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 30: Ten weeks to go, and what the heck is gestational thrombocytopenia?

Omigosh only ten weeks left!! This pregnancy has flown by, and I can’t believe I’m in the home stretch. I haven’t started to get nervous yet, but I’m sure that will happen soon!

This week has been a blur, and I don’t think our little man as stopped kicking the entire time. Some of Geoff’s family members are visiting from England, so we had them over on Sunday for a (rainy) BBQ, and while we were eating baby was kicking so hard that they could see him moving from across the table! You can’t tell which of his body parts is moving across my belly yet, but you can definitely see the path of where he moves.

We also started our bi-weekly doctor appointments on Monday, and beforehand I got a call asking me to come in for another blood draw. Since I just recently did a complete blood workup when I had my gestational diabetes screening, I was surprised. Turns out I had a low platelet count, and my doctor wanted to make sure my levels weren’t dropping.

When I went into my appointment, I asked the doctor what exactly low platelets means for me and baby, as I had been concerned that my prenatals didn’t have any iron in them a few weeks ago and I wasn’t sure if that was related. She said my iron levels (and everything else) were in the normal range, it is just my platelet count that is low (normal range starts at 140, mine was at 133).  If you care and can pronounce it, it’s called gestational thrombocytopenia when you have low platelet levels. Apparently it is not that uncommon for pregnant women, does not effect baby and it will go away once I deliver, but if my platelet levels get too low (under 100) it means I cannot have an epidural during labor, and I would need general anesthesia in the case of a c-section.

Since I did another blood draw at the appointment, I was able to get my results yesterday, and *hooray!* they went up a little bit! I was at 133 and am now at 137. Still low, but at least it didn’t drop lower! I still have to do another blood draw in four weeks to double check, but for now it looks like I’m in the clear.

Even though it seems like it’s not something I have to worry about yet, I think I’m really going to consider natural childbirth. That way if something does happen I won’t be caught off guard, especially because I only have 10 weeks to go! My original plan was go only get the epidural if I really needed it, but I was sort of counting on having it there, like a safety net. Maybe I’ll check out Lamaze… any other suggestions? The whole “focus on a calming picture” thing they mentioned at our labor and delivery class really isn’t going to cut it for me.

Any suggestions would be great!

This week according to What to Expect:

Your baby’s brain is getting smarter by the minute, but for Mom, the only thing that smarts right now may be heartburn pain.

Your Baby in Week 30 of Pregnancy

Your belly’s increasing size is a definite clue that your baby is getting bigger every day, weighing in at over three pounds now (he’ll be packing on the weight at a rate of half a pound per week for the next seven weeks). Also growing daily is his brain, which is actually starting to look like the real thing with those characteristic grooves and wrinkles. And now that your little genius can regulate his own body temperature and turn up the heat, he’ll start shedding lanugo, the downy body hair that’s been keeping him warm up until now.

Your Body in Week 30 of Pregnancy

These days you may feel as if you’ve got a flamethrower in your chest. Heartburn is one of the most common (and annoying) pregnancy ailments and here’s why: The same pregnancy hormones that cause your body’s pelvic muscles to relax so you can deliver your baby also relax the ring of muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach. The upshot? Food and digestive juices can head upstream from your tummy into your chest and throat — hence, the infernal inferno. Your expanding uterus, now exerting pressure on your stomach, only fuels the fire.