36-37 Weeks – Almost There? I Wish.

by Lisa Douglas

36-37 weeks baby bellyI walked into my OB’s office yesterday hopeful to see more progression. After being so thoroughly surprised last week in finding out I was already dilated, with more regularly contractions than previously after being checked (I referred to this as my doctor “awakening the demons”), I was expecting to be at 2cm? Maybe 3cm? Especially with the softball-to-the-crotch feeling being quite alive and well and ever present in everything I do.

I fidgeted on the paper in the exam room for the few minutes before she came in. With a paper gown and drape, I surely must have sounded like a small child, enamored with the sound, but I couldn’t help it. I was in a much better position than last week. Last week was a complete and total shock – amidst contractions, we ran to the store to get a couple take home outfits (one for a boy and a girl), and a new infant car seat. Having those at least done, now, I felt much more secure in hearing, “Oh yes, Mrs. Douglas, you’re progressing nicely. 3cm, 50% effaced, and the baby is quite low.”

And then I would be off on my merry way to make the eleventy-billion “at-the-ready” calls for family members to be ready for the call anytime.

Except, that isn’t what happened.

The doctor came in, “How are you feeling?”

“Ready!” I excitedly countered, like a high school cheerleader.

“Well, alright then!” I think she was taken aback by my excitement as she snapped her gloves on and eased me into a reclined position to listen to the heartbeat.

I was holding my phone, set on the “record” phase, so that I could get the heartbeat on video for my family and to share. I couldn’t believe I was clenching that phone tightly, listening to the baby’s heart, and in all my excitement and over-eagerness in wanting to find out about dilation, I forgot to do anything about it.

But I did remember to ask if the baby was, indeed, head down still. I am still very concerned after our horizontal breech issue two weeks ago. This baby is a wiggler, trying to bore a hole and rappel out daily, and I wanted to be sure he/she wasn’t wiggling itself out of the birthing position again.

“Oh yes, I’m almost sure of it. The heart is strongest here…” her voice carried off as she pointed downwards, where she held the device, “.. but I’ll know for certain when I examine you.”

Yessss! Easing my feet into the stirrups, and sliding me to the end of the table, I smiled. This is it! What’s it going to be?

“I think I’m dilated more. After your check last week, you ‘awakened the demons’ and I swore Saturday’s regular contractions were ‘it.'”

“Oh yes, that happens with any cervical stimulation,” she said so matter-of-factly.

And then she said the three words I was not expecting. “Nope, no change.”


“Hmm. Yeah, and you’re still very high.”


“But yes, the baby’s head is down. See? I’m playing with it now.”

Which made me feel better, but.. how? How could there be no more progression? At all? Seriously? All the hustle and bustle and contractions and discomfort and really? Nothing at all?

She began explaining,” With the more pregnancies you have, the more…” and I stopped listening, because it sounded verbatim what she said to me last week about why I was already dilating. This same explanation was now supposed to explain my lack-of-progression, too? That with more babies, my body wants to toy with me? Bleh!

I felt defeated. Maybe I wasn’t going to go as early as I’d hoped. Maybe this baby isn’t wiggling to get out at all, maybe this baby is just messing with me.

After scheduling next week’s appointment with her receptionist, I waddled uncomfortably to the car during a tiny contraction. I knew I’d be experiencing more after her check later that day, and instead of the excitement and anxiety I felt last week over it, right then all I felt was hopelessness. That end-of-pregnancy hopelessness one feels when they feel as massive as a whale, uncomfortable beyond comprehension, and despondent when you hear the news that there’s no change, no impending baby (yet), nothing but more uncomfortableness.

Operation Baby Watch 2012 has officially stalled. Sigh.

36-37 weeks baby belly

Baby bump progression thus far:

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