Here we are at 40 weeks. I honestly did not think there would STILL be a baby in my belly at this time. With the way I have been feeling for the past few weeks, I was dead-on sure that our baby was fully cooked and ready to make her appearance before her due date. With the amount of super frequent/strong Braxton Hicks contractions and other “labor signs” I have been experiencing, I was just SURE this baby was coming a few times within the past week. Guess I was wrong. Now technically the “official” due date is Tuesday (when calculating it originally, some charts put me to Oct 7th and some put me to Oct 8th). I have always been in the habit of writing weekly blog updates on Mondays…so I guess there is still a chance she could be born on time. At around 37 and 38 weeks I was freaking out because I didn’t feel mentally “ready” for baby girl’s birth yet. Then there was a 180. When I hit 39 weeks, I all the sudden was “READY!” This past week has been an emotional battle of ups and downs as I kept thinking that “this is it” or “tomorrow is definitely the day!” Talk about feeling frustrated. I know she will be here any day, but I am mentally SO OVER IT! I just want her here. So does Daddy. If there is a 41 week blog update — I will be beyond annoyed, HAHA! Please pray that this baby comes.
Here is a month-by-month recap of Baby Lute’s bump progress….
…And a look at some of my pictures that include the size-comparisons…
….and here are all of the pregnancy weeks below! Started with a plum and ended with a pumpkin!
My age: 27
How far along: 40 weeks
How big is baby: the size of gallon of milk. She is approximately 19-22 inches long and weighs 7.5-8 pounds.
What have you been up to: This week had much less on the calendar than the previous week, which was MUCH NEEDED. It allowed me down time to relax and take it a bit easier. I had a chance to get together with three different girlfriends all on separate days. I also had the opportunity to re-read labor & delivery chapters in several of my pregnancy books. Eric and I went on our weekly date this weekend, we tried a new restaurant called the Hurricane Grill. It is a beachy/surfer theme place — so much fun. It was delicious food too! I got grilled chicken sliders with a HOT sauce called “the boss” (and no, the spicy food didn’t induce labor). Also this week we made a belly cast (I’ll talk more about that in a minute).
At my O.B. appointment last Wednesday, the doctor was pleasantly surprised that things really seem to be progressing nicely. When she did my cervical exam, she estimated I was 70% effaced and a good 2 cm dilated already! She really seemed to think that labor could coming be any day….so that started getting my hopes up. Ever since Wednesday I have been on this emotional rollercoaster thinking that the baby is finally coming! On Thursday, I was just SURE it was the day. And then Friday, same thing. And NO–she hasn’t come yet. I have been experiencing non-stop Braxton Hicks (some are very regular and even painful), but then they always end up stopping and never resulting in real labor. And I am so exhausted of well-intentioned friends/people texting me asking for updates or to see if I am in labor yet. Those text messages make me feel frustrated, because there is literally zero I can do to control this situation. Yes, I want to be in labor, but no, I am not. Stop asking. I know people care and are excited, but it makes me feel defeated. I finally started responding with “there is currently nothing to update on, and I will keep you posted when that changes.” So if you happen to be someone who I have told that to, please take no offense, I am just really emotional and frustrated with my body.
Now, with all that emotional negativity out there, let’s focus on some fun! Let’s talk about making a belly cast! Over the weekend, instead of focusing my energy on the fact that I STILL wasn’t in labor yet, we decided to make a memento of this pregnant belly.
BELLY CAST. I’ve seen people make molds of their pregnant bellies before and thought it was kind of a neat keepsake to have. I was not sure I would end up doing something like that or not. Well, I decided to do it — on the cheap was the only way! I did not feel it necessary to buy one of those expensive kits, so if I could find an easy and cheap way to do it, I was all in. And I did! All I needed was a product I found at Michaels. It is a “plaster wrap” or it can also be called “rigid wrap”…. it’s basically gauze that you dip in water and it hardens. I spent less than $10 on this project and it turned out great. Here is the tutorial I found to make mine: http://entergentlyblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/make-your-own-pregnant-belly-cast.html
STEP 1: Cut a lot of strips of the gauze and lay them out. I used 2 rolls. Get out a shallow pan with warm water in it to dip the strips.
STEP 2: Protect your skin with olive oil. It felt really yucky to wipe cooking oil all over my skin, but it was worth it to protect my skin. I also put plastic wrap over my pants since it was a messy project. It also didn’t hurt to cover the table and floor too.
STEP 3: Work quickly because these set up fast. Have your husband/helper dip the strips of gauze in warm water and place them all over your belly. Make sure you smooth out any air pockets.
STEP 4: After putting 2 layers all over, allow it to set up and dry. It will literally come away from your skin–don’t pull it off until it comes off on it’s own.
STEP 5: After it comes off your skin, let it dry for a while — as in a few days. It’s going to be really neat to have this keepsake in the future when I forget how big my belly was!
Exercise/Activity Level: I feel very proud that I’m still working out (and running) 6 days per week at 40 weeks pregnant!! 3 runs and 3 gym days. I think that’s a real accomplishment. It has been NO FUN working out this week as my body is kind of feeling “over it” at this point. Somehow God gives you what you need to keep on going though. At all 3 of my gym workouts this week (45 minutes cardio & 20 minutes weight lifting), each day there was at least one individual who approached me and gave me very nice compliments. One day a lady walked up to me (while with 15 lb dumbbells over my head doing shoulder presses) and told me what a beautiful photo I’d make (a photo of a woman lifting weights while pregnant). Another day a lady told me “you are so smart to be exercising during your pregnancy, girl.” And another day, one of the young male personal trainers told me “You are doing such a great job. I was watching you workout and you are doing so great — you will have no problem getting your body back after the baby is born.” God used all 3 of those people this week because I really needed to hear some positive feedback with the way I was feeling. I know all of this exercise is important and will pay off — I’m just READY to be done with pregnancy at this point. My body just hurts. Running somehow feels better than walking though, I still find that amazing. (I think it may have something to do with my gait—I strive to be a toe/midfoot runner instead of a heel-striker. I think that walking, a heel-striking gait, hurts my achy body worse than my midfoot/toe running gait.)
Maternity clothes: Somehow my belly has gotten so huge that some of my shirts are having a hard time covering it up!
Stretch marks: Still none.
Belly Button: Outie.
Sleep: Sleeping really solid. Thankfully. At least I have that. I’m taking advantage of the cliché “sleep as much as you can before the baby comes!”
Newest baby milestones this week: Baby is fully cooked. Now just come on out, little girl!
Best Moment of the Week: At my doctor appointment after the nurse weighed me, she said “Wow, you haven’t gained any weight since July!” I know this seems like a weird thing for me to be excited about, but I really feel proud that I have been able to keep my weight gain within a healthy amount (23 pounds). It makes me so happy that after the baby comes out, I won’t have 50 extra pounds clinging to my entire body — hopefully just 13 pounds (I’ve heard 10 pounds is usually the amount lost during birth). When I was 30 weeks pregnant, I was on a road to high-weight-gain with my habits at that time….it has taken a lot of work to remain firm in my decision to eat healthy.
Worst Moment of the Week: Getting into a miscommunication with my husband. I hate those. Thankfully we love each other. A lot.
Food cravings: Apples with peanut butter.
Food aversions: None.
Symptoms: Strong and regular Braxton Hicks. Baby feels very low in my pelvis. I’ve been getting a lot of “menstrual pains” in my belly. My sciatic nerve is KILLING me (left side of my low back that shoots pain down my left leg). Feeling UNCOMFORTABLE and sometimes I can barely walk.
Movement: She is totally out of room. But yet she still moves all over. It’s uncomfortable at this point because she is so low in my pelvis that it sometimes feels like she could “fall out!”
What I’m looking forward to: Meeting baby girl! Holding her in my arms for the first time. I also can’t wait to see the look in Eric’s eyes when he finally gets to see her for the first time. I have been experiencing this baby inside my body for 9 months, and once she is born he will FINALLY get to start experiencing her too. I know he is so ready for that. I just can’t wait to watch him as he finally gets to have that magic happen. He is going to be the best dad EVER!
What I’m nervous about/praying for: Praying for a safe delivery for baby. I hope things go smoothly and that a normal, uncomplicated vaginal delivery happens.
What I miss: Feeling like a normal human being. I just want to be un-pregnant:) I know, soon!
Next appointment: Tuesday, October 8th @ 3:45 P.M.
To-do list before baby’s arrival: It’s an awfully short list this week:
-HAVE THE BABY!