Although reaching this momentous milestone is the most exciting feeling in the world, this week has been full of turmoil after finding out that baby C is already weighing in at around 8lbs 12oz and having to make the decision of how he will be birthed. More about that further in the post.
So without further ado, here's what's going on this week...
- Your baby is now around 50cm long, weighing about 6.5lb (*or 8lbs 12oz in baby C's case!!!!!*), and could be moving down into your pelvis as it gets ready for birth.
- The head could be pressing on your pelvic floor, making it increasingly uncomfortable to walk. Never mind - you won't have to suffer for much longer!
- Your baby is still gaining weight and this is more noticeable in the tummy and limbs. At this stage they will look pretty much the same as when they are born.
- You may feel less pressure on your chest and stomach if your baby moves down into your pelvis – this can make breathing and eating easier, but you might find walking more uncomfortable.
- From this week, Braxton Hicks contractions could become more frequent, these may feel like period cramps. If you are experiencing severe 37 weeks pregnant pain, contact your midwife or GP.
- Some women experience diarrhoea as their body gets ready for the birth. Clearing the back passage will make your baby’s journey easier. If it lasts for more than a day, speak to your GP or doctor.
- Don’t worry if your belly button is protruding, it’s caused by your growing uterus and will go back to normal a few months after pregnancy.
What to think about
- You may start to worry about how you will know know when you’re in labour. Find out more about the signs of labour.
- Get your hospital bag together even if you’re having a home birth.
- Make the most of your maternity leave by thinking ahead. Make a list of the people who you’d like to contact after the birth of your baby, rustle up a few meals which can be frozen or get a few natural remedies in (like Arnica to help with bruising and pain).
37 weeks - our experiencesAs I've previously mentioned, we have had to go for numerous additional growth scans throughout this pregnancy as Baby C has always measured a few weeks ahead of dates. This hasn't given us much cause for concern although the consultant who we have seen has thrown around some suggestions of an elective Cesarean or induction throughout the pregnancy so it has always been there in the back of our minds as a possibility.
Initially, I had my heart set on a water birth with gas and air as pain relief although I certainly aren't under the illusion that you are not a real woman or your labour is not as successful if you opt for the so called 'harder' pain relief such as an epidural. I tried to keep an open mind as to that all labours are different and it is extremely difficult to plan for as the whole process can change within a second. On the other hand, I must say, I am a tiny bit disappointed that a water birth is not at all a possibility now.
The dilemma started when I went for a final growth scan at 36+5 on Wednesday. Mr C was having difficulties getting the time off work so I went along with my mum already expecting that, as on all other other occasions, baby C would be measuring large for dates. Well that he was! The sonographer told me that estimated foetal weight was 8lbs 12oz. At first, I thought she meant that was his predicted birth weight at 40 weeks however, no, she went on to explain that was his weight now! On viewing of the scan report, we found that baby C, who has always been near to the 95th centile with his growth, is now above the line and off the report, measuring at 41weeks & 5days! EEEEK!
I am attempting to take some comfort from the fact that these scans can be wrong however I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit anxious at the prospect that I may have to birth a 11 or 12lb baby! The consultant shared my worries along with the fact that my liqua levels were now classed as polyhydromnious and my mum's history of diagnosed Cephalopelvic Disproportion and was anxious as to whether baby C would get stuck or not and whether an elective C-Section would be the best option. To say she was baffled with the situation was an understatement. She asked for my opinion but I honestly do not have a clue as to what to do for the best. I have sought advice from so many people but at the end of the day, that final decision is down to me.
The consultant explained that early induction isn't a possibility as he's already so big that if he was to get stuck, he would now anyway. This baffled me slightly as surely it would be easier to labour now than in a few weeks?! She said that there is no way that they would allow me to go over 40 weeks so I am safe in the knowledge that, no matter how he arrives, I will have my son in my arms within the next 3 weeks.
So where do we stand at the minute? Well, after lots of deliberations; scratched heads; baffled expressions and sleepless nights, we are no further to making a decision. What's to say I cannot give birth to a 11lb baby? Many women do. However, what if baby C gets stuck and becomes distressed and I could have prevented that by opting for an elective c-section? As long as my baby is safe, I am not bothered about my well-being. As a mother, his safety is my main priority although I am still in the dark as to what is the safest option for him.
I have another meeting with the consultant on Wednesday where the consultant will perform an internal examination to see how 'favourable' my cervix is. The decision on whether an elective c-section is performed will then stem from there after much discussion between myself, Mr C and the consultant.
I am trying not to worry and take reassurance in the fact that, this time in 3 weeks, it will all be over and my boy will be laid happily in my arms. Ultimately, this is all that matters and when I see his (not so tiny!) face and kiss his gorgeous button nose, the stress, turmoil and angst that I have experienced over the last few weeks will be all worthwhile!