Saturday, August 1, 2009

37, the week that was

At 37 weeks you gotta be ready to go. That means birth tub in the house, instructions read, adapter for the hose located.

Birth kit, ordered and birth list from the midwives fulfilled and organized. Which includes things like a sealed brown paper bag, with clean, dry items like:
--20 thin washcloths for perineum compresses
--bath mats and towels for sopping up water around the birth tub
--baby's first outfit, two of the stocking caps that came with the birth kit, an organic cotton blanket to wrap her in
--sheets for the birthing bed (that goes over the plastic tarp that goes over the already made-up bed that goes over they hypoallergenic cover that has kept me from being an allergy girl for months, now.

Let's look at what the experts say about this magic, all systems go, week:

"How your baby's growing:"
Congratulations — your baby is full term! This means that if your baby arrives now, his lungs should be fully mature and ready to adjust to life outside the womb, even though your due date is still three weeks away.

"Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don't be surprised if your baby's hair isn't the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz."

I kinda doubt she weights that much, frankly. I think I'll have a kinda little lady.

"How your life's changing:
Braxton Hicks contractions may be coming more frequently now and may last longer and be more uncomfortable. You might also notice an increase in vaginal discharge. If you see some "bloody show" (mucus tinged with a tiny amount of blood) in the toilet or in your undies, labor is probably a few days away — or less. (If you have heavier spotting or bleeding, call your caregiver immediately.) Also be sure to ask your caregiver about the results of your Group B strep culture. That way, if the result isn't yet on your chart when you get to the hospital or birth center, you'll be able to give the staff there a timely heads-up if you need antibiotics.

"It may be harder than ever to get comfortable enough to sleep well at night. If you can, take it easy through the day — this may be your last chance to do so for quite a while. Keep monitoring your baby's movements, too, and let your caregiver know immediately if you notice a decrease. Though her quarters are getting cozy, she should still be as active as before.

"While you're sleeping, you're likely to have some intense dreams. Anxiety both about labor and about becoming a parent can fuel a lot of strange flights of unconscious fancy."

Happily, I was tested and have been determined to be Step B NEGATIVE. No bloody show, no change in mucus. No signs of labor.

In week 37, sleeping on my back and through most of the night has been fine.

Though, the mosquitoes are doing their best to wake me up each and every hour...

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