Your Pregnancy: Week 36
With a mere 28 days to go (give or take a few), you're almost at the end—and the beginning of your new life. Finish up your final prep by stocking up on diapers, washing the onesies and making sure the nursery is good to go. Then, even if baby comes early, you're still ready. Of course, every new parent feels wildly unprepared regardless of how operational the nursery is, but at least you won't be diaperless!
Wondering what's up with your body, your baby and your life this week? Read on ...
What You're Thinking
"One hundred bottles of milk on the wall, one hundred bottles of milk. Take one down, pass it around, 99 bottles of milk on the wall ..."
Just when you think you can't possibly stand another day of your baby kicking your lungs and crowding your stomach, your baby will drop it like it's hot. This process, called lightening, will probably make it easier for you to breathe, but with your baby's head resting directly on your bladder, you'll be breathing all the way to the bathroom.
When your baby drops, you can rest assured that your pregnancy journey will be over within the next few weeks. Make sure to know the many signs and symptoms of labor
so that you won't be caught with your pants down (both figuratively and literally).
Your baby continues to put on weight at about ½ pound each week. This layer of fat will help your baby regulate his body temperature after leaving your climate-controlled womb. In fact, your baby will be 15 percent fat at birth (and you ... well that's another story). Even in the womb, your baby can listen, feel, touch and see. The only thing separating him from living in the outside world is a little thing called the birth canal. Other highlights this week:
His gums are firm with ridges that look somewhat like teeth, though his actual pearly whites won't start breaking through until he's between three months and a year old.
Your baby has definite patterns of sleep and wakefulness—opening his eyes while awake and closing them while sleeping. Your baby will become alert and turn his head toward light and sound just as a newborn would—except when you put on that Celine Dion CD. Then the baby puts his hands up, turns away and gurgles, "Oh no you didn't!"
Your baby is now around 18½ inches long and nearly 6 pounds—just about as big as a breadbox!
You may feel silly driving around these last couple of weeks with a baby car seat and no baby, but in case she decides to show up early, you'll be glad you have it, since your hospital won't let you leave without one.
Learn about standards for child safety seats and read up on the safety rankings and "ease-of-use ratings
" of the model you are interested in.
Most people install their car seats
incorrectly, so make an appointment with your local Highway Patrol or child-safety passenger inspection station
to check to make sure it's been properly done. And remember, rules and uses of car seats change as your child grows, so this won't be the last car seat you install.
Now that you're seriously down to the wire (and we mean seriously), you're probably in nesting overdrive. Quit scrubbing the bathroom tile with a toothbrush for a minute and take a bath or go for a swim. We realize that getting naked or into a bathing suit is about the least appealing thing you can think of doing, but at this stage you probably don't give a rat's behind what you look like. You'll feel a gazillion pounds lighter in the pool and a nice bath will soothe your sore back, feet, neck, hips. ...
"I thought I was having Braxton Hicks contractions, but it was REAL LABOR!"
8 sassy comebacks to "Didn't you have that baby yet?"
"I don't want to hear your scary birth stories when I'm about to give birth!"