This week your mind may be working overtime as well as your body as you begin to worry about the impending ‘big day’ but there are practical steps you can take to make these last weeks of pregnancy as pleasant, and as memorable, as possible.
Your Baby in Week 34 of Pregnancy
As well as continuing to grow – Baby may weigh as much as 2+ kilos (five pounds) by now, so they are approaching their eventual birth weight by now. They may still be growing in length too, although as we have mentioned before, that really does vary from baby to baby.
If Baby is a boy, this week they may reach a milestone in that their testes will descend from their tummy where they have been forming into their final destination. Occasionally a baby is born and this has not been the case but usually the situation rights itself within in a year, so it is not a huge concern at birth and is a situation that will just be monitored by Baby’s doctor.
The only other big news for Baby this week is the fact that their fingernails will be growing at a rapid pace. In fact by the time they are born it is likely that their little fingernails will be so long that a manicure will be one of the first orders of business!
Your Body in Week 34 of Pregnancy
Apart from the discomfort of your still growing bump, and all that is coming along with that, you may notice this week that your vision seems to be worse than ever, and to make matters worse your eyes may feel very dry as well. It is all the fault of those pregnancy hormones of course. They tend to cause a noticeable decrease in tear production, which leads to dry eyes, irritation and discomfort. If you wear contacts you may want to switch to glasses for a while and a basic eye conditioning drop will help lube things up again as well.
Again, as is the case with so many conditions related to pregnancy, the changes in your vision are temporary, so there is no need to rush off to get your prescription changed. You should however mention any very noticeable changes in vision to your OB GYN, as occasionally rapidly worsening vision can be a sign of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure.
Tips for Your Thirty Fourth Week of Pregnancy – Write a Letter to Baby
As the time for their debut into the world gets closer and closer you are probably spending more and more time daydreaming about their future. But if you have just a few extra minutes a day you might want to consider writing a letter to Baby that chronicles the journey so far. It sounds a little strange at first, writing to a baby that has not even been born yet, but once you get going it is a lot of fun.
Begin by imagining Baby, and jotting down what you see in your mind’s eye. (Gorgeous? Obviously. Brilliant? Of course!) Chronicle the little things, how you felt when you discovered that they were on the way, and how you came up with the name you chose, even the foods you craved and the lengths you might have gone to satisfy them. Write from the heart and then put the letter away until Baby is older. Most women find that such little letters become one of their favorite items in their baby box (the one you will probably keep with their hospital bracelet, that first lock of hair that kind of thing) and children will be fascinated by it once they are old enough to read it for themselves.
Face Your Fears
The other thing that is probably on your mind a great deal at the moment, especially of you are a first time Mum, is the rapidly approaching birth and the pain that will some along with it. The unfortunate thing is that so many people do feel compelled to share their stories with you, and for some reason they often seems to be the bad ones. Things like “My water broke in the middle of the supermarket.” “The hospital sent me back home as I wasn’t really in labor yet, and then I almost gave birth in the taxi” “I was in labor for 53 hours”. It often seems like tales of a nice, uneventful birth are hard to come by and all of these ‘horror stories’ can make your fears even worse.
There is a reason for this though. Which is the better anecdote, the supermarket story of course, which is why such stories get repeated far more often than the ones about births that went relatively smoothly. Although you probably cannot stop people from regaling you with these tales any more than you can stop them remarking on the size of your bump, or giving you all kinds of unsolicited advice about how to cope with Baby once they arrive, you can keep what you have learned in mind.
Childbirth is painful, there is no sugar coating that fact. But it is also a natural process that has existed for as long as women have. And unlike other kinds of pain, this will be a pain with a very positive purpose and it does have a built in time limit, although that may be hard to believe at points during your labour. And there is always the option of getting some relief in the form of pain medication.
Many couples go into the process swearing that they will be having a natural childbirth and for many that is indeed possible. But no one awards medals to new Mums for enduring more pain than they can truly handle so do be prepared to be at least a little flexible on that issue while also keeping all that you have been learning in childbirth classes in mind as well and keeping the ultimate end result firmly in mind – the arrival of the Baby that you have been waiting all of these months for followed by a nice rest!