My Journey Through Pregnancy & What You Can Expect at 38 Weeks!
Being 38+ weeks pregnant has brought many emotional highs and lows for me! On one hand, I'm finding myself particularly impatient to meet my baby while at the same time being respectful that my baby is still developing and will come into the world when ready. It's very common for mums to feel "done" or ready to meet their baby at this time. I find myself reaching for the below positive birth affirmation regularly- see The Renegade Mama for more. I have the affirmation on display in my bedroom and have shared it with other mums in a Facebook guess date group that I am on. Communicating with other mums that are so close to the end is helpful- we're all in the same boat! I also find joy in reading others' birth stories and seeing the new birth announcements being shared at least weekly in that group. If you aren't part of a guess date ("due date") group, I encourage you to find one!
I had been meaning to complete my list of birth preferences but put it off until this week. It's amazing how much I help others with their birth preferences but put my own on the back burner for awhile! I felt a real sense of accomplishment when I completed my "Plan B" birth preferences for hospital. My list of preferences is a Plan B because I am intending on having a home birth with my wonderful midwife present. However, like all things in life, birth can be unpredictable! Having a list of birth preferences available "just in case," should I need to transfer to hospital is important. I went over the preferences with both my husband and during my antenatal appointment with my midwife this week. I also had the opportunity to show my midwife my positive birth vision board, which I finally completed! I included positive birth affirmations which my daughter and I coloured, some family pictures in the middle and even some artwork my children had made. All of these items are empowering and give me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Come on oxytocin! I feel happy and loved every time I walk past it now so I'm sure it will be a good item to focus on once labour begins. To learn more about the importance of creating a positive birth space, please see here!
The emotional lows that came this week were associated with ear pain that I have been experiencing for awhile. Unfortunately it has been difficult to get answers from healthcare professionals about what is causing the pain and why. I continue to work with specialists to hopefully treat the issue but in the meantime I have had to accept that I may go into labour with unexplained ear pain and pressure. Is this ideal? Certainly not but I find some sense of acceptance knowing I am doing all I can to treat the problem in the meantime.
WHAT'S COMMONLY GOING for mums AT 38 WEEKS
Your baby is very likely almost 7 lbs and measuring at just over 19 inches (48 cm) long! Babies at 38 weeks will continue to put on weight, lose their soft downy lanugo hair and shed vernix until birth. Internal organs continue to mature, although most babies born at this time do not have serious complications following birth. You may feel a lowering of your baby as labour nears. Often called "lightening," many expectant moms describe this sensation as a noticeable shift or "drop" in their uterus. You may even have people tell you that they can see you've dropped! Many women feel like they can breathe easier, , have less acid reflux, can comfortably have larger meals and like there is more room in their abdominal cavity as baby moves downward and engages in the pelvis in preparation for labour. Some women will experience lightening weeks before birth while others, like subsequent mothers, will feel it closer to labour. Either is normal and can lead to an increase in lower back pain, as uterine + baby weight is distributed lower, and more pressure or discomfort in the pelvic area.
At 38 weeks your baby is approximately the length of a leek!