your head moving farther and farther down. I told your dad that I’m placing money that I only make it to 38 weeks with this pregnancy. I’m not sure why I have that feeling, but I do. Any time within that 38th week I think you’re going to arrive. I guess only time will tell, but I hope that I only have 3 more weeks of being pregnant.

I have a midwife appointment tomorrow, and I’m really hoping that I get good news on your size and that I’m measuring right where I should be. As I mentioned before I’m starting to stress out about your size. I’ve been going on a lot of walks, and for some unknown reason my fasting blood sugars are down this week.  

It feels surreal that in just a few short weeks you’re going to be here. You’re going to change our lives forever, and I can’t wait for that to happen! Keep growing (reasonably please) and know that I love you with all of my heart!

Momma