“Welcome to Term!” is what I heard in yoga last night! Even though normal gestation is 40 weeks (or longer), babies born after 37 weeks are not considered premature. Very thankful we have made it this far!
I’ve definitely been feeling things happening down there. Things that if I were 40 weeks I would be like ‘This is it’ no ‘THIS is it’ all day long. But although I know there is a chance he could come any day now, these twinges, cramps and what I can only describe as “cervical awareness” are likely just my body getting ready. For example, when I woke up on Saturday feeling kind of off I did wonder if perhaps it was the “sick before the storm,” but alas, I think I was just tired! I’ve never needed naps like this before. My mom recently said “We’re getting a kick out of this because you’ve never been tired in your life!” Sometimes in the afternoons I don’t even feel that sleepy – I just can’t keep my eyes open if I go horizontal! The difference in 36 and 37 weeks has been pretty drastic energy wise.
I’ve been sitting on the exercise ball a ton, avoiding our cushy couches (not ideal for engagement), and doing squats and walking. They aren’t quite sure what starts labor, but my personal [totally uneducated, aside from reading on birth] opinion is that BOTH mom and baby have to be ready. In that sense, I think if a mom has fears about childbirth or just needs a few more days to mentally prepare, it might delay labor a bit. Just my personal opinion, but our childbirth class nurse said there is some truth to this and if you look at animals who go into hiding when they feel ready, it’s likely not all that different for humans. The Queen of Midwives also swears by the mind-body connection. So I’m trying to get my brain calm and mentally prepared. The nesting is pretty much done, so I’m focusing on the mental part now. It certainly can’t do any harm!
I am sure that he is dropped some because this week my bladder is finally seeing the effects much more pressure. When we went hiking on Sunday, I was in such discomfort when we were on mile 4 and over an hour into our hike – I don’t think I can go more than 45 minutes without a visit to the bathroom these days! And not to be too specific, but when it feels like I have a gallon in there, it’s not much at all. Talk about compression! I’m getting up almost every night once to go to the bathroom, which is usual for me. When I’m not pregnant, I never get up in the night to go, and I haven’t really all that much during pregnancy until now either.
Sleeping has actually gotten easier than it’s been in a while, and I have no idea why. Somehow I’m able to get more comfortable? Maybe I’m just more experienced with the pillows now : ) I have a standard head pillow on one side and a little pillow I wedge into my back on the other. I’ve also been able to reduce my glute fatigue by nearly sleeping on my stomach – I put the pressure slightly forward on my hip bone instead of stacking my hips totally on my side. It doesn’t work every night, but it’s better than it was. Ribs are on and off depending on babe’s position. If he’s up there with his legs, worse. When he’s super dropped after a walk, better. I have a numb spot on my stomach from all the nerve trauma his little body has caused! Lastly, I’ve noticed my hands and toes are a little swollen for the first time. More after a walk, so I need to increase the hydration, which is hard with all the peeing! Doctor says 99.9% of women experience swelling in the end and since my blood pressure is still very low, it’s not a concern.
I also found out I’m group B strep positive, which is just a common bacteria that some women have in their bodies. The bad news is that it means antibiotics by IV during delivery, which is not something I wanted to have to deal with at ALL. But it’s a serious health risk in the worst case scenario of passing it on to the baby, so also not something I’d refuse. I’m just pretending it’s standard part of the routine of birth and that the little guy requested it for his protection.
I still can’t wait to see what real contractions are like. I think I have Braxton Hicks regularly, but it’s so hard to tell! I notice them most in the night when I roll over and things. I am still feeling very patient – not in a hurry to get him out. I would like him to stay in until 39 weeks, 6 days : ) But I’m also getting really excited, and it’s a really fun change to feel things and not worry that he is coming too soon. I never thought I’d welcome cramps so much!
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