Thursday, January 5, 2012

pregnancy update: week 34

Let's get right to it. Same format as previous weeks, this is gathered information from 3 top pregnancy information sites for the 34th week of pregnancy.

Baby's Development -
  • baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe)
  • almost 18 inches long
  • fat layers are filling her out which will help regulate body temperature
  • her skin is also smoother than ever
  • central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well
  • ** babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine**
  • the vernix (the white coating protecting your baby’s skin) is getting thicker
  • this week, a boy's testicles start making their way down from his abdomen to their final destination: his scrotum
  • those tiny fingernails have probably reached the tips of his fingers by now
  • baby's hair continues to get longer and thicker
  • baby's hair color probably is not going to be the same color from birth onwards, so you should expect it to change in color
  • baby is shedding most of lanugo (the little peach fuzz type hair)
  • baby is taking calcium from you to lay down lots of bone
  • If you were to deliver your baby now, it would probably be called a pre-term infant instead of premature. The only difference is in the maturity, particularly lung maturity
  • baby now rests on your uterus and is no longer floating

Mother's Development -
  • fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester
  • now's the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day (and beyond)
  • If you've been sitting or lying down for a long time, don't jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy.
  • many pregnant women experience temporary vision changes during pregnancy
  • you may be getting gassier
  • you may be experiencing increased constipation
  • you could see an increase in vaginal discharge
  • Constipation’s almost constant sidekick? Hemorrhoids.
  • Your shifting center of gravity from back to belly puts more pressure and (ouch!) pain on your lower back
  • Leg cramps are most common around now, when the three main culprits — pregnancy weight, swelling, and fatigue — are at their peak
  • If you’re fair-haired and have a genetic predisposition toward stretch marks, you’re more likely to get them than someone who’s darker-haired (or skinned). A slow and steady weight gain is your best bet against avoiding these.
  • As you get bigger and your body tissues accumulate and retain fluids, you may experience swelling in your ankles, feet, and fingers
  • You knew your hair would grow faster and more lustrous while you were pregnant, but you probably didn’t expect it to grow in places you weren’t expecting — like your cheeks, chin, and back
  • As your pregnant belly gets bigger, your lungs won’t be able to expand as fully, so you may feel winded, even after a trip to the bathroom
  • Expect difficulty sleeping. Period.
  • As your due date approaches and the third trimester wears on, your breasts may leak colostrum — yellowish pre-milk that will be your baby’s first drink
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions are going to get stronger and more frequent within the next few weeks
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions will diminish if you get up and walk around and they should not be painful
  • Measurements of your uterus vary from woman to woman

This week has been pretty uneventful for me, which is a good thing I guess. The baby hasn't dropped yet, I can still feel her all up in the top of my stomach and it is still sticking out quite a bit. When your baby drops, you can almost feel a difference in the way your body is carrying the baby, and it just looks lower sometimes. Also, some women find it easier to breathe. I'm hoping the heartburn won't be as bad!

As far as matching these other symptoms, I guess most of them are ringing true for me. No hemorrhoids though, thank goodness! And so far I've only had one awful middle of the night leg cramp. Oh, and I only gained a pound since my last visit two weeks ago! Yay! I have been cutting out a lot of junk though, and keeping my portions to what they should be. I am going to stick by that so I don't grow a third chin.

At this point, I am still seeing the doctor every 2 weeks. After the next appointment on January 13th, I will go to weekly visits. Also, the next appointment we will make sure she isn't laying sideways or that she hasn't flipped back up. Let's hope she's head down and ready to rock by then. I will be.

Good luck to all the pregnant mamas out there! Hang's almost over.


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