Your Pregnancy: Week 34
The nursery is almost done. You've stocked up on diapers. You're ready. And you're waiting. And waiting. And hopefully, if all goes well, you'll be waiting for another six weeks. So don't drive yourself crazy, use this time to enjoy being alone, with friends and with your partner. Because soon it'll be all about baby for a couple of weeks (months, years, whatever), and you'll wish you had this downtime back.
Wondering what's up with your body, your baby and your life this week? Read on ...
What You're Thinking:
"It's a good thing there is a Starbucks every two blocks because that's how often I need to pee."
You are exhausted from hauling your bod around all day, so why can't you sleep at night? Is it because your bladder keeps crying out to be emptied every 30 minutes? Is it because you haven't been able to find a comfortable sleeping position since week 27? Is it because your mind can't stop making lists of things to do or replaying that shocking video you saw in your birthing classes? Yes, yes, and yes. It might comfort you to know you're not alone. Seventy-five percent of women in their third trimester have trouble sleeping.
Certain sleep positions
will help you to be more comfortable and sleep better when you're pregnant. If lying on your back is making you dizzy or lightheaded try
sleeping on your side
If you feel like bugs are crawling all over your legs in the middle of the night, get your partner to change the sheets. Just kidding. You might have restless leg syndrome, which commonly affects pregnant women. But it's still a good idea to have your mate do some laundry.
Your baby kind of looks like she's coated in a layer of cream cheese these days. The thick, white substance that protects her skin from pruning in the amniotic fluid is called vernix. When she's born you'll probably see some vernix lingering in her "hard-to-reach" places like under her arms, behind her ears and around her va-jay-jay, if she's a she.. Other news from the womb this week:
The soft fur, lanugo, that covered your baby's body for much of her stay in the womb is now almost completely gone. Your baby begins to develop her own immune system, instead of relying solely on antibodies received through the placenta. This will come in handy when some grubby relative manhandles the baby without washing his hands first.
This week, your baby measures about 17¾ inches, as almost as long as an American Girl Doll (!) and weighs almost 5 pounds, as heavy as a bag of sugar, minus the cup you put in your decaf this morning.
Whether you're a type A personality who had her C-section planned by Week 8, or more easy breezy, chances are that you have an idea of how you'd like your delivery to go
Whether you intend to yell, "Bring on the drugs," stay completely silent (à la Katie Holmes' Scientology birth), or fill the delivery room with your entire extended family armed with video cameras, it's all up to you and your partner (though you should have 51 percent of the vote).
The best way to work this all out is to first write a birth plan—an informal document you'll share with your partner, family, and caregivers. Many curveballs might throw this plan off, but most families find that it's still a useful tool. Having a printed copy of the plan in your medical files will be helpful to your caregivers and empowering for your partner who will speak for you when your contractions leave you out of breath.
Download some calming music
to your MP3 player for use in the labor room. Search for meditation music, Georgian chants, or anything that you find soothing... even if it's Kenny G. What goes on in the labor room, stays in the labor room.
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