36 Weeks: Cue the Weekly Doctor Visits

On Wednesday, I had my 36-week prenatal checkup — and after the once-every-four-weeks doctor’s visits of early pregnancy, and the once-every-two-weeks visits that started around the beginning of the third trimester, I’ve now finally reached the weekly appointment stage. Baby Hart will be considered full-term in less than a week according to this BabyCenter article, and it’s a little hard to believe that delivery is getting so close.

Gratuitous poorly-lit baby bump photo taken in our kitchen.

So far, everything’s still looking good and healthy: baby’s heartbeat is normal, my blood pressure is normal, and I don’t even really have any new symptoms to report. The heartburn is still around, but is mild enough to be kept in check by Tums, and the dreaded lower back pain still hasn’t kicked in, thank goodness. I’ve even been sleeping reasonably well, and waking up for urgent bathroom runs no more than once or twice per night.

The only downside is that my weight gain is up to… wait for it… a whopping 65 pounds. My doctor had the good grace not to lecture me about this, and it doesn’t appear to be causing any health problems, though its side effect may be a large baby. (In fairness, big babies do seem to run in my family — I myself was a hefty 10.5 pounder — so it may not be entirely due to the weight gain.) Still, the doctor estimates that Baby Hart would weigh seven pounds if she were to be born today, and that she’ll probably be up to nine or ten pounds by the time delivery rolls around.

Speaking of delivery, Baby Hart is now in a head-down position, which was a relief to hear — I’d been a bit worried about that after being told that she was sitting in a breech position back at our 3D ultrasound at 31 weeks. Apparently they’re unlikely to flip again this late in the pregnancy due to running out of room in there, so if everything goes well I can hopefully expect an uncomplicated vaginal delivery. And that’s even considering that she may be large: the doctor doesn’t seem the slightest bit concerned about my ability to birth a 10-pound baby, so… yay for big bones I guess? (And also, ouch.)

In other news, after my appointment on Wednesday I dropped off my labor and delivery pre-admission forms at the hospital. It was the first time I’d been there, and all I saw was the lobby, but it seems like a nice place. The hospital’s website actually has a virtual tour for new parents, which you can check out here — below is their shot of the area where I actually dropped off my papers:

Obstetrical triage waiting room at the hospital. Image from here.

So at least that little errand is out of the way, which is a relief considering how close delivery is getting — for some reason it didn’t seem all that close until October hit, and now it suddenly feels like we’re running out of time. If only there weren’t still so many other little things to do!


  1. Oh you sweet girl; now I don’t feel SO bad about gaining 54 pounds with Joe. And he was only 8 pounds, 3 ounces, so . . . relax, your weight gain is NOT affecting the baby or the docs would say so. Breast-feeding helps take off the weight after baby, and if it’s not enough – well I took a community college class when Joe hit 18 months, and it took most of the extra off. Until Rachel, that is, LOL!

  2. It does look nice, and I’m certain they will take excellent care of mother and baby. Let’s put it this way. They better!! Anyway, you know, Amy was induced three weeks early because she had already reached 8 pounds. Your doctor hasn’t mentioned that, has he? I was just wondering because my doctor did. Are you having an epidural or anything for pain? Those things are a godsend, let me tell you! Anyway, your father-in-law and I are so excited for you and Joe, and we love you!!

  3. Hospital looks awesome from the tour! Looks like every area is covered — great facility for babies, moms, and dads! And even valet parking!

    Not much longer now!

    Love You!

  4. Thanks for the comments! I feel a little better about the weight gain now. And the hospital definitely seems nice based on their photos — I think my favorite part is how they have the window seat sofa beds for fathers to room in overnight.

    No, so far there’s been no mention of needing an induction, although I do have an ultrasound scheduled for next week to get a more accurate measurement of her growth. As for pain management, ideally I’d like to go “natural” and avoid the needle in the spine and the catheter and all that… but having no real idea how bad it’ll be, I’m currently just planning to be flexible, see how it goes, and get the epidural if I need it.

  5. Main thing about pain management: really train ahead of time for “natural”, and ask questions about all alternatives. I had the epidural for Joe and Rachel, it worked fine; I know there are issues, but I had no residual headaches or anything, just a few moments of “are you KIDDING?” when Rachel was on her way, due to the doc taking a bit long and so the nurse who had been saying “push, push” suddenly said “hold that thought” so she didn’t have to play catch!

    Geoffrey was born in a smaller hospital though, and since I didn’t know to ask, an epidural wasn’t scheduled. If I had asked, and scheduled, it could have been done, but the hospital did not have a staff anaesthesiologist. That meant Demerol, unless I was willing to pay $300 per hour the drip was in. Unfortunately for ME, I turned out to be in the 1% who are allergic to Demerol. It killed the pain of contractions, but I was too busy puking to notice! And so it wore off before he got here, and I hummed Rock of Ages with every contraction. I refused to do Poodle panting, LOL

  6. Well, I had the spinals some 50-odd years ago, and no problems at all. As I recall, I had to stay lying down for a few hours after delivery, something about waiting for the medication to wear off. I was on a strict diet with Dave, but not with Leanne. Dave weighed only 6.5 pounds, Leanne 8. So no problems there. Just relax, and go with whatever works!

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