Week 36, aka 1 month to go!

Baby: Your baby measures about 20.7 inches from head to toe and weighs about 6 pounds. The baby may drop lower in your abdomen, usually assuming the head-down position after having frequently assumed other positions during early pregnancy. The brain has been developing rapidly, and your baby is practicing blinking.

Mom-to-be: Your uterus has grown bigger these last few weeks and is probably up under your ribs. But you’re in the home stretch; after this week you’ll be seeing your doctor weekly. You may be alternating between fatigue and extra bursts of energy. You may also be experiencing increased backache and heaviness, constipation, heartburn and discomfort in your buttocks and pelvis.

and?

Now that we have weekly doctor’s appointments, I’ll actually have updates about the small one – yippee!  The doc estimates he’s about 6 lbs and that if I make it to my due date, he’ll be around 7.5 lbs.  His head is still down and he’s facing sideways (his butt faces my right side and he’s curled up so his feet kick my left side).  From the quick exam, he also said it feels like his head is fitting “nicely” in my pelvis and isn’t concerned that the baby won’t make it through the birth canal.  The small one is currently at Station -1.  For those of you who need a definition, here’s what www.gynob.com has to say on the matter:

The station is based on how far down the head has dropped in relation to two bony prominences (called the ischial spines) that mark the midpelvis (halfway out). In a pelvic exam, the examiner can feel where these spines are, protruding from the pelvic sidewalls. Then, the position of the “presenting part,” i.e., that part of the baby(hopefully, the top of the head) that will be the first to deliver, is felt as compared to the ischial spines.  If the very top of the head is at the ischial spines, it’s called a zero station. And for every centimeter distance from the spines, either above or below, the presenting part can be said to be anywhere between -3 and +3.

So all that is to say, he is descending into position, which explains why I need to pee if I even think about water let alone drink any.  It also explains the slight “basketball between my legs” feeling I have going on at times, as there is just more downward pressure on my cervix and pelvis in general… but all that’s worth it to know we are making progress!

Other good news is that my cervix is approximately 40% effaced.  Now time for another definition, this time care of www.americanpregnancy.org :

Effacement is the process by which the cervix prepares for delivery. After the baby has engaged in the pelvis, it gradually drops closer to the cervix; the cervix gradually softens, shortens and becomes thinner. You may hear phrases like “ripens,” or “cervical thinning” which refer to effacement.

Effacement is measured in percentages. For example, your health care provider may tell you that you are effaced 50%, which means you are half way to being completely effaced. When you are 100% effaced or completely effaced, your cervix is paper-thin and labor is right around the corner.

Since I’m not yet dilated, we’ll save that definition for another post (hopefully one next week that involves my using the phrase “I’m one centimeter dilated” as it would imply that we really are getting this show on the road).  That being said, the doctor thinks that I could make it to my due date, but that he’d be surprised if I was late, which completely made my day yesterday.  I am all about having this baby in two weeks vs. four. 

Otherwise, I was tested for Group B Strep, which is standard for all pregnant women between week 35 and 37, so I’ll have those results next week (as well as a definition for that, too – this is certainly getting more technical as we approach go time).  In the meanwhile, I think it is officially time to start packing that hospital bag…

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