Your Pregnancy: Week 38
Two more weeks to go and your nesting instinct is in full throttle. You're busy washing and folding (and refolding) baby's clothes, marveling over how anyone could ever fit into such a teensy weensy T-shirt. If you haven't set up the crib, bassinet or wherever you plan for baby to sleep—now would be a good time. You don't want Dad frantically trying to figure out some incomprehensible instruction manual between contractions.
Wondering what's up with your body, your baby and your life this week? Read on ...
What You're Thinking:
"Please don't let my water break at an inopportune time like in the middle of a client meeting or during my pedicure or at a fancy restaurant ..."
As your cervix begins to dilate, you may lose your mucus plug. (You may also toss your cookies when you read the words "mucus plug." Ew.) This thick, mucus-like wad seals the cervix and prevents infection during pregnancy. When the plug has done its work, it will bid your cervix goodbye and hurl itself into the toilet.
Contrary to what people may say, losing the mucus plug isn't a definite predictor of the onset of labor.
You also may notice some pink or "bloody show," another indication that your cervix is dilating.
Once you've lost your mucus plug, be on the alert for regular, strong, painful contractions
(not like this is something you'd sleep through, believe us) or other indications that you should call your doctor and get thee to a hospital.
Your baby's intestines have accumulated a considerable amount of meconium
(the code name for black, tar-like baby poop), which is usually eliminated shortly after birth and gives you your first experience with the 100-wipe diaper change. Here's what else is up:
Your baby might just scratch herself in the womb as the fingernails have grown over the fingertips now. Resist painting them hot pink when she arrives.
Baby's lungs continue to mature and her brain and nerve function are working better every day. The latter two will continue to mature until Junior is a teenager, at which point she'll know it all (or at least she'll think she does).
Your baby weighs about 6½ pounds and is around 19 or 20 inches long—as long as a duffle bag (in case you needed an excuse to go shopping for a new bag for your labor gear).
Seeing that you've been wearing the same pair of maternity jeans every day for the last month, you probably haven't had a ton of laundry to do. That's all going to change in the next few weeks. Who knew that such a tiny person could create such mountains of laundry in a mere 48 hours? There will be so much barf and poop to get out of baby's clothes, you'll think you've given birth to the Exorcist
baby. Now's the time to stock up on laundry detergent designed with your baby's sensitive skin in mind. And don't forget the stain remover.
Talk to a friend who has a baby to see what worked for her kid. Of course, every baby's skin is different, so what works for you might be something you figure out by trial and error. Check out brands like Dreft, All Free & Clear, Ivory Snow, Tide Free or Cheer Free if you're not sure where to start.
Wash a week or two's worth of Mini's clothes now so they'll be ready to go. But don't go ripping off the tags and washing everything for the next year. There's a good chance you won't need it or it won't fit when the time comes to wear it. (Seriously, who buys a six-month snowsuit for a January-born baby?) Keep the tags on and you can return it to the store for a larger size, or re-gift it to another expectant mom.
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