Week 34 – Starting to Dilate

Milestone: on Wednesday, my obgyn told me that I am already 1 cm dilated!  This means very little in terms of when my baby will be born.  Apparently, every woman’s body is so different that someone can be dilated 1 cm for weeks and not progress any further until their due date whereas another can be completely closed and all of a sudden dilate 10 cm within the span of a few hours.  Nonetheless, I got very excited by the news.  It just means I’m one step closer to meeting my daughter…

After this week, my obgyn wants me to go in twice every week until the due date.  It sounds a little excessive, so I’ll go in next week to see how things go, and if I think it’s unnecessary to see him so frequently I’ll ask to cut back to once a week appointments.

After I told my husband about the dilation, he immediately started scrambling like a little energizer bunny (yes I absolutely adore my funny husband).  He made Wednesday night our “baby night”.  So we spent date night running around Target and doing some more organizing around the house.  He opened up the stroller and practiced putting the baby seat into the stroller, making sure he got everything down pat.  We even packed for the hospital.  So now I have a bag just chillin’ until the day I go into labor.  We have a bag for me and another bag for stuff we’re going to keep in the car (like the clothes that the baby will go home in, etc).

The bag for me includes:

  • A nursing bra
  • Warm socks
  • Chapstick (I heard you get really dehydrated and dry)
  • Hairtie
  • Toiletries (toothbrush/paste and shampoo)
  • Clothes to wear after birth

We were told to pack as light as possible because you do not want to be lugging around a bunch of stuff when you go into labor.  Some women also like to bring their own clothes that they plan to labor in, but I don’t mind wearing a hospital gown.

Another Milestone: I finished my last class of my entire MBA program this Thursday!  Its been a long, grueling 2 years with many sleepless nights and tons of papers and presentations, not to mention a gazillion group meetings.  I can’t believe I made it.  I learned a lot about business & leadership, and about myself… plus I’ve met some wonderful people along the way.  Even though I won’t be putting this degree to use right away (I’ll be too busy being a full-time mama), getting the degree was worth it and I’m glad I did it (though I’ve had many moments of doubt).

I can’t fully relax yet though.  Unfortunately, I have one more week of studying left.  I’m taking my PMP certification test on the 18th so there’s more studying to be done.  Come find me at my 2nd home at various local coffee shops until then.  It’s a good thing I kinda have a thing for coffee shops.

Weighing in at: 145 lbs. Belly Size: 39 inches

How Baby is Growing:

I have a cantaloupe in my belly!

  • At 34 weeks, your baby weights about 5 1/2 pounds and is about 12 1/2 inches long, crown to rump.
  • The white, waxy coating protecting your baby’s skin (vernix) is becoming thicker this week.
  • The soft, downy hair that has grown on the skin for the past several months (lanugo) is almost completely gone.
  • Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she’s born — are filling her out, making her rounder.
  • Her skin is also smoother than ever.
  • Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you’ve been nervous about preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks generally do fine.

(Source: The Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy and BabyCenter)

How Mama is Doing:

  • Fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester.
  • Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you’re under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning, while trying to get comfortable.
  • 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.
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