At long last! You have reached THE week! This is the week you have been looking forward to for all those months.
Only 5% of all babies are actually born on their due date. One thing you can be sure of is that your baby will be born in the next two weeks.
Although there is nothing you can do to bring labour on. You have no other choice but to wait until the baby decides the time is right.
Enjoy these last few days. Many women miss their bump after the birth.
Childbirth won't exactly be a picnic for you, but it's no fun for the baby either. One minute he's sound asleep, then the next thing he knows, he's being forced out of his warm womb and into the cold outside world, where he suddenly has to get used to lots of new things, loud noises and bright daylight.
If the membranes rupture, the baby will be able to hear all kinds of noises. He might have been asleep but he'll certainly be awake now. Once you start having contractions, the baby will have less freedom of movement.
Throughout your entire pregnancy, your womb was sealed by the cervix, neck of the womb, which is about four centimetres long. During this first stage of labour the contractions will bring about the thinning (effacing) and opening (dilation) of the cervix.
This could take hours, but it could also go very quickly. The average dilation rate is 1 cm per hour. You'll notice that the more relaxed you are, the faster labour will progress. The final centimetres are the most painful because these contractions are the strongest.
When you are fully dilated (10 cm) you are ready to push. This stage of labour is called the delivery. Most women feel relieved at this point, they finally have an active part to play.
During active labour and the strong contractions, you will feel a tremendous pressure low down in your pelvis. You can hardly stop it but thankfully, you don't have to! With every contraction bearing down, your baby will move a little further. In between the contractions his head will slip back a little again. The baby's heart rate will increase and he will get a little less oxygen, which may make him feel a bit dizzy.
The baby's skull consists of bony plates with two membrane gaps (fontanels) in between, which enable the head to narrow as it passes through the birth canal. Without fontanels, it would be impossible for the head to pass through your pelvis.
The birth of the head can cause a hot, stinging sensation of the perineum, the area between the vulva and the anus, but once the head has been born, the most difficult part of the delivery is over. After that, the baby's slippery little body will deliver very easily.
Congratulations! Your baby has arrived!
Not pregnant anymore and like to announce it on the site? I've had my baby!