35 weeks!

Wow, it’s getting really close to the baby arriving. We have been through 3 of our childbirth classes, 3 more to go. They have been somewhat informative. I knew a lot of the information from friends and co-workers, however there have been a few new things that I picked up. I’m excited for class this week, it’s a tour of the hospital.

We have our hospital bag somewhat packed. It’s hard to really pack it since I’m still using a lot of the items I want to take daily. I do need to get the camera charged up and out so that is easy access. I start my weekly doctor’s appointments next week. Once that starts I know time will fly by. It’s just 1 month till the official due date. I don’t think I will go early or on my due date. I think I will be waiting an extra week, but I should know more when I see the doctor next week.

I’m back to work and sitting all day is exhausting. I can feel my lower back starting to hurt when I get up and move around. At least I’m distracted while waiting for this kid to arrive.

How your baby’s growing:

Your baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that he’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it’s so snug in your womb, he isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

How your life’s changing:

Your uterus — which was entirely tucked away inside your pelvis when you conceived — now reaches up under your rib cage. If you could peek inside your womb, you’d see that there’s more baby than amniotic fluid in there now. Your ballooning uterus is crowding your other internal organs, too, which is why you probably have to urinate more often and may be dealing with heartburn and other gastrointestinal distress. If you’re not grappling with these annoyances, you’re one of the lucky few.

From here on out, you’ll start seeing your practitioner every week. Sometime between now and 37 weeks, she’ll do a culture to check for bacteria called Group B streptococci (GBS). GBS is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during birth, it can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don’t know it, it’s vital to be screened. (The bacteria come and go on their own — that’s why you weren’t screened earlier in pregnancy.) If you’re a GBS carrier, you’ll get IV antibiotics during labor, which will greatly reduce your baby’s risk of infection.

This is also a good time to create a birth plan. Using our form will help you focus on specifics — like who’ll be present, what pain management techniques you want to try, and where you want your baby to stay after you deliver. It will give you a starting point to discuss your preferences with your medical team. Childbirth is unpredictable, and chances are you won’t follow your plan to the letter, but thinking about your choices ahead of time — and sharing your preferences with your caregiver — should take some of the anxiety out of the process.

This Week’s Activity:

Prepare food to eat after your baby’s born. If you cook, start doubling recipes and freezing half. You and your partner will be too exhausted to cook in the first weeks after you bring your baby home and you’ll be thrilled to have healthy meals you can heat up fast. If you don’t cook, go around your neighborhood and pick up all the takeout and delivery menus you can find. You’ll be grateful for all the options at your fingertips.

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