40 weeks pregnant

40 weeks

Dear mom,

This is it! Your due date should occur in your 40th week – although unfortunately, not all due dates are accurate, and very few babies actually say hello to the world on the big day. In fact, only half of babies will actually be born at this point. That being said, my birthday is coming up; most doctors won’t let their patients go past the 42nd week. There’s really not much left for me to do in terms of developing, but the longer I stay in the womb, the more weight (and hair and brain power) I’ll likely be building up. The good news is, I’ve got enough fat to maintain my ideal body temperature once I’m born. Keep in mind that I should still be shuffling around your mid-section, even in these final days. If I’m not or my movements are feeling slow, contact your doctor to make sure everything’s okay.

Really though, this final stage of pregnancy is all about you. There can be a lot of anticipation and expectations placed on your due date, and every little twinge, bump, and ache can feel like a hopeful sign I’m on the way. Keep in mind that some of those pregnancy signs may not happen to you before you go into labor – your water may not break, your mucus plug may not loosen, but you’ll definitely know when your body is ready to welcome me to the world. If you’re stressed about pushing out your not-so-little baby, don’t worry: your body was designed to do this. Most babies only grow as big as their mom’s bodies will allow, and my not-quite-fused skull bones are designed to make squeezing me out a little easier. It’s a big task, but I know you’re up to it.

If I do choose to arrive this week, it’s best to be prepared. Make sure that overnight bag is packed with the essentials you’ll want at the hospital. Update your contact list and have family and friends on notice to either meet you at the hospital or manage essential errands like feeding your pets or taking care of your other children. Keep your car’s gas tank filled up so you don’t run into any mishaps en route to the hospital. Consider buying a waterproof sheet for your bed in case your water breaks overnight. Having all these little tasks done before can really minimize your stress level when I’m really ready to come out and say hello to the world.

Congratulations mom! Hopefully we’ll be meeting each other soon – if not this week, within the next few. I couldn’t have done this without you, and I can’t wait for us to meet for the first time. “Birth is the sudden opening of a window, through which you look upon a stupendous prospect. For what has happened? You have exchanged nothing for the possibility of everything.” – Unknown