You may remember that at my 36 week appointment I was 50% effaced. While we all know that doesn’t mean much in terms of impending labor (I could be 50% effaced for the next month and STILL have to be induced), it still felt like a small victory. As my sister (who has had two beautiful babies after long, drawn out, painful inductions) said, “You already don’t have the cervix of steel that I have”. So it was good news!
Even better news? At my 37 week appointment last week, my OB said I was 75% effaced and 1.5 cm dilated. She was even touching the baby’s head without much pushing and prodding. She said he’s definitely “engaged” and my cervix has started to move forward. Woo hoo! MORE progress! The numbers themselves are not terribly exciting, as again, many women get this same status update early on and are still twiddling their thumbs waiting for their babies to arrive long after their due dates. However, the progress my body made in just one week is definitely a good sign. Let’s hope this trend continues and we’ll have a baby in no time!
I also experienced some new symptoms this past weekend that lead me to believe that things are happening. Most importantly, slightly painful and much more frequent contractions! I don’t know if these are technically Braxton Hicks or the real deal, but they definitely feel different than in the past. I feel cramping in my lower back, and it slowly moves around to my lower abdomen (like strong period cramps). I feel all mushy inside and sometimes like I have to go to the bathroom (even though I don’t). When I feel my stomach it is hard as a rock all over. And then, after a little while, they dissipate. Whew! While certainly not enough to make me concerned (this is what my body is supposed to be doing, after all), they have been strong enough to wake me up in the middle of the night (twice!). The pain is eased when I get up and walk around, although I can still tell the contraction is going on, which makes me think Benjamin and I will be wearing out our walking shoes once I go into real labor.
In addition to the contractions, I think I have lost (or, more accurately, am losing, little by little) my mucus plug. Whoa, sorry family and friends… I didn’t give you much warning there. TMI ALERT! That is an incredibly gross term for something totally normal. As the cervix expands, the mucus sealing it up loosens and falls out. Just like my dilation and effacement, it doesn’t necessarily mean labor is coming tomorrow, but it does mean that dilation is happening, which is a very good thing.
So, that’s the update! Another doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. Can’t wait!
Oh, and guess what we’re doing tonight? Hint: It’s something Benjamin posted about a long time ago. At one point it was the reason he was most excited we were having a baby 🙂 Details to come.