GROWTH OF THE BABY: Your due date is very close now.Your sweetheart is enjoying the last few days in the cozy and comfy tiny home we call the womb. Spending the next two weeks inside allows his brain and lungs to fully mature. His immune system is continuing to develop this week and after birth your breast milk will continue to supply them with the necessary antibodies to stay healthy. At this point your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel. He’s travelled a long way to get this big.
CHANGES IN MOTHER’S BODY: Braxton Hicks contractions may be coming more frequently now and may last longer and be more uncomfortable. You might also notice an increase in vaginal discharge. If you see some "bloody show" (mucus tinged with a tiny amount of blood) in the toilet or in your under garments, labor is probably a few days away – or less. You can time your contractions to understand the intensity once you are in labor. Maintain a baby diary with all small happenings in your pregnancy can add to your treasure of your baby memories and a can be your pregnancy souvenir.
It may be harder than ever to get comfortable enough at night. If you can, take it easy through the day – this may be your last chance to do so for quite a while. Keep monitoringthe movements of the baby too, and let your healthcare provider know immediately if you notice a decrease. Though your baby’s quarters are getting cozy, he should still be as active as before.
While you're sleeping, you're likely to have some intense dreams. Anxiety both about labor and about becoming a parent can fuel a lot of strange flights of unconscious fancy.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: Only 1 in 10 mother’s water breaks before labor begins. Most of the time, your water will break just before the second stage of labor (the pushing stage), when you will be nearly fully dilated.
But, if your water does break, it doesn’t mean you have to drop everything and rush to the hospital. You might not even be having contractions yet. However, once your water breaks, your baby can be more vulnerable to infection via your vagina, so, within 24 hours of your water breaking, if you haven’t gone into labor, your doctor will most probably give you something to induce labor.
During labor, it can take way more than one or two, or even twenty or thirty pushes to push that baby out. And even your doctor, midwife, or birth coach might forget to mention this.
It is perfectly normal for pushing to be lengthy, particularly with a first birth. It can take one or two, or more hours.