36 Week Bump Update

36 Week Bump Update
one of our maternity photos (taken at 33 weeks!)

Whoa – what a whirlwind since we last spoke about a bump update on here..

The format of this post is going to be a bit different than the usual bump updates since there is more of a story than the usual random updates I share every couple of weeks.

First things things, I don’t shy away from sharing the details with you guys in this blog post (or really ever). Some of this info could be TMI to some but I personally appreciate when others are open and honest about what is really happening and plus there is no hiding the realness our bodies endure during pregnancy. Pregnancy is confusing at times and different for everyone but being able to relate to one another and share experiences has been so helpful (at least for me personally).

Last Wednesday (at 34 weeks and 5 days), I went to the bathroom and looked down and found a little piece of my mucus plug. The timing was pretty interesting since I had never even heard of a mucus plug until the week prior when my friend was telling me about someone’s who fell out right before labor. Needless to say I was a bit shocked to find this in my underwear just shy of 35 weeks. For those wondering what it looks like, you can google it (it is a little gross) but it reminds me of something you’d see after blowing your nose or a gummy-like candy. It was off-clear and not dark like many women say theirs is before labor.

After asking a few friends what the deal is with a mucus plug falling out, everyone had a different story (shocker..). Just like everything else in life, our bodies are unique to us and no two stories are ever the same. But I wanted to learn a bit more about this so I kept asking around. Some women lost theirs in pieces of the course of a few days while some lost their mucus plug all at once. Some women went into labor 24 hours later and others were still bumpin’ for another few weeks once it started to fall out.

I immediately called my doctor and she wasn’t too concerned. Since it wasn’t bloody and I didn’t have any other symptoms of labor, she did think the mucus plug falling out meant much. Let me also just say how much I am obsessed with my OB. She is so zen, calming and just real. There is no fluffing of anything, she says it like it is but she also never is overwhelming or stressed. She never makes you feel anxious and has such a calming effect on patients – it is amazing and so appreciated (for the sake of personal info, I’m not sharing my doctor’s name on here).

My doctor said to come in the next day and we can see what is happening. So Jord and I headed to the doctor the next evening and learned I was starting to dilate and my cervix was beginning to thin. Again, nothing was too concerning yet since it was only 1/2-1 centimeter and some women stay like that for weeks until their due date. They did take a peak the little bub (who is around 5 lbs 5 oz at this time) and said everything looked great and his heart beat was perfect. The other doctor on call who we met with (not my usual OB) estimates I will deliver around 37/38 weeks but to start really preparing just incase he decides to come hang sooner. Doctors don’t have a magic wand or ball to tell them what is happening. Our bodies (and these babies) have a mind of their own!

So we left and headed home and it was recommended to come back in a week and start to take it easy work wise. I quickly moved up my “maternity leave” planned for 2/1 to start on 1/21 instead. Luckily I had mostly all the recipe content planned, just needed to shoot and test a few more things things, tie up a few lose ends (aka stalk outstanding invoices and contracts, which I am still doing…) and update all of my brand partners on the change in date.

A maternity leave when you are your own boss is somewhat confusing and can somewhat be a joke. I love what I do and wouldn’t have it any other way but times like these I wish I had a co-worker or someone who was covering for me when I am “out of commission”. It comes with the territory of working for yourself and I get it, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little bit a of pressure trying to handle the back end of the business and making sure everything is set, while also starting my maternity leave.

Any who, last weekend Jord and I put together the nursery. 12+ hours later, we organized everything we have so far and started to hang up the decor and make the room extra cozy and homey for a little bub! We’re sharing a full nursery tour in the Spring so stay tuned for that 🙂

I also started to have contractions over the weekend and they felt very different from the Braxton Hicks ones I have had. They were like subtle menstrual cramps but still pretty manageable. I also kept losing more and more mucus plug each and every day. It is like the gift the keeps on giving over here….

But now let’s get to Tuesday of this week when the real craziness happened. I had committed to an event in the city for work and also dinner with one of my close friends afterwards. I really didn’t want to cancel and between being 8 months pregnant and it being freezing here in NJ/NYC, it is very easy to psych yourself out of going anywhere. But I put my fancy leggings on (haha – kidding!) and made my way into a cab to head into the city for the night. In the cab I started to feel more severe-like menstrual cramps. They’d stay anywhere from 1-5 minutes then break for 30-60 seconds and come back again. This went on literally all night!

Luckily I was distracted a bit at the event chatting with people and then I headed to dinner and sat down for awhile but still felt them and tried to focus on other things. I headed back to Hoboken in the cab after dinner and noticed they were getting more and more intense. I washed up and laid down on the couch with water and it was the first time in a few hours I didn’t have any distractions between me and the cramping. I started doing research online (which I usually never do because Dr. Google is scary) but I learned that what I felt were labor contractions. They differed from the BH ones I felt weeks prior and I immediately called my mom, mother-in-law and Jord and then decided to call the doctor. I’m always hesitant to call after hours unless I have an emergency but I have zero idea what to expect at this point with pregnancy. My doctor called me back immediately (it was 10pm!). She said if the contractions continue to increase in intensity to call her and we will meet at the hospital for labor.

WHOA – what?! Hospital? Labor? I’m only 35 weeks and 4 days! This little banana muffin needs to bake a bit longer, ya?

Needless to say I didn’t sleep at all that night. I had consistent contractions from 4pm – 4am with no more than 30-60 second breaks in-between. I couldn’t get comfortable and the pain was just not easy to ignore anymore. But since they weren’t getting worse and I had no other symptoms, I didn’t feel the need to head to hospital. I headed to the doctor the next afternoon with my mother-in-law and just before we left, I had brown/maroon spotting and lost even more mucus plug. I brought my hospital bags with me and off we went. The contractions were coming back, I couldn’t even walk without being hunched over. I felt incredibly hungry, which was kind of random so scarfed some food down my throat – thinking this could be my last meal for awhile HA!

At the office, the doctor checked my cervix and I am still just 1/2-1 centimeter dilated. I was beyond relieved but also confused as to what the beep these pains were there. She said I can have practice contractions like this until the end of pregnancy.

So now this brings me to the mini “bed rest” I’m on for a little over a week. I definitely am at risk to go into labor before 37 weeks, which is not ideal, so the doctor recommended I take it easy until I hit the 37 week mark (2/1!). This means no workouts, no carrying grocery bags and very slow gentle walks. Aka sit on my tush and watch some Netflix and CHILL the beep out with my feet up and snacks near by. So far I’m on day one and already going crazy over here! If you know me well, you know this isn’t really the most ideal scenario for me but whatever I have to do to keep him safe in there, I will do it. The thought of having him too early and being in the NICU for a week, breaks my heart.

Mama’s gotchu bub!

What’s really crazy to me is that I’m not anxious or nervous about the whole labor and delivery. I just want him to come into this world when he is ready. If that ends up being earlier than planned, so be it but the less complications would be preferred (of course). Many of you have asked how I manage any anxiety during pregnancy and to be honest, I have never felt more chill and laid back in my life. Something that I rarely feel in my life. I think this has a lot to do with my hormones finally feeling great and balanced. Fingers crossed this will carry over a bit more post-pregnancy!

That’s the main update for this week friends! Apologies for the never ending story but this was a better way to explain what has been happening and the usual bullet points just didn’t seem right.

Will update you guys again next week!

xx, Rach

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