Just returned from my 37-week appointment and learned that I’m 2 centimeters dilated, 80% effaced, and baby’s station is a -2! My OB said that things are progressing beautifully for a first pregnancy and that I’m a great candidate for natural childbirth. I was thrilled to hear this since I’d really love to try to go naturally if at all possible. I’m not putting an epidural out of my mind, but my goal is to try to go natural and if I decide I need some relief, to delay for as long as I can so I don’t stall progression. No matter what happens, my only goal is to deliver a healthy baby.
I anticipated that I’d progressed a bit more since last week because the baby feels like she’s really engaged in my pelvis and the Braxton-Hicks have been more noticeable this week, so I’ve definitely felt a shift in my body that aligns with these changes. The BH contractions feel like a tightness in my belly paired with a dull lower back ache that Brian is constantly applying counter pressure to with me bent over the kitchen counter, the coffee table, etc; followed by light, lower abdominal cramping. The only thing that eases it is firm, one-directional pressure with both hands, out towards my hips.
Yoga usually helps me to relax, but my experience at Monday’s class was absolutely miserable! Everything felt uncomfortable and I just didn’t want to be there.
Sleep hasn’t been bad really, except that I’m regularly waking at 4 AM, unable to fall back asleep. A lot of it is excitement and wanting to wrap up my “To Do” list before she’s here. It’s challenging to roll side-to-side and my hips ache from all the pressure of long stretches of the night on them, but I’m only averaging 1-2 bathroom trips a night, so I’m not waking up terribly often. My snoogle/body pillow combination has been incredible throughout my second and third trimesters. I don’t think I’d have been sleeping so well throughout my pregnancy without either.
Brian is definitely on alert though. He’s usually a deep sleeper but has been waking with me for weeks now and always checks to make sure I’m doing OK. He’ll help me roll from side to side or rub my back or hips when the pain is keeping me up. Thankfully, I’ve been able to nap during the day as needed and still keep up with work.
To manage the pain I’ve had in my hips and all the pressure on my tailbone when seated, I’ve been cycling through 30 minute periods each of sitting at my desk to do work, standing and leaning over my desk (or just taking a break and walking around), and laying down on my side. It’s been really nice to take a quick little snoozes in the middle of the day when I need it! And she’s always so active the moment I lay down. Earlier this week I started listening to a hypnobirthing track I found on Spotify and was out in about 10 minutes, lulled by the narrator’s voice and the baby’s gentle squirms in my belly. In the warm glow of afternoon light, it was as close to the most perfect nap I’ve ever had — even counting the occasional marathon naps in college! The nearer I get to the end of my pregnancy, the more I’ve been loving my belly and feeling her movement. Despite all the aches and pains (and scares), I will miss it! But I’m most excited for her to finally be here, so for now, I’m just trying to enjoy every moment.