39 weeks (Yesterday)

One week, and counting. Please, I so want to make it to September!

So I’ve been having contractions. Not real labor ones. Those Braxton-Hicks ones, now that I know what they are. I figured it out on Monday, been having them at least since Sunday if not before. They kinda cluster, for maybe an hour or so. Then go away for a while, even half a day or more. Heh, Sunday I had another non-stress test, and I told the nurse I’d though I’d been having contractions once a day, usually early am, for about a week because I’d have mild cramping on my right side. Turns out that’s NOT contractions. The nurse turned to me at one point during the test and said, oh yeah you are having contractions. Then she looked at me, acting fairly normal, and said “you don’t feel that?” I looked at her and said “No. Should I?” Hehe. Well, between that and my super high blood pressure, they kept me longer than normal at the hospital. But after emptying my bladder for a second time, resting for a while, and drinking more water, the contractions stopped and my blood pressure came down to numbers the nurse was “comfortable” with (even though they were still way high for me), and they let me go. That was my second week of high blood pressure readings. 131/?? the first week, 133/81 the second.

My doctor checked me on Monday at my office appointment, and I was 0 cm dilated, completely sealed up still, Yay! The doctor said not good, even though Mom and I say good. Because the doctor said they like women to dilate some before labor even starts. I said right! That’s good. My doctor pointedly reminded me she doesn’t let babies go later than 1 week past their due date. Yeah, she thinks I’m coming late. Again, I’m good with that.

The baby’s totally good though. The comments from Doctors for the last three NSTs have been: “the baby’s perfect”, “I’ve never seen a strip that nice/good”, and “I can already see the baby’s great, but we have to keep you on for at least 20 minutes”. The one before those was “the baby looks beautiful”. At my last two doctor’s appointments the baby’s heart beat was high 150s-160s and high 140s respectively. The doctor didn’t measure my fundal height either time. My blood pressure was 110/80-ish also. Very good.

So other than getting tired easily, and learning what my limits both physically and distance are, I’ve been doing well. I’ve had to put my feet up more often, yet that really helps. But I started in on the stuff that must be what makes late pregnancy so hard for most women. Yeah, if I’d been dealing with this all for the last two months and not just the last week and a half or so, I could see why women can’t wait for it to be over. It’s getting tough, being pregnant. I started saying that at 38 weeks.

The week before this one it started getting hard to do simple things. Nothing hurt, it all just takes extra effort. Even simply standing up from sitting. And my leg and back muscles would be stiff a lot. Walking actually helps that, but I simply can’t walk as much as anymore either. It’s kinda been bothering me that I can’t exercise as much as normal.

I was getting worried I was going to come early because I also lost my pregnancy appetite (it went back to pre-pregnancy levels) and my weight gain stopped for a week or more. Which it needed to because I gained weight SO rapidly in the 8th month! Much more than supposed to. Then I lost a pound, then I got my normal pregnancy appetite back. My sleeping changed (though it has again this week). But I also starting getting those cramps once a day. They’re pretty much gone now that I don’t limit my water intake before bedtime anymore. My right hand would tingle at night every night and I could barely get it to stop. But when it got to the point where my left hand started, I realized it wasn’t how I was sleeping that was causing the circulation loss in my hand(s). It was swelling from dehydration.

I’ve had to work at staying hydrated, which I really try to do ’cause the affects of being dehydrated well outweigh the annoyance of extra trips to the bathroom. Actually it’s been all the Non-Stress Tests that have helped me learn my body’s cues to when I need to put my feet up, drink more, or even just stop and rest. So in that respect they’ve been very good. And I find the beds at the hospital comfortable… odd I know.

I also stopped being able to sit normally. The baby’s gotten too big. I haven’t been able to cross my legs in a month or more, but about two weeks ago I stopped being able to slouch even. The baby gets way fussy, and it’s just not comfortable for me either. This past week-ish I now have to sit semi-reclined most of the time. The chairs don’t lean back enough at work, and some don’t even let me sit open legged. Ugh. First I found a stool at work lower than the desk that I can put my feet up on, so I’m not crunched when putting my feet up anymore. Recently I managed to figure out how to lean the back of my desk chair part way. So things have gotten much better for working at my desk. But yeah. I totally know what chaise lounge chairs were invented for now! It wasn’t rich swooning ladies. It’s pregnant women! That’s the only best comfortable way we can sit this late in the game: semi-reclined with feet up. Too far reclined and your back starts to hurt. Too far forward just isn’t possible anymore, uncomfortable or even hurts or can’t breathe well.

The last few days I’ve developed “that tired achy feeling in the groin”. So I think the baby has dropped. But since the baby’s been SO low the entire pregnancy I really can’t tell if it just happened a few days ago or if it happened earlier. I haven’t really had the easier or harder to breathe due to the baby against the diaphragm issues that pregnant women have. My breathing issues all dealt with how tight clothing around my chest would get. Though I did notice the last 5 or so days that when I squat stretch I can breathe fine, which I didn’t used to be able to do. So again, I suspect the baby’s dropped.

Like I said, I can recognize contractions now. They don’t hurt at all. But I can’t imaging they’re comfortable for the baby, and they’re occasionally unsettling to me. Uncomfortable. They aren’t like when my skin felt tight. It’s like my belly tenses and just won’t relax. Some are more intense than others. Some I barely notice. But feet up and water usually help stop them. Not always though…

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