I am 36.5 weeks right now. Sometimes I think the baby may have dropped because I can feel it bouncing against my cervix when I walk, but then other times I don't feel that same kind of cervix pressure. I've read that after the baby drops you should feel more pressure on your bladder; I feel like the pressure I'm feeling is different, like from a different angle, but if anything it's slightly less pressure, like I can go a little longer between pees now and like it's easier to empty my bladder. I'm still peeing all the time, though, like I literally get up every 1-2 hours overnight to pee, and then when I come back to bed it's several minutes of arranging my nest of pillows and the blankets/pajamas around my big, awkward body.
My hips and lower back has started hurting more, and I've been trying to quantify whether or not I'm feeling any Braxton Hicks contractions--at the end of the day, my uterus feels SORE, like a tense, overworked muscle, but it doesn't come and go in waves like I feel a contraction would, it's just a lingering soreness that lessens if I sit down and fades pretty completely after a warm bath.
I felt okay throughout the second and early third trimesters, but I'm definitely getting more uncomfortable now. My whole body aches, and some days all I can do is shuffle around the house and nap. I had about a week of "nesting" where I finally prepped all the diapers and cleaned and organized the baby's room, but now I'm back to tired again. I'm really hoping I'm close to done.
I've had the feeling throughout the pregnancy that the baby would come early. Kiddo's running out of time to be truly "early" but I'm wondering if I'll make it to 40 weeks. Today we're installing the carseat and co-sleeper, and then we'll be ready in terms of preparing stuff, and I guess I'm as ready as I'm going to be for labor and birth. I find that I'm kind of thinking about birth like I did the first trimester nausea. The nausea was awful, and while it was easy to feel sorry for myself, it also helped to know that to a certain degree the nausea was a good sign, because it meant that my body was producing enough hormones to sustain the pregnancy, and while there were little things I could do to alleviate it, like small bland meals and drinking bubbly water, mostly it was just a matter of getting through to the other side. And with labor, the pain is going to be potentially pretty intense, but pain also means that my body is getting ready for birth and that I finally get to meet my baby, and while there are some things I can do to mitigate the pain, like changing positions or soaking in the tub, mostly it is just a matter of getting through it. I know that I am strong and capable, and that the pain is temporary and manageable.
My mom keeps trying to tell me totally unhelpful horror stories about the pain of birth, and she's been bewildered and dismissive of the fact that I plan to not use any drugs, but luckily I have years of practice tuning out her anxiety and judgement, and I refuse to let myself be afraid. If anything, I am kind of feeling like a stubborn teenager about it--"Oh yeah? Well, I'll show her! Not only will I not use any pain meds, but after all is said and done and she asks how it went, I'm going to be able to shrug and say, 'Eh, it wasn't too bad.'"