friends & family, health & body, loss, pregnancy, pregnancy, week-by-week

33/34 weeks (and maternity photos!)

Buckle down… this is sure to be a long post! I’ve been slacking on my weekly updates, so I’m going to combine my 33 and 34 week updates. We also got maternity photos taken, and there’s just been a lot going on in general these last couple weeks.

First off, exciting news – we found out my brother and his wife are expecting a baby in November! It’s still early and they aren’t telling many people yet, but I figure it’s okay to write about it here since anyone who reads this blog either already knows, or doesn’t even know my brother and his wife. I’m very excited for them, and I absolutely love the idea of having cousins just six months apart. Not to mention, they live about 5 minutes away from us and we see each other quite often, so it will be fun to get together for playdates and will also be convenient for exchanging babysitting duties.

I will admit, though, that hearing their news dredged up a lot of old feelings, too. When they told us the news, they were only 7 weeks along and hadn’t even had their first doctor appointment yet. I’m always scared for people whenever someone announces a pregnancy early, and the fact that they’re right at the point where we lost our first baby just hits really close to home. Of course, I want nothing more than to be excited for them, but a big part of me is so reserved in that excitement since miscarriage is so common (1 in 3-4) and I know firsthand just how hard it is. D mentioned to me the other day that he too always gets nervous for people when they announce their pregnancies early. We’ve actually had a few friends recently who have announced to us sooner than the standard 12 weeks, and while we’re always nothing but smiles and excitement for them on the outside, deep down we’re both thinking, gee, I hope it works out. It’s just amazing how much your perspective changes when you’re been on the wrong end of a statistic before. I always knew I’d never again have a naive, carefree pregnancy, but I’ve been surprised at just how much our loss has impacted my ability to get excited over other peoples’ pregnancies too. Anyway, not to get all doom-and-gloom. I really am so excited for my brother and his wife, but I think I will be able to breathe a little easier once they’ve actually had an ultrasound and cleared the first trimester.

With that out of the way, here’s what’s happening with baby and me these last couple weeks…

Baby is now almost 5 lbs! Holy moly. That’s almost the size of a “real” baby. He is continuing to put on more fat and is just … everywhere these days. I can feel him kick my ribs, punch my bladder and tickle my sides, all at the same time. Sometimes I swear I’m gestating an octopus and not a human because I can’t even keep track of which appendage is where, although my doctor did confirm at my last appointment that he is head down, so that at least gives me some frame of what’s where (though he still can technically flip at this point, so I’m told not to put too much stock into where his position was at last appointment). Also happening this week is continued maturation of his central nervous system and lungs, which are getting him ready for life on the outside. Hard to believe I’ll be holding him in my arms in around 6(ish) weeks. Also really hard to let go of any control I have on the timing of his arrival! Could be much sooner or up to two weeks later than his scheduled appearance. As someone who’s always been a huge planner, this is really hard for me to accept. To prepare for worst case scenario, I’ve been frantically checking things off my to-do list in preparation for a possible early arrival (am I nesting, perhaps?). I have my hospital bag mostly packed (minus some stuff we still need to buy if we don’t get them from our baby shower this weekend), I’ve washed all the baby’s sheets, blankets and clothes, and I’m going to get keys made this week to give to a couple people who could watch our dogs if we were to go into labor. Still hoping baby is punctual and arrives at least close to his due date, but at the very least I hope he doesn’t come this week, as D is in Arizona and I have my baby shower on Saturday! I was able to capture a cool video earlier this week of baby in action. He is quite the active boy, and I have a feeling we may have our hands full with this little guy!

Mama is feeling larger than ever. At my last appointment I was measuring two weeks “ahead” — which doesn’t really mean anything besides the fact that my belly is 2 cm larger than it “should” be at this point. The doctor said that really anything within 3 cm in either direction is normal, though. Your fundal height typically correlates in centimeters to the number of weeks you are, so at 32 weeks, my belly should have been 32 cm and it was 34. But large belly aside, I’m still doing pretty well on my weight gain. I gained 1.4 lbs between weeks 32 and 33, and then actually lost a pound between weeks 33 and 34. Total weight gain is currently at 21.6. If I keep up my pound-per-week average, I can expect to have gained around 28 lbs when all is said and done, and 25-35 is the recommended amount, so I’m happy with that. I’m not looking forward to a crazy flabby postpartum body, but hopefully the weight comes off quickly. I’m thinking this summer may call for a one-piece bathing suit and a lot of maxi dresses, though! My back is still achy with occasional sciatic pain, and despite having had two prenatal massages now, it doesn’t seem to be going away. I got some more spa gift cards from my parents and my in-laws for my birthday, so I will try to squeeze in a couple more massages before baby gets here, anyway. Even if they don’t eliminate the back pain, it sure feels nice to get pampered!

Oh, and in other exciting news, I think we’ve finally decided on a name. It was actually a name that I originally loved but D didn’t really like that much. He’s been warming up to it though, and last week he told me there’s nothing out there he likes any better, so he agreed to go with that name and then surprised me by saying he actually had strong feelings about which middle name he wanted to go with. So with a first name that I love and a middle name that he wants, I think we’re actually set! We won’t be sharing until he’s here, and I told D I’m still open to changing it between now and the birth if he finds himself suddenly inspired by a different name, but it feels really good to have that checked off the list.

To wrap up this already long post, here are some maternity photos from last weekend. I’m really happy with how they turned out, and I’m thinking of printing a few to frame in the house, including putting one of the close-up belly shots in the nursery and the one with the dogs somewhere prominently in our house too.


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