Tummywatch Tuesday: 34 Weeks

Another week down. Pow! So crazy to finally be nearing the end of this journey. Those first months took forever. Now, each week closer to forty seems to slip on by in record time. In a month, we’ll be at the “any day now” phase. One short month.

I think I’m experiencing Braxton Hicks? (For the uninitiated, these are, basically, unproductive contractions.) I’m not completely sure if that’s what I’m experiencing in part because I don’t understand online descriptions of Braxton Hicks, such as “labor pains without the pain.” Wha? So then, labor? Labor that’s technically not labor? Right. OK. That’s makes some sense, but without the sense. Exactly.

So what I am feeling is a sort of tightening of the stomach, towards the center. Other times, I feel pressure, really low and really deep, that takes my breath away just a little. Neither are uncomfortable. They’re just interesting sensations. But aren’t they all at this point? The kid is growing, so there’s not a lot of room in there, and she’s apparently taken up tai kwon do to pass the time because I often catch my stomach jerking in one direction or another with the force of her movements. Often, as in many times a day. Which might worry me if it weren’t so consistent. Which is why odd tightening and pressure didn’t strike me as anything but Sissy training for her blue belt. So, Braxton Hicks? Definitely maybe.

Parents.com’s week-by-week babytracker says she’s cantaloupe-sized. Closing in on 5 pounds. The bigger she gets, the bigger I get and the more excited Roy is. He still calls her Juni, and will often give her hugs goodnight and include her in conversations about who’s happy or whom he loves. Once, he made me sit still with my shirt pulled up as he held his construction trucks in front of my bellybutton, articulating their proper names: Dumper. Loader. Excavator. You know, giving her a little heads up about the important things in life.

Since we’re getting closer to the due date (January 29th), and since his birthday is in January (the 26th) we’ve started telling him that January is when she’ll arrive. Not that he has any concept of when January is, but whatever. It’s true. And it’s another talking point for all of us on the subject. “Juni come outta Mommy’s tummy in January,” he’ll say. Or, on impatient days, “Juni come outta Mommy’s tummy today.”

Hearing that possibility said out loud does cause a knee-jerk flutter of panic. But I read yesterday that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks generally do just fine, with no long-term health issues. There’s something reassuring about that. Like it’s another hurdle cleared. Like the finish line is truly, finally, in sight.

Cantaloupe image credit: Blaine Moats

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  1. by Angie

    On December 20, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Sounds like it’s probably Braxton Hicks. I’ve been having them since about 26 weeks…tightening stomach and it gets so HARD. My belly’s normally hard, but I mean ROCK HARD! Usually for about 45 seconds.

  2. by Jill Cordes

    On December 20, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    All I can say, at 34 weeks and 3 days is I feel your pain! The kicking with this one is constant. Finish line is almost in sight! Godspeed fellow blogger.

  3. by anti jen

    On December 20, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    ooooo! we can’t wait to see her!