Pregnancy: 40 Weeks

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In case you missed the big news, our daughter was born early Friday morning, April 29, at 40 weeks and 3 days! I still want to remember the details of the last few days of my pregnancy, though, so today we’re going back in time to cover what happened the day before my due date and beyond.

If you don’t care about any of this and just want to see lots of baby photos, head directly to my Instagram. 🙂

Monday, April 25, was my first day working from home. I had hoped to go into labor over the weekend to avoid working from home at all, but no such luck! I put in my eight hours at the computer, then set out on an afternoon walk with Aaron — who was also working from home so he wouldn’t miss anything — to try and get the baby moving.

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We walked about two miles in the gorgeous sunshine, but it seemed to have no effect. After I Instagrammed this photo, a few mom friends said they went into labor while hiking or shortly after, so Aaron and I did just that on Tuesday — my due date.

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We did a three-mile loop on one of Aaron’s favorite mountain-biking trails — the same one where I started trail-running last summer! It was beautiful, and I was so happy to be able to enjoy a nice hike at 40 weeks pregnant. I always imagined I’d be completely miserable at this point, but thanks to staying active throughout my pregnancy, the only discomfort I felt was when I squatted to pee behind a tree. 🙂

Still, I didn’t feel anything happen that night. On Wednesday, we had a doctor appointment, where my doctor reported that I was 2 centimeters dilated! I told her to do anything that might help move things along, so she swept my membranes — meaning she vigorously swirled her fingers around up there as high as they’d go; not a great feeling — and that further opened my cervix to 3 centimeters. A membrane sweep can cause bleeding (from irritating the cervix) and cramping, and may ultimately stimulate uterine contractions. The doctor said she hoped to see us back the next day to have the baby!

I worked through the rest of Wednesday morning and early afternoon. Aaron took this photo of me because my belly looked so basketball-like and ridiculous.

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I experienced some bleeding, cramping, and back achiness similar to being on my period, and had to sign off from work early because the icky feelings grew in intensity to the point where I couldn’t get comfortable sitting at my computer. I also felt exhausted and just needed to nap. I slept for about three hours that afternoon, and then woke up feeling… perfectly fine. Dang!

On Thursday, my alarm went off at 6 a.m. and I relaxed in bed for a few minutes before getting up. I noticed some minor tightening low in my abdomen — nothing painful, but definitely noticeable. It happened again about 10 minutes later, and then again every 10 minutes after that. Could these be real contractions? I began timing them using an app I’d downloaded, just in case.

That’s where my pregnancy story ends, and Evie’s birth story begins!

Thanks for sticking with me through 40 weeks of pregnancy updates! It’ll be fun to look back on them to remember what the experience was like (I’ve already kind of forgotten, since I now have a baby to focus on!), and perhaps Evie will someday enjoy reading about what her mom was up to while she was growing in my belly.

In the end, I gained a total of 36 pounds between my first doctor weigh-in at nine weeks and my final doctor weigh-in at 40 weeks. Here’s the before-and-after comparison:

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I was worried that I would look in the mirror by the end of my pregnancy and not recognize myself, but luckily, that didn’t happen! I always felt like myself, and actually kind of didn’t (and still don’t) recognize myself in the “before” photo. 

As the weeks went by and my belly — and everything else — filled out, I stopped being plain ol’ me and grew closer and closer to becoming a mom. The “before” me had no idea what was in store. The “after” me survived food aversions, nausea, fatigue, an achy back, and seemingly endless anxiety to grow a beautiful 9-pound baby who brings me more joy than I ever could have imagined.

My body made this human?!? I still can’t wrap my mind around it.

Next up: Evie’s birth story!

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