Week 34: Platelet levels, baby showers and pregnancy insomnia

Whoops – I’m a day behind on this one! I have been so busy I haven’t had time to sit down and write this week’s post until just now.

I have great news – my platelet levels have gone up! I’m officially at 141 (the “normal” range is from 140-450). I just squeaked into that range, but hopefully everything will stay there until baby comes so I don’t have to worry anymore. I think I’ll still have to do monthly blood draws to monitor my levels, but better to be safe than sorry.

I’m also really excited because my sister is throwing me a baby shower this weekend with all my girlfriends in Milwaukee! It should be really fun. Plus my mom and Geoff’s mom will be there, and they will get to meet everyone. I’ll try to take lots of photos to share in my next weekly update.

In other (not so great) news, the baby has been keeping me up all night. Well, not all night – just for 15-30 minutes every 2-3 hours. And once I’m awake it is impossible to fall back asleep! I’m sure baby is preparing me for nightly feedings, but can’t I just deal with being sleep deprived after he is born? I didn’t think I’d lose all that sleep until I actually had the baby. UGH.

I have also been getting really uncomfortable lately, due to little man growing so much. Our couch is usually a super comfy place to relax, but lately I can’t seem to find a comfortable position and it is not fun. Last night I figured out that I could use the head pillow part of my Boppy body pillow and stuff it behind my back and it helps A LOT.

I’m also hoping I can get in for a prenatal massage this weekend, but I still have to call and schedule the appointment for that. Have any of you had a prenatal massage? Did it help with back pain during pregnancy?

This week according to What to Expect:

Your Baby in Week 34 of Pregnancy

What’s new this week? Your baby is clocking in at five pounds and could be as tall as 20 inches by now, and the vernix (the white coating protecting your baby’s skin) is getting thicker. This week, a boy’s testicles start making their way down from his abdomen to their final destination: his scrotum (look out below!). While about three to four percent of boys are born with undescended testicles, it’s nothing to worry about — they usually head downtown before junior turns a year old. In other baby-related developments, those tiny fingernails have probably reached the tips of his fingers by now — and getting ready for that first postpartum manicure.

Your Body in Week 34 of Pregnancy

You’re not seeing things — at least not as well as usual. That’s because your eyes are yet another part of your body that falls prey to those pesky pregnancy hormones. Not only can your vision seem less sharp these days, but also a decrease in tear production can leave your eyes dry and irritated, especially if you wear contact lenses. Plus, an increase in fluid behind your eyes’ lenses can temporarily change their shape, making some women more nearsighted or farsighted than usual. Happily, these vision changes during pregnancy are all temporary. Things should clear up as your eyes return to normal after delivery (so there’s no need to change your prescription just yet).

Week 28: Snoogles, Boppies and chihuahuas… OH MY!

Thanks to Pregnant Chicken for the chihuahua reference – I’m getting sick of comparing my baby to fruit! I love her weekly emails, too. They are way more entertaining than the ones from What to Expect. For those of you who do like my weekly fruit images, I’ve posted an eggplant one on my How Big is Baby? page.

Geoff and I have made a little progress in the nursery by setting up our glider/rocker and moving out a lot of the boxes that we had kept in there. It is starting to look like a real nursery now (minus a few key items like a crib mattress, changing table/pad, etc. which are on their way to me as I write this).

As you can tell from the photo, I’ve *expertly* swaddled the pillow that came with the chair. I know it will be different when swaddling an actual infant, but in the meantime the pillow is the perfect size to practice with. And it makes my pillow look pretty.

Speaking of pillows, I am really getting fed up with the body pillow I have been sleeping with. It is just a standard one from Target or something, and it is starting to get pretty flat. Someone mentioned that they make body pillows specifically for pregnancy, so I popped online to do some research.

The two best-reviewed pregnancy body pillows I could find are called the Snoogle Total Body Pillow and the Boppy Custom Fit Total Body Pillow (stupid names).

I decided I would try out the Snoogle to see if it worked since it was cheaper (though they are both pretty pricey). Basically what I discovered is that the pillow is built for someone that is a specific height, which is not my height. And it is extremely overstuffed, while I prefer a fluffy down pillow. I returned it.

Since the Snoogle was a bust, I decided to try the Boppy. Target carries these in store, which was really nice, as I had to order the Snoogle online and wait for it to arrive. My thoughts on the Boppy: slightly better than the Snoogle. It isn’t filled as much, so I can handle sleeping on it, plus it is customizable (comes in three pieces that connect), so I can even use my regular pillow if I want. I like the middle piece that supports your belly, though it took me a couple tries to figure out how it was supposed to be situated (it is more of a pad than a pillow). My favorite part is the piece that goes in between your knees. It actually is long enough for me that it supports the entire length of my leg, including my ankles and feet, which feels amazing for swollen tootsies.

The one downside to the Boppy is that if you are using the entire pillow (all three pieces), it is literally impossible to roll over. I know you’re not supposed to sleep on your back while pregnant, but you can at least switch from side to side during the night. With this pillow it takes what feels like 10 minutes to rollover and readjust the pillow to get comfortable.

I still haven’t gotten the pillow completely the way I want it, but I think I’ll hang onto it. I’ll still keep my old, flat body pillow, but just for those nights when I want to roll over and just end up chucking the Boppy across the room after one or two attempts.

As far as baby goes this week, he basically hasn’t stopped kicking. He is going bananas in there! Of course, he does rest occasionally, which usually happens when someone wants to feel him moving around. Other than that, though, if you just sit and watch my belly you will see it jumping and shifting as our little man stretches and kicks.

This week according to What to Expect:

Your Baby in Week 28 of Pregnancy

Your baby is settling into the proper position for birth, with his head facing downward (toward your body’s nearest exit!). Your little work in progress is now about 2.5 pounds and almost 16 inches long. He’s busy adding new skills such as blinking to an already impressive repertoire of tricks like coughing, sucking, hiccuping, and taking practice breaths. Your baby’s sleep now includes the REM (rapid eye movement) phase — and that means he could be dreaming already (what do you suppose he’s dreaming about?).

Your Body in Week 28 of Pregnancy

While it’s good news that your baby is settling into the right position for childbirth (since you’re now entering the third trimester), the potentially painful news is his head — plus the weight of your uterus — may now be sitting on your sciatic nerve, which runs through the lower part of your back, buttocks, and legs. This common condition (called sciatica) can cause sharp, shooting pain and/or tingling or numbness, starting in your rear end and radiating down the backs of your legs. The best thing to do for sciatica (and the rest of your week 28 aches and woes)? Take it easy — and hope your baby changes position sooner rather than later.