Are you at the point where if you call anyone people answer the phone saying “Is the baby coming?!?"
It’s right around this time that there’s a slooow shift from you being perceived as a glowing woman that is creating life, into a fat husk that’s hoarding that adorable baby they all want to see.
Some people can actually start getting a little testy as if you’re not going into labor on purpose.
Very few women go into labor on their due date (fewer than 5%) so try not to do what I did and count down the days to your due date figuring that’s when the baby would get here because it rarely happens.
How do you know if you’re in labor though?
Passing your mucus plug
Ah yes, the mucus plug. Once again medical professions have outdone themselves with the most disgusting terminology they could come up with.
Essentially you’ve lost the seal that kept your cervix closed for the past nine months. It may come out as a lump or as increased discharge over a few days. The mucus may be tinted with red or brown, which is referred to as “bloody show”. Yep, bloody show.
I think we should refer to it as a baby cork and womb sealant.
No need to worry because it just means that the lid is off – labor could start in a couple of hours or even a couple of weeks. Just mention it to your medical practitioner when you see them next. Unless there’s blood, like real bright red bleeding, which could indicate issues with your placenta so shuffle off to hospital stat if you spot that.
Contractions are a good hint but Braxton Hicks contractions are always lurking to make you feel like a dummy for hitting the “showtime” button. Try walking around if you have them though. Braxton Hicks contractions usually fade if you’re up and moving around versus sitting. Contractions also tend to get more intense with walking so that’s a good clue. If they start coming at regular intervals and increase in frequency, you’re probably ready to rock and roll. What you’re waiting for is 1-5-1, which is having contractions that are 1 minute long, every 5 minutes, for 1 hour. If you’re high risk your practitioner will probably want you in sooner.
You know how in movies a woman is always standing at a party while she delivers her “Oh my God, my water just broke” line accompanied by a gush of water? Well, this doesn’t always happen. In fact, most women are well into labor before their water breaks.
It is more likely to be a leak rather than a gush although those are sometimes hard to distinguish from sneaky urine and vaginal discharge, which are two other delightful side effects when you’re this pregnant. The easiest way to tell if you’re leaking amniotic fluid is to lie down. The fluid will pool in your vagina and come out when you stand up – pee and discharge won’t do that. Here are a few other tips for figuring out if it's pee or amniotic fluid.
If you find you are leaking, pack yourself up and assume that you’ll be giving birth shortly. Once your water breaks you’ll either go into labor in the next 24 hours or your practitioner will start it for you.
Oh, if the fluid is green or brown call your doctor or midwife right away because that’s a sign that your baby may have pooped in utero and you don’t want the baby ingesting that.
Until that time though, I suggest you change your incoming message to “Hello, we can’t take your call right now, no, I’m not in labor, just not able to come to the phone. Leave a message and we’ll call you back later when I’m still not in labor.”
37 Weeks Pregnant Cheat Sheet:
- Your baby is about 18 inches long (or 46 cm) and weighs about 6 pounds (2.7 kg).
- Your baby might have dropped but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.
- Your baby should be in the head down position but many babies still haven't gotten the memo on that. Here are 22 Ways to Turn a Breech Baby Naturally.
- You have around 21 days before you give birth.
How many months is 37 weeks pregnant?
Thirty-seven weeks is just over 9 months pregnant.
This week's to do:
Toy time. Infants need nothing in the way of toys but toys are fun and there's nothing wrong with using this time to figure out what kind of fun to have on hand. Check out Best Baby Subscription Boxes and Setting up a Montessori Play Space for Your Baby.
How are you feeling this week? Let me know here.