Full Term Kiddo (37 weeks)

After going to our 37 week check up, not much has happened.  I’m still only 1 cm dilated, however the head has dropped.  Which I could tell a while ago.  The doctor said that I will most likely go into labor at or after my due date.  So that means about 3 more weeks till we find out what baby A is. 

I’m sleeping less and less, even with me monitoring my sugar intake after 4PM.  From what I read this is completely normal.  Why not forget about sleep when I need it the most?   This is still the easiest pregnancy from what I hear.  I’m not having many or any Braxton Hicks, I’m not waddling around, and I do not have heartburn or headaches. 

A few fun facts about the kid’s size

Baby is as big as a: Watermelon

Length, Weight:  19 to 22 inches long, about 6.5lbs

Symptoms:  I can feel that the baby has dropped, my feet are swelling, even with my monitoring of salt, I haven’t worn my wedding rings in a few weeks, nightly congestion, nightly tossing and turning, lots and lots of nesting (both Scott and I)

Your Baby in Week 37 of Pregnancy

Congratulations! You’ve got what is officially considered a full-term baby, even with three weeks to go. That doesn’t mean its finished growing — in fact, it’s still packing on about a half pound a week (at this age, the average fetus weighs about 6.5 pounds). That makes it a little crowded in your uterus, so it’s probably not kicking as much, though it’s probably stretching, rolling a bit, and wiggling (all of which you’ll be able to feel!). Right now, your little superstar is busy rehearsing for its big debut, inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid (to get the lungs ready for that first breath), sucking his thumb (to prepare for that first suckle of milk), blinking, and turning from side to side.

Your Body in Week 37 of Pregnancy

Your body is going through its own preparations for childbirth as your practitioner starts looking for signs of labor. On the checklist: the baby’s position in relation to your pelvis (engagement) and whether effacement (thinning of the cervix) and dilation (opening of the cervix) have begun. Your practitioner may also determine whether your cervix has begun to soften and move to the front of the vagina, another indication that labor is getting closer. Keep in mind that these processes can occur gradually (over a period of weeks or even a month or more in some women) or overnight. So while they’re clues that you’re indeed progressing, they’re far from sure bets when it comes to pinpointing the actual start of labor.

Week 37 Pregnancy Symptoms

Changes in fetal activity: By the time your baby’s head is engaged in your pelvis, it’ll have a lot less room for any more than a twist or squirm. What’s important is that you feel some movement every day. Remember, though, that your baby is behaving like a newborn now and has interludes of deep sleep, when it barely moves at all.  This kid still likes to move around a lot.  The kicks and jabs aren’t painful but I can tell someone wants to get out and stretch.

Heartburn or indigestion: If your heartburn is getting worse these days, try eating a handful of almonds. Other home remedies that may banish the burn: a tablespoon of honey in warm milk or some dried papaya.  I don’t have heartburn, I tend to get more acid reflux or a feeling like a pill is stuck in my throat.  A few Tums and I’m good to go.

Cervical dilation or effacement: To get ready for labor, your cervix will dilate (open up) and efface (get thinner). For some women, the two take place gradually, over a period of weeks or months. Others can efface and dilate overnight. You won’t be able to feel it, but your practitioner will be able to tell during an internal exam.  I’m 1cm dilated for the second week in a row.

Varicose veins: If the veins in your legs are acting up now, try sleeping on your left side, which is the best position for optimum circulation. Also try elevating your legs by putting a pillow under your feet. Both positions will keep the blood flowing.   Thanks to genetics, I can’t tell what are new veins and what are the old ones that I’ve loving inherited from my parents.

Pelvic pressure and discomfort: If your baby’s head is pressing into your pelvis, hips, and bladder, you’ll feel more pressure as the week wears on. If you feel really uncomfortable, invest in a belly sling that will support the weight of your belly and take pressure off your back (see below) and pelvis.  Standing and walking is when I can feel the pressure most of the time.  My stomach and back don’t hurt much.  My hips are sore at night from all the weight on them while I sleep.  Going to the bathroom every hour is a new-found hobby.

Leg cramps: If leg cramps are making a misery of your nights, try drinking more fluids during the day and make sure you’re eating enough calcium (those almonds you’re munching for the heartburn come in handy again!) and magnesium. All three can help with leg cramps.  I have had a couple of leg cramps but nothing over the top.  I’m drinking a ton of water daily and Tums for extra boost of calcium.

Stretch marks: With your boobs and belly (and possibly butt) as big as they’ve ever been, you’ve probably noticed those classic marks of maternity by now. Don’t worry, they’ll fade into silvery lines and turn into a badge of pride (or at least motherhood!) a few months after childbirth.  What stretch marks?  I have to be pretty lucky since I do not have one!  And now I have just jinxed myself…

Forgetfulness: There are so many things to keep track of now (Is the camera charged and packed? Do you have a baby outfit washed and ready to bring to the hospital? How many dinners are stocked in the freezer?) that it’s no wonder you’re walking around in a fog. Post reminders around the house and on your computer so you won’t forget appointments.  This is getting worse.  Thankfully I remember to say things out loud to Scott or if I really need to do something, I have to write it down or Siri on the iPhone comes in handy.  Remembering what questions to ask daycare and the doctor are getting harder and harder to do.

Difficulty sleeping: You’ve heard that pregnancy insomnia is Mother Nature’s way to prepare you for the sleepless nights ahead, but try to squeeze in some shut-eye so you have enough energy for childbirth and beyond. Sleep in a little longer, nap when you come home after work or on weekends, and give yourself a relaxing routine when it’s time for bed.  I’ve been trying to lay around more.  Which is hard to do when you are nesting.  I am laying down for bed, and falling asleep by 9 (8:30 last night) but then I’m up for a few hours in the middle of the night. 

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