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Week 32

Aug26

by

pregnancy calendarYour Baby:

  • Is about three pounds, 11 ounces and 16 inches long.
  • Is starting to get pretty crowded in there, so you may feel more subtle, rolling-type movements instead of sharp pointy kicks.

You:

  • May notice a slight change in your belly shape over the next few weeks — kind of…downward sloping. Not so much of a nice shelf for your bowl of ice cream as you’ve had in the past.
  • This change also might signal the retirement of some of your maternity clothes and you’ll need longer shirts instead of just roomy shirts. I can pretty much guarantee that the shirts that no longer fit will be the cutest ones, dammit.
  • STAY HYDRATED. KEEP YOUR FEET ELEVATED WHENEVER POSSIBLE. DON’T MAKE ME STOP THIS BLOG AND COME BACK THERE.

So! We had our first emergency visit to Labor & Delivery this week! Hooray! So glad I was able to check that one off of my to-do list.

I’m now officially 0-for-2 when it comes to Unnecessary Freaking Out Over Nothing Hospital Trips, since I went to Labor & Delivery at 23-ish weeks during my first pregnancy because I was convinced that I was leaking amniotic fluid. Which I was not. Was it mucus? Urine? I don’t know. I don’t really feel like I need to know. You know?

This time, it was blood and a lot of tenderness in my lower back. And in my head, I knew it was a urinary tract infection. (Pale pink, watery, only present after peeing.) I knew I could most likely wait until my doctor’s office opened the next morning and everything would be fine. I had the doppler, I heard the heartbeat, I knew this baby occasionally has a quiet day with no real movement or kicking.

I also knew that if I didn’t go to the hospital to get everything checked out, I would be wide awake all night, wracked with worry and fear and guilt and eventually I would probably work myself into a Total Freaking State sometime around 4 am and insist that we go to the hospital Right That Minute, so…in the grand scheme of things it seemed like going to the hospital at 9 pm instead was the SENSIBLE CHOICE.

And you know what? That’s always the sensible choice. Don’t ever, ever feel silly or foolish for calling your doctor after hours. Don’t ever feel like you’re inconveniencing anyone when you have even the slightest reason to worry that everything is not okay. I don’t care if it’s just a hunch or a “bad feeling.” That baby is in YOUR BODY and you know best, even if you’re just a terrified first-timer who mistakes gas for contractions. Call. Go. Get checked out.

I’m sure the doctors and nurses at L&D have seen it all — every possible harmless symptom of neurotic paranoia…but also what happens when a mother DOES wait too long to get checked out. Guess which scenario they prefer.

In fact, one of the symptoms on the “Call Your Doctor Immediately, Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200″ list the hospital discharged me with was, no lie, Complaint of “not feeling well.” Well, that’s certainly…specific.

And yet…clearly the only way the hospital is able to classify the mysterious yet invaluable diagnostic tool known as “mother’s intuition.” Yep, you’ve already got it, mama. Don’t ever ignore it.

Oh Yeah, THIS: You know, I’ve had a lot of UTIs in my day. Dozens. Hundreds. Dozens of hundreds! And yet I’ve experienced blood in my urine exactly twice. While pregnant, both times. That seems distinctly not-cool to me. Don’t I have enough to worry about going on down there?

New This Time Around: Thank God for AZO cranberry tablets
and AZO at-home Urinary Tract Infection Test Strips. The tablets are easier to remember AND choke down than gallon after gallon of cranberry juice, and the test strips at least give me an indication of how my body is fighting off the infection. (Currently: white blood cell count is still SLIGHTLY elevated, indicating things are still a tad inflamed, but the nitrate test is negative for bacteria.) (I’m sorry, did you not WANT to hear about my pee, or something?)

Note from Alphamom: I urge you to read the comments attached to this weekly pregnancy calendar entry. In particular the one from a former Labor & Delivery nurse, Lauren. Of the thousands of articles that we have published, this one continues to help families immeasurably. I am beyond proud of Amalah and this community. – Isabel

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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29 Responses to “Week 32”

  1. Sarah Aug 27 at 8:29 am Reply Reply

    Wait…are you, like, not allowed to take antibiotics? Because you’re pregnant?
    Ohmahgawdimgonnadie. I’m going to have to use a surrogate. There is no flipping way I’m going to be able to just LIVE with a UTI and try to treat it with cranberry pills. Holy shit. Um, feel better!

    • Marie Mar 02 at 6:29 pm Reply Reply

      No, there are many antibiotics safe in pregnancy that will treat a UTI. However, in the middle of the night, pharmacies are not usually open, so using Azo tabs and drinking tons of fluids are a great way to get a little relief until you can get to the pharmacy for your antibiotics!

  2. Ulla Aug 27 at 10:40 am Reply Reply

    Sarah, I believe it’s because Amy is allergic to a lot of antibiotics.
    I know this because apparently I am stalker with very good memory.

  3. qwyneth Aug 27 at 10:44 am Reply Reply

    Yeah, I wish I’d done this. A couple weeks ago I had FLAMING constipation. It hurt to walk. It hurt to try and go to the bathroom. It hurt to breathe. I hadn’t pooped substantively in well over a week and nothing worked–not fiber, not liquids, not stool softeners, not suppositories. My doctor’s appointment had been canceled because her father died and she had to go out of the country, and the nurse was being NO help.
    The thing was, it didn’t hurt in my rectum (like the nurse assumed, whenever she bothered to call me back), it hurt in my abdomen. As it got worse and worse and worse I became convinced I had a severe obstruction or I was in preterm labor. But I was terrifically embarrassed of calling the after hours line over so ridiculous and minor a thing as constipation.
    Luckily an enema finally cleared things up and the pain subsided, but hell, I wish I’d not spent that week of awful pain and freaked-outedness.

  4. obabe Aug 27 at 8:47 pm Reply Reply

    you TOTALLY can take (some) anitbiotics when pregnant. i had so many UTIs back to back my first pregnancy that by 15 weeks i was on an anitbiotic once a day for the REST of the pregnancy to ward them off.
    UTIs suck.

  5. Lauren Aug 28 at 9:25 am Reply Reply

    As someone who used to work on the L&D Floor, please don’t wait. Yes, the Mom-Who-Freaks-About-Nothing may be slightly annoying, but she is a Million times better then the Mom who’s 8 months pregnant, doesn’t feel her child move for 3 days, but doesn’t call because she didn’t want to “be a bother” – your heart breaks when she walks by, crying, hand in her husbands, knowing she’s about to spend 15 hours in labor so she can bury her child. DO NOT WAIT. Be a bother, be a royal-pain-in-the-ass, be annoying. Call 50 times a day. Whatever it takes to make sure you’er okay and you’re baby is okay. Even the annoyed nurses would rather that then a child in danger.

    • Marie Mar 02 at 6:31 pm Reply Reply

      AGREED! At this stage of gestation, babies should be moving at least 5 times an hour. If a mom is feeling unwell, isn’t feeling her baby move, etc, she should call! NEVER ignore lack of movement at this stage!

  6. Amalah Aug 28 at 10:20 am Reply Reply

    Yes, antibiotics are not much of an option for me, because I am a Freak. Allergic to pretty much ALL the common ones, including ones that generally “work” on UTIs. I took some weird one in the first trimester during my first pregnancy for a UTI, but it was one that isn’t recommended for the third trimester.
    Most of the time doctors just look at my allergy list and apologize because there’s just nothing they feel safe prescribing, unless I’m in the hospital and can take in through an IV while being monitored. (Like after my c-section. They had to special order some super-expensive one from the depths of the hospital pharmacy — I saw on the insurance forms that it cost over $1000 a bag. Sweet.)

    • dana May 31 at 11:17 pm Reply Reply

      Thanks for posting this. I was apx. 8 months pregnant when I got my first Uti ever in my life and it was horrible. I didn’t get blood in my urine and I didnt even have pain when I peed. I got up that morning to eat my usual bowl of corn flakes to find myself sprinting to the bathroom where I proceeded to vomit for an hour. I thought I was going into labor becauseni kept feeling contracting in my belly but when I called and got to LD they said I wasnt that it was cramps and the urine revealed a very bad infection.  Scary but glad I spent thanksgiving day in the hospital not able to eat anything than having my baby be hurt and me not do anything. 

  7. M Aug 30 at 9:28 pm Reply Reply

    Amalah,
    I just want to say thank you! I’m currently 17 weeks pregnant, and am suffering from a UTI (I so feel your pain). But that’s not even the worst of it- my boyfriend just left for Iraq on Wednesday and won’t be back until the end of March/beginning of April. I’m due at the beginning of February and will be all alone.
    So thank you for giving me something to read week by week. I’ve tried reading other pregnancy calendars and they’re lame and not funny at all.
    I’ve been a reader of your blog for years!

  8. charlotte Sep 03 at 7:39 pm Reply Reply

    Thanks, Lauren, for that comment! Yeah, I had a scare with high blood pressure just last week and ended up in L&D–and I’m usually the person who doesn’t want to be a bother. It took my best friend to convince me to go to the emergency room.
    Of course, the only thing the nurses did was lay me down, rehydrate me (I was totally dehydrated) and watch my bp go down slowly again. Still, even when I confessed to my ob/gyn what had happened, he told me I’d done exactly the right thing. Kewl to know that the community is so understanding!

  9. Breezy Sep 24 at 4:31 pm Reply Reply

    I, apparently, am trying to copy Amy in her fears/bleeding/freaking out/ER visits. I was admitted to L & D to be “checked out” and “monitored” at 29 weeks. Yeah, a frickin’ yeast infection. I have never had even one until becoming pregnant and both times I had bleeding! AM A FREAK! The doctor and nurse both reassured me that I should always call and that I did the right thing. I enjoyed (har har) a 6 hour stay on a Saturday watching movies and eating hospital food in my backless gown =)
    The nurse informed me that I should get used to it, because once baby is born parents inevitably are convinced their kid is sick, complete with fever et al. only to show up at the pediatricians office and the kid is running around like nothing is wrong…the joys of looking like a freak. At least I’m not alone!

  10. Gem Feb 04 at 7:26 pm Reply Reply

    Thank you so much for the advice to call your doctor even if you feel silly doing so. This last Saturday morning I read your 32 week entry and chuckled a couple of times.
    That night, I started experiencing some weird menstrual type cramping that I hadn’t had before. I felt silly but keeping your column in mind, I called my doctor to ask if it was normal. She said it probably was but I should go to the hospital to get checked out just in case. Well, it turns out I was going into preterm labor. When I got to the hospital I was 2 cm dilated and within an hour I was at 4 cm with contractions 3-5 minutes apart (though it was hard for me to believe because I was in almost no pain). They had to helicopter me to a larger hospital where they succeeded in at least temporarily stopping later. For now, they are keeping me in the hospital on bed rest in hopes that I can keep baby in me a bit longer. I’m still not sure how things will turn out but they definitely would have been worse if I hadn’t followed your advice I had read just that morning.

  11. Margie S. Feb 10 at 8:12 am Reply Reply

    Since I’m reading this so soon after Gem’s comment, I can’t help but post to say that Gem, I hope your baby is still on the inside! I’m so glad you went in!
    I’m at 32 weeks now, but three or four weeks ago I went into L&D because I was having contractions that were too close together and too many in an hour (about eight per hour). I hated going in, and everything turned out to be fine (with a shot of something to make the contractions at least temporarily go away after they monitored me for a while), and now the hubby and I look at it as our trial run : )
    Thanks for making me laugh every week, Amy!

  12. kristanna Mar 27 at 1:37 am Reply Reply

    I’ve been reading this since I found out i was pregnant this past August. Thank you for posting this particular story. At 33 weeks, I just wasn’t feeling right. Tired and sore, but I chalked it up to working full time, baby shower, and third trimester catching up with me. But after a few days of resting on the couch and loading up on water, the feeling did not pass. On a sunday afternoon, we headed to the hospital for a quick check-up with the on-call doctor. Turned out I was in active labor (Like Gem) and 2 cm dialated. IV of magnesium sulfate and full bed rest ordered for a few days, but fetal montitor showed baby was in distress. They decided to induce by Wednesday and I went back into active labor a few hours later. Thursday morning doctor broke my water and while trying to deliver, baby’s heart rate kept dipping. Turns out the umbilical cord was wrapped 2x around my daughter’s neck and that is what prompted me into preterm labor. She was born with the help of an episotomy and the doctor removing the cord before I could finish pushing her out. Thank god, health baby girl, almost 5 pounds, fully developed lungs. She is now 5 weeks old and doing very, very well at home after just 5 days in NICU. Had I not read your story and Lauren’s comment, I don’t know if it would have turned out so well.
    _________
    Editor: Kristanna, thank you so much for sharing and we are beyond thrilled that your baby girl is healthy and doing well!

  13. Mel Apr 20 at 9:42 am Reply Reply

    Yikesie – Lauren your comment was clearly a lifesaver for Kristanna and I know there are others out there who will not think twice if they are not feeling well and call their doctor. Better to be annoying than to be in mourning…

  14. Tiffany Jun 26 at 9:32 am Reply Reply

    I am a labor and delivery RN and agree please just come to the hospital or better yet call the hospital first and maybe I can reassure you or at least recommend that you come in for a check so you don’t feel so “crazy”. The patients who upset me the most are not so much the ones that come in with vague complaints and I end up finding nothing wrong its the ones whom Lauren described. I would much rather check you out at 3am then have anything happen to you or your baby, period. If you don’t want to talk to me I urge you to page your doctor that’s what they get paid the big bucks for so go ahead and if it can’t wait until morning just call ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry. Listen to your intuition, ladies I have seen it literally save lives!
    ps. this is my first pregnancy and so now i have more empathy for those middle of the night panicked visits and phone calls because until this baby I would have never have guessed round ligament pain could be that PAINFUL, as in ohmygod I have been stabbed with a knife in my groin! One final thought just remember most of us L&D nurses are mom’s ourselves so take some comfort in knowing that we totally understand because we have been there!!!
    Take care and best wishes for happy healthy pregnancies and deliveries!

  15. Ashley Jul 22 at 1:07 pm Reply Reply

    Tiffany – I have to say, I agree %100 on the round ligament pain. I mean, WHO KNEW??? I thought I had a kidney infection or something equally as weird with the sharp, one sided, knock the wind out of me pain that I was having one night. A trip to the ER told me that hey, it was round ligament pain… I felt like an idiot, but honestly… at least at 28 weeks it wasn’t anything more serious. Now I know what it is and just wait for it to pass or take a tylenol. But honestly, this pregnancy thing can be a total mindf***. :-)

  16. Becca Jul 26 at 11:27 am Reply Reply

    Reading all of this is super comforting!

    I have not had a scare enough to have to go to the ER this pregnancy (knock on wood) – but I do have a history in my family of complications from deep vein thrombosis. I also have the joy of having super ugly vericose veins pop out during this pregnancy (think: vanity would make me wear pants every day they are so bad – though it being summer, I say “screw vanity”). The pain can be SO INTENSE and to top it off, I have 2 blood clots (topical) and RLS (restless leg syndrome). While I wear those sexy compression stockings with the prego belly room built in, my legs still get painful and I check them over daily to be sure I’m not missing anything. My DR has me come the MINUTE I think something’s off and just get checked out. Nothing serious so far but they are constantly encouraging me to come in at any point in time I feel “off” because, even though most likely it’s nothing – it COULD be something and when it’s something, it’s dangerous!
    Ladies, do teh bst you can but lean on the professionals AT ANY TIME.

  17. Kelly Aug 09 at 8:08 pm Reply Reply

    I completely agree! I was about 14 weeks along, and I had these shooting pains and flank pain. I was doubled over, crying in pain (I should also mention that I’ve had 6 kidney stones that have sent me to the ER in 10 years). I went in and the doctor admitted me with a kidney infection. They just wanted to make sure the baby would be all right. I am so glad I went in.

  18. Dani Aug 24 at 10:17 pm Reply Reply

    First off I absolutely love this blog even thou it was written quite a few years ago. I had my own experience with the weird something is wrong feeling but unfortunately, even thou I went in the moment I felt off, I was already too late. Trust me you have these feelings for a reason especially if you are in tune with your body. Luckily now I’m 17wks with a perfectly healthy, bigger than average little girl, who would not be here had that fateful day not happened earlier this year. You never know what worlds plan is!

    • Isabel Kallman
      Isabel Kallman Aug 25 at 1:58 am Reply Reply

      Thank you for your kind words and sharing your story. So happy to hear that you’re expecting now!

  19. Jocelyn Sep 05 at 9:33 pm Reply Reply

    Great advice! I just spent a couple of days in the hospital with (AACK!) kidney stones. My nurses were amazing and supportive. And yes- they can give you antibiotic for UTIs- I’ve had two this pregnancy. I love this blog and look forward to each week :)

  20. Jessica Sep 30 at 1:30 pm Reply Reply

    I so agree – I read the whole pregnancy calendar when I was about 4 weeks (because, you know, that seemed like a reasonable way to spend a day at the office) and this post really stuck with me and I’m glad it did.

    After feeling really terrible for about a week, I started having an odd pain in my abdomen at 13 weeks at, naturally, 3 in the morning. After puttering around the house for a while, I decided that it was PROBABLY gas, but I should also probably go to the ER just to be sure because it was…weird, I guess?

    Anyway, it turned out I was having a bout of acute appendicitis and needed emergency surgery RIGHTTHISSECOND. It’s very possible that the baby and I both would have died if I hadn’t remembered this advice and decided to go be an annoying, paranoid pregnant lady.

    BTW, I’m now 32 weeks with the same pregnancy and we are both doing fine, although having the early restrictions on bending and lifting from the surgery has been a pain! So much for my nursery-painting plans (babies like white walls, right?).

    • Isabel Kallman
      Isabel Kallman Sep 30 at 4:38 pm Reply Reply

      Jessica, I am so happy to hear that you and your baby are healthy and doing well. Thank you so much for sharing your story and because of feedback like this, to this day, keeps us doing what we do every day. Thank you and please keep reading and visiting us. :)

  21. Liz Dec 26 at 8:51 pm Reply Reply

    Wow. I could have written this exact post this week (at 32 weeks into my pregnancy). I saw blood in my urine while at work and immediately panicked. In the back of my mind, I also assumed it was a UTI but the sight of blood, especially when you’re pregnant, is extremely alarming. My husband and I rushed off to L&D and everything was fine, it was a UTI as expected. I felt horribly guilty for bothering everyone but in retrospect we did make the right choice going in AND we got to see our baby girl in a 3D ultrasound!! She looks exactly like her father!

    Thank you for posting, and thank you to the women who told their own stories in the comments. Best luck to all the moms-to-be out there. 

  22. Ju Jan 08 at 5:47 pm Reply Reply

    My colleague was in her seventh month, didn’t feel the baby but didn’t want to bother anyone. We argued she could at least call the doctor and ask what to do. He said: when in doubt, always come in and check. Turns out, the baby had a heart problem. They gave mom absolute bedrest and medicine that made her sick while pregnant, but the baby was cured! They are both perfectly well now. 

  23. Julie - Claire Mar 30 at 12:05 am Reply Reply

    With my first pregnancy, i am now on my 4th.. anyway i was young and didn’t really know anything about being pregnant and I hadn’t felt the baby move for at least 2 days and my dad was the one that was worried.. he gets nervous when I’m pregnant because his mom had  2 still births after the 3rd trimester.. and her warning signs were non movement. so he would make a point to check to see if he moved at least a few times a night, which at the time I thought was completely annoying. so after 2 days he insisted i go to the hospital and i was only at 35 weeks.. While there they monitored me and everything was fine and they sent me home, by the time i got downstairs of the hospital i stopped off at the bathroom and there was tons of blood.. so of course i freaked out and went right back upstairs and i had my Son who is now about be 10 next week, only 15 mins later.. so anyway point of the story is if it wasn’t for my dad i wouldn’t have known at all i was even in labor because i had no pain and no contractions just a very very still baby.. and apparently sometimes still quite babies is a sign of early labor.. so no matter what if you feel weird or think something is just not right go to the hospital because you never know.. 

  24. Megan Apr 13 at 5:47 am Reply Reply

    Always, always, always go when you feel off! I am currently 31 weeks pregnant with my 3rd baby and so far no need to go. But with my 1st I had an ovarian cyst that grew to 7 cm, normal is 1-1.5 cm, and twisted my ovarie. I had immeasurable pain and called the Dr. She said to go to the hospital. There she measured it and said that I has to have surgery right away otherwise it could burst and kill the baby and possibly me too. So at 22 weeks I had abdominal surgery. She was able to remove it and save my ovarie. 4 days in the hospital and 6 weeks of bed rest but my baby was safe until I developed pre-eclampsia. I woke up at 38 weeks on Christmas with a very bad headache that Tylenol didn’t take away. So I went to the hospital again and they decided to induce labor because my BP was so high they were afraid I was going to stroke. We ended up with a c-section the next day but the baby, now 3, was perfect thanks to my going to the hospital when pain didn’t feel the same and my head hurt.

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