Consider your uterus outgrown, just in time for your nesting instincts to kick in. You have probably cleaned your home five times over along with packing your hospital bag, more times than you want to count. If both your mother-in-law and mother are camped out in your home expecting the baby to arrive any day now, you were probably ready for the baby to arrive yesterday! It is not uncommon to chalk up every little ache and pain to the possible beginning of your contractions. But be rest assured that when the real thing starts, you will know!

What’s happening with you

“Please don’t let my water break in the cinema theater “. Don’t worry; you won’t be the first woman to begin labor in the most inopportune of times. In fact labor has a way of coming on when you least expect it. So avoid straying too far from your hospital if you can help it. Staying close to a restroom is also a good idea, so that you can check for the loss of your mucous plug in the instance that you feel icky “down there”. Make sure to take a peek in the toilet bowl, before you flush, as it is often easy to miss. If the show is bloody, then this is a good sign that your cervix is dilating.

With all of that extra pressure on your bladder, it may feel like you are making more trips to the bathroom than ever. But do try to get as much sleep as you can; don’t worry about sleeping through your contractions, fat chance (no pun intended). If that happens to you, then you will be the first!

What’s happening with your baby

week 38 of pregnancyYour baby has managed to accumulate a considerable amount of meconium, the tarry black feces that first comes out soon after birth. Your baby’s fingernails are also long enough by now that you should not be surprised if you see that she has scratched herself all over her own body.

The lungs continue to mature as they become fully capable of breathing on their own. Along with this, the baby’s brain is maturing, ready to process all the stimuli that she is about to receive, once she in the outside world.

The baby is slightly below 6 ½ pounds (2.9 kgs) now and could even be as long as 20 inches. So your belly is now mostly baby and you may feel like you are ready to explode even with a pin prick! Take heart in that your zebra striped belly and your maternity clothes are not forever; very soon you can start working your way back into your favorite skinny jeans with your baby in your arms.