Apparently I have an incredibly comfortable uterus as my babies never want want to come out until after their due dates.
Symptom-Wise: The last two weeks have been pretty good. Nothing much new or different to report from the 38 week update. Sleep still sucks. Heartburn still sucks. I’m still enormous. I’ve always had a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, but they did get sort of out of control this weekend. And occasionally one would be slightly uncomfortable. But they never established themselves into any sort of regular pattern, so it was pretty much more frustrating than anything.
Maternity Leave: I did start my maternity leave yesterday – woo hoo! At this point, it’s still super exciting to be off work.
It’s even more exciting to be off work considering that my buddy Cris texted me that by 11:00 she had already had 15 people ask her if I’d had the baby yet. I told her that it was a good thing that they were asking her instead of me because I would have had to sarcasm someone to death. (Final count was 25 by the end of the day…)
I’m trying to keep it exciting and am scheduling at least one fun thing a day. Yesterday was coffee with Kristen and this afternoon is a visit with my buddy Joan. Tomorrow is my doctor’s appointment (I know, not that exciting but whatever) and then maybe Thursday I’ll go see a movie. Other than those outings, I’m pretty much just hanging out at the house and putzing around.
*On an exciting note, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon comes out today! So I may not even want to leave the house for things like doctor’s appointments or movies since I now have 900 pages of Claire and Jamie to devour…*
Weight: My weight this morning was 178.8 lbs, putting total gain at 23.8 lbs for 40 weeks. I am irrationally pleased that I kept it below the 180 lb/25 lb gain mark. I know it doesn’t reflect on whether or not I was a “good” pregnant lady and I’m certainly not trying to make anyone who gained more or less weight feel bad. This was a personal thing for me and I am simply very pleased that it will (hopefully) be that much less work for me to get back to goal weight again.
The Bump: I’ve had a lot of people tell me I’ve dropped or that the shape of my bump has changed. Perhaps I’m an idiot, but I don’t really feel different. Although looking at a picture, I can say that the bump shape has changed a bit.
The DreadBrewer has developed this bad tendency to catch a glimpse of me in my extreme roundness and sort of chortle in a self-satisfied way. And then say things like, “You look like a snake that swallowed an otter.” Which I think is his way of saying that the rest of me isn’t enormous, but that one may be open to interpretation.
What’s Next: So now that I’ve made it to 40 weeks, what happens next? Other than more waiting? Well, tomorrow I’ll go in for a non-stress test and then a visit with my OB. Assuming that the NST is reassuring, we’ll go ahead and get an induction scheduled for sometime next week (DB’s really pushing to have this baby on June 17th so they can share a birthday). And then we’ll go home and hope that labor begins on it’s own before the induction.
I’ve had a few people ask why my OB’s office doesn’t like for you to go past (or much past) 41 weeks. Well, this article from American Family Physician explains that:
The perinatal mortality rate (i.e., stillbirths plus neonatal deaths) of two to three deaths per 1,000 deliveries at 40 weeks’ gestation approximately doubles by 42 weeks and is four to six times greater at 44 weeks.
Or to put it another way, as the National Library of Medicine at the NIH puts it in this article:
The risk of stillbirth at term increases with gestational age from 2.1 per 10,000 ongoing pregnancies at 37 weeks of gestation up to 10.8 per 10,000 ongoing pregnancies at 42 weeks of gestation. At 38 weeks of gestation, the risk of expectant management carries a similar risk of death as delivery, but at each later gestational age, the mortality risk of expectant management is higher than the risk of delivery (39 weeks of gestation: 12.9 compared with 8.8 per 10,000; 40 weeks of gestation: 14.9 compared with 9.5 per 10,000; 41 weeks of gestation: 17.6 compared with 10.8 per 10,000).
Given these statistics, I’m all for giving Mother Nature a chance to work on her own but then evicting the little bugger at 41 weeks. There are supposedly a bunch of ways to induce labor on your own (sex, walking, eating spicy food, eating fresh pineapple, castor oil) but none of them are actually proven to work. So I’ll probably just be sending a lot of positive thoughts and labor vibes in the direction of my uterus. (Though we may have to give the sex option a shot. I’m just sayin’…)
It is comforting to know that, at the very longest, we will be meeting BIT in a week. So stay tuned to meet our little one and see the first pictures! 🙂