Wow, your baby is about five pounds now so if you wanted to get an idea of what it would be like to have him or her on this side of your belly, simply carry around a bag of sugar, don’t shower for two days and keep asking your partner if they think what ‘the baby’ is doing is normal or should you call the doctor. That should give you an idea of what the first few weeks are like with an infant.
Seriously though, this is a good time to talk about those first few weeks if you haven’t done it before because they can be tough.
This is your first time being a parent and your baby’s first time being a separate person, so there’s a steep learning curve, to say the least. Oh, let’s also add a tsunami-like wave of hormones that hit you just after giving birth that will often leave you weepy and temperamental – imagine a ramped up PMS with dog reunion videos on loop.
The best advice that I can give you is to live in the now. If you start worrying about sleep habits, baby books, keeping up with a schedule, you’ll drive yourself crazy. Just get through the day (or hour) and do what makes the most sense for you and your family – if that means lying on the couch watching a Netflix marathon while breastfeeding and eating ice cream, do it. Here’s a post I did on What You Need to Know About Newborns that may help a bit too.
I always think it’s unfair when people tease first-time moms about being hyper-reactive. You don’t know when you can be lax and when you have to snap into action – you’ve never done it before. Here's the truth - you're gonna feel like an ass half the time you end up at the pediatrician's office. You probably already have experienced this to some degree while growing said baby, so you know what to expect. Just make the call and ask the question. I promise they've heard it all before and won't judge you.
I remember reading something about watching a baby’s fontanel (soft spot) on their head and to call an ambulance it if looked sunken. I was constantly saying to my husband, “does that look sunken?! I think that looks a little different than it did yesterday.” So when I end up going to my Mother’s Group that was put on by public health a few weeks later, I ask the nurse about my son’s fontanel that I had been diligently watching. She tells me that if my baby’s fontanel is sunken, it would be one of the last symptoms indicating that my baby was sick and dehydrated – poor feeding and dry diapers being the first – and that I shouldn’t bother watching it because he would be really sick long before his fontanel would sink. Er, okay. Glad I wasted all that perfectly good hysteria on something useless.
I felt stupid but fuck it, I could have just as easily been right, so figure out the new ropes with reckless abandon, and don’t worry if people make fun of you.
34 Weeks Pregnant Cheat Sheet:
- Your baby is almost 18 inches long (or 45 cm) and weighs about 5 pounds (2.2 kg).
- Your baby's lungs continue to grow and mature while they breathe amniotic fluid.
- Your baby has developed sleep cycles and is even dreaming. (I don't know what you'd dream about in the womb but I like to think it's Matrix related.)
- You have around 42 days before you give birth.
How many months is 34 weeks pregnant?
Thirty-four weeks is 8 and a half months pregnant.
This week's to do:
Postpartum Depression. Your hormones are going to spiral after you have this baby so it's worth it for you – and those who care about you – to know what to look for in PPD. Have a look at posts about Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety and Intrusive Thoughts before you give birth. If possible, designate someone you trust to be your consistent check-in person after you've had the baby. Choose someone who would say, "you're not okay so let's get help" AND you'd believe that person.
Baby Proofing. Infants don't need baby proofing but parents need time and energy to baby-proof which might be scarce after this kiddo arrives. Here's a complete baby proofing list (you won't need all of it) to get you thinking about where you want to make adjustments.