Week 34

Total weight gain: 208, so 41 lbs. Wonder if I’ll hit 50.

Baby’s Weight: 4 lbs, 14 oz

Percentage through pregnancy: 85.4%. The survival rate for babies born at 34 weeks is 98%; of surving infants, the rate of serious medical complications is 10%.

Time until due date:
Six weeks, 41 days

Food of the week (a.k.a. size of baby): Cantaloupe! (Mr. Belding: Screech, you can’t elope! Screech: Who are you calling a cantaloupe, you melonhead!)

Pregnancy symptoms:

— Thank goodness the backboard on our bed has poles upon which to grab. Turning over in the middle of the night has become an epic project. In related news, I don’t even try to pick things up anymore.

— Out of breath constantly.

— Exhausted after a 30 minute walk. A walk that would regularly take 10 minutes were I not so slow. I have a better idea of why old people move so slowly; their bodies just can’t go faster!

— Charlie continues to bang into my pelvic bone or muscle or whatever it is down there. Both sides, too. It’s akin to someone punching you out of the blue.

— I dream about sex every single night. No joke. Crazy third trimester hormones.

The Ultrasound

— MY PLACENTA IS IN THE GREEN ZONE!!!!! Our ultrasound on Wednesday revealed the pesky organ is now 2.6 centimeters away from my cervix, clearing the way for a vaginal birth. I am still taken aback by how upset I was when the midwife started transitioning my care to the MD. To have the chance at a vaginal birth means a lot to me. I still know that anything can happen. But just to have the chance!

— The ultrasound also revealed that Charlie was 4lbs, 13 oz, which put him in the 39th percentile of fetuses at this stage. So, he may be a tiny bugger!

— Met the MD on Monday for my pre-ultrasound appointment and really liked her. Both of the women I’ve seen for maternity care have been fantastic. Hoping one of them delivers my baby!

— A moved placenta means I can RESUME ALL PELVIC ACTIVITIES! See above re: sex dreams.

Worry of the Week:

Charlie is never very active in the morning. This always worries me because I inevitably wake up on my back (a no-no in pregnancy). I fear I’ve cut off his blood flow in the middle of the night.

Pregnancy moments of the week:

— Took our first childbirth prep class last week — A breastfeeding class. It was fun to be with other pregnant mommies and dads-to-be. I feel like I know a lot about breastfeeding, but definitely learned some new things. We practiced different holds (I liked cross-cradle the best) with a fake baby, watched a semi-goofy video, learned how often you should feed (when baby wants!), and discovered objects such as nipple shields and nursing bras. The instructor was knowledgeable, but annoying; she drove us crazy by taking every possible opportunity to push this hospital’s boutique. Really, can’t I just get this $80 bra at Walmart?

— Had two vaginal ultrasounds this week for the placenta. Not very comfortable. Is a baby really going to come out of there?

— Charlie experienced his first major earthquake in utero. I was in the nursery organizing his clothes when I heard Charles yell, “Earthquake!,” and felt the room begin to roll. 7.2! A few days before, we reinforced our the new nursery bookshelves with an earthquake kit, so this was a good test that they work. Up until the quake, I was having such a sweet time putting his clothing into piles and daydreaming about dressing him in such cute things. Baby! Thursday got in on the action, too.

— An evening phone call had me pretty aggravated one night this week, and as I was steaming around the house, I realized that I wanted to wash off my feet before climbing into bed. I turned on the shower pretty low, cleaned off, and turned off the water. Except, I turned the spout the wrong way and got splooshed with a blast of cold water from head to toe. I burst out laughing. However, being 7.5 months pregnant, I am no longer able to hold in urine under that kind of pressure, so I ended up peeing all over myself. Which made me laugh even harder. One of the best pregnancy moments by far.

— Charles learned on Monday that he’d have to go on a business trip in late April. I was OK with this, until I realized that he’d be gone during my 36th week — the week at which they won’t stop labor if it starts. Both my mother’s and grandmother’s births were early, and the thought of him being in freakin’ Virginia if I went into labor was just too much. He was on a business trip the night my father died. I was alone on the bathroom floor, listening to my father’s last breaths over the phone, and I couldn’t reach Charles (he didn’t hear the phone BECAUSE HE WAS DRUNK, but that’s another story for another day). I can’t put into words how terrifying and devastating that experience was. To make a long story short, I ended up sobbing to Charles that there was no possible way he could go and that he needed to change the biz trip to an earlier date. The next day, his bosses agreed, but then canceled the trip, so it was a lot of crying and panic for nothing. Kudos to Charles for being willing to ask for the date change, though, despite the low odds that I’d go into labor that week.

— Charles and I celebrated our four-year wedding anniversary this week. As we do every year, we went the spot where we got married (The Thursday Club in Pt. Loma), although this year we came with sparkling cider as opposed to wine. It’s always so fun to sit in the garden and reminisce about the big day, and it was made all the more special this year knowing that little Charlie is on his way. We talked about him, and us, and love, and family, and got wonderfully emotional. After the sun set, we went to dinner at Thee Bungalow for some expensive NOMs. The owner and even other guests at the restaurant asked when I was due and kept telling me how beautiful I looked. It was a fantastic evening. I’ll save my gushing about how incredibly in love I am with my husband for another post.

Pregnancy Pet Peeves:

— For several weeks, when people ask how I’m doing, I usually share some experience I’m having (Charlie thrashing my organs, not being able to hold in pee, walking like an old woman, etc.). I HATE when people say, “Oh, just you wait! In a few weeks, you’re going to feel X,Y,Z.” I know that women are sharing their own birth experience with me, but I feel as if it minimizes what I’m experiencing at this moment.

— “In my generation” or “But that’s not how they did it in my day,” when your day was 30 years ago. Times change! DEAL WITH IT!

What I’m Looking Forward To: Baby Shower #2 is tomorrow! I am so excited to see all of my girlfriends and bask in the glow of cake…Uh, I mean, Charlie’s arrival. 😉

Baby Milestones:
Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds and is almost 18 inches long. His fat layers — which will help regulate him body temperature once he’s born — are filling him out, making him rounder. His skin is also smoother than ever. His central nervous system is maturing and his lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you’ve been nervous about preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

Quotes of the Week:

— “But they christen boats!” My mother, during an argument about why I won’t baptize or christen Charlie.
— “You say that to everyone.” Charles, challenging the Motherhood Maternity chick who gushed over Charlie’s name.
— “I prayed to Daddy to move it up,” My mama, in reference to my placenta. Um, ew?

Pregnancy-related Tweets:
— When inputting all of my pregnancy “weeks” into my iPhone, I marveled that I’d be 34 weeks on our anniv. Can’t believe it’s here!!!
— Breast feeding class tonight! Wore a cute outfit, although all the preggo women will know where I got my clothes.
— Holy crap. It feels like this child is punching all of my organs at once. Woah pain.
— Super emo. It’s only 10:45 & I’ve already cried twice. One for happiness over meeting Charlie soon, and another for sadness over missing my dad.
— I dare you not to cry at this video of a water birth. I am bawling. http://tinyurl.com/y93hqon

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