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Waddling Towards the Finish Line WEEK 38

Approved by the What’s Up Moms Medical Advisory Board

Homestretch! Yep, you can officially use that word now. You’re rounding third base and sliding into home – although in your case no one’s running or sliding anywhere, it’s all about waddling and heaving yourself onto a couch. Still!

Baby is about 19+ inches long and 6 ½ lbs, and massive as she is, may be crashing into your leg and vagina nerves, sending shooting pains through your nether regions. This will ease up once baby’s out, so go ahead and curse as needed and know that this is (thankfully) short-lived.

You are, right about now, the very definition of limbo. It could happen any day… or weeks from now. Your job is to just embrace the big question mark hanging over your head, and, in the words of Elsa… let it go. Easier said than done, but it’s something to aim for. A metaphor for life, if you will.

This week, doc will check to see whether baby is head down and dropped into the pelvis. She’ll also check your cervical dilation (opening) and effacement (thinning) to get a sense of whether your body has started prepping for baby’s parade down the ol’ birth canal. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t progressed yet. Some women begin the labor process earlier, others later, and there’s no saying how quickly anyone will move through these phases. THE ONLY RULE IS THERE ARE NO RULES. (Another metaphor for life. Bam.)

If you’re having diarrhea, it might not be something you ate but instead the body clearing out and prepping for labor. Be grateful for this since it’s what allows you to not poop on the table. You might also experience nausea, another sign of pre-labor. Of course, if these symptoms are extreme, check in with your doc.

Now’s the time (finally) to pack your hospital bag. Just be sure to stick a post-it note on it listing any items that will need to be added at the last minute, like glasses, prescriptions, phone, etc. As you pack, it helps to think in terms of two groupings of stuff: 1) labor, and, 2) hospital stay.

Check out our packing list, and consider adding shower supplies for that first tender post-delivery shower, and your breast pump, so if you meet with a lactation consultant she can give you some tips and make sure you understand all the parts. (If you plan to breastfeed but don’t yet have a breast pump, think about getting it now. Even if you don’t want to give baby a bottle for awhile, you can still use the pump to relieve engorgement in the early days.) Oh and toss into your bag a sturdy folder for all the paperwork you’ll be given at the hospital. It’s a ton and you’ll be glad to have it contained.

Your bags are packed and you’re ready to go – now you’re just waiting for the train to arrive.