Dear Baby: Thirty-Nine Weeks, Two Days

39 Weeks

Dear Baby: Thirty-Nine Weeks, Two Days


Dear Baby,

A couple weeks ago, I experienced 28 consecutive hours of practice/prodromal/pre-labor: mildly crampy contractions that were 5-10 minutes apart but not getting any closer together, any longer, or any stronger.

After the first three hours, I contacted some of the people on my birth team just to give them a head’s up.  It’s not that I thought that labor was imminent, but I did want to let them know what was going on.  As a courtesy.  As an acknowledgement that sometimes these early contractions transform into productive labor.

And then nothing happened.  Which I all but expected–I was only 37 weeks pregnant, after all.

Then earlier this week, I woke up to a bunch of (get ready for it) bloody show.  (Look it up.  Or don’t.  I know you are the child of a doula, but ignorance may be bliss when it comes to thinking about your mother in regard to these matters.)  Since I knew that this meant that labor could be near (or the next day…or the next week), I sent another courtesy text to my birth team.

All morning, I felt crampy and “heavy” with the feeling of approaching labor.  I set up the sheets in the guest bedroom for your grandma and aunt.  I filled out a job application and completed a project that I had been working on for about a month.  I snuggled with Alec.  I ate crackers with peanut butter and drank a lot of water.

And then everything stopped.  The show.  The crampiness and heaviness.  It was gone.

Again, I wasn’t worried.  I was only 38 weeks pregnant, after all.

So I looked down at you, touched my hand to my belly, and said, “I know that you are wise, and that you know when to be born.  I trust you, little guy.”

And then I received a call from your grandma.

It turns out that Great-Grandpa needed surgery the following day.  He did well–remarkably well, even.  But there was worry and concern and lots of hand-wringing preceding the operation.  For while your great-grandfather has strength, he is also frail; although he is improving in some ways, he is not in others.  And thus surgery is so very risky for him, riskier than it would be for most others.

(But oh, he is good!  And I talked to him just hours after his operation!  And he’s asked about you and cannot wait to meet you!  And my sweet boy, as soon as we’re up to it, we’ll make that drive to see him!)

I trust that you in your wisdom knew that last Wednesday would not have been a good day to arrive.  I like to think that you could sense the emotional reasons to wait to be born.

I like to think that you are a wise, knowing little baby.

And that’s why I’m in no rush to get this labor going.  It could start tonight, or two weeks from tonight, and I will be equally happy whenever it occurs.

For you have enough wisdom to know when to be born.

And for this mama, there is no greater peace than simply trusting in that wisdom.





p.s. 39 week belly shot!

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  1. JasMama

    Thinking of you and tugging on the string around my wrist from time to time. Sounds like you are in the exact right mental space. So good to hear your Grandpa is doing okay. Sending along a hug!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas

      I counted each of the rings on my string this afternoon and thought of every one of you. Such a wonderful reminder of such wonderful friendship!!!

  2. TheFeministBreeder

    I’m hoping that your prodromal labor is giving you the same gift it gave to me; near full dilation before labor actually started and a swift, joyous birth. that’s the awesome thing about being a veteran mom – our bodies know how to do this in the most productive manner now!

    Do you remember me binding my belly with the ring sling? I did that because the midwives said that in a multip, our bellies are stretched out, which can cause the baby to tip forward off the cervix, which can cause labor to start/stop. They told me the Amish bind up their bellies at the end of their pregnancy to help keep labor going, so that’s what I did for the last week, and through my whole labor, until I got in the tub. I think it helped, and it DEFINITELY relieved the pregnancy aches and pains.

    GOOD LUCK! I’m thinking about you!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas

      Oh, wouldn’t that be wonderful?! Though I’m really hoping that this birth doesn’t go too fast. 6-8 hours would be perfect to me. (I hope! I hope!)

      And I do remember you binding your belly! I’ve actually been doing a few pelvic lifts during contractions but will probably hold off for any belly binding until I get closer to “end time” (41 weeks? 42 weeks? somewhere around there…).

  3. Kim

    I had bloody show 2 or 3 days before I went into labor. Not to be confused with the mucus plug which I lost multiple times from when I started dilating around 35-36 weeks until I went into labor at almost 40 weeks. It was so confusing because there was a bit of brown in the plug, but with the bloody show it was pink-tinged (so sorry for those who are reading this and going “EWWW.”) Are you going to have your midwife check your cervix or are you going to go with the hands-out way?

    I am very glad your grandpa made it through his operation okay. And I will pray that baby comes in the best possible time for you :-)

    Best wishes!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas

      LOL, even as a doula, I get how confusing it can be to discern exactly what it is that our bodies are telling us as bloody show makes its appearance. Right now, all I know is that…something happened. And the baby will be born…soon.

      I think I’m just going to forego the cervical exam for now. Of course, there’s a part of me that is simply interested in knowing if/how much I’m dilating/effacing, but I also know that the information will give me no predictions whatsoever.

  4. Diana

    Just wanted to wish you the best for your upcoming birth!! If things go as scheduled (which they never do!), then our babe will arrive about two weeks after yours. Good luck!!!

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas

      Thank you! And good luck to you as well!!!

  5. Katelove

    Beautiful photo. Very best wishes for your/your baby’s birth, whenever it may be. Looking forward to hearing the news and,maybe, seeing a picture of the precious new person.

    • BirthingBeautifulIdeas

      Oh, there will be pictures. You’ll probably be sick of the pictures come February. :)

      (If all goes well–i.e. not “too fast”–my sisters will also be posting labor pictures when the time comes. Nothing “graphic.” Just [hopefully] peaceful birthy pictures and updates.)

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