Weight: 2859 grams (w. 37)
Length: 48.6 cm (w. 37)
Baby will weigh between six and six and a half pounds this week. Growth slows down at this point and Baby is busy practicing for life after birth. Baby is plumper and if born now, would not require an incubator to keep warm due to the presence of sufficient fat stores. Lungs are fully developed, which means Baby would be able to breathe on its own if born now. Usually babies are head down at this point, but they can drop right until birth.
Some discharge may have begun, which is a good thing to happen. It’s your body’s way to prepare for labor by secreting extra cervical mucus. Baby is probably head down by now. Remember that only about five percent of women have their babes born on the actual due date (even if due date has been calculated by ultrasound). Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by concentrating heavily on the ”magic” day. Baby will come when he or she is ready to enter the world. You may have noticed that your bump has changed shape around this time as Baby drops lower. You’re probably glad, as the discomfort of feeling cramped and breathless has eased slightly. At this stage your placenta weighs about 1.5 pounds and adds to the extra weight you’re carrying.
Weight: 3083 grams (w. 38)
Length: 49.8 cm (w. 38)
Baby’s skull is still soft to allow for the trip through the birth canal. Some of the tiny bones in Baby’s body won’t fuse together until after birth. At this point, Baby is ingesting a lot of amniotic fluid, which is resulting in the build-up of meconium (the first bowel movement that Baby will have after birth). Baby’s fingernails continue to grow but are kept soft. When Baby’s born you may want to cut them, but you should wait a few weeks to avoid damaging Baby’s soft nails and delicate skin. Baby is gaining about one ounce every day at this stage. The lubricant that will keep the lungs from sticking together during breathing is being readily produced.
You’re probably experiencing a fair amount of Braxton Hicks contractions, which can be painful at this point, but are irregular. While real labor pains occur at regular intervals and begin at the top of the uterus, false labor pains are usually felt in your back, pelvis and lower abdomen and are irregular. The Braxton Hicks contractions may seem like pain, but they do have a purpose. They send more blood into the ageing placenta, which is good for Baby. Your hormones will be fluctuating and it’s not uncommon to feel a bit down or overwhelmed.
I’ve ended up lumping these two weeks together, let’s just say a lot has being going on (as seems to be a pattern with my pregnancy as of late).
So, starting with week 37. I wasn’t too worried about Mini being on the smaller side. After all, so am I and since the obstetricians here use a curve that measure Scandinavian babies; there’s no wonder Mini might ”deviate” some from that curve. I’m of Asian descent and D is half Swedish, half Croatian. I tried to focus on fixing things at home and met up with a new friend from a pregnancy group on Facebook. J, she’s so nice and it was so fun to talk to her in real life. By the way, that group has helped me so much throughout my pregnancy and I don’t know what I’d done without it. There’s no judgement and everyone’s just super nice. It’s important to find groups like that, since I’ve heard horror stories about groups where there’s some serious mom-shaming going on. Who needs that. I also had a preggo date night with mWy lovely J who’s due about five weeks after me. It was so great to see her. I also had lunch with my mom and had another blood test taken too. That weekend was the first time I really experienced a more painful Braxton Hicks contraction! I actually thought something might be starting, but after that night it subsided and I haven’t felt anything quite like that since. Also, about the baby drop that the app mentions, well while Mini has been head done for a while now, I haven’t felt much relief due to the fact that I’m short. Ha. So much for that relief.
Week 38. I took the advice of a friend who said that I should pamper myself and take advantage of these last few weeks of alone time, before Mini makes an appearance. Which is why I scheduled a brow appointment at a salon that I’ve heard people rave about. Well, to be honest people have mostly been raving about the brow tattooing that they do, not so much the brow fix that I booked. Anyway, it was pretty good, however the coloring she did didn’t really stick that well. I’d been looking forward to – after having seen results on Instagram – not having to fill in my brows at all after the coloring; but instead you could see that she’d changed the shape a little with color, but the color ended up so light it looked like someone had gently smudged out a new shape with a brow pen. Oh well, at least the plucking she did turned out great. I’ve been in contact with the salon to see if they can try to re-color my brows, but haven’t heard back yet.
On Tuesday this week (August 6th) I had one of my regular OB appointments. Just before that I got to have a quick talk with the doctor that they have in office there once a week. She followed up with my bile salt levels, and while they’re within good range now, she still wanted to send me for another test. Since I was scheduled for my second ultrasound at the hospital (to follow up with Mini’s measurements) the day after, she said I might as well leave another blood test that same morning. She also prescribed me some vitamin D which she said I should take for the duration of my pregnancy and continue with while I’m nursing. At my regular OB appointment it seemed Mini had grown, probably then following its own curve. My sugar levels, iron levels and blood pressure were all good. My blood pressure was slightly higher this time around, but my OB said it was good seeing as my pressure had been so low before. Mini’s heartbeats were all good too. So, I left feeling quite relieved. Even if she couldn’t perform any detailed measurements, at least Mini seemed to be growing! That was a good sign. Had the pleasure of meeting up with E and her daughter M too, we had a coffee together. E’s was still waiting impatiently for her baby boy (her dude date was August 7th), considering that her daughter came early, she’d expected baby brother to be too.
The following day was D’s first vacation day! Yay. It was so nice to finally have some company during the day and I’ve been waiting to be able to soak up as much ‘us-time’ now as possible before we become a family! (Aww, I love that – our family!). We went into the hospital quite early for me to be able to leave my blood sample, then we spent some time walking around before we stopped for lunch in town. At 1.30 PM we were back at the hospital for the ultrasound. The OB (same one that had a student with her during our 20 weeks anatomy scan) measured everything and looked at the blood flow. She confirmed what I’d hoped, that Mini is following its own curve! Rather than measuring -20,5% as Mini did two weeks ago, Mini was now measuring at -17,8%. It was all looking good. She said she didn’t even see a reason for scheduling another appointment since the due date is just around the corner. She said she’d leave it to the doctors in special obstetrics though. Like last time I had a CTG and everything looked good. Mini’s heartbeats were good and Mini even fell asleep for a brief period during the CTG. D managed to record the super rapid sound, it’s so cute! My blood pressure was good too, though slightly elevated for being me. The OB who took my blood pressure said it was still considered low. Then D and I waited to see the doctor. She too confirmed that Mini is following its own growth curve and that heartbeat is all good and blood flow through the umbilical chord looks good.
She also said that the redistribution of blood flow to Mini’s head is still there. Something the doctor mentioned two weeks ago too. However, last time they’d said that if blood flow still looked to be good, they wouldn’t do anything. This doctor though explained that she wanted a new scan made of just the blood flow (since they’re no longer worried about Mini’s measuring small) on Monday August 12th. If the redistribution is still there, they might want to induce. She told us to come with our bags packed. Needless to say, I was quite shocked. That wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Also, it’s so weird. when I tried asking her about what it all means, the redistribution – and why Mini might be prioritizing blood flow to its brain, she basically just told me that it’s something they’ve only just now started to look at. She said that at smaller hospitals they don’t even care about it. So, if they don’t care about it, why was it so crucial to induce? Especially since I was 37+5 days along at that point. I didn’t really get an answer.
My mind’s been all over the place since then. I’ve been very careful to not to have a birth plan, at least not a very detailed one, just because I’m well aware of the fact that things might not turn out the way you expect them to. Being induced is not been something I’ve though about though and I’ve heard some horror stories about it. After all, being induced isn’t natural and you’re basically making the body do something it’s not ready to do. If there’s one thing I’ve wished for, is to be able to have my labor start naturally. I’ve had some great support from friends in the pregnancy group I’m in, so that’s good. Still, I’m sitting here, writing this and feeling quite nervous and I’ve been scared. This is all quite overwhelming. It’s not that I’m scared about Mini being here earlier, that could’ve happened anyway (even though first time mothers usually pass their due date – as stated in the app, too). It’s the how of it all. I’d hoped for it all to start at home and being able to stay here for as long as possible before going into the hospital and being in that environment. Plus, a friend of mine who was induced, her body didn’t react at all and she ended up having to go through a c-section, another thing I’d hoped to not have to do. Well, I guess we’ll see. At least I’m looking forward to meeting our baby, I really do! I’m trying to think positive and we’re doing our best to soak up on sleep and just being with each other, which has been really cozy.
I can’t believe this might be my last pregnancy update! Wish me/us luck you guys.