Well, here we are just about 2 weeks from our due date. It’s weird that the closer I get to my due date the less and less real it feels. Did this happen to anyone else? The only real difference is occasionally something will happen and I’m like “wait…is this labor.”
Baby Branciforte is apparently the size of a spaghetti squash. He could be as big as 7lbs at this point and about 19 inches long, (but this is just a general guesstimate, there isn’t any real way for me to know his exact size.) Basically, he’s mostly done baking in there and is really just fattening up.
How’s Mom: Symptoms
Heartburn: Honestly, I haven’t gotten heartburn as badly as I know many people do. SO THANKFUL for that. But, in the last 3-4 weeks, I have definitely had to watch what I eat. I mostly get it if I eat too large of a serving, particularly things high in fat. This isn’t the worst symptom, I guess, as I prevent me from over-indulging in high-fat foods. I find the best ways to prevent it are eating small portions, avoiding high-fat foods, and staying upright for at least an hour after eating.
Fatigue: I don’t have fatigue ANYTHING near as close at the fatigue I had in my first trimester (that was exhaustion on a WHOLE other level). But, I definitely have less overall energy than my second trimester. I sleep longer and nap a lot. I’m also just embracing sleep and pretty much letting myself sleep whenever I’m tired. I figure pretty soon naps and good sleep will be few and far between so I might as well get them in while I can! And, if you’ve been following along this entire pregnancy you know I suffered AWFUL insomnia in the 2nd trimester, which makes me appreciate sleep more than I ever had before.
Swollen fingers: While my feet/ankles still only swell for short periods of time and then go back to normal, my fingers have swollen up and not gone back. I can’t wear my engagement or wedding rings anymore, but besides that, the swelling doesn’t really bother me too much.
Food Cravings: Honestly, all my symptoms in these past 4-6 weeks or so have been toned-down from previous weeks, including food cravings. The only big craving I had was one night I HAD to have sushi (like HAD HAD HAD to have it). Since most sushi isn’t pregnancy-safe because it’s raw fish, I made it homemade. I made it for the first time back around 20 weeks and have made it a few times since. It’s actually not that hard and does a great job to fulfill my craving.
Comfort Level: Overall, I’m not struggling THAT much. I do get pretty uncomfortable if I have to sit too long, particularly in bad chairs with no back support. Depending on exactly how the baby is positioned in my belly, it can make me more or less uncomfortable. I have a lot of pressure on my lower rib cage most of the time, but then sometimes he drops down a little and gives me relief there. However, when he does drop all his weight is down low and I feel like I’m walking around with a bowling ball between my legs – there’s isn’t exactly a happy medium. I prefer him lower because the pressure on my rib cage is probably the most uncomfortable.
Preparing for Labor
With the fact that labor could come on anytime in the next 0-4 weeks, I’m definitely starting to prepare myself more and more. Although like I said, the closer I get the more unreal it feels that labor and a baby are actually looming. A lot of people ask me if I’m nervous or anxious about labor and I’m really not. I can imagine once it’s happening I might be, but I don’t feel nervous about it at all right now.
Either way, I’ve been doing a few things to get myself ready:
- Hospital Bag: This is packed! The only thing it’s missing is a going home outfit for myself because at this point it could be 40 degrees or 80 degrees when it’s time to leave the hospital.
- Daily Activity: Overall I’ve been less active the past few weeks than I was in my second trimester. But, I’m trying very hard to make sure to stay moving every day even if it’s just walking. I have a 1-1/2 mile loop I am trying to make the time to walk as many days as I can just to increase my heart rate and move my body. Most studies prove that walking during pregnancy is very good for you and baby, and some even say they COULD help in labor. I’m not assuming it’ll make my labor any easier, but I think staying active up until baby is here is important and will make getting back into being active after he’s here easier.
I also I try to do 20-50 deep, low squats every morning. I started doing these around 30 weeks because I read it can help to help baby flip to a head-down position (where they should be for labor). Oddly enough, I found that doing these deep squats always seems to “level out” the baby. If he was laying in a sort of odd position that morning, it’d always feel like he was in a more comfortable position in my belly after doing squats. There are also other benefits to doing squats for labor – such as the fact that it improves leg muscles and can increase your pelvic outlet by 10%! Again, while I’m not assuming it’ll make labor easier, but I figure it can’t hurt.
- Birth Plan: Honestly, I’ve never done this before and I don’t want to go into labor with a ton of preconceived notions or hopes. I know my labor will turn out however my baby and my body wants, and some of that I just won’t have control over. So, I’m trying not to give myself too much to hope/plan for besides a healthy baby (and momma) at the end of it. I’m keeping an open mind to what my doctors suggest and what will feel right to me at the time.
As far as early labor signs, I really haven’t had anything big yet. I’ve had people asking if I’m dilated yet or having contractions and the answer is mostly “no.” I’ve had a few very mild, super dull contractions. And, last I was checked (about 12 days ago) I wasn’t dilated yet. I have lost my mucus plug, or most of it at least. If you don’t know what a mucus plug is it’s essentially mucus that was created to protect the baby from bacteria during pregnancy and it’s just about as gross as it sounds – I don’t suggest you Google it. Some people lose it RIGHT before labor, some lose it in pieces over a series of weeks. Some people lose it early and it regenerates and they lose it again. Losing the mucus plug just means your body is preparing for labor and means you’ll go into labor in a few hours or in a few weeks.
The Nursery: I’m happy to report that our nursery is done! Well, it still needs the curtains to be hung – my mom is sewing them up for us. But, after that, I’ll definitely be sharing some photos. I’m not the “theme” kind of person when it comes to home decor, so our nursery is kind of eclectic with a lot of small personal touches.
I also finished washing baby clothes – which was probably my most favorite baby preparation project yet. Folding all those little onesies and tiny socks!
Nesting: Everyone has told me from day 1 about nesting. I’m certainly getting lots of little projects done and doing organizational stuff around the house but I honestly can’t say if it’s really “nesting.” I’ve always been a “nester,” even well before pregnancy. I like getting little projects done, organizing and reorganizing spaces, etc. I think with the baby’s imminent arrival it hasn’t made me MORE of a nester, but it has made me a little more motivated to get certain things done rather than “wait until tomorrow.”
Maternity Clothes: It’s true, you hit a point where even the maternity clothes stop fitting… My ride-or-die Old Navy Maternity Tanks are still one of my go-to items (literally the best purchase.) But, pretty much none of my maternity jeans fit (or fit in any way that can be considered comfortable for more than 2 hours.) Luckily, it’s been warm enough that I can still wear a lot of dresses, which I find super comfortable. I also ended up getting a pair of black maternity jeggings from Walmart for $13 and they have been the best purchase for my final weeks.