I can't believe I have made it to my 36th week of pregnancy. It seems like the time flew by this time--it probably has something to do with having an extremely energetic two year old at home!
I think we are a lot more laid back this time around with trying to get prepared. Last weekend, we finally pulled down some essentials from the attic and I just started washing a couple of things of our baby girl's so she would have something to wear home from the hospital in case I needed to go to the hospital in a hurry. Last week I packed a last-minute hospital bag just in case my doc needed to send me to the hospital after a check-up for contractions.
I ended up going to my OB's office a couple of times over the past couple of weeks due to consistent (like 6 minutes apart for hours), regular, painful contractions. The contractions were reminding me of when I was in true labor with Luke, which is why I was fearful. I never had any contractions with him (other than the normal periodic braxton hicks) until after my water broke at 39 weeks, so this was all new to me. Turns out they are not causing any cervical changes (thank goodness). Unfortunately, they said that I am probably just one of the few women that end up having contractions until I deliver. But, the doc also mentioned she didn't think I was going to make it to January or my due date before this baby is born. Of course, we are still hoping for a January baby and no human (even a physician) ever can accurately predict exactly when a baby will decide to come! The doc also mentioned that my contractions are probably painful in my lower back due to the baby being in posterior position (back labor). This is not good. Luke was posterior when I delivered him, which caused some very painful contractions and two hours of pushing. According to babycenter.com, mothers whose babies are face-up at birth tend to push longer, more commonly need Pitocin to stimulate contractions, and have a significantly higher risk of having an assisted vaginal delivery or a c-section.
Those who do give birth vaginally to a baby who is posterior are more likely to have an episiotomy and severe perineal tears than moms whose babies are in the more favorable face-down position, even after you account for the higher rate of forceps and vacuum-assisted delivery. Needless to say I am going to be doing some exercises over the next couple of weeks to try to get her to flip over! The doctor left me with instructions to get lots of rest, take it easy and drink lots of water in order to limit the contractions. She said they would not stop them at this point in the pregnancy, but they also want the baby to stay in there as long as possible. I haven't had a problem drinking the water, it's "taking it easy/get lots of rest" that is very difficult--especially with Mr. Luke at home and balancing finishing up work (my last day is December 21--next Wednesday!)
Other than the lack of sleep due to having contractions all night long and just generally feeling uncomfortable due to my massive belly, everything seems to be going well. Here are some 36-week belly pictures: