34 weeks feels like another huge milestone. According to some of my doctor friends, the chances of the baby needing lots of respiratory care if he were to come are now slim. Also, my hospital, Martha Jefferson, allows mothers from 34 weeks on to labor there (otherwise I would have had to go to UVA, which has a top-of-the-line NICU), so that’s a relief as well. Of course nothing is guaranteed, but I’m very thankful to have made it this far along.
I definitely grew out a bit in the past week! In fact, I thought that the baby might be dropping a bit because I’ve felt quite a few bangs down there that kind of took my breath away. I’ve read online that babies can drop a little bit at a time starting pretty early, especially for first time moms, so this wouldn’t have surprised me, but my doctor said his head didn’t feel like it had descended – rather I probably had some pelvic floor spasms! There’s definitely more pressure down there in general though, and my stomach feels heavier.
Another reason I thought he might have dropped some is because my burning rib pain (which doctor says is common – muscle spasms that feel like tingles and/or burning under the ribs) nearly went away for a few days! However, they were back with a vengeance the other night, I think I just did something to let them rest. And being on my feet too much Saturday night brought them back! The only way I can get relief from this terrible burning (which unpredictably comes and goes) is to lie on my left side. At least I know of a way to find relief.
Burning rib pain location
I’ve started sitting on my exercise ball (which I bought just for pregnancy) while I work. I think this is helping with my low back pain. I went back to the dining room chair for a day and the pain came back strong, so ball must be helping. Not to be indelicate, but I sit on it with my legs spread open – also to encourage good pelvis position! And my doula says it’s best for the back + pelvis to sit with the knees lower than the hips, which happens on the ball. My doctor felt the baby’s head right in the middle of my pelvis and said it was in a great spot, so I’m encouraged that things are aligned.
Oh how lovely – a peek inside a maternity skirt!
I’ve also had to change the way I do some movements this week. Things like pulling up my pants and standing up from sitting on the floor or squatting – if I don’t do them slowly and with good form I really hurt my lower back. I used to think that the tough part of being pregnant was just having a basketball on your front, but I’ve realized how much the structures of the body change as a result of the basketball. Rolling over at night isn’t hard because of my stomach but because of my hips, back, rib muscles and abs always hurt. Standing up isn’t hard because of the weight or balance redistribution but because of my hips, back and ab pain. Everything is just loose and shifting around in there and there’s a pain somewhere all the time. I look at the other women in Body Pump and wonder how I ever had the stability to do planks and lift heavy bars! I sure hope I can get that back.
[How was this ever my stomach!?]
The baby is really hard in there – meaning I feel his body so firm against my skin all the time! My favorite moments are still those when his knee or foot or leg pokes out – always on my upper right side. He loves to poke them out when I walk! Or when I lie on my left side. We still do lots of playin’ together : ) You’ll find me with my right hand on my stomach all the time.
Ribs and back aside, I’m feeling really good. Still sleeping well, but a bit more tired in general, which I hear is normal around this time. I have little desire to do much more than walk, yoga and lift weights, although I have gotten a few cravings to burst out into a run! Not sure how that would go – lol. I’m finally starting to feel “huge,” like a turtle shell is strapped to my front. I can still see my toes and shave my legs no problem though, so we’ll see how big I get!
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