Week 38 Pregnancy Update: Aches, Pains, Toilet Visits and Expectations

When you get past 37 weeks pregnant you know theoretically that baby could come at any time, but I’m not sure the whole "full term" description is helpful. Yes babies come before the due date, but more come after it. Both my girls came in my 40th week of pregnancy so while I have made sure I am prepared for an early arrival I am trying to be mentally prepared that there might be another 4 weeks to go.

A mobile photo take on 38 week pregnant bump in a mirror with children in the foreground

Last time I was 38 weeks pregnant I moved house. It was a little bit stressful and in comparison the past week spent at home with my family has been incredibly calm and quiet. Even New Year’s Eve just involved staying up and watching a film with G (after I had an afternoon nap).

38 Week Pregnancy Appointments

I had my 38 week midwife appointment where she confirmed baby boy is head down, but he wasn’t engaged during the visit (I can feel he keeps popping in and out of my pelvis and as it’s much more comfortable when he is out I’m not bothered about that). My blood pressure and the baby’s heart rate were both good. I also had my Carbon Monoxide level checked. Apparently you are meant to have this done at some point during your pregnancy to make sure you aren’t breathing in a high level of carbon monoxide fumes. I haven’t had it in any previous pregnancy or heard of it before, but as my levels were 2 and well below the level of concern I won’t worry about it.

I also had a blood test this week. I think it’s normally meant to be at 36 weeks, but as I had my 28 week blood test really late they pushed this one back too. The last blood test showed my iron level was slightly low so I made sure I had an iron boost for a few days before this test. I thought that going on 31st December would be really busy, but I got to walk straight in and sit down (last time I waited well over an hour).

Aches and Pains

I’ve been pretty achy at times over the last week, mainly in my back, but still less than previous pregnancies (when I was sat at a desk all day) so I’m trying not to complain too much. I might have demanded a massage or 2 though.

This week has seen the first of the Braxton Hicks at the level I expected from previous pregnancies. I’m talking the stop-me-in-my-tracks intense contractions that are the same as actual labour contractions except they ease off after a while. I’m sure I had these from 34 weeks or so last time so it’s been a relief to get some. I have been a bit worried that having less twinges than with the girls will mean that I have to wait longer for baby boys arrival. My body seems to be gearing up now though which is positive.

My heartburn has continued to pester me with the stomach acid bubbling up at times causing lots of discomfort. It's not so bad some days as it was, but when it is I think I'm turning to Gaviscon faster rather than put up with the pain.

A new symptom this week has been a flare up of some sort of food intolerance. Several times recently I have developed a slightly itchy rash on the inside of one elbow. This is the same place I would get a reaction when I had eaten too much dairy, but too my knowledge I haven't had any and I can't think of what else is causing a reaction.  Just one of those strange pregnancy things I guess.


I’ve continued to be really tired, but the Christmas Holidays and G being home has meant I have had lots of opportunities to get more sleep. One of the worst times is after I eat, it feels like I don't have enough blood for my digestive system and to do anything active so I end up just sitting down or napping until I have energy again.

My toddlers head in my lap looking photobombing a 38 week bump photo

Needing to Wee

I am so bored of going to the toilet all the time. I got off lightly earlier in pregnancy and didn’t have to get up at night to wee etc, but now I feel like I am having to go every hour or so. I was amazed that I managed to get home from our Christmas stay without numerous stops. I guess there isn’t much space left inside my tummy.

Birth Prep

Most of my birth prep was done at 37 weeks in that I washed the newborn clothes, made the SnuzPod and packed an emergency hospital bag (just in case I went into labour while we were away). I have the essentials for home birth and I’ve cleared a space I can build a nest in.


I have been working through the KG Hypnobirthing online course over the last few months and I’m now trying to finish the last few modules before baby comes. I have been provided with the course in exchange for a review which I will post after birth. A big part of hypnobirthing is the practice so I am trying to make time for that as well as watching the modules and reading the book (which I have now finished). The biggest problem I have found is that whenever I watch the modules in the evening the calm voice of Katharine Graves makes me fall asleep (given I’m so tired already) so I’ve had to rewatch a few parts of the course.

How much longer to go?

I’ll admit I keep on having little freak outs that the baby will be here soon. I’ve said several times to G “we’ll probably have a baby in 2 weeks” and he’s like “yes, and?”. I guess I have been waiting so long to get to this point I can’t believe I am nearly there and I’m worried how I will feel when I finally hold him in my arms. Will it all be an anti-climax? Will we bond ok? And will I be able to cope with the exhaustion?

From the point we agreed to have another baby I waited months for my periods to return, then my fertility wasn’t great and it took us a some time to get pregnant, but then we lost the baby before finally succeeding to make this baby boy on our last month before I gave up. My last hope, my last baby. I try to not expect too much, but it’s hard.

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