Thursday, March 1, 2018

Pregnancy Weeks 33 & 34

Greetings faithful blog readers,

My doctor's appointments have become more frequent, and, with them, the pregnancy updates will too. When we last left off, I was feeling tons of strong punches and kicks from baby girl, Brendan and I had almost finished the nursery and completed our childbirth classes, and my goal was simply to survive my crazy work schedule until spring break (when half of my classes will conclude).

Week 33 
Baby Size: A head of Celery 

Week 33 starts out tough when I wake up in the middle of the night with horrendous heartburn and cannot get back to sleep. I move to the couch (so I can "sleep" propped up), but this is definitely the night I learn to never go to bed without taking heartburn medicine first. After an all day meeting at work, I come home to discover a cold sore (my first since 2013). I quickly email my nurse who assures me my prescription cream from last time is safe to use during pregnancy. My body feels like it is fighting a virus, and I spend the weekend resting and don't leave the house. Another lovely pregnancy symptom starts this week: drooling in my sleep. At least I can sleep! On Saturday, Brendan and I each paint a letter to finish up the nursery display that our friends and family made us at our shower. I paint the "X," and he paints the "O," and we hang a couple more prints in the nursery. I can't wait to show you guys photos; we've ordered the final three prints for the room, but I didn't realize they are shipping from Bulgaria, so that could take some time! Knowing I need to be more active, I make Brendan promise to walk with me a few times a week. I order this maternity support band to make walks a little more comfortable. We have a couple of days of gorgeous weather (70s and sunny), and I'm so happy. On Monday, Brendan and I take a breastfeeding class at the hospital, and learn so much. First of all, I had no idea how all the logistics worked (file under "things I never thought about"). I already expected it would be a complicated process that would be a bit overwhelming at first, and the class definitely confirms that expectation. A newborn baby will need to breastfeed 8-12 times a day in the beginning because her stomach is only the size of a marble and then a ping pong ball. I'm preparing myself for a big learning curve ahead and my plan is to keep my expectations in check and see how things go. I also learned that underwire bras are a no while breastfeeding (what?!), so I'm now actively taking recommendations on your favorite nursing bras (please help!). On Tuesday, I have my 34 week appointment a couple of days early. It's a very exciting one because we have our first ultrasound since the beginning of January. Baby girl looks great: she weighs 4 pounds, 13 ounces (that's the estimate), measures exactly 33 weeks, 5 days (which I am), and is in the 36th percentile with measurements. They check her brain, heart (143 bpm), stomach, kidneys, and bladder, and everything is looking great. She is head down, and the doctor says she'll most likely stay that way. Lying on my back is a definite no now, and I have to turn on my side during the ultrasound because of dizziness. I tear up; Brendan says he is just happy the whole time. As usual, baby girl doesn't cooperate much when it comes to showing us a preview of what she looks like. We see her nose and lips but not at the same time (she keeps her face next to the placenta and her hands over her face). We can tell that she has some hair. Even though we can't see much, we think she's beautiful. I can tell that she has her daddy's nose! On my end, my blood pressure is good, and I'm up 17 pounds total for the pregnancy; my next doctor's appointment is only two weeks away. At least for right now, I'm excited about my visits being more frequent, and I go ahead and book the next several appointments.

I end week 33 feeling like I'm coming down with a sore throat, but a few home remedies (eating a clove of raw garlic, gargling with warm salt water, and drinking tea with honey) have me feeling better overnight. Work remains extremely busy. I feel behind, but I am doing what I can. We get another cold front in Midland and it's sleeting and freezing on Wednesday. I'm not happy about it (and so much for my walking plans!) but I keep telling myself spring is around the corner.

Week 34
Baby Size: A Butternut Squash (Brendan has absolutely had it with these comparisons; "when is the last time you picked up a 5 pound butternut squash?" he wants to know).

Week 34 starts out with a leg cramp! I wake up howling in pain. It's my second leg cramp of the pregnancy, and it scares Brendan if I jump out of bed because he's worried I'll fall, so he immediately wakes up and starts trying to help with my leg pain. It's pretty funny that a leg cramp can cause so much commotion! Brendan and I have our dentist appointments, and my cold sore is no longer contagious, so I can go. I've been making a huge effort to floss since I know gum disease can lead to preterm labor, so I'm relieved when I don't have to cancel the cleaning and my dentist says everything is looking good. On Friday, our weather warms up, and I can continue with my neighborhood walk plans. Saturday, two pairs of TOMS shoes I ordered arrive (pictured above) and they are an absolute pregnancy game changer (easy to slip on and very cushiony/supportive). For those interested, I ordered the Women's Classic style. The maternity support band I mentioned above is also proving to be a good investment. I wear it to the museum on Saturday, and when I take it off, I immediately notice how much back pressure it relieves. Between last weekend and this one, we make so much progress on our thank you notes. Almost done now! On Sunday, we take a long walk at the nature preserve and cook another big pot of soup. This is how I'm getting my veggies in, but I LOVE ice cream (mint chocolate chip), the leftover chocolate chip/cream cheese cupcakes I made for Valentine's Day (they stay in the fridge, so they're still good), and Dr. Pepper (I buy the small cans as a treat). I definitely wasn't such a sugar lover pre-pregnancy, so I guess this counts as "cravings," though I've never been completely desperate for anything like some women describe. On Monday, we take an infant CPR/baby care class at the hospital. It's our last class, and we practice CPR and what to do if an infant is choking, and swaddling. They also show us a disturbing video about infant crying: apparently, some healthy infants cry for no reason at all for hours a day for several months of their lives. The video instructs us to understand that there is nothing we can do other than put the baby somewhere safe and walk away if frustrated and make sure the pediatrician checks out the baby for other issues. There are really upsetting interviews with parents whose children were shaken by a caregiver or family member. Overall, this video leaves us both disturbed and contemplating ordering a second set of noise canceling headphones! Despite the ten hours we've spent in hospital courses, I have moments where I feel overwhelmed and self-doubting. I know this is normal, and I know I'm very lucky to have such a great partner and support system.

CPR Practice 
I'm thankful that sleep has continued to be good and that emotionally and physically, I'm in a good place. I still have occasional anxiety (mostly related to our baby getting here safely), and I still have moments where the pregnancy feels like a dream. My overall emotional state is grateful. Though my lower back is starting to hurt at the end of the work day (I probably need to wear the support band everyday now), and I still have heartburn daily, I remind myself of how much important work my body is doing. Our baby is busy developing her brain and lungs, and though we are eager to meet her, we want her to arrive as healthy as possible, so patience will be the name of the game for the next few weeks. My stomach looks very veiny these days. I don't have stretch marks yet (still using Burt's Bees Mama Butter twice daily), but it it's like my stomach has become transparent! I made Brendan take a photo of it last night. Looks like my mom will finally get to see an underwear pic, haha.

Work is still very busy (lots of evening events this week, and I have two courses finishing in 8 days), but on the bright side, it helps the time go quickly. We only have a little over a week until glorious spring break.

I'll be back in two weeks with my weeks 35 & 36 update. Have a great Thursday everyone!


  1. hi!! I just read your post and am so excited for you! Miss seeing you in Midland. Check out cake lingerie for high quality, pretty nursing bras. I also got some soft ones at target and on amazon...I needed way more than I anticipated because I had to wear them while asleep too. I know that might sound weird but you'll get what I mean once it happens to you! ~Alyssa

    something like this...

  2. Thanks Alyssa,
    This is super helpful!


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