12 days to go!
So much has happened since my last post. Every day, I think about updating my blog but can never around to it due to work-related priorities and the ongoing tasks at home in being ready for the baby’s arrival. This morning, I did more of the baby’s laundry and added more items into my hospital bag.
Currently, I am 38 weeks and 2 days and this is my last week of work.
Although I’m looking forward to going on maternity leave, this is not going to be an easy last week. My excitement for the week ahead deflated significantly after I found out I still have to do my final observation for the year, assess my students and meet for an end-of-the-year evaluation. Instead of being able to leave at 3:45PM on Friday, I will be sitting in an office being told how I was as a first-year teacher. On top of that, I’m finally meeting the sub who will take over for me for the first time on Wednesday – 2 days before I leave! Then, I’ll have to leave two weeks’ worth of lesson plans for the sub.
I’m trying to focus on the light at the end of this seemingly endless tunnel but I can’t help being annoyed how everything has been left until my final week. But, I just need to grit my teeth and just get through it.
At my 32-week check-up, I was told my baby was measuring small so I had to have an ultrasound. When I returned for my 36-week check-up I was again told that Penny was on the smaller side so I had to have another ultrasound! Thankfully, again, everything looked normal. It was just difficult to get a good measurement of her belly because of her position (she’s getting ready to come out!) and she kept squirming away from the wand… she’s a stubborn one. This time her weight was estimated at about 6 lb. 2 oz. but the OB thinks it’s less than that… well, as long as she’s healthy that’s fine with me.
After the 36-week check-up are the weekly ones. I went to my 37-week one last Wednesday, April 22nd. As usual, she was very active during the check-up and she’s still on the smaller side but otherwise healthy. I keep being told she’s small but watch her weigh 7+ lbs. which is normal! For the FTM (first-time moms) or future moms, this information might be helpful; to others, possibly TMI but starting at the 36-37-week check-ups you get measured for dilation/effacement to see how far along you are. As of last week, I was not dilated but I was 50% effaced with the baby at -2 for station (how far the baby has come down into your pelvis).
Let me explain further: effacement means thinning of the cervix. Throughout most of the pregnancy, your cervix is 0% effaced but as you near labor, it starts thinning out. If you touch the tip of your nose, that’s what the cervix feels like normally and then it feels more like your lips when it is 100% effaced. The cervix has to be fully effaced to be ready for delivery. Of course, the cervix has to be dilated as well. This varies but most hospitals may not admit you until you are 4~5cm dilated and if you’re 10 (max), that means the baby is ready to come out.
Referring to the station, “0” is when the baby has settled and before its descent into the birth canal. Once the baby is in the positives, labor should begin shortly as baby is making its way out. Whew~ I’ve learned so many things during my pregnancy. I hope my explanations help future moms when they’re anxiously waiting. By the way, only 15% of pregnancies result in the woman’s water breaking… it’s really exaggerated in TV shows and movies. Usually, the doctor has to break it for you when you’re in the hospital so that’s not really a main indicator of labor.
I’ve experienced cramping the past two days which is an early sign of labor. Mind you, symptoms of labor can start days or even weeks in advance especially for FTM but they do indicate that labor is coming soon. I’m also currently experiencing nausea at the moment and am trying to chug water to offset it. Before a woman goes into labor, she can also experience looser stools or diarrhea which is your body’s way of cleaning out the system for the baby’s arrival. Throughout the entirety of my pregnancy, I suffered from constipation (a common symptom) but I’ve gone to the bathroom more regularly the past week so I guess my body is getting prepared!
Enough with the labor talk 🙂 I’ve gone through a lot of stressful moments the past few weeks but now I want to focus on a happy event that occurred recently.
Last Thursday, I was treated to a surprise baby shower from my colleagues – that’s my third shower! Dennis and I had already washed and folded the newborn and 0-3 months clothes but we received more from the latest shower. These are only the nb and 0-3 months’ sizes from the most recent shower and some hand-me-downs from a friend:
I can only imagine what the laundry will be like once the baby is here… Especially since she’ll grow rapidly and we will need to wash bigger sizes. Thankfully, we received sizes that range from premie to 12 months from all three showers so we have a good variety.
Unfortunately, I need to start typing up my pre-observation form for my 8AM meeting tomorrow. I’ll conclude by sharing images from my final shower. (Note: I still need to write a post on my second shower that was held in Boston.)