34 Weeks: Phew

Thirty! Four! Weeks! We made it.

I’ve mentioned this a lot before, but this is a big milestone because our local hospital considers this the cutoff for the babies they are equipped to accommodate in their nursery (which is a Special Care nursery and not a full-fledged NICU). When talking about this with my doctor last time I saw her, she even used the phrase “hard cutoff,” which I hadn’t heard before but now it makes me even more relieved to have arrived at this marker — what if the babies had been born yesterday?

ANYWAY. They weren’t. We’re all still kicking.

File Nov 17, 6 10 24 PM

Oof. Does this shirt make me look pregnant?

The Babies are the Size of: Well, according to my Ovia app, the fruit/vegetable comparison for the week is a savoy cabbage, which, honestly, who cares? Cabbage is boring. The Parisian Bakery comparison has been good lately, though, so I looked at that and each baby is the size of a baguette bâtarde and excusez-moi, mais que dites-vous à propos de mes bébés?!

How I’m Doing: When I stand up, it feels like at least one of these two babies is halfway out. This is why pregnant women waddle, I am now discovering. Not because of our increased girth, but because of the babies that are basically hanging right out of our lady biz.  It is increasingly difficult to turn from one side to the other in bed. At the doctor’s office, I can no longer accurately get the desired sample into the tiny cup. I woke up with a Charley horse in my calf this morning and I can’t breathe through my nose at night. These are the facts.

Emotionally, I am feeling MUCH better since hitting the 34-week milestone. I don’t want the babies to come this week, but if they do, I feel more calm and prepared about it than I did last week. That helps.

I have stepped back a bit from work — I’m still working, but I’m accepting help when it comes to running the classroom sessions so I can keep everything else running from home (grading, lesson planning, student feedback, online conferences, etc.). This is psychologically…not easy. But it is the best decision I could make right now. I feel an absolutely clear difference as soon as I am sitting or lying down and the contractions slow/stop. I know I’m taking the pressure off my cervix and helping keep dilation from progressing. So that feels good.

Current Belly Button Status, Etc: Still an innie, can you believe it? The upper lip of it has started to stick out a bit, but the main belly button is still in. Still no new stretch marks that I can see, but every now and then I feel the tell-tale stinging sensation that suggests one might be forming. Maybe I just can’t see them yet? Occasionally, my abs feel really stretched out and sore, too. I assume I will wind up with some diastasis recti from this pregnancy (because, seriously, two babies are in there) but I hope it will be mild/correctable. If that were happening, would I know it already?

Movement: All the time. These little monkeys are constantly wrestling around in there. I wonder where they inherited that tendency from? Heh. They’re big enough now that sometimes their movements seem to just stretch out and re-configure my whole abdomen. I feel it all throughout my torso, deeper than I would think would be possible. Are they moving my organs around in there for fun, or what?! I never really get tired of it, though. Keep moving, babies.

Doctor’s Appointment: I went in yesterday for a regular check-up and an NST, and I was so relieved to find out that my cervix had not changed at all from last week (2cm, 90%). I think my doctor was relieved as well — she was very happy about me making the 34 week mark. She was all casual, like, “See you next week!” and “Maybe you’ll make it another three weeks for another growth ultrasound!” They only do growth ultrasounds every four weeks so that would be at the 37-week mark for me — I would be thrilled to make it there!

The NST went smoothly and both babies were looking great on the monitors. These take place at the hospital, so I wind up reviewing the results with the on-call OB there afterward (rather than my regular OB, who is at her office). This time I met a new-to-me doctor whom I really liked — especially in comparison to some of the other OBs who I absolutely have NOT clicked with. (Topic for another time, maybe.) He was talking to me about making it to 34 weeks and said “with twins, everything after 34 weeks is just gravy,” so that was nice to hear. Even better, I asked if he thought I might make it to 36 weeks and he said he thought I had a good shot. So. Let’s see if we can make that happen! But first, let’s make it to 35. One week at a time.

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