Depending on which date you use, I am anywhere from 35 to 37 weeks pregnant, which means that theoretically, the baby could come any day now.
I don't tend to have early babies. My first baby was 12 days late, but was of a very average size and had none of the signs of postmaturity. They say most first babies are late and that it would be more accurate to move most primips due dates a week later, so it doesn't seem like such a long wait. I think it's a great idea.
My second baby was induced on her due date, but I think she would have come that day or the next on her own. The day before I was induced, I was 2cm dilated, and less than 12 hours later when I went in for induction I was nearly 5cm. I don't know why I was induced. Back then, I didn't ask a lot of questions about anything and felt the doctor had my best interest in mind. (I now feel that the great majority have their own pocketbooks in mind, not the health of their patients.)
My third baby was also induced on her due date. I don't think she would have come that day though. I think she probably would have waited another 5 days or even a week. I was induced because I started measuring big, and then a few weeks later, the day before her birthday, an ultrasound estimated her weight at 10lb 5oz. The doctor didn't think I could deliver a baby that big so they decided to induce. The ultrasound was wrong - she weighed 9lb 10oz, and I delivered her over an intact perineum despite pushing flat on my back with an epidural.
My fourth baby was born early! A whole four days, which was kind of a big deal to me because as you can see, my babies never come early. My labor with him started spontaneously, 48 hours before he was actually born. What a trying labor that was - not necessarily painful, just extremely tiring.
I didn't experience any Braxton Hicks contractions with my first baby. I had a few here and there with my second, same with my third. With my fourth baby, wow. If I had not had a baby before, I would have probably thought I was in labor. These BH episodes happened for several months before actual labor began, and because of them, I was worried I wouldn't recognize true labor when it began.
This time I haven't had many BH's, until the last two or three days. I have been having very strong, regular contractions that will last for a couple hours, and then they peter out for a couple hours and start up again. I learned a few babies ago that drinking a lot of water helps prelabor contractions immensely, but these ones don't respond to water. They don't feel like labor at all though.
I am also starting to get contractions when The Babe nurses. Did you know that it's safe to nurse during pregnancy? It is.let me give you a super brief rundown of how it works - when you nurse, your body releases oxytocin, the "love hormone" that helps release the milk, but also makes your uterus contract. They make this artificially and call it Pitocin, and that's what they give you when you aren't doing things on their timetable.
The thing is, it's safe to nurse while you're pregnant because the uterus isn't receptive to oxytocin until close to term. That's why when a woman is induced a couple weeks form her due date, she is usually given some sort of chemical to ripen the cervix. Just straight up pitocin won't do the trick.
So the point of this biology lesson is this: Within the last few days, when I nurse The Babe, I get contractions. They aren't painful but they last a long time, 45 to 60 seconds, like a real contraction. This means my uterus is now receptive to oxytocin.
Of course, none of these symptoms could mean a thing. Most likely, the baby will be born sometime in the last half of October. I'm guessing October 20th. So long as he or she gets here by Halloween, because I bought the cutest little pumpkin pajamas...