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Week 35

Sep16

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pregnancy calendar
Your Baby:

  • Is over five pounds now, although these weight guesstimates will start getting very useless very quickly over the next few weeks.
  • Since most of your baby’s organs are fully functional and major developmental milestones behind him or her, the next month is all about weight gain. And since “normal” weights for newborns these days can be anything between six and 10 pounds, it’s hard to predict how big YOUR baby will be from here on in.

You:

  • Are the very picture of motherly grace and beauty. Also: waddling.
  • Fatigue may be a big problem right now. You may need a daily nap, or find yourself crawling into bed by 9 pm. (I can barely make it to my toddler’s 8:30 bedtime most nights.) And while I’ve always seethed at people who love to cheerfully remind pregnant women to “Get some sleep! Once the baby’s here you won’t get any sleep!” I have to say…dude, get some sleep.

So. 35 weeks. Five more weeks to go. A little over a month. I’ve always found that reaching weeks 35 and 36 is a big mental milestone, as (depending on the pregnancy math) I suddenly find myself looking at just one more flip of the calendar. And I no longer have to include the MONTH when I tell people my due date.

“The 15th,” I can say. With September 15th behind us, it’s clear that yes, I am in the homestretch.

But beyond my own little strange tics, the only real change this week is in your prenatal care. You’ll start seeing your OB or midwife every week instead of every two weeks from now on. (At least until you hit your due date, and at that point you’ll be seen every couple days or so for even closer monitoring.)
At one of these visits, between now and week 37, you’ll get a lovely little poke with a cotton swab down there (in BOTH places down there, actually) to check for Group B streptococci. Group B strep is a harmless bacteria for adults, and 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women carry it without even knowing it. BUT if you pass it on to your baby during birth, it’s bad. Whole heaping mess of problems bad. BUT BUT, a positive culture generally just means you’ll get an IV on antibiotics during labor to reduce the odds of giving it to your baby.

What else will your doctor be checking for at these weekly visits? Well, the usual blood pressure cuff and pee-in-a-cup business, first and foremost. A sudden spike in your blood pressure and/or protein in your urine is often a telltale sign of pre-eclampsia, which causes your blood vessels to constrict and deny blood to your vital organs. It can set in VERY VERY QUICKLY during late pregnancy, and the only cure is to deliver your baby. I’ve known a few women who have shown up, completely innocently and feeling completely fine, to a routine prenatal visit only to get a one-way ticket to the hospital for a date with magnesium sulfate and pitocin and an emergency induction. So…you know. Don’t start skipping appointments, think about getting that hospital bag ready, and make sure your labor coach is reachable at all times.

(I very recently chewed my husband OUT over his voice mail because he went out to run errands and left his phone in the car, because WHAT IF I WAS IN LABOR RIGHT NOW? HUH? WHAT IF I NEEDED YOU RIGHT THIS SECOND? I SWEAR I WILL STAPLE THAT PHONE TO YOUR FOREHEAD IF I HAVE TO.)

(I wasn’t in labor, but I DID need to remind him to pick up a nice pitcher so I could make sangria for a dinner party and NEEDLESS TO SAY, he forgot to buy a pitcher.)

Your doctor will also do abdominal exams to check on your baby’s size and position. This is totally NOT an exact science, but OBs and midwives can make pretty good guesses about which direction your baby is lying and whether your baby has “dropped” into your pelvis. They may start complimenting you on your birthin’ hips or warning you about your narrow pelvis. You can take all of this with a shaker of salt.

(And this also goes for late-pregnancy ultrasounds, which can be off by your baby’s weight by up to two pounds in EITHER direction. I was told Noah would be about 8 pounds. He was closer to 10. But on the flipside, I also know women who were sent right from an ultrasound to an induction because of fears of a big, unmanageable baby, only to birth a perfectly reasonably-sized 7-pounder.)

They may also start internal exams soon, which are LOVELY and COMFORTABLE and sort of YOWIE, to check for any cervical activity. Again, this can seem more momentous than it actually is. Some women start dilating weeks before they actually give birth, showing up every week as 1 or 2 centimeters dilated, and some women can show zero progress at a morning appointment but be fully dilated and pushing a baby out by dinnertime.

Oh Yeah, THIS: Unless I keep my feet elevated for several hours a day, my ankles and feet swell. If I don’t take my rings off at night, my fingers plump up around them like sausages by morning. I’ve always been a big lover and consumer of sodium, but now it’s time for water and more water and pillows propped up under my feet.

New This Time Around: This baby is feisty. I swear he moves more than Noah every did, and he moves in a crazy, pointy, VISIBLE way. There’s always a body part or two sticking out of my belly — elbows and knees and feet, and twice now, I swear I’ve actually been able to identify not just his feel, but his actual individual TOES. (Jason felt them too and can vouch for this. I mean, TOES. TOOOOOES!) Noah was always just various vague bumps and lumps of mystery — maybe the placenta was in the way? My uterus was thicker and hardier before labor and a c-section? Or maybe I was just a little too weirded out by the lumps and bumps to spend as much time poking and feeling and contemplating them?

Finished with the Pregnancy Calendar and want more? Visit Amalah’s postpartum weekly column, Bounce Back. Bounce Back is about the postpartum experience — the good, the bad and the gory.

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About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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11 Responses to “Week 35”

  1. Nanette Sep 17 at 12:49 pm Reply Reply

    Amalah, can I just say how much I look forward to these pregnancy calendar updates? I’m due Oct. 19, basically right in line with when you started this bad boy. I love your take on the otherwise clinical approaches, and I adore your sense of humor.
    Thanks again!

  2. miriam Sep 17 at 10:04 pm Reply Reply

    From my vast experience as an epidural monkey, there’s something magic in the combination of magnesium and pitocin that makes women scream “I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!”
    Did I just bring everybody down?
    Just being at the local tertiary care labor and delivery center gives me the screaming meemees about getting pregnant (we’re trying–anyone want to blow me some baby dust?)

  3. Heather Sep 19 at 12:49 pm Reply Reply

    I also had the same sensation that this baby is so much more active than my first and when I mentioned that to my doc she just kind of shook her head and explained that the uterus just is more stretched out after the first pregnancy and apparently everyone thinks the second (and third and fourth…) babies are more active. Nice way to tell me I’m carrying a tired old bag of a uterus inside me.

  4. Marnie Sep 24 at 11:55 am Reply Reply

    I second the statement that any attempts to measure or guess your baby’s weight at this point are just flat out guesses. I went in for an appointment, only to be sent to the hospital for a c-section when they determined that my baby was breach, her head measured off the charts, and they estimated her weight somewhere over 10 lbs. My 7lb 10 oz little girl (whose head *was* in the 95th percentile) was born a few hours later. Not that I minded the c-section . . . I was already pushing nearly 42 weeks and just wanted her OUT ALREADY.

  5. Crystal Oct 05 at 4:59 pm Reply Reply

    I’m 35 weeks tomorrow and ALL I DO is sleep. I didn’t know I COULD sleep this much. I especially didn’t know I could sleep this much and still be TIRED…SO TIRED.

  6. Jenn Oct 14 at 3:38 pm Reply Reply

    After this long weekend with 3 straight days with afternoon naps, it seemed improbably that I could make it through a full day at work.
    Haven’t started waddling yet, but boy I can’t wait for the comments from my hubby on that one :)

  7. Christine Oct 16 at 8:17 am Reply Reply

    For me (at 35 weeks today) the second baby is a lot less active in utero than the first. I’m hoping for a nice quiet child who sleeps a lot and never cries; in contrast to its big brother, who was jumping around like a maniac from the word go (and hasn’t really stopped yet).
    Sleep, though. That would be nice. With a rotten cold, a toddler who’s started waking at 5am, and getting up to pee or turning over to relieve my sore hips every five minutes, it’s hard.

  8. charlotte Nov 12 at 3:19 pm Reply Reply

    Dude, the husband’s away on business this week and next–on the EAST COAST!!! You’re so right about having the number of the labor coach handy (hubby might well come back to a big bag of horseshit on his side of the bed and me with his daughter in my arms!).
    Yeah, and sleeping? A mustzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz …

  9. Jennie Jan 22 at 10:44 am Reply Reply

    Man, I don’t think I’m a fan of week 35. Maybe I’m just a little more negative, but everyone looks at me and says, “When are you gonna have that baby? Tonight?” And then I have to say, “No, actually more like a month from now. Or MORE.” Now that’s depressing.

  10. Kristin Feb 03 at 11:44 am Reply Reply

    my daughter is scheduled for a c cection in 3 weeks aghhhh i am so nervous :)

  11. Rebecca Mar 11 at 11:37 am Reply Reply

    Kristin – hope all is/went well with your c-section! :) Amalah – I, too, have experienced ‘crazy jumping bean baby’ with #2…and I.am.afraid. Baby #1 was SO chill and easy, so I’m bracing myself for this one to be ‘jumping around like a maniac from the word go’. Let’s just hope he wants to jump on out around week 38 so I can VBAC successfully and avoid a 2nd c-section. Question: for those of you pregnant after a c-section – does your scar hurt a lot in these last few weeks as baby grows and drops? SO uncomfortable! 

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