Dear Pooh Bear,

Happy 34 weeks little one! There isn’t much longer now! As a matter of fact, this past weekend we were in Pennsylvania for our baby shower there with your Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Kelly and Uncle John Paul, and when we left we knew it would be the last time we were seeing them till you arrive. How crazy is that?! You may think that means we won’t see them for a long time but that’s not the case. There is only 38 days left till your due date! Like I said…not long now!

I had a maternity photo shoot last week. Someday, you will be able to see pictures of what your mommy and daddy looked like while you were in my belly. I think it will be very fun for us to look back on in the future.

Last week we also had our first Lamaze class. This class was so that your mommy and daddy can learn about what to expect when it comes to labor. Personally, I sometimes think ignorance is bliss, but the other side of me says it’s good to be prepared. It’s all very surreal to me that I will be holding you in my arms very soon. This week daddy is installing your little infant car seat in my car! Don’t worry, we are having it inspected to make sure that he does it right (although I have full confidence that he will). That means that from then on, if you decide to make your arrival ahead of schedule the hospital will allow us to take you home!

Today I have another doctors appointment, and from then on I have one EACH WEEK! What does that mean? It means that they will be checking up on you a lot to make sure you are nice and healthy while you are still in my belly. They will also keep me posted as to the progress of your exit. This is another way things are surreal to me. I knew these appointments would come, but I can’t believe they are actually here!

Next on the agenda is organizing all the stuff we got at our showers! You are certainly a loved little boy. Now it’s time to really get serious and get everything put away. I also have to figure out what I need that I didn’t get…that will be the tricky part. But I am up for the challenge!

Pooh Bear 34 weeks!

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she’s born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you’ve been nervous about preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

By this week, fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester. Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you’re under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning, while trying to get comfortable. Now’s the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day (and beyond). If you’ve been sitting or lying down for a long time, don’t jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy.

If you notice itchy red bumps or welts on your belly and possibly your thighs and buttocks as well, you may have a condition called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP for short). Up to one percent of pregnant women develop PUPPP, which is harmless but can be quite uncomfortable. See your practitioner so she can make sure it’s not a more serious problem, provide treatment to make you more comfortable, and refer you to a dermatologist if necessary. Also be sure to call her if you feel intense itchiness all over your body, even if you don’t have a rash. It could signal a liver problem.

As each week goes on I get more confident that you are ready to face this world. They say that if you were born now (which you won’t be since we talked about it), that you’d do fine! But we certainly don’t want that. It says that I should be less tired than the first trimester, but I’m going to have to disagree. Between being uncomfortable, and not sleeping though the night I think I’m more tired! At least in the first trimester, although tired, I would sleep soundly through the night!

Stay strong little man!