What does week 37 mean? It means that little Sprout is officially considered "full term." I think that's because, for the most part, his/her organs should be able to function on their own if he/she were to be born right now. But all of the research indicates that babies really need to stay in utero until 39 weeks, unless their health is compromised for some reason. So...as much as we're ready to meet this baby, he or she needs to bake a little longer. Here's the belly picture for the week, taken at 37 weeks, 3 days. (I need a haircut...that's what it means when my bangs are pulled back.)
I've really felt a lot bigger this week, but I can't really tell that I'm that much bigger from pictures. I also can't tell if Sprout has "dropped" any. It sure feels like it, though! I feel a LOT more pressure in my pelvis, and I'm constantly on the run to the restroom. I had another appointment with Dr. Basham this morning, and she said that it's still going to be a bit before Sprout comes, but I've made some progress since last week. We'll see what next week brings.
You know what happens when you sit around with friends on Derby Day and kind of let yourself brag about the fact that you're nearly 37 weeks pregnant and haven't had any swelling? You wake up the next morning looking like this:
Cankles! I swear, they came out of nowhere. I'm not complaining, though. I just find it very interesting that they snuck up me. It's ninja swelling, that's for sure. I'm very glad that I have a very flexible work environment and a super-supportive boss, because I have exactly 2 pairs of shoes I can wear that aren't flip flops...and neither of them are all that nice or attractive. I just can't see any sense in buying more shoes when the swelling will be gone in a matter of weeks, so the flip flops and other shoes will just have to do. If this had happened about 10 weeks ago, I might have used it as an excuse to buy more shoes, but not at this stage of the game. :) When I showed them to Dr. Basham this morning, she paid a little extra attention to my blood pressure, but it was good. So luckily, no signs of pre-eclampsia. She said that it's perfectly normal to have one foot/leg/ankle swell more than the other, and she also reassured me that the occasional heaviness I feel in my right leg is perfectly normal.
Last night I went to the labor class at Baptist East, and I'm glad I went. I almost flaked out because we've already done 7 weeks of prepared childbirth classes and because I was going alone (David had a work meeting). I got some very interesting information, though. The more of these classes I go to, the more I really get the vibe that they don't really appreciate women attempting a natural childbirth. I just can't figure out what difference it makes to them, though. I mean, they're not the ones laboring, right?! I was also told that once my water breaks, I'm confined to bed. I was not a happy camper when I heard that, because I'm figuring that mobility is going to be very important in coping with labor. I guess I need to start praying that my water breaks pretty late in the game, or Sprout is born in the caul.
David put up the shelves in Sprout's room tonight, so we're that much closer to having everything ready (in an aesthetic sense, anyway!). I spent some time late yesterday afternoon at Babies 'R Us picking up a few last minute things we need. I'm feeling very ready for this baby. I figured at this point that I would be thinking, "Holy crap...I'm not ready for this," but that's not really the case. We've been waiting for this little one for a very long time, so I think that's probably why we're not panicked. I won't lie...lots of times I think to myself, "I have no idea how to take care of a baby." But we have lots of support, and I have a feeling that we'll just kind of fall into it. Sprout, David, and I will all figure it out together. :)
I meant to take a picture of the growing pile of "stuff" to go to the hospital with us. Maybe I'll remember for next week. You can't see the top of the deep freeze right now. We've got the carseat out there, plus three bags and a breastfeeding pillow. I still need to wash the birth ball and put it out there. When the folks at BHE see us coming, they're going to think that we're moving in to stay! I've probably overdone it, but I'd rather do that than leave something at home.