37 weeks and full term! Any time you’d like to make your appearance would be absolutely fine with us now 🙂
What’s going on with the baby
He’s pretty much fully formed at this point and is just putting on weight now ready to make his arrival. He’ll be shedding the downy hair that’s covered him, as well as the vernix caseosa – the wax that will have covered him as protection.
What’s going on with me
This week started with my 36 week midwife appointment, which I had to take Max with me to for the first time. He’s always a bit wary of ‘doctor’ situations, so I’ve always tried to make sure I have childcare arranged, but we talked about it in the morning and he was really keen to hear his baby brother. As I expected, he was really shy at first, but when it came to listening in to the baby’s heartbeat, he couldn’t have been more excited! It’s amazing how much he does seem to understand really, and it’s lovely to see how keen he is to have a little brother.
We had a fairly lengthy chat in that appointment about my birth plan. I use that term in the loosest possible sense, as I’m fairly open minded and flexible about how things might go. I’ve been really keen throughout this pregnancy to give birth in the midwife led birthing centre, which I think will keep me much calmer than the labour ward. However, with my first labour, I had a very fast heart rate, which meant I had an IV with fluids, and I was concerned that if this happened again then it would mean a trip to the labour ward instead. But the midwife confirmed that as long as my heart rate is normal on admission, then they would be happy for me to stay in the birth centre.
I’m going to be packing a bikini top, as I’d love to use the birthing pool, but I also had this in mind last time too, and for lots of different reasons it didn’t work out, so I’m not putting too many hopes on it.
I also wanted to know more about what happens after the birth. With Max, the post-birth experience was surreal and a pretty grim experience. We were moved from the labour ward just over an hour after Max was born as the ward was so busy – no time for a shower, no first feed (although I did get my tea and toast!), just straight to the post-natal ward. Our midwife was very apologetic about it, but I don’t feel that the information was passed to the midwives on the postnatal ward, as my husband was thrown out pretty sharpish as it wasn’t visiting time on the ward, leaving me pretty dazed and alone dealing with a brand new baby and not a clue what to do. This time around, it’s a different hospital, with more relaxed visiting rules, but I was assured that that wouldn’t happen again. I’ve made a request that assuming all is well, that we have the 6 hour check for the baby and then be allowed to go home. This time around, home is where I want to be to recover – not alone and terrified on a hospital ward.
I also needed a bit of a reminder about what you’re supposed to do once labour starts – I found I’d forgotten it all! Regular contractions at least 4 minutes apart will be what I’m looking for. It’s a fine line between not heading to the hospital too early, and leaving it too late, as I’m conscious that second babies tend to be quicker, and Max was fairly swift to arrive.
I’ve also finally started having some Braxton Hicks contractions! I had them last time around from much earlier on, and have been thinking that it’s a bit strange not to have had them this time around, but that familiar tightening has started now, mainly during the night, keeping me awake.
This week has been my last working week too – it feels really strange to be wrapping things up, although it’s been nice that things have been winding down gently for a little while now. I’m looking forward to having a few days where Max is at nursery to get things like a haircut and my eyebrows sorted though, before I don’t have the chance for a long time!
Did you catch my 36 week pregnancy update? You can read it here