A Baby Story [Part II]: Weeks 36 + 37
April 2nd, 2015
Week 36: Baby’s the size of a honeydew melon
We had our prenatal appointment this week and I’m soooo happy to report that Lucia’s in a heads-down position (woohoo!) The midwife wasn’t 100% certain just by touch so she busted out the ultrasound machine to verify that the hard bump she was feeling at the top of my uterus was her booty and not her head (lol!) Kevin got a good look at her round head but other than that, not much to report with the u/s itself. The midwife gave us our checklist of things to watch for in terms of signs of labor, when to call the office, what to bring with us, etc. and we made weekly appointments for the next 5 weeks (hopefully we won’t be needing all of those appointments!)
The past week I spent a long while making a master checklist and crossing items off one by one–things to take to the birth center, last minute baby items, postpartum recovery items–and I’m happy to report that just about everything has been purchased and put where it needs to be. One more week until we’re officially eligible to birth at the birth center but as of now at least we’re ready to go when the time comes!
The last big thing we did this week was take some maternity/family photos. I asked my sister Jessie to snap some shots of us and we used good ol’ Pinterest as inspiration for some of the shots and I am so so so happy with how they turned out. Here are my faves:
We can’t wait to meet you, baby girl!
Week 37: Baby’s the size of a four grapefruits
This week started off with our 37 week prenatal appointment and Sirena and Grandma both came along–Sirena wanted to hear the baby’s heartbeat and Grandma wanted to check out the birth center before the big day! Midwife Alison asked Sirena if she wanted to help her listen to the heartbeat and Sirena enthusiastically said yes. She got to hold the handheld fetal heart doppler, turn it on, and hang onto it while the midwife searched for the heartbeat. She smiled so big when we finally heard it and she agreed that it sounded like a little helicopter in my belly. My belly is measuring slightly behind schedule but there’s no concern there. Everything is looking good (blood pressure, weight, baby’s heart rate, etc.) and I’m just so happy that we made it to this point so that we’re officially eligible to birth at the birth center!
My co-workers threw me a little baby shower which was so thoughtful and it was a nice little celebration in my second to last week of work. This week was also one of the more stressful weeks at work that I’ve had in a long time and I’m glad it’s now behind me. I’m training two people to take over for me while I’m on leave which is great but it was also overwhelming trying to think of everything I do and everything they need to know while also not being able to do the normal day-to-day work that was still needing my attention. I’m so looking forward to putting my out-of-office message on for the next 3ish months! 🙂
The big news this week is that Lucia has most definitely dropped! When I sit down it feels like she’s sitting right on top of my lap and it’s hard to bend straight over, I have to bend my knees outwards to make room for my belly. The pressure on my bladder is also super intense–not 30 minutes after I go to the bathroom I feel this intense urge to pee again because she’s pressing down directly on it. Sirena dropped one week before her birth. As I write this post it’s been a week since she dropped so we’ll see how long she’ll hang down low with her mama!
I read and reread the second half of Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth book three times the past few weeks which I cannot recommend enough to any pregnant woman (whether or not their goal is to have a natural, unmedicated birth). The second half of the book is filled with so much wisdom from “America’s leading midwife” Ina May and it has helped immensely in my ability to get me in the right head space while preparing for another natural birth. I am hopeful that with this knowledge, the affirmations I’ve written down from it and continue to read through, and with the support of the midwives at the birth center (such a vastly different environment than the hospital Sirena was born at) that not only will I be able to have another natural birth (I’m not too concerned about that) but that it will be a much more pleasant and rewarding experience and that my physical and emotional recovery from it will be a thousand times better. One affirmation that I continue to repeat to myself and I know will go through my head over and over again during labor is: This is my healing birth.
This week she’s the size of 4 grapefruits…at 24 weeks she was the size of just one grapefruit. Check out the major difference in my belly from week 24!
Other pregnancy updates:
- Total weight gained so far: 16 pounds
- Fun baby developments: She is officially full-term! Her most crucial functions are developed and now she’s just getting stronger and chubbier (just the way we like ‘em!) She probably weighs 6.5 pounds and still measures around 20 inches long.
- How I’m emotionally and physically feeling: I’m so tired all the darn time–sleep is hard to come by at night (at least long stretches of it without having to maneuver thisaway and thataway to get comfortable or having to get up to go to the bathroom) and I cannot stop my body from sweating like crazy all day long. I’ve felt like I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster lately too–some days I wake up super irritable and it’s hard to shake it off while other times I feel like I’m constantly on the verge of tears. Work has been beyond overwhelming and I’m hopeful that once I’m officially on maternity leave (see below) there will be some relief in the stress/emotional department.
- Number of days left at work: One as of tonight!! Halle-freakin’-lujah.