Pregnancy Week 39: See What’s New this Week
Pregnancy Week 39. Wow. I can’t believe that it is here. This pregnancy has passed by so quickly! I’ve been sick the whole time so from one standpoint it is good that it has passed by quickly but it is also bitter-sweet. There is something very exciting about being pregnant. Feeling your baby moving inside you has got to be one the most amazing experiences in a lifetime. As my husband and I ran around yesterday running after Christmas errands and additional baby preparations, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness at the idea of no longer being pregnant and feeling our little girl doing gymnastics in my belly.
Enough pregnancy week 39 sappiness already! After all, I won’t be pregnant but I’ll have a real, live baby that my husband and I made. How exciting is that? I can’t wait to see what our little girl will be like.
Pregnancy Stats – Week 39
In Pregnancy Week 39, the Kaiser email tells me that the baby hasn’t changed much in comparison to how rapidly things have changed from week to week up to this point. In week 39, the baby is the size of a mini watermelon. This week the baby completes developing the nervous system and brain and adds more body fat.
As for me, the weekly email states I am “probably feeling tired and uncomfortable”. Bingo!! It also states that the pelvic area may ache and there may be pain that spreads from vagina to the legs. Yup!!! It also states that Braxton Hicks may be stronger and nearly as painful as early labor contractions. The final warning: “You can go into labor at any time so watch for signs”.
The typical signs of labor are:
- Contractions that occur at least 4 times in one hour and do not stop if you change positions
- Nausea and Diarrhea
- Burst of energy (nesting)
- Loss of mucus plug (bloody show)
Has my labor begun?
I don’t think so…I don’t feel contractions. My Braxton Kicks are getting stronger but I wouldn’t classify them as painful. I’ve had nausea the whole pregnancy so nothing new there. I have started having a little diarrhea which is a big change since the iron supplements I have been taking have the opposite effect. I have had bursts of energy and the desire to get things done. We finally set up the baby room yesterday and it felt so good! Loss of mucus plug? Not that I have noticed. Overall I would say, not yet but maybe soon!!
Week 39 Symptoms and Trends
I can’t fit into anything! Even maternity clothes are becoming a struggle. My first pair of maternity jeans now feel like those skinny jeans that you keep in your closet for the day you finally lose those final 5 pounds! The most embarrassing part: my tummy is always hanging out! If you can’t see my actual tummy then you can at least see the maternity band on my leggings (basically the only thing I “fit’ in anymore). In short, I feel like a whale. Standing up or getting out of bed takes a concerted effort and is actually painful due to the pressure and soreness in my pelvic and pubic area.
Heartburn has hit an all time low. I spent three nights in a row getting startled awake almost every hour by indigestion as I was basically throwing up in my mouth. Gross!!!! I’ve tried sleeping sitting up but it is sooooo uncomfortable and I always end up laying down and then startling back awake.
My husband and I were desperately searching the internet for more heartburn cures at 3AM on Christmas morning. No fun! We were, of course, out of baking soda so our options were limited. Tums have ceased to be useful and even my savior milk (something I never drank pre-pregnancy) has lost it’s ability to help me. Thankfully we did have raw, unsalted almonds. Three-four of those are supposed to reduce acid. I tried it and it definitely functions as a short-term solution.
The next day I buckled and purchased Prilosec. I’ve been telling my Doctor the entire pregnancy that I did not want to take any medication but my desperation for sleep finally made me give in. Supposedly it takes 1-4 days to take effect however I slept much better that same night.
GBS – Some Bad News
I got the delayed results from my Group B Strep Test as described in more detail in the pregnancy week 38 and pregnancy week 37 posts. I tested positive. This means that I am a carrier of the Group B Streptococcus (GBS) bacteria. It is not an STD but instead a bacteria in the gut and many carriers display no symptoms. According to the American Pregnancy Association 1 in 2000 babies are affected by GBS. Common protocol in the USA, although not in all modernized countries, is to treat the pregnant women with IV antibiotics (penicillin) 4 hours before labor and every four hours thereafter. The chances of the baby contracting GBS if you are not high risk are 1 in 200 without antibiotics and 1 in 4000 with antibiotic treatment. In serious cases, GBS can cause meningitis, sepsis, pneumonia, or in rare occurrences, stillbirth.
I am particularly concerned about this because I wanted a natural birth with no medications. I am very concerned about the negative effects of antibiotics on my baby’s micro-biome and the lack of transfer of good bacteria to the baby due to the antibiotics. Studies have found that “infants who received antibiotics had much lower levels of beneficial bacteria, including Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus” and this was still the case even 8 weeks after birth.
Furthermore, I have an allergy to a sister drug of Penicillin so it is likely that I will break out with a terrible rash from the penicillin which in the past has lasted for months. Lastly, I really want to be mobile during my labor but this will require that I am hooked up to an IV for the antibiotics. All in all this was the worst news of my entire pregnancy and has spun my husband and I into a cycle of research and doubt about what the best action is for baby and mama health. In the meantime, I have increased by Vitamin C and Probiotic consumption as both of these have been shown to fight GBS effectively.
Let’s Do This??
With all of those terrible symptoms, you would think I would be so ready to get this baby out of me right? Well not quite. I’m scared! Labor and Delivery scares me. The pain of labor and delivery scares me. Not having a natural birth for a currently unknown reason scares me. The strep B antibiotics and an allergic reaction to Penicillin scares me. Being a terrible parent scares me. Everything being different for the rest of my life scares me.
I can only take solace in knowing two things for sure:
- My husband will be an amazing Father and I will love him even more for it.
- Women have been getting through L&D for eons (and long before their were pain meds). Not only have most survived but many do it again, so it must be worth it!
Were you given antibiotics for Group B Strep in your labor? Tell me about your experience below!
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