What to Expect || 38 Weeks

 

Here we are at 38 weeks. My husband is in California not due to return till later this evening. I've been having contractions off and on all week. Carrying my toddler around was sure to help progress me. I arrived at the doctors office first thing on Thursday morning with specific instructions to notify Husband at the slightest change so he could catch an early flight if needed.

38 WEEKS || 4CM DILATED AND 80% EFFACED

38 WEEKS || 4CM DILATED AND 80% EFFACED

Well, I had progressed! The Doc told me I was dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced. He asked if I wanted my membranes striped again. I told him my husband was out of state and wasn't quite sure what to do. Besides! I was having brunch with friends the next day!!! Can't miss out on a brunch especially when my independent days are numbered. So, we opted not for the membrane sweep. I called my husband to let him know how I had progressed. He was really worried but I told him not to worry (though in my head I really wished he was home for peace of mind). This is so odd for me. I am never this far progressed especially BEFORE my due date. I took it in good faith that my body is doing what it knows and that hopefully I will have a relatively normal delivery.

To my surprise, Blake (Hubby) elected for the early flight and left his meeting. He wanted to me home in case anything happened. He came through the door and we sat and we walked and we cleaned and we waited. No baby. I did get to go to brunch the next day.

BABY BRUNCH

BABY BRUNCH

Brunch was a blast. According to all my friends who have had babies, me dilated to a 4 and 80% effaced was like, "why are you not in the hospital"?!?!? I know. I was equally confused.  They can offer you an epidural when you are dilated to a 4. Here I am with no signs of labor. Maybe things aren't progressing like I thought. Or maybe I will just go over like all the other kids of mine. Or maybe I just need to be a little more patient as I am still not to my official due date. **Word of advice, when they tell you your due date, just add 10 days to that date.  Every day before that date will feel like a gift if you deliver before hand. 

 

What to Expect || 37 Weeks

 

I'd like to share my journey on what to expect after expecting. My name is Suzi Sands, Founder and CEO of Aviva Woman. This is my 4th and last pregnancy. I've had 2 vaginal deliveries, 1 C-Section, and a hopeful VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). Since there is plenty of information about being pregnant but little about what happens to our bodies after delivery, we are going to start just a couple weeks before the anticipated delivery date of September 20.

37 WEEKS || 3CM DILATED AND 70% EFFACED

37 WEEKS || 3CM DILATED AND 70% EFFACED

My 37 week check up gave me some great news. I was dilated to a 3 and 70% effaced. Here is link that explains what dilation and effacement are. Being this far along at week 37 is major for me. I am usually 10 days past my due date and perhaps a 3 dilation when I get to the hospital in labor. 

I elected to have my membranes striped, which basically means my provider used his finger to gently separate the bag of water (amniotic sac) from the side of the uterus near the cervix. (I see Dr. Watts at St. Marks OBGYN Women's Clinic, the same clinic that provided care during my 3rd pregnancy.)  After my check-up I headed back to work. I felt relatively fine that day but did notice a lot more bleeding and mucous. This is normal as a result of the membrane sweep. **I highly recommend using panty liners all day long especially during the last few weeks of pregnancy. It keeps me feeling fresh and clean from all that 'stuff'.  

The next day of having my membranes striped or swept, I noticed more contractions. I kept track of when they would occur and how long. It's crazy, because you would think that after doing this pregnancy thing a few times I might recognize a thing or to about labor, but it is still all a guessing game at this point. My contractions were pretty irregular going from every 10 minutes to 15 minutes, then skipping an hour and picking back up again throughout the day. They felt tight and I had a little cramping but nothing major to report on. However, I really thought to myself, "Tonight is the night." And I wasn't sure I was quite ready for the baby to arrive even if my body was terribly uncomfortable. Sitting. Standing. Laying down. It all feels miserable. Right?!

Well, the weekend came and the new week started. Still pregnant. My husband had a work trip planned on Tuesday through Thursday. He was pretty anxious on whether to stay or go. I told him to go and work while he can. I can handle this. Plus, he stayed at a hotel near the airport in California, which is only a short flight. I highly doubted I would go into labor....until my 38 week check up.