38 Weeks

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 13, 2014


After I published my 37 week post last Wednesday, things started to get interesting!

Let’s rewind to last week for a moment. Last Thursday, I woke up in the middle of the night with a very strong pain that wrapped around my entire lower back and front. I’ve read about real contractions feeling like a “ring of fire” (among other things) and this was exactly what it felt like. I also had this weird shooting nerve pain that made it difficult to walk. I thought this could be the start of early labour. I stayed in bed and monitored what was happening for a bit. The pain wasn’t cyclic, coming in intervals, or getting more intense with time, so ultimately I figured it was just another “test run”. I was probably awake for an hour or two (while Eric slept in blissful ignorance) and then I eventually fell back asleep. I woke up in the morning and the pain was gone, but I continued to have a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions and menstrual-like cramps for the next 3 days. Things settled down after that and I’ve had barely any prelabour symptoms at all, aside from just more frequent Braxtons. The body is a mysterious thing at times!

As it turned out, I had my weekly appointment with the OB the next morning, so I told him all about my experience on Thursday night. As usual, he didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary, but he seemed excited that things were getting ready. I also found out that my Strep B test came back negative so I won’t need to be hooked up to antibiotics. He ended up checking my cervix and found that I was 50% effaced with no dilation. At this week’s appointment, I was 60-70% effaced and still not dilated. Nothing surprising at this stage in the game, but interesting nonetheless. The doc says things can change in a matter of hours, so while baby girl might be cozy in here for another week or two, our guess is as good as any when she will come.

We had a lot of baby-related events over the past week and a half! The first was a meeting with our doula where she went over natural pain relief techniques with us. I’m skeptical as to how much these techniques will help when the pain is really severe, but we’ll see. I’ll try to keep an open mind about the whole experience. We were talking about contractions and I said something to the effect of “when the contractions get worse” and she encouraged me to re-frame the way I think about contractions. Rather than calling them something negative, why not use the word “stronger” rather than “worse”, or “expansions” rather than “contractions”. I like it. She also said to think about each contraction as one contraction closer to getting to meet our baby. Wise words!

Our car seat inspection was last Saturday and we also pre-registered at the hospital. I’m not a big hospital person (is anyone?) so when we were walking through the maternity ward I started to feel quite nervous! It felt much more real. I couldn’t believe that our big day would be here so soon and I would be occupying one of the L+D rooms. Total butterflies. Anyway, it was good to see it in person before the big day because I can mentally prepare myself a bit more. It’s the same hospital my sister delivered in too – although when I was there last it was under much difference circumstances!

We also met with our lactation consultant for a breastfeeding session this week. It was super informative, and also a bit overwhelming if I’m going to be perfectly honest. The package with our doula includes 2 visits from the lactation consultant after the baby comes too, so she stressed that I didn’t have to remember everything on the first go and she can come to the hospital if I need extra support. I’m so thankful that we have both of them. As my due date approaches, I’ve started to feel more anxious about taking care of a newborn, but I try to remind myself that we will take it one day (or one hour) at a time. People have been doing this for a LONG ass time. hah.

On the work front, I’m keeping myself very busy preparing blog posts and working on the new business. I’m also freezing soups and meals whenever I have a spare moment. The freezer is officially bursting at the seams! It feels good after 2 months of many lackluster, renovation “meals”. This weekend, we’re moving everything back into the kitchen (finally!!) and things are slowly but surely coming together after a long 2 months. I can’t wait to have the house back in order.

I’m still going on my daily hour-long walks and I hope to keep walking right up until labour! And hey, even during early labour if I can. =)

Food: Two words – Honeycrisp apples. Oh my gahhhh. Baby is a huge fan and gives little kicks of joy when I eat one. I’m also craving sweet, comfort-food baked goods like crazy this week. In case you couldn’t tell by my recent recipes! It must be fall, the end of pregnancy, and the joys of having an oven again. Other foods I can’t get enough of: pepita seeds, almond butter, cereal (2 bowls a day), homemade almond or hemp milk. No nausea to speak of right now and my appetite is very strong….whohoo.

Aside from the increase in BH contractions and menstrual-like cramps, I’m feeling great and have no other signs of impending labour right now. I’ve been a lot more emotional over the past couple weeks though – must be another shift in hormones. I’m reading birth stories every night (obsessed) and also a lot of “how labour started” stories. I find it so fascinating!! I seem to be retaining a bit more water than usual. Everything just looks a bit puffier. My nails continue to grow at a breakneck speed. I can’t believe how much I’m trimming my nails each week!

Well, that’s all to report this week. It’s crazy to think that baby could come before my next weekly update or that she might even be here by this time next weekend.

Speaking of labour starting, if you’d like to share your own “how labour started” story, feel free to do so below!

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

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Cindy September 17, 2014 at 11:54 am

Hi Angela!
So glad things are going so well for you! I love your enthusiasm about it! No complaints for you–so refreshing. I don’t know you but I think you’ll be a super fantastic mom so forget about those doubts. You can tell you are a person that’s got their act together. Plus the way you speak about your daughter shows how much LOVE you have to give her! Such a blessing for her to grow up in a loving home. I vote for September 23 as the date your daughter arrives – it’s our “25th” anniversary! :) Praying that you will have a safe & easy delivery. Blessings to you & Eric, Angela! (loved the pics of the nursery that you showed!)


jen September 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Ok, i can’t resist sharing! With baby girl my water broke and poured all over the place out of thd blue at 35 weeks. It was like the movies! With Baby Boy he was having a dance party at about 9pm, 39 weeks, and i felt a sharp kick to the cervix area and a snap. Uh oh, i thought, water broke… yup, just a slow trickle though. I’d had some on and off contractions with him though , so not such a shocker.

Best of luck!


Rebecca September 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm

With my first, I was out to dinner at a steakhouse the night after my due date and I started to have lower back pain that came and went. I thought “Hmmmm….this is interesting!” My husband and I came home and went for a walk and that’s when the “real” contractions started. It was then that I realized that what I had felt at the restaurant was actually early back labor!


Brittanie September 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Hi! This is my first time commenting! My water broke at home at 39w+6d and contractions started a couple of hours later. I know the midwives tell you to rest in early labour… Its hard to do, but I suggest you really try! When my water broke at 7pm I ran around the house trying to clean, finish packing, etc and finally fell into bed exhausted at 9:30pm, only to realize I was already contracting… half hour later they were too “strong” for me to stay in bed. So much for resting! I had a long night ahead of me and babe was born at 10am next morning on my due date. I wish you all the best!


Sophie September 17, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Hi Angela,

I am so excited for you. I love reading all your blog posts and enjoy that you’re letting us be part of your journey. I hope you’re planning on blogging about raising a vegan baby. I’m sure a lot of your readers would enjoy that. You are planningon doing so…right? haha

Take care,



Linda September 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm

Best wishes to you and your hubby whenever you new little one arrives. New life is endlessly miraculous. Namaste.


Hollyce September 17, 2014 at 7:42 pm

You’re SO close! I’ve gone into labor spontaneously 6 times in 6 different ways. I ALWAYS worry about whether I will “know” even though I always do. This last part is mentally a little tough, but the excitement and joy to come are like no other! <3


Lori September 17, 2014 at 10:28 pm

I’m so excited for you! I agree with your doula – try to think of contractions as productive. I just had my second baby almost 3 weeks ago, Bradley Method style! My first was 2 days before due date, second was 8 days late! Wasn’t expecting that! With both my water didn’t break until I was ready to push. I just started having contractions that kept coming, starting out very easy. Only way I knew it wasn’t Braxton Hicks is because they kept coming for hours (pretty far apart at first). First labor was 20 hours start to finish (only about 5 rough hours), second was only 9.5 hours (about 3 rough hours). My second was born 22 min after getting to the hospital! Ha! No interventions though, and that’s what I wanted! Anyway, don’t be scared, its amazing! Taking care of a newborn is a little scarier! You really do have to take it an hour at a time but just know that your instincts will get you a long way! Wishing you the very best!


Ashley September 17, 2014 at 10:50 pm

I was also cereal crazy every time I’ve been pregnant!

Here’s my birth experiences (all drug free, except strep b antibiotics w/#1):
#1- 2 weeks overdue, 28 looooong hours of back labor including almost 3 hours of pushing. She came out ear first (ouch, caused a bit of damage to Mama) but perfect.
#2- 1 week early, water broke in the middle of the night, he was born 4 hours later after only 45 minutes at the hospital and 3 pushes. Fast labors are WAY intense.
#3- 6 days late, very, very light contractions the day before, then I wake up at 5:30am with stronger contractions…he was born an hour later in my bathroom 3 minutes after the very nice EMTs arrived and after like half a push (he was almost a toilet baby….). That was an exciting birth ;p I’m done having babies, but if I had another I’d probably camp out in the hospital parking lot about a week before my due date, lol!

Good luck! All of mine have hurt like hell, but the second they’re out the pain is gone and is replaced by the amazing feeling of holding a perfect, slippery, wrinkly baby. And female brains do have that crazy capability of somehow blurring the pain into a distant memory very quickly after baby arrives! You’ll do awesome!


Narcisa Jovic September 18, 2014 at 9:40 am

Hi Angela,

Congratulations on your pregnancy and upcoming birth! I’m so glad you’re so well prepared and have such an amazing support team. That’s wonderful!
As I’m sipping your delicious peanut butter smoothie, I thought I’d share a bit about my births. First was a c-section (scheduled, unnecessary in hindsight), second and third were VBAC’s. My labors were quite long and very similar. Contractions started about 5/6 minutes apart, felt like strong waves of energy from front to back. My story is not very glamorous, labors were quite challenging due to exhaustion and not being able to keep anything down. I was pushed to my limits, hit the wall so many times, but I did it! Support is so crucial, it makes a huge difference. Also, since I’ve been a doula and childbirth educator for several years now, I know that baby’s positioning is also extremely important and some labors (like mine) can be more challenging because of less than ideal baby positioning. If your doula didn’t mention it yet, check out this website, it’s really great for stuff you can do before and during labor to encourage baby to be in good position for birth: http://spinningbabies.com/.
Your birth will stay with you all your life, embrace the experience. Sending my best wishes for a great birth and healthy baby!


Shanny September 18, 2014 at 10:27 am

I love reading and sharing your pregnancy journey. Thank you for sharing it.

I’ve had six babies, so probably too many details to share lol….but regular contractions that are getting stronger and closer together have always been a part of the experience. Lol. Sorry it’s not more interesting than that. Of course I’ve experienced a number of other things along the way……but most significantly, most of my babies have been very overdue. Like….add another month on to where you are now, kind of overdue. That’s one reason why I suggest you don’t get too invested in that due date. You’ll probably go much sooner but just keep a little reserve for sanity’s sake.

Yes, it is stinkin painful, I’m sorry it just is. I think I would’ve coped better with my first labour if I had have had a better understanding of how painful it was. That’s why I’m saying it bluntly now. But labour is a MENTAL game, and as others have said, take one contraction at a time. Women lose it when they start imagining what the future contractions are going to be like. Don’t focus on those, just RELAX (as best you can) through THIS contraction. It seems you’ve seen your sister in labour – then that first hand knowledge should help you. :-)

All the best! So excited for you!


Julie September 18, 2014 at 12:56 pm

As difficult as it is, try not to focus on the dilation and numbers your OB is giving you. It ultimately means nothing! With my two births, I have had a midwife and they don’t even bother checking until you are actually in labor since they have found it to be pointless. But I remember that at that point in your pregnancy, you just want any sign that the labor is imminent! I remember trying every old wives’ tale to get my first daughter out (she came 2 days late) – walking, cleaning on hands and knees, spicy food, foot massage, etc. Sadly, they seem to come on their own schedule, no matter what I tried!


Julie September 18, 2014 at 12:59 pm

P.S. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend taking the time to go get a pedicure. It felt so amazing on my swollen legs and feet when I was 39 weeks pregnant!


Kim Ramirez September 18, 2014 at 5:45 pm

My baby girl was born on a Sunday night. I cleaned our apartment like crazy all weekend, hoping the activity would bring on labor. I was expected at work Monday morning, but all I wanted to was to hold and see my baby. About 6 pm Sunday evening I rested on the bed and announced to my husband, “If she’s coming tonight she better hurry because we are running out of time.” A moment later I felt a strong, somewhat painful kick and then my water broke. Marissa was born right before midnight.
That was 21 years ago. Now Marissa is a senior at The University of Michigan studying elementary education. Your baby blog has brought me many tearful, sentimental moments and I am so excited for you and your husband. Your daughter is blessed to have a mom who is so sweet and knowledgable about nutrition. Keep us posted!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 19, 2014 at 10:58 am

What a beautiful story Kim! Thanks for your sweet words. :)


Kameran September 18, 2014 at 8:47 pm

Congratulations! My water kind of broke at 2am as I was going to pee, but it trickled alllll day. I had bought some overnight pads to have around for the post partum bleeding but was grateful to have them before too! Irregular contractions all day with lots of walking. One thing I had heard that helped me a lot was to keep any noises, grunts, moans (or whatever you need to make during contractions to release) low in pitch, rather than high and “squealy”, for lack of a better word. Higher pitch makes you feel more panicky while lower gives you more control. I found this to be true.

I’ll keep my thoughts with you! Good luck!


Jennifer Bobson September 18, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Hi Angela,

thank you very much for all of your hard work in creating exciting recipes. When you follow your dreams you open doors for others and I want you to know that your creations have been a huge help to me. Congrats to you and your husband and I wish you all the best for a safe and easy delivery. I assume that your baby will be raised vegan and I strongly encourage you to post recipe ideas for baby and kids when you are ready to. Just like everything else you have been creating, I am sure that it will be beautifully presented, amazing tasting, and very easy to make.


Ulli September 19, 2014 at 6:44 am

You look great!!! I wish you all the best for labour (and for the first time with your little one). My little boy is 7 weeks at the moment and I love being a mum (so far ;-)). I shared my labour story on my blog, if you want to read it: http://fitundgluecklich.net/2014/09/18/baby-olivers-geburt-teil-2-olivers-birth-part-2/ (Thats part 2, with a link to part 1 – part 3 will be published soon, it ends with an emergency c-section unfortunately – but I’m just glad to have a healthy baby now). Again: all the best, everything will be fine!!! ;-)


Em @ Love A Latte September 19, 2014 at 11:49 am

I’m sitting here with my baby boy sleeping in my arms and it’s amazing to me that six weeks ago I was still pregnant. So excited for you! My water broke at 3 AM on a Sunday, but I wasn’t having any contractions, and my little boy was born at 5 AM on Monday. Lots of walking and tv and patience during the 26 hours… When my contractions got much worse, the best thing I did was get into the tub and listen to relaxing music. Enjoy every minute!


Stephanie September 19, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Oh, congratulations. I am so excited for you guys embarking on this new adventure. There is nothing in the world that can compare to creating and nourishing life. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

It’s super soon, but if you are at all interested in making your own baby food (you know, in 7 mos. or so…) we found the Baby Bites cookbook to be very helpful. Many recipes are not vegetarian/vegan but are so easy to customize and were great “jumping off points.”


EMM September 19, 2014 at 2:14 pm

SO excited for you! Wish you the best! I was induced–I was 8 days late. I was SUPER determined not to have a c-section. My labor was a total of 44 hours and needed a weighted foley catheter bulb to assist with a natural delivery (ouch!!). I pushed for 3 hours and the doctors said “if we don’t have this baby out in 2mins, we may need to do an emergency csection.” well, that worked because one min later, my son was born (with a 100percentile head). OUCH! LOL!! Best of luck! Just remember, if things do not go as planned, never feel guilty. Just enjoy!


Denise September 19, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Baby #1–Woke up around midnight with off and on contractions. I had an appointment at 4pm that afternoon and ended up being admitted in labor and baby boy was born at 12:32am.

Baby #2–Woke up around midnight, again, but contractions didn’t stop. Left for hospital around 5am and baby boy was born at 7:47am.

Baby #3–Turned over in my bed around 2am and my water broke. We stood around debating what to do since I wasn’t having contractions. Took a shower. Waited for someone to show up to watch our kids. Left for hospital around 6am… Given Pitocin and baby arrived at 11:32am.


Julie September 20, 2014 at 7:18 am

My birth story started a few days after my due date. My midwife really pushed me to be induced after I had ultrasound to make sure everything was ok with my daughter. I was measuring a bit too big and turns out I had a bit too much amniotic fluid, but the doctor who checked me out at the hospital said everything was fine. That was a big relief, except when he pushed me to be induced just so I “could get it over with”. Rewinding to my very first midwife appt almost 6 months earlier, I discussed with her that I had a feeling my due date was actually a week or more later than what the typical charts were saying. I had lots of info that I kept track of when hubby and I were trying to get pregnant and I strongly felt my due date was wrong. Fast forward to my due date and when I didn’t go into labour, I wasn’t a bit surprised. Since I felt my due date was wrong, I declined many requests and even demands of doctors and my midwife of being induced. I said I would only be induced if I went to 42 weeks or my daughter was being stressed. To add to the feeling that my due date was off, I felt great…family and friends kept asking me if I was sick of being preggers, or how they were amazed I wasn’t uncomfortable. Nope, I felt great and walked everyday and even did housework…it just didn’t feel like it was time. The day before I went into labour, I had massive cravings for thai food which was weird since I hardly had any cravings during my pregnancy. I also was an emotional wreck, which was very weird since I’m not an emotional person…I couldn’t stop crying. I literally cried all day…it was baaaaad. Then that night I got mild menstral-like cramps that were pretty regular. My midwife recommended that I take gravol and Tylenol and try to get sleep. That was a bad idea…I didn’t get sleep, but instead felt like I was in a weird dream-like state and was super confused with each contraction, which by that point were getting strong. About 4 hours later my daughter, Sarah, was born naturally, without induction, and healthy at 41 weeks 4 days, and was 8 lbs 2 oz. Later the same doctor who first pushed for me to be induced said that Sarah’s weight indicated that she was born on time. While not everyone can go without being induced, the thing I learned is to trust your body and your instincts. :) I hope everything goes well with the birth of your daughter! You’ll do great! Labour wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be…it felt more like stretching pains and pressure sensations. At one point I told my husband I thought my butt would explode, lol! And the cool thing about labour is seriously you forget about all the pains, stress, whatever, when you look into the eyes on your child for the first time. It’s amazing and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. :)


candice September 22, 2014 at 11:54 pm

First baby’s labor started the night before her due date, and about 4 days after I lost the mucus plug. Just felt super uncomfy & crampy & achy all day, then the contractions suddenly got stronger at night fall.
Second baby’s labor started 10 days before her due date, and 2 days after losing the mucus plug. Also had gentle/uncomfy contractions all day, and labor contractions started as soon as I put my 3yr old to bed (like literally, as soon as I kissed her goodnight!).
So glad you are hooked up with a doula & lactation consultant— super duper helpful and important!


nicole September 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Super late seeing this post, but thought I’d share my story, too. I had absolutely no braxton hicks contractions or any pre-labor symptoms at all. I was at work, presenting some designs to a customer when my water broke. That was 11am, and my little guys was born at 7pm that evening… at 37 weeks! Good luck to you!!! xo


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