In less than 4 hours, I will officially reach the 37 week mark of this pregnancy, which is the starting point for home birth potential. Before 37 weeks (even 36 weeks and 6 days), the baby is considered too pre-term and risky to have at home or even in hospital with a midwife, and the mother would be transferred to a gynocologist (whom she's never before seen or even met) at the hospital and left to labor in a hospital room with a monitor and occasional checks from a nurse until go-time. Sounds awfully impersonal and medical to me, especially since at 37 weeks I can at least keep my midwife even if I go to the hospital...so this is the mark we've been waiting for in recent days. Why do I even bring this up? Baby 2 has dropped WAY DOWN. My belly resembles a ski slope. Kiddo is in position and ready for take-off. Of course, the midwife pointed out last week that this doesn't mean the baby will come early. Second babies tend to get into position faster because the body knows where to stuff them. That being said, she eyeballed me and said she didn't think it would come that week. Uh-huh. Then, our prenatal class teacher last night repeated the same info to the group (as I'm the only second-time mom in there and they were all eyeing me with trepidation lest I give birth before the coffee break)...but then she remarked later in the class that she isn't sure I'll be there next week. The professionals won't say it directly, but they clearly think I'm going early.
Early on in the pregnancy, I had a dream that the baby would come at 37 weeks. My mom recently had the same dream. As did a girlfriend of mine. This particular girlfriend is convinced I'm going to go into labor sometime tomorrow. She thinks my body is just waiting out that 37 week mark, and then it will just go wild. She's so convinced that when I called her to ask a quick question, she picked up the phone breathless and asked if I was in labor already. I think she's more prepared for this than we are. I feel like she should win a prize if she's correct, which brings us to the subject line of this post: place your bets.
For those of you who are pregnancy rookies, the typical pregnancy lasts between 38 and 42 weeks. 40 weeks is the "due date" (for us, that's Feb 27), but statistically few people actually deliver on that date. Every Wednesday rolls over another week (37, 38, 39...). When do you think this baby will come? If you guess correctly (gotta have a date, but don't bother with a time unless you're feeling very Type A), you win a prize! I promise it won't be anything gross. Enter your guess in the comment section (only those with names visible to all will count, so no email guesses) and we'll see who's right. Bonus prize if you guess the gender too (though you must have the date to win). For now, only baby knows for sure.