Bump Update – Week 34

Baby
Weight: 2146 grams
Length: 45 cm

Baby weighs about 2 kilos now. By this time most of the lanugo (body hair) is gone. Baby’s immune system is no longer relying on the antibodies from the placenta. This self-immunity is important to protect your little one at birth and for the rest if Baby’s life. The vernix (thick white layer of protection present on Baby’s skin) is disappearing; however, a little bit of it will still be left at birth. The digestive system is fully working by itself. Moreover, Baby is peeing up to a pint of urine a day into the amniotic fluid. Even though the placenta is capable of supporting Baby until birth, it will start to age this week.

Me

If you’ve been grimacing over your weight gain all these weeks, relax a bit. Your weight gain will slow down now, even though Baby is still busy packing on the pounds. Due to the way a pregnant woman’s body metabolizes sugar, you might find yourself feeling shaky before a meal. This is the result of low blood sugar and small snacks can help alleviate this feeling of lightheadedness. Most women will have trouble sleeping, not only because of the discomfort, but also because of all the thoughts about the baby.

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So, a lot went down this week. On Friday, July 5th me and D attended my cousin’s 40th birthday party. It was fun to meet some of my relatives, we don’t really get together all that often. It was a great evening and since I’d been too tired and too preoccupied with unpacking the apartment, I decided to go with a store-bought baked good, rather than making one myself. We stopped by Bröd & Salt which is my favorite go-to for lactose free (and vegan) alternatives.

The next day we went down to Nynäshamn to attend a family gathering with D’s family. It was great and basically the first really sunny day since my vacation started. I even had to step out of the sun for a while since my skin is way more sensitive than it usually is. All of these pregnancy hormones, eh? D’s family is so nice and they all have a sense of humor, which I like.

On Tuesday (July 9th) I went down to the old apartment to let in the cleaning crew. It’s so worth paying to have that done, I mean this kind of cleaning is now joke. It’s super thorough! Windows, radiators, fridge and freezer, not to mention the toilet and the drains. Yeah, I wouldn’t want to do that at 8 months pregnant. Then I swung by work to double check on some stuff, before I got to have lunch with E! It was so nice and since she’s pregnant too (her due date is two weeks before mine) we had a lot to talk about. It was such a great afternoon and it ended at her place where I got to spend some time with her, her husband and daughter.

On Wednesday, I had my lab appointment for my glucose test. Since I’m not a big fan of blood tests (yes, they are different from getting a tattoo) I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it. The first blood test was at 09:05 AM and then I got to drink the glucose, which they’d added some lemon-y flavor to. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be, but damn was it sweet. I chugged it down (since you have to do it within five minutes) and then I waited for an hour before it was time to have another blood test. After that one, it was another hour before the last one. I told the nurse that my left arm is the best one (I’ve had my fair share of blood tests taken), for the third one the other nurse (they switched) insisted that my vein on the right arm looked good too and that it might be good for my left to catch a break since they’d already taken twice from that vein. I just shrugged, she inserted the needle (the baby one – butterfly) but then said that barely no blood was let out. I wasn’t surprised. So in the end she had to use the left arm again, plus I had some pain in my right arm too. During hour two and three I felt quite faint and nauseous. Probably due to fasting and the sugar drop after that drink. It wasn’t pleasant. That same afternoon I got it confirmed that I didn’t have gestational diabetes! It was a relief to get it confirmed, even if I suspected even before this that my levels would be good.

On Thursday I got to have a bit of a spontaneous lunch get-together with S, a friend of mine who now lives in San Diego. We know each other from our time studying together and it was nice to meet up and hear about what she’s been doing for these last few years. We had lunch at Urban Deli and we both had the beetroot tartare – it was so good!

Annonser
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Bump Update – Week 33

Baby
Weight: 1918 grams
Length: 43.7 cm

Even though Baby’s bones are hardening, the skill is not solid and the skull bones are not fused together. This allows for Baby’s head to reduce its diameter as it passes through the birth canal. Baby’s brain is developing more distinct functions and is capable of controlling breathing, digestive functions and body temperature. Baby can now tell the difference between day and night. Lungs are almost completely ready for breathing on their own and if Baby is born now, Baby would need only a little medical support.

Me

As discomfort increases, you’ll probably be wondering about methods of pain relief during labor. It’s time to talk to your caregiver about the options you have, so that you’re prepared once in labor. You’ll be gaining about a pound a week at this point (yay…not), half of which is baby weight (literally). Your amniotic fluid is at the highest level now. Mild swelling at this point is normal; however, it’s very important to know the difference between this and the swelling that occurs with preeclampsia. Due to increased pressure in your abdomen, you’ll be urinating at all hours, which may add to your sleeping woes.

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Alright, so as I’m writing this, I’ve already entered week 35, usually I try to update the last week as I enter a new one; meaning I should be recapping week 34 now, but alas, a lot as gone down lately! I’ll write about that in upcoming posts. Just as I entered week 33 (I enter new weeks on Fridays), it was my last work day. Boy, was it hectic. Luckily, I have some of the best co-workers. N knew I was staying late, meaning I’d also be late to the After Work gathering that was planned for 1 PM that day. So, after her last work meeting that day, she came back to work to help me fix the last few things. A, before she left, offered to take are of a few administrative things too. They’re really the best!

That Friday evening (June 28th) D participated in this Swedish walkathon called ‘Marathon Marschen’ or Footrally. Basically, the goal is to walk between two markers (cars) at a certain pace, for as long as you can manage. D had set a goal that he’d walk 12 hours straight. He did, but returned home mid Saturday so tired and kind of wrecked. He said that as soon as he stopped walking, his muscles tensed and he was aching like crazy. This wasn’t exactly what I, his pregnant fiancé, wanted to hear the day before our moving day (moving the last stuff out of the old apartment). However, after I drew him a bath and he got to sleep for a few hours, he was pretty restored. Moving day went without a hitch and we were able to have our first night in our new apartment and in our new and wide(!) AF bed. It measures 210×200, rather than our old which was 160×200. It was amazing.

Since I was the only one of us on official vacation, I spent the next upcoming four days unpacking our boxes and probably overdoing it a little bit. Damn was I ache-y, especially in my feet, when I finally relaxed properly. It wasn’t that I felt stressed to do the unpacking to be honest, rather that I felt like I needed to be doing something. The Swedish weather took a turn for he worse at this point too, so it felt like we’d moved on to fall weather; rainy and gray. Which meant that I wasn’t all that keen on being out and about anyway.

On July 3rd I had an appointment with my OBGYN who was back from her vacation. I updated her on the whole situation that had gone down while she was gone, the decreased movements and all that. On this day I had felt so lethargic and felt so nauseous. Considering I made a pit stop before going all the way to see my OBGYN (I’ve decided to keep seeing my regular one and not switch even though I’ve moved, which means it takes me a little over an hour to go down to see her) to find my brother a birthday present; it resulted in me not eating anything that day before my appointment with her. When she took my glucose levels, she said they were, yet again, elevated. I explained that I hadn’t eaten and she said that maybe that was the reason for the levels. If your glucose levels are very low, the body can try to compensate for it by releasing stored sugar in your body. My OBGYN said that might be the case, but since I’d had an elevated level once before, she wanted me to book an appointment for a glucose tolerance test. My blood pressure was really low too, 90/50, the lowest I’ve had during my pregnancy. Other than that, things were well with Mini. My OBGYN said Mini wasn’t measuring as big as was suggested by the measurements taken by her colleague on June 20th. Rather she said that they measured quite differently. Mini still kept to its curve though measuring just the slightest bit over. My OBGYN said she wasn’t worried about a big baby though.

On Thursday, July 4th, we had a little celebration for my brother at a local restaurant in my area, a Vietnamese place. It was quite nice. The day before that I’d managed to find him a perfume! A Karl Lagerfeld fragrance: Bois De Yuzu. My brother was happy about it, since he’d requested something a bit more sophisticated. We ended the evening with some dessert at our apartment. I couldn’t quite believe that my baby brother was turning 28 years old!

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Bump Update – Week 32

Baby
Weight: 1702 grams
Length: 42.4 cm

There isn’t too much space left inside the uterus and Baby’s movements will gradually increase week by week until this time when they will plateau but not reduce. If you notice any reduction in Baby’s movements you should report it. Baby will not run out of room and should continue to move up to and during birth. The fetal position is becoming a familiar position for Baby. The baby can now use all of the five senses and is busy looking around, practicing breathing, grabbing whatever is in reach, tasting amniotic fluid and listening to the sound of you and your partner’s voice.

Me

The uterus is now about 13 cm above your belly button. This leaves so little room for your organs that breathlessness, constipation, and heartburn are becoming facts of your daily life. Due to the hormone relaxin, your hip joints are softening in preparation for childbirth and you may begin to feel like a duck, waddling from place to place. Your baby may lie head down at this point and pushing its way toward the birth canal. If Braxton Hicks contractions become painful, or regular, it’s time to call your caregiver, especially if you feel like you might be in early, active, or hard labor.

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See? Even the app is talking about the importance of reporting changes in movements. I’m really glad that I made the decision! This week has been calmer, baby wise. Work wise, it was my last and final week before going on vacation and then maternity leave! Wow, last week felt never ending, whereas this one practically flew by.

In my last update I wrote that the OB I went to see mentioned how Mini was now head down, the day after that, it hit me! The pains I’ve been feeling, the ones that I’ve associated with an impending UTI (which never turns out to actually be a UTI) – is Mini pushing down on nerves and such. When I mentioned it to E, who’s also expecting (she’s two weeks ahead of me), she said she’d been feeling the same kind of pains since week 20 this time around. That calmed me a little too, whenever this hits (it’s like shooting pains down there), I usually have to stop in my tracks and get my bearings together.

Indeed, space seems to get more limited for Mini, the movements are much more sweeping (less kicks) and Mini’s different positions can change the whole shape of my stomach. Ha. It looks kind of funny . Sometimes it feels like a little alien in there, the movements are so clear and I can tell that Mini’s getting bigger and stronger. It’s so cool!

As for me, I’m not waddling just yet, but I’m sure I’ll get there eventually. I actually managed to run (well, I wasn’t racing or anything) to catch the train the other day. Wow did my breathing get labored however, though it passed fairly quickly. In fact, besides having a hard time sleeping (not in any pain or feeling uncomfortable, just waking up early) at times, I feel pretty great. I haven’t had much problems with heartburn either, though chocolate (which I don’t really eat that often) seems to be a trigger. I’m starting to feel heavier though, at the last appointment, last week, it turned out I’ve gained another two kilos (oh, boy), luckily I don’t feel that big or very heavy. The light yoga I’ve been doing has done wonders, I don’t feel as ache-y anymore. In a way, I wish I felt heavier or more uncomfortable, as it’d be pretty great if my ‘God, I just want to give birth and have this pregnancy end’-feelings come. It’s a bit scary to realize that Mini will be here quite soon, meaning birth! I’ve had some coaching from a friend when it comes to breathing, I’ve watched a ton of videos and my new favorite Podcast (it has been for a few weeks now) is Förlossningspodden. A Swedish Pod run by a doula who interviews people about their delivery stories. So I guess I’ve done some preparations, but it still feels so unreal to think that i’ll have to go through it soon.

I kind of like feeling Mini like this and I think, even though I’ll be overjoyed whenever he or she joins us, that I’ll miss it. Miss this feeling.

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Bump Update – Week 31

Baby
Weight: 1502 gram
Length: 41.1 cm

Here we go, a little bit later than I wanted to do this update but after our little episode in the beginning of last week I haven’t had much energy and work is pretty hectic to say the least.

According to the app Baby weighs about 1,5 kilos and fat continues to accumulate under the skin. While Baby can gain as much as half a pound a week from now until birth, the weight gain varies from baby to baby. The lanugo (body hair) is continuing to shed, although babies born prematurely may still have some of this at birth. Even though the lungs are the last of all the organs to develop fully, Baby is practicing breathing 30 to 40 percent of the time. Bones are busy hardening and preparing to support Baby’s body after birth. The adrenal glands , which produce the important hormones steroids, have doubled in size in the last ten weeks. Steroids are responsible for the growth and development of sex organs.

Me

Again, according to the app, my uterus is about 11,5 cm above my belly button and space has become very limited. This will likely increase your aches and midnight leg pains. You may even be feeling some anxiety, not only due to your decreased ability to function but also impending labor. Braxton Hicks contractions may become a regular occurrence and can happen at any time. The extra weight that you’re gaining now is likely the baby weight plus the weight of your body that is compensating for the increasing needs of your growing baby.

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During this week I felt a lot more relaxed, I also knew that I had my regular appointment with an OB on June 20th the last day of week 31. It was a new OB since my regular one is on vacation, I was a little nervous about that but everything went well. During my last check up, my blood sugar was a bit on the high side and I couldn’t remember if I’d eaten a fruit prior to that check up, but thought that I had. My OB told me that we’d just have to monitor it to be safe and if it continued to be on the high side or actually got worse; that I’d have to get checked. I was so scared of getting pregnancy related diabetes, however now my blood sugar was quite low instead, so no worries there. She measured Mini and according to her measurements Mini was now above the curve, however the OB told me that it might be because she and my regular one might measure differently. I thought she measured from a lower point, but I’m not sure. I guess I’ll have to wait until my next check up in the beginning of July. Blood pressure continued to be low and she told me to remember to drink plenty of fluids and rest if I needed to.

Oh yeah, she also told me that Mini is now head down! Woho. She told me that due to my small frame and size (was more than a little happy to hear her refer to my frame and size as small), Mini wasn’t likely to change its position and would probably stay put until birth. I’ve heard some horror stories about people who’ve had their babies turned, so I’m glad if I don’t have to go through that.

Other than that, my energy has been alright. Not that high I’ve felt these two or so weeks. Maybe it’s because of everything that happened with Mini, and that combined with work – well, it’s not that weird. Plus, I’m seven months pregnant, so I’m allowed to be a little tired. I have felt Braxton Hicks contractions every now and then, but I’ve had them for a while, they don’t hurt though. I haven’t felt many aches as a matter of fact, and no real anxiety either. So I’m not really complaining.

Here in Sweden we usually celebrate Midsummer’s Eve, but me and D took it easy. After the week we’d had, it just felt like we needed to relax. We celebrated D’s birthday, which was June 20th by going to one of our favorite local restaurants and had a nice evening together. It was great. When we’ve finally moved everything to our new place, hopefully by the time my vacation starts; we’re really going to try our best to focus on us and having some alone time while we still can. Ha.

To all you other mamas out there, how did you spend your last few weeks of being just you and your partner? Any tips?

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A bit of turbulence

I will do the normal bump update separate from this, since I feel like the continuation on last week’s post should get its own blog post. Last week was quite turbulent and caused a lot of worry and left me feeling quite drained.

Like I wrote in the last post, Friday June 14th I thought Mini’s movements were a bit different. They were still there though, so I figured it might be due to me being a little stressed at work, plus I’d been busy packing all of our things in boxes and was quite stressed about the move too. Then Saturday came and boy was it an eventful day! The day of the move! We moved the majority of our stuff to the new apartment. It all went way beyond my expectations, all the big things like the couch, TV furniture, TV table and all of our boxes fit neatly into the big truck that we’d rented for the day. My mom did take some stuff like one of our computers, my (digital) piano in her car, but still it all fit in one trip! I was so happy about that. My mom finally met D’s mom and D’s brother and friend helped us out throughout the day, seeing as I couldn’t exactly lift anything heavy. I did end up being a bit of a coordinator at the apartment though, you know, pointing to where everything was supposed to be and I even unpacked three boxes while they continued to move things.

Throughout the day I noticed that I didn’t feel Mini at all basically. Not even when we sat down for a late lunch, which is usually when I end up feelings things. Whenever I’m active I think it lulls Mini to sleep. When we got home that evening I positioned myself in bed, and even ate a Popsicle in order to prompt Mini awake with something that was both cold and contained a bit of sugar. Eventually I started feeling movements again, for a while they felt normal too, so I relaxed. I didn’t want to overreact either, but hey, pregnancy is no joke and you still have plenty of time to go over worst case scenarios in your head whenever you start to worry.

I felt pretty good during the Sunday and Monday was mostly okay. However, in the middle of Monday I realized that Mini’s movements, yet again, were different. They weren’t the rapid ones that usually occurs and throughout Monday evening and night, when Mini’s usually super active, I barely felt anything. There were movements, like Mini shifted in its place, but no rapid anything. I knew that at 31 weeks, maybe the space was getting much smaller, in turn making Mini move less. Still, I thought it was quite the drastic change. When I woke up on Tuesday, I awaited the movements. Usually, whenever I wake up I immediately start to feel Mini’s movements. This morning I didn’t feel anything though, I tried to poke and put some pressure to try and coax Mini to move, but nothing really happened. I got ready for work, when I got there I talked to one of my co-workers who’s been one of my confidants during this pregnancy (thank you, A!). It’s such a relief to be able to talk to someone who’s been pregnant and who’s gone through it. I was nervous since during Monday the OBGYN’s office had tried to reach me during the day when I was at work and I hadn’t noticed it. When I called back, and even went by their offices (since my work place is just around the corner), they’d already left for the day. D tried to calm me during Monday evening saying that if they’d noticed something really wrong, they would’ve called multiple times. However, back to Tuesday, I talked it over with my co-worker and then decided to go by the OBGYN’s office again as soon as they opened. There I got the news that my urine sample didn’t show anything and that everything looked good. I told her that Mini’s movements had changed and that I couldn’t feel much at all at this point. Keep in mind guys, this had happened during the move too so I thought maybe this was a sign that Mini might be in distress. She told me to call to the hospital where I planned to deliver.

It felt a bit dramatic to call the hospital, but on the other hand, I knew that I’d never forgive myself if ignored it and something was wrong. I spoke to a nice midwife who told me to lie down for 30 minutes on my left side, no cellphone or TV and to try and drink something ice cold. If things didn’t change, I was to call her back in 30-45 minutes. Since I was back at work at this point, I lied to on one of the couches and no, things didn’t change. I called back and they booked me an appointment. When I got to the hospital, the midwife hooked me up to a CTG and at first she had problems finding a heartbeat. I don’t need to write that I was terrified at this point, right? Eventually she found it though, Mini was nestled into the right side of my body, and it took a while for the movements to start, but they did! I was so relieved! It felt good that I went in though and to me it wasn’t unnecessary, it was just something that I had to do to make sure. The midwife said the same thing and after all, it had been their assessment too, since they booked the appointment.

So, in the end it all went well! However, this episode really drained me, plus the midwife told me to drink plenty of fluids and rest due to the fact that my blood pressure was low. Anyway, I’m sure things will work out great. Thank you to everyone who reached out to me about this and supported me throughout it, I couldn’t have done it without you.

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Bump Update – Week 30

Baby
Weight: 1319 grams
Length: 39.9 cm

Wow, week 30! If everything goes as planned, Mini will be with us in 10 week (yes, I know, for first time moms it’s very common that your due date will come and go before you give birth). Regardless, there aren’t that many weeks left. It feels exhilarating and a little scary, all at the same time. I don’t really feel that heavy yet, luckily, so I’m really enjoying this time! Being pregnant is so cool and I love to feel Mini’s movements!

So, according to the app (Pregnancy+): Baby is now able to see, and even though it’s dark inside the uterus, the eyes are wide open and scoping out the environment. Baby’s brain is growing rapidly, due to which it will not gain much weight or height this week. Red blood cells are now forming in baby’s bone marrow. The lanugo present on the skin is now shedding. However, the hair on baby’s head is actually growing thicker at this point. Fluid is now present in the alveoli (air sacs) inside the lungs to help your little one take that first breath at birth. Baby may begin to position itself for birth anytime from now on.

Me

The beginning of this week felt good, just like the previous one did. I felt strong, more energized and I kept up some light training every now and then. Stretching is what feels really good though. However, toward the end of this week (week 30), last Wednesday (my week change is on Fridays), on my way home from work I got these crazy contractions. They didn’t really hurt, but they were frequent. Then during the evening when I did some packing (yes, moving during this stage of pregnancy isn’t the easiest!), I felt pains down there that sort of came with either the contractions or whenever Mini moved. I stopped doing what I was doing, but even when lying down I could gasp due to the unexpected pain. To be clear, it didn’t hurt badly, but it was enough to sometimes gasp or elicit an ‘ouch’ or a ‘whoa’ every now and then. I also felt like I had to pee more often than usual. Like my bladder didn’t properly empty itself. Sorry if this is a bit TMI, but this is mostly because I want to remember how things went down later. But also because I want to be honest with you guys. The next day I called my OBGYN/physician, unfortunately she was on vacation, but I talked to another woman who was super nice. By this time the pains had stopped, and I figured it probably wasn’t a UTI. The woman I talked to insisted that I should have it checked up, just in case and she told me to leave a urine sample in the morning the following day (Friday). She also asked whether I could feel the baby move, and boy could I. During Thursday night the contractions returned, though the pain in the nether regions didn’t return. Still, it made for a sleepless night, which made me decide to stay home during the following day. I went by the OBGYN’s office in the morning to leave my sample, damn was it hard to aim that little tube when you can’t see that well due to the bump. Ha. Throughout Friday Mini’s movements weren’t exactly the same and I was a little worried. TBC in next week’s update.

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Bump Update – Week 29

Baby
Weight: 1153 grams
Length: 38.6 cm

Baby is now approximately two and a half pounds. Baby’s brain is now in charge of maintaining body temperature and also controls breathing. The baby’s irises can now respond to light by dilating and contracting. All the internal organs are maturing and preparing to function on their own at birth. You may even feel baby coughing. The baby’s skin is beginning to look less wrinkly and more like it will look at birth. The extra fat under the skin will help regulate the body temperature at birth and the baby’s head is more proportionate to the rest of the body. The baby is bursting with energy at this point and you’ll be feeling every bit of it.

Me

I’m almost scared to write this as it might jinx things, well, week 29 might have been one of the best so far, or at least in a long time. Sure, my feet have been aching at times, though it has been under control. My energy levels have been really good, I’ve even trained (at home)! So, in a lot of ways I’ve felt great. Mini continues to be active and during our check-up this week, everything looked great. Mini still follows its growth curve exactly, which is always a relief to hear. My blood sugar was on the high side, but my physician said that I didn’t have to worry. I couldn’t remember how long before the appointment I ate a nectarine, so it might have been that. She told me not to worry and that it wasn’t too high yet, but that she’d keep track of it. Here in Sweden (if I’ve understood things right), you don’t get the glucose screening test during pregnancy unless your sugar levels don’t indicate a problem. Next appointment will be on June 20th, the appointments will keep being every other week now to keep track of Mini. Mini’s heartbeat was strong and my blood pressure and iron levels were good. So, all in all, a great week I’ve gotta say. I just hope my blood sugar stays put. I haven’t eaten candy or very sweet stuff, the occasional ice cream now that summer has finally arrived and fruit, other than that my diet’s pretty much the same.

Appetite wise, I’ve felt pretty leveled, it was around 20 weeks that was hungry non-stop and felt like a bottomless hole. Now, it’s back to normal I’d say with bouts of not feeling very hungry. I think I prefer this, being that hungry kind of scared me for a variety of reasons (that’s a whole other subject though).

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