34 Weeks pregnant and entering week 35 eeek – not long now. I am a mixture of emotions of excitement and wondering what an earth am I doing starting with another baby and all the sleepless nights, I am certainly doubting my sanity but I know it will all be worth it.
By week 34 the average baby can weigh up to 5 pounds and is almost 20 inches long – similar to the size of a cantaloupe. The baby is getting fatter and rounder getting ready for being born, their skin is also increasingly smooth and rounded due to this weight gain.
The baby is capable of sleeping with its eyes closed and keeping them open when awake. Organs are fully mature, except the lungs. These may not be fully mature until week 36. The baby’s immune system is developing ready for the arrival into the world.
At the end of last week I had my whooping cough injection which is now given at this stage of pregnancy as the antibodies will pass over the placenta to the baby and should give enough immunity against whooping cough before the baby gets its own injections preventing it at eight weeks old. I didn’t get too many side effects, the worse by far was the sore arm, for days it was like having a dead arm that just ached and was hard work to lift up.
It is said that swelling feet are more noticeable as the day goes on at this stage, as I can only see my feet if I put them up I am not really noticing this side effect.
They say a baby born at 34 weeks would have a high survival rate and may only need a small visit to a neonatal ward for a little help and shouldn’t affect a babies future life and development, but as we all know its best for the baby to stay in the womb as long as possible and I am hoping that is just what this baby does.
I am finding the baby quite heavy these last few days and the Braxton hicks contractions are still a frequent occurence. I have been suffering with an achy body, well bump and back some days and this baby and its constant kicking makes me feel tender at times. I keep forgetting how big I am and bumping into things. The kitchen units are the worst culprits for obstructing me and the bump. I am finding it increasingly difficult to get on and off the sofa and think I am starting to waddle – pregnancy is so glamorous at times!
Despite feeling big some people say my bump is tiny and others say how big it is, all I know is its feeling big for me and when the little wriggler starts moving, which is most of the time ,I can feel quite uncomfortable. It’s obviously running out of room in there and its movements can easily be seen. I am impressed with how different parts of the baby’s anatomy stick out and how big the body parts feel under my skin.
Last Friday I had a growth scan to see how the little wriggler is getting on, because of my low bmi and epilepsy they like to monitor the growth as both conditions can lead to low birth weight. All went well, unfortunately we couldn’t get a photo as baby wasn’t willing to sit still even though we did get some really clear glimpses at the baby. We got to see the face and it was just like looking at my husband, just as the sonographer when to take a photo the baby covered its face and its toes appeared by its head! At first she thought they were fingers but noticed they were toes and said she had never seen toes so clear on a scan before. E was with us at the scan and seemed fascinated by it all.
I have a few measurements I can share from the scan.
Head Circumference 322.6mm 69th centile
Abdominal Circumference 318.5mm 91st Centile – She commented on the big tummy, it’s obviously enjoying all the food I am eating.
Femur Length 65.0 mm 36th Centile
Estimated current fetal weight 5lb 12oz – 60th centile.
So all very good measurements and not measuring small at all. I know the weight is only ever an estimate and many people have been told having big babies and ended up small as the scans cannot be accurate. I am just happy that it isn’t predicted at a low birth weight.
Well that’s all for bump watch this week – check back next week for the next instalment.