Pregnancy Journal: 34-37 weeks pregnant with baby #2

Whew! So much has happened in the past few weeks, so I decided to condense everything into one Pregnancy Journal update. Between my boys all leaving for TX, having my beautiful baby shower and having appointments weekly, there’s a lot to cover! Thank you for joining me here on my second pregnancy journey. Interested in the WHOLE journey? You can find my previous updates here!

Weeks 34 & 35 in a nutshell:

The 34th & 35th weeks have been jam-packed, I’ll tell you that much. First of all, Michael, Jack and Major left for Texas to visit family without me. Cue the water works. I wasn’t able to fly past 33 weeks, thanks to my low fluid levels and other concerns, so I was home alone for the first time in YEARS. Whatever was I to do?


Basically, I tried my best to keep as busy as possible, and I totally succeeded, and had fun while I was at it.

 

I went to some of my favorite eating spots, hung out with my parents, got a manicure in addition to a relaxing spa day, and had my baby shower at the absolutely amazing Sagamore Pendry Hotel in Fells Point, thanks to my wonderful mom who hosted.

My baby shower was my favorite part of my time apart from my boys. It was beautiful, and simple, just the way I had envisioned it. My mom hosted a delicious lunch at the brand new Sagamore Pendry Hotel in Fells Point, Baltimore, and oh my gosh, the both food and the atmosphere were unreal. This hotel is stunning, and I highly recommend you go check it out if possible.

But the best part wasn’t the food or the atmosphere, it was having my friends together, hanging out, eating, chatting and just being together.

No, there were no games, no kitch, no typical baby shower stuff. It was just perfect. Plus, I got some REALLY AMAZING gifts for sweet Genevieve.

I can’t wait to get all of her new clothes and bedding washed and ready for her arrival. I guess I’ve been hesitant to wash everything, but it really is getting time to start packing my hospital bag, and there are a couple of outfits I have in mind for her first couple of days in the world.

Anyway, I’m glad to have my husband and my baby boy home from TX, but sad to have my big boy still there. I know he’s having the best time hanging back and enjoying time with family, but man, I miss having Major around. He’ll be home soon, and he’s having a blast, and that’s all that matters.

Other than all of the excitement, this pregnancy is really taking a toll on me. I know I must sound like a broken record, but everything just keeps intensifying… No joke, I am so nauseated, and wake up in the morning having to take big, deep breaths to prevent myself from throwing up. I’m not sure what exactly I’d throw up that early in the morning, but it feels like a close call every single day. The waves of nausea slam me out of nowhere several times throughout the day too, and it’s just a huge let down.

Luckily, I remembered the joys that come with taking Prevacid daily during my last pregnancy, and I have managed to get my heartburn under control, and in doing so, I have been able to heal my esophagus burns, so swallowing isn’t hell-on-earth any longer. Praise God. I can’t believe I didn’t start taking the Prevacid sooner. I just forgot. Go figure.

Eating has been weird for me. I have zero cravings, other than watermelon, which is a major craving. I have like a MILLION aversions, and a lot of the time, nothing is appealing. Even foods that I generally LOVE and consider favorites aren’t appealing to me. The nausea mixed with the fact that I get super full super fast, and the aversions, eating is hard. I basically have been living off fast food, pizza, cereal and fruit. I guess it could be worse.

Unfortunately, I have been having other “stomach issues” during my 35th week that have left me sprinting to find the bathroom, emergency style. I have read that may mean my body is preparing for labor, expelling all waste, which is crazy. I can’t believe we’re that close to labor. But we are. We ARE that close. I can’t wait to meet my daughter.

My lower back pain, and sciatic nerves have acting up, and I’m guessing it has to do with the baby’s positioning in my pelvic region, as she’s definitely dropped lower down. I knew I was carrying low to begin with, but man oh man, is there a difference!!! My doctor referred me to a specialist in physical therapy for prenatal care, so I scheduled an appointment for my 36th week on the same day as my next doctor appointment and growth scan. It’ll be a busy day, centered around my baby girl!

I’m really looking forward to Wednesday, speaking of. They’re going to start checking my cervix for activity this coming week, and that’s exciting to me. Not the exam itself, since that sort of sucks and from when I remember, it’s really quite uncomfortable, but I’m excited to see if we’re getting ready to greet Genevieve.

I am also excited for my growth scan. If you’ve joined me on this pregnancy journey as of late, you’ll remember that I’ve been having issues with my amniotic fluid levels being extremely low, and issues with baby G measuring really small. As of the 34th week, G is measuring about 4 weeks behind with belly measurements, so it’ll be nice to ACTUALLY see how much she ACTUALLY weighs and how big she ACTUALLY is. While belly measurements are generally quite reliable, it is possible that they’re inaccurate if she’s settled SUPER low in my pelvic region, or stretched out super long, which is what I’m hoping. But we’ll see. There’s a lot of exciting stuff to come!

Week 36 in a nutshell:

I can’t believe there’s only 4 weeks to go until my official due date, and 3 weeks from the first due date I was given. Yep, I’m officially in my 36th week, and it’s marked by some trying times, but some interesting new things as well. I’ll start off with the interesting.

The morning of the start to my 36th week, I woke up before 6 a.m., ready to go. I’m talking wide awake, can’t just turn over, close my eyes, and drift back off to the beautiful world of sleep. Oh how I miss sleep… But no. My mind was awake, and I was growing more and more restless just laying in bed.

So I got up, did my morning routine, and got started on cleaning my bathroom. When that was done to my satisfaction, I began cleaning the cats’ space, even though the day before I had completely scoured their potty area and gave them all brand new litter, and then I decided it was a great time to vacuum, clean the kitchen, and dust the downstairs. And just like that, I was finished with my cleaning duties for the day before 8:15 a.m. and I didn’t know what to do with myself.

Well, I hadn’t started any laundry for Genevieve yet, including clothes, blankets and other laundry-able stuff, and it just seemed like a good idea. I mean, the baby is due to arrive at any day by this point, so it became more and more apparent that this sort of thing just needs to get done. I figured right then was as good a time as any. So her clothes are washed, folded and ready to wear.

Folks, I’m officially nesting. I didn’t do this with my last pregnancy at all. Like, AT ALL. I don’t know if it was because we were moving very shortly after Jack’s impending birth, or if it was just that I didn’t get the urge to clean and organize ahead of time, but this is a very strange sensation – this nesting business – that’s for sure.

So while I am sitting here with obnoxious thoughts about cleaning and organization, I am also experiencing true frustration that comes with this inability to do what I would consider “normal” physical activity without enormous struggle.

Yes, I face extreme struggle while walking to the park, pushing the stroller, or carrying Jack up the stairs for bedtime, anything like that. But that’s not all. Everything has become harder and harder. I’m talking even more basic, like getting up off the couch, getting in and out of bed, shaving my legs, or getting comfortable at all in general. Stuff like that. It’s starting to really get to me, and these feelings of being truly incapable are getting me down.

I just need to continue to remind myself on a several-times-a-day basis that this is all temporary, and that soon enough, the pregnancy will be over, I’ll have my precious daughter to hold, and eventually, I’ll be able to do things again, like stand up without extreme difficulty. While everything truly sucks right now, it is all worth it. It’s just hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you’re at this point. At least it’s that way for me. To say there’s less than 30 days left of this pregnancy sounds both SO FAR and TOO SOON, somehow simultaneously.

Also, my big boy came home, and it was SO great to get him back. I was so glad Major had a great time down in TX with his grandparents and aunts, but as he said, home is home, and there’s nothing better than that.

Another thing that happened during the 36th week was my first cervix check to see if I’m dilated at all (I’m not), and a growth scan/biometric screening to see how big the baby is, and to check breathing movements, fluid levels and all that jazz.

While my fluid levels are still low, they’re not in the danger zone, praise God. Basically what it means is that I need to continue to really work on hydration and resting. Good luck, right? I’m terrible at resting, especially with 2 kids to look after.

We also learned that Genevieve is roughly 5 lb 2 oz at this point, and is projected to be around 6 lb 5 oz for delivery, provided we make it to the 39-40 week mark. She is fully head down, all ready to come on out. Well, maybe not QUITE yet, but we’re on our way to have her ready to come out. She is REALLY low, which is probably contributing to my waddle, and my obscene pelvic pressure. It was really cool to see her little lungs working, her stomach moving with breath action, and to see her wiggling and dancing away on the screen. We didn’t get to see her face, since she’s in a funky position, but I already know it’ll be breathtaking. I really just can’t wait.

The 36th week mark also included some physical therapy because my back pain and sciatica have been so gnarly. I couldn’t even stand or walk the other day for a while. Literally, crawling around on the ground. It was so bad, and so awkward, and so demeaning. Luckily, the physical therapy WORKED. Even just after ONE SESSION. I was massaged, tugged, pushed and did some resistance exercises, and everything I did helped in ways I can’t even express. A pain I’d been suffering with for the better part of a year is nearly 100% gone, and I can’t even believe it. I was beginning to think that the searing spot of death in the middle of my back was my new normal, but now I am free! FREE!!!!

I was up 20 lb at 36 weeks, and food was not something that I was playing friendly with anymore, sadly. Unless it was watermelon. I have been feeling as though I traveled back in time to the first trimester, where I was nauseated and queasy most of the time with a ton of aversions to foods and smells. Yep, that’s where I was again. Most food sound yucky, and a lot of things are hard to eat, but I am eating plenty. I’m also having to plan for bedtime with a significant amount of snacks stored away in my bedside table for when I wake up in the night feeling nauseated due to hunger. I’ve been enjoying tortillas with peanut butter, granola bars and fruit snacks, and pop tarts for those occasions.

Basically, 36 weeks was hard, emotionally and physically, and I am really ready for this bundle of love to be born. I know it’s still “early,” but when you get to this point of being RIGHT THERE, right at the end, it seems like time couldn’t slow down any more. It seems like every day is a week, and every week is a year. This whole pregnancy seemed to fly by at the speed of light until now, and with every day that crawls by, I wonder when the BIG DAY will be! I mean, it truly could be any day now.

Week 37 in a nutshell: 

Happy Independence Day! Well, I guess it won’t be the 4th any longer by the time I get this monster of an entry completed and posted, but we had a lot of fun celebrating and watching the fireworks from our roof with the rest of our neighbors, also up on their rooftops. I truly love living here in Baltimore.

Now, on with the good stuff…

Week 37 began on Wednesday July 5th, and here I am writing this on the 7th.  I have found myself in a funny spot. A spot where I’m equally anxious about having my daughter as I am about keeping her in a bit longer. I’m anxious about delivery. I’m anxious about having her in the world. I’m anxious that I’m not quite ready. I’m anxious about planning. I’m anxious about what the other kids will do while I’m at the hospital. I’m also anxious about the waiting, and about the not knowing when her birth will be. I’m anxious about my impatience. I’m ANXIOUS, OK? My brain won’t stop going in circles in all of that mess. But at the end of it all, I just have to trust in God and my body and my doctors, and that everything will work out beautifully, and soon, very soon, I’ll have a baby girl in my arms.

I received some exciting news at my 37 week appointment, which was on the 6th! My cervix has made some major moves, and I’m a loose 2 cm dilated (opened) and 90% effaced (thinned)! My doctor said that I should expect this baby to come at any day now, and she said that she’d be surprised if I made it to my next appointment, next week. She told me to go home and pack my hospital bag. NOW.

Now, I’m going to say this once, but I mean it a LOT… I officially have my hopes up. I have my hopes set SO HIGH right now that this baby will ACTUALLY be here within the week! I guess her basis for saying this is that not 6 days ago was my cervix super closed with practically zero effacement. So a LOT of action has been going down, and quickly for that matter. And I’ve been feeling a ton of contractions the past couple of days, so I guess that’s what’s been going down down there.

So, in terms of how things are going with the pregnancy at this point during the 37th week symptom-wise, my appetite has soared. Like, it’s gone from zero to 60 in a matter of seconds, and I can barely keep up. I mean, it’s unusual, since the past couple of weeks, I’ve had hardly any appetite, and I felt like I was forcing myself to find something, ANYTHING to eat. But now? Now, I’m like… ALL THE FOOD SOUNDS SO GOOD!!! Instead of force feeding my body, I am having to force myself not to go too overboard. In fact, I gained a couple pounds this past week, putting my total weight gain around 22 lb. for this pregnancy so far. 

Sleeping has been different this past week. I generally wake up around 5 a.m., ready to go for the day. It usually leaves me feeling exhausted by the time 10 a.m. rolls around, but there’s no way I can go back to sleep when I wake up early. I guess it’s all practice for when the baby comes. 

I’m still having some sciatic issues and lower back issues, but they’re not nearly as pronounced now as they were last week, thanks to physical therapy. So to anyone who is suffering out there with these issues of serious pain? I would totally recommend and suggest you not play hero, and ask your OB/GYN for a physical therapy referral. I turned my nose up at the idea at first, but I am forever grateful I decided to actually go through with it and make the appointment. I’m also really excited to have another appointment this afternoon. I can’t wait.

So this summer is obviously panning out to be a really exciting one, and I can’t wait for the day that I can get on here and share the happy news that Genevieve has arrived. Until then, thanks for hanging out with me here and joining me on this pregnancy journey.

Katie
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Katie

Katie Ogletree is the creator, writer and photographer of Slow Down and Savor, a food and lifestyle blog based out of Baltimore, MD. She is a graduate of Texas State University with a degree in Mass Communication, a wife of an amazing guy, and mother of two beautiful boys and three gorgeous kitties. She loves exploring Baltimore City and is excited to see what it’s all about through its food, and those that make it. She is a self-professed foodie of all classifications, from fine dining and conceptual fare to the simplest and sometimes messiest bar food around, and absolutely loves sharing it with anyone she can. Thanks for visiting Slow Down and Savor!
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One thought on “Pregnancy Journal: 34-37 weeks pregnant with baby #2

  1. […] During my last Pregnancy Journal Update, I recorded that my doctor said my cervix was dilated to 2 cm, and that I was 95% effaced at my 37 week appointment, and since the week/appointment before, I was SUPER closed and with no effacement. Because of that, she basically said that she thought the baby would be born at any day, and that she’d be surprised if I made it to the next week’s appointment. […]

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