Today I went for my 37-week appointment. Even though I'm closer to 38 weeks, I'm measuring at 37 weeks. The doctor commented on how much I had "blossomed" in the last week. I knew the baby was getting bigger. I had a short reprieve from the heartburn and rubbing on my ribs, but in the last few days the baby has filled up that space. I'm even more uncomfortable now. I can't even sit comfortably without my ribs feeling bruised. The baby is definitely head down, and I'm now 4 cm dilated and 75% effaced! This is huge progression from just 9 days ago. I'm quite excited since I was barely 2 cm and 50% when my water broke and I went to the hospital with Adon. I'm glad that my body is already doing good work and will have that much less to do when the real contractions start. I've been having quite a few Braxton-Hicks contractions, but nothing regular or painful. However, they've become stronger and more intense over the last couple of days. Sometimes it's hard to tell if the baby is moving (this one is really strong) or if it's a contraction. I'm trying to remind myself that it could still be 2-3 weeks before the baby arrives, but this major progression makes it hard to think that way! We washed baby clothes today and talked about packing our hospital bags. I don't think I'll be packing tonight, though, because I'm super tired from all that shopping. Here are my theories on why I'm progressing rapidly:
- I'm still nursing Adon. This releases Oxytocin which causes contractions. The contractions, though they are Braxton-Hicks contractions, are still causing effacement and dilation.
- I've been drinking lots of red raspberry LEAF tea (not raspberry flavored tea) every day. This tea is great for the female reproductive systems (and ironically, increases a man's fertility!) and has strengthened my uterine muscles. Therefore, each contraction does more work than it would have without the tea.
I'm enjoying some Mud Pie ice cream (which should wake the baby up!) and then I'm headed to bed to get some rest...just in case the baby decides to come tonight! (wink, wink)