A Real-Life Pregnancy: Week 34
Belly, Belly, and More Belly!
I can’t believe I’m going to have a baby in six weeks. It seems like this journey just began, and amazingly, it’s almost over. Just like in the beginning of pregnancy, everyone has advice for me. Some of it I will take to heart, and the rest can be annoying. No matter how you handle total strangers giving you free, unasked-for advice, get ready for it to happen all the time, and be ready to respond to them in some way. I smile and nod and say, “Wow.”
During the last week I definitely have been experiencing some pregnancy moments. Although the big baby belly may seem adorable to others (and available to touch whether they ask or not) for the one carrying it, me, it’s not so great having something extending a foot in front of where your belly button should be. I found myself seriously bumping into things this week and having a hard time accomplishing basic tasks like washing dishes, cooking (can’t reach the back burners), and closing car doors. I know these things seem pretty pathetic to fixate on, but you try cooking with a basketball strapped to your tummy!
I’m also having some fun physical issues that came up this week—strange discharge and even some unusual smells. I changed my underwear at least three times a day this week and am assuming that this will continue until the end of my pregnancy. I seem to be having some vaginal discharge, which is completely normal, but it sometimes smells—not an upsetting, call-the-doctor, emergency smell—but a natural female smell. Not having any discharge for so long makes you a little more aware of these things; I’m sure the smell is no different from any vaginal smells I’ve had before, but being pregnant, everything smells! If I detect any smell, I change my underwear, as easy as that in my world. I’m just doing extra laundry, which I guess I should get used to.
Along with this, I have been finding that showering is taking lots of time, so much so that I’m not showering every day, which is not something I’m used to. Part of my morning routine has always been a shower, short or long, but this last week I just couldn’t go through the act of it all. It can take almost 30 minutes on the days I shave my legs, and then add another 10 minutes to apply the thick layer of lotion to keep me feeling like my skin isn’t burning and flaking off. My sink and I became great friends along with my washcloth. I find that I can do a wipe down, tidy up my hair with a wet brush and hairdryer, apply a scent that doesn’t make me gag, and be out the door within 45 minutes.
Heartburn has reared its ugly head this week. I really thought I wasn’t going to spend any time dealing with heartburn, but it’s now my nightly friend. I’ve found salty food really triggers mine, and making sure that I brush my teeth for a long time before bed seems to help me. The minty freshness of my teeth seems to distract me from the heartburn. Good luck!
I can add other symptoms to the list, but I’m not sure if it really matters. I made it through another wonderful week of pregnancy and am so much closer to having the little bambino in my arms. My husband and I are getting more excited every day.
Waist measurement: 43.5 inches
Weekly weigh-in: 172 pounds
Pregnancy symptoms: Heartburn—not the best pregnancy symptom to deal with.
My favorite pregnancy anecdote for the week: “Start eating lots of eggplant, it definitely helps you go into labor.” Random woman on the street telling me how to induce labor naturally.
Pregnancy “first” of the week: Starting to set up the baby area! I started taking everything out and making sure I could put it together! Some of this stuff is tricky, so I would suggest starting to think about experimenting with all the baby gear to make sure you know how to use them right. Yes, you might feel silly walking around the house with a teddy bear in the Baby Bjorn, but at least you’ll know how to get the little bugger in and out of it.
Doctor’s visit: Yes—nothing exciting—weight and pee test.
About the Photo: The above picture of the author was taken during her 34th week of pregnancy by Dean Lipoff.
Read the next installment: week 35
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