Foetus at 37 weeks
Some interesting facts about being 37 weeks pregnant:
- Most of the downy hair (lanugo) has been shed and the waxy coating (vernix caseosa) will now start to disappear from Tadpole’s skin (leaving baby-soft skin!)
- Tadpole will now weigh around 6.5lbs and measure about 20 inches top to toe
- Tad may well have a full head of hair by now (if s/he takes after me then there’ll be a lot – I had LOADS of hair on my head when I was born!)
- Tadpole is now considered “full term” and could arrive any day now (although there may still be another five weeks of waiting…)
- There are now just 21 days till our Estimated Due Date
Yes, this is it – we’re well and truly on the home stretch now as at 37 weeks our pregnancy is considered full-term, so Tadpole could decide to come out any time now (although we’re hoping our little’un will decide to wait just another couple of weeks before making an entrance!).
Once again, I’ve been kept busy, despite not being at work any more (I’m currently on two weeks of annual leave before my maternity leave officially starts). On Tuesday we went for a scan to check on the fibroid that was spotted at the 12-week scan and which had apparently got a bit bigger by the 20-week scan. We were very glad to hear that the sonographer couldn’t actually find the fibroid, so it must have stretched out (which is great news). I then had a check-up at the clinic and was declared perfectly fit and healthy with no more need to go for any more clinic visits unless anything unexpected happens (like me passing out for no apparent reason). So, I’ve effectively been signed back over to my midwife’s care and can heave a sigh of relief. It also seems that if I should so decide, I can safely have an epidural despite my passing-out problem (although I’ll still be trying to avoid one if possible) and that my very slight heart murmur will not cause any problems with me using a TENS machine during labour (which is great, because I have one ready and waiting for use!).
On Wednesday I went for my final antenatal haircut (I’m determined to look glamorous in all my hospital photos!). My usual stylist is still on maternity leave herself, so I ended up getting my hair cut by her junior who made a grand job of it. However, I did find the jaunt into town rather exhausting (despite getting the bus there and a taxi back home afterwards), so I’ve decided there will be no more trips to town until after Tadpole has arrived.
Yesterday our Health Visitor came round to the flat to introduce herself as the person who will be taking care of us after the midwife finishes her job (after Tadpole is 10 days old). She seemed really nice and was very friendly and helpful, so I think we’ll be alright with her (which is great because apparently our Health Visitor will be looking out for Tadpole till s/he is five years old!).
The Braxton Hicks contractions are getting much stronger these days and I’m getting a lot more of them too – and for longer! They don’t hurt, but they can be very uncomfortable and poor Dale keeps feeling the need to check I’m alright and not suddenly going into labour (what a sweetheart!). Dale is being absolutely wonderful making sure I’m comfortable and that I don’t overdo things (although he admits he has his work cut out for him as I keep trying to do things for myself anyway as I always have done). He gave me the most wonderful compliment ever this week by saying I had been very good throughout this pregnancy – not moaning or complaining or using it as an excuse not to do things. He sounded really proud, which meant the world to me. I’ve always been a very independent person so admitting I can’t do everything I usually would has been quite difficult and accepting that sometimes I need a little help has been hard work, but I’ve been determined to enjoy things as much as possible and not be a nag about things. It’s nice to know that Dale thinks I’ve been doing well.
I had something of an “episode” last night though – I suddenly felt very overwhelmed by everything and got rather weepy for no apparent reason. Dale was wonderful and just gave me lots of love and hugs till I felt better. He’s also been excellent with the back rubs and making me a cuppa when I fancy one, as well as doing the majority of the housework throughout this pregnancy (and doing more and more as time wore on – he’s a star!).
So, now we’re just playing the waiting game. My sister is on standby waiting for the “come and take us to the midwife unit” call, and my friend Kerry is on standby for the “Leni isn’t available, can you take us to the midwife unit, please?” call, just in case. My parents are both anxiously awaiting the “your grandchild is on the way” call, and we’re just waiting for everything to kick off – the hospital bag is packed and sitting by the front door ready for the off. Till then, I’ll be sitting on the gym ball and rocking about a fair old bit to take some of the pressure off my aching pelvic bones and hoping that when the time comes I’ll remember what to do!