Four days ago, I hit 37 weeks and reached a new milestone: I am now considered full-term!
Aside from the episode of false labor yesterday, the baby seems content on staying inside my belly for the time being. I am still experiencing contractions, but they remain irregular and completely manageable.
I feel as huge as ever, but whenever I tell people how far along I am they’re almost always shocked. “You look like you’re only 6 or 7 months along!” they exclaim. I think that the fact that I am a first-time mom has to do a lot with my belly (seemingly) looking relatively small. I’ve read that women are more likely to “pop” a lot sooner and their bellies more likely to grow a lot bigger with subsequent pregnancies.
When I mentioned the “you look so small” comments to J, he agreed that my belly growth seems to have slowed down considerably within the past month. And comparing the pictures above (34 weeks vs 37 weeks), there really doesn’t seem to be that much of a difference. What I can say is that my belly definitely seems a lot harder and tighter than before, so I can only conclude that the baby continues to grow while my belly growth has plateaued.
Curious to see just how much my tummy has grown since I last measured it at 28 weeks, I took a measurement this morning. Can you guess how much wider my stomach has gotten by looking at the pictures below?
The answer: one inch. That’s it. Seriously. At 28 weeks, I was dismayed to find that my waist was already measuring 40″. Well, at 37 weeks and 5 days, almost a full ten weeks later, my waist has only widened by one inch and now measures 41″. I couldn’t believe it myself, especially when you compare the photos above. Maybe I lost some back fat?
That being said, my weight gain is at…drumroll please…50 lbs now. Luckily, when I informed my friends of this number at my baby shower, they all agreed that I certainly do not look like I gained 50 lbs. I think that perhaps I don’t look as if I gained that much weight because the weight gain is so evenly distributed through my body. In addition, all the extra water — amniotic fluid (my doctor tells me I have extra), blood (the blood volume of pregnant women increase by 45-50%), and water retention (I’m very susceptible to water retention) has to count for some of the weight, right?
According to experts, the baby now weighs about 6½ lbs and measures about 20″ long. Now that she is full-term, there is a very good chance that her lungs are mature enough to adjust to life outside the womb if she were to be born right now.
My OB visits are now weekly, but I have yet to receive a cervical check so I have no idea if I am dilated or effaced. I did, however, receive my last series of tests on Monday — bloodwork in addition to swabs to check for any diseases/infections that may be passed down to the baby such as Group B strep.
So with those tests out of the way and already having pre-registered at the hospital, we are well on our way to have this baby! Please keep us in your prayers as we approach the final stages of pregnancy!