Somehow I’m already 37 weeks into this pregnancy. I say somehow because I SWEAR it was just February, like, yesterday, and I was thinking how far away July felt. And now it’s right around the corner.
And I’m not even sure we’re going to make it to July sans baby.
At my 36 week appointment last week my midwife checked me for Group B Strep (standard check, not a huge deal if you have it, but I’m still relieved to see my negative result). While she was already “in position” I asked her to give me an internal exam. Much like my 36 week appointment with Owen, I was anxious to see if anything was happening (and waaaay too excited to have a doctor all up in my ladyparts). Since Owen came 2 weeks early, I’ve been wishing and hoping that this baby would be on the same schedule, but really had no idea if the inside of my body was on the same page.
Before she agreed to check my progress, she made me pinky swear that I realize that THIS INFORMATION MEANS NOTHING. Doctors really have no idea what sends women into labor. Some women can walk around 4cm dilated and 100% effaced for weeks without their labor progressing, and others can go from no progress to having a baby in their arms in a few hours. Still, given what I know from hindsight about Owen’s labor and what my body did leading up to that point, I was beyond curious. After I swore I wouldn’t hold her to any predictions and wouldn’t get upset over the results, she checked me.
36 weeks: 2cm dilated and 75% effaced, almost all of the mucus plug is gone. (Oops, sorry friends and family… didn’t give you a TMI alert on that one before I whipped out the grossest pregnancy term ever).
Even though I know that doesn’t necessarily mean labor is around the corner, it’s great progress in the right direction! That’s just a smidge further along than I was with Owen at this same point (I was 1cm and 50% effaced). So maybe baby IS thinking what I’m thinking. Either that or he’s totally faking me out and he’ll be the one laughing when I’m still pregnant on my due date or even after. Thankfully (?), another “perk” of gestational diabetes is that they don’t let you get too far past your due date, so my doctor and midwife and I have been discussing the plan for if I get that far. As it stands, no one thinks we will really need to go there, which is music to my ears.
That appointment lit the fire I needed to get the last few things checked off my list. I packed my hospital bag. We hung pictures and the mobile in the nursery. We decided on contingency plans about who we would call if I went into labor in a million different scenarios. As of right now, I feel totally comfortable with the way things would be if I had to leave immediately to go to the hospital. Phew! That is a load off.
On Saturday night my company rented out Fenway Park for an event. Despite being super preggo, I didn’t want to miss that experience.
And Benjamin and I figured it might be our last night out together before the baby comes! (Side note, my belly looks WAY bigger than this picture actually shows… wish I had gotten a true side shot.)
We got home after midnight (way past my old lady bedtime!) and went straight to bed. But at 4am, I was up again. This time with contractions. Contractions that were DEFINITELY more painful than the Braxton Hicks I’ve been having for the last few weeks. Contractions that felt stronger and were closer together than I had ever experienced at home (my water broke with Owen before contractions were super painful, so answering the “Am I in labor?” question was very, very easy). I was awake and keeping an eye on the clock for 2 hours. More contractions than ever before, but definitely not regular and not timeable. And I know from experience the pain gets a lot worse, so I didn’t feel the need to wake Benjamin or call anyone.
Around 6am I felt a ton of movement. Flipping, punching, kicking… bigger movements than I’ve felt in a long time. When I got out of bed in the morning my stomach was a distinctly different shape. Practically pointing at the floor. Fairly certain the kid dropped/engaged/whatever you want to call it. I’ve heard that doesn’t necessarily happen with 2nd (or subsequent) pregnancies, but it is a dramatic difference to how I looked/felt last week.
I can eat now without a baby foot wedged in my rib. I can breathe better. I almost can’t feel my belly at all in the way I could before. It’s remarkably more comfortable! I’m going to assume he’s all wedged down in my pelvis now, ready for takeoff.
So, whether I go into labor in 3 minutes or 3 weeks, I’m certain things are a’changin’ in my belly, and we’re not too far from meeting this little guy.