Two words: FULL TERM! I seriously cannot believe it! It is so crazy to know that my baby could come at any time now. I can’t stop thinking about when I will go into labor, what it will feel like to have my first contraction, if the baby will be a boy or a girl, what he or she will look like, how my labor and delivery will go, etc. The planner in me is going crazy with all of the unknowns, but overall I am SO EXCITED!
What’s Happening With Baby?
This will the baby is the size of a stalk of swiss chard! I didn’t buy it this week but this is what it looks like.
According to BabyCenter, baby is basically ready for life in the outside world, which is why he or she is considered full term at 37 weeks. The lungs are mature and all other systems are in order. The baby weighs over 6 pounds and measures over 19 inches. The Bump also says that baby is practicing some necessary skills like inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping, and blinking. It’s so strange to think about what baby is doing in there and how big he or she is now!
How I’m Feeling
In a word… exhausted. This past week was our first week back to school with the kids, which is why I haven’t been blogging as much. My free time is extremely limited right now with all of my beginning of the school year responsibilities combined with preparing for my maternity leave. I also am in a brand new position teaching 5th grade, so I’m in the process of learning all about the new curriculum and adjusting to life back in the classroom. I was a Title I reading teacher for the last two years so I did a lot of pull-out reading instruction for kids that were at-risk. This is a big change for me, but I’m feeling better with each day that passes. It’s just a lot of work and I take a lot home with me at night trying to get caught up and plan for my long-term sub. But It’s hard to plan for maternity leave when you don’t know when it’s going to start! I’m so Type A that this drives me crazy!
The good news is that everything is totally ready for the baby at home. The nursery is ready, all the clothes and washed and folded, our hospital bags are packed, the car seat is installed, bouncers and play mats are set up, and so on. Knowing this does make it easier to focus on school but I just can’t stop thinking about how we’ll be holding our baby relatively soon. I can’t wait to experience that first sign of true labor and get things going!
How I’m Changing
Oooh man, a lot of things have changed since last week! And a lot of it might be TMI – but this is my pregnancy update so I really don’t care! Skip ahead if this kind of stuff grosses you out. So in a nutshell, this week I’ve had a lot of classic pre-labor signs according to my doctor when I told her about them at my appointment yesterday. First, after being constipated for pretty much my entire pregnancy, I have been experiencing the complete opposite this week. I have to go to the bathroom constantly and it comes out of nowhere. My doctor said this is my body’s way of ‘cleaning out’ for labor. Another pre-labor sign that I’m having is a ton of discharge. I actually had to ask the school nurse for a panty-liner the other day because of this. Apparently this is my cervix effacing/thinning for labor. It’s not bloody or anything yet, but it’s definitely there! I have been really crampy and have a lot of random ‘lightning bolt’ pelvic pain which the doctor said is baby descending and hitting nerves. Finally, the baby has dropped even more since last week. I now have a weird area under my boobs that is squishy and isn’t hard anymore. When I push into it I can tell that it’s liquid and not baby- I have to move down lower and lower to find the hard spots where the baby is. It’s almost halfway down my stomach! My doctor and I both think baby is really ready to make his or her way into the world with all of these things happening lately.
I also found out that I am Group B Strep (GBS) negative, which is good news. About 25% of women end up testing positive for this bacterial infection and it doesn’t cause symptoms for the mother, but can be passed to the baby during delivery and cause a lot of problems for the baby. I’m happy to have tested negative for GBS because it would have been a little bit of a speed bump in our birth plan. When you are GBS positive you need to go to the hospital shortly after your water breaks (if it breaks in the early stages of labor) and get an IV with antibiotics. I’m trying to avoid an IV and also getting to the hospital too early because both of those things can get in the way of having a natural birth. If I were to be GBS positive and my water breaks I would have to get to the hospital within 2 hours according to my doctors. Since I am negative I can wait up to 6 hours, which gives me more time to labor at home in a more relaxing environment. That makes me happy 🙂
What I’m Eating / Not Eating
I am back to having really strong cravings again. I think it’s a combination of being stressed and busy at work and having less energy to prepare meals. We are still meal planning but sometimes when I get home what we had planned for the night is the last thing I want to eat. Now I want things like bread, chips, cheese, and junk food. Sounds like the first trimester all over again! But I’m still eating my oatmeal for breakfast and salads for lunch. Trying to keep things under control!
How I’m Staying Active
Running has felt very good this week! It’s kind of weird considering I’m 37 weeks pregnant and bigger than ever, but sometimes I really don’t feel like I’m pregnant when I’m running… until I see my reflection or someone calls me out on it. Over the weekend I was running with Kevin and a woman was walking near us and said, “Look at you running with that belly. That’s so nice!” It took me by surprise because it was the first really positive comment I heard from a stranger about my pregnant running. I’m also happy because I’ve been running with Kevin a lot. He has recently renewed his love for running after taking a break from it, and it’s too dark in the mornings to run without him so we go together. Every time we’re running together I think about how we won’t have much longer to do these types of runs together. We will either be running with a stroller or taking turns so that someone can be with the baby. It’s bittersweet to think about!
- Run: 13.25 miles
- Walk: 2 miles
- Strength-Training: 1 Body Pump class
Week 37 Summary:
- Weight gained this week: +1.4 pounds
- Total weight gained: 26.0 pounds
- # of days until mommy & daddy’s next race: 2 – another local 5K 🙂
- # of dreams I had about labor: SO MANY! That’s all I dream about these days.
- Gender predictions: Most people are saying boy, but I’m sticking with my original feeling from day 1- girl. We’ll see!
- Best part of the week: Kevin found this in his Birth Partner book that is currently reading. It made me feel happy and confident that my Bradley training and my running will pay off in the end!
For more pregnancy posts, visit the Baby K page!