40 Weeks of Pregnancy – Week 38

Welcome back to this week’s installment of my week by week pregnancy guide. If you want to catch up with previous weeks, scroll to the bottom.
Week 38
At this point, should you give birth, your baby is not considered early, reducing most of the risks associated with premature birth. Right around now you will be seeing your doctor every week. The running joke with my doctor was “I hope I miss my next appointment.” Sure enough, this week I gave birth to Munchie.
Are you in labor? If you want to know what that feels like, look at Week 36 for my best definition.
Once you are in labor, there are several stages. The first is uncomfortable at worst, consisting of mild contractions, sporadically timed, and pretty brief. This can last for days. The second phase is where your contractions become more regular, meaning their intervals will be more regular and predictable, and their lengths as well. Once your contractions are about ten to fifteen minutes apart on a regular basis, go to the hospital (or wherever it is you decided to give birth). This phase lasts several hours. It is also during this phase that your water will most likely break. Your doctor may break it for you to speed up the process. Either way is fine. The last phase is the bridge between the second phase and delivery. Your contractions are going to get longer and stronger. And you will have this unbelievable urge to push. If your doctor tells you to hold off (for whatever reason) but you can’t, and you do start the pushing process, there is no going back. Once the baby is descended, do NOT close your legs, you will crush the tiny little baby skull. Usually I am not this adamant with my advice. But this time, I am very much so. In fact, I would be yelling for emphasis right now if I could. I have read entirely too many stories where women were instructed for one reason or another to close their legs to slow down labor, only to result in sever damage and even death to their babies.
For those of you not giving birth just yet, hang in there, just a few more weeks at most! If you do not give birth within the next two to three weeks, your doctor will more than likely induce. At this point it is completely safe.
If you want to catch up with recent posts:

Week 15 

Week 23 

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