Dear Pooh Bear,

Well little man, it seems that we have hit 35 weeks! For some reason I have always kept this week as a milestone week for myself. It started when my friend “S” was pregnant and thought she may have to go on bed rest at the hospital, (don’t worry she didn’t) and the doctor said that it would be safe to deliver at 35 weeks. That week has always stuck in my mind…and we are finally here!

We are almost 1 month away from your due date. That sort of blows my mind. I have been dreaming, waiting and preparing for you for so long that it’s extremely surreal that soon you will be in my arms! I think more and more about what you will look like. There are just so many possibilities. I still am hoping that you get your daddy’s dimple. But no matter how hard I try I can’t even guess whose features you will have.

Your daddy created a whole website around your due date. He started Pregnancy Pool! Now all of our family and friends can guess when you will arrive! It’s going to be fun seeing when they guess. Personally, I am still hoping sooner rather than later…but I have a sinking suspicion you are going to make your mommy and daddy wait.

This week starts my weekly doctors appointments. Each week they will tell me if there is any progress going on “down there”. I will be honest that I am pretty scared of the appointments. Don’t worry, I will spare you the details, but I am a little nervous all the same. Although scared, it will be nice to get weekly progress reports. That is if there is any progress to actually report. If there isn’t I can see where these appointments would become pretty brutal. Only time will tell!

Doing menial tasks are getting harder and harder. Just bending over is becoming a chore. The other day your daddy and I ran a bunch of errands, and by the end I was totally EXHAUSTED! I am getting the pregnant lady waddle down pretty good though.

This week is your daddy’s 29th birthday. Yes, that’s right…he’s a year younger than your mommy. This coming weekend we will be celebrating! I am going to do my best to be a trooper since each weekend that passes marks one of our last childless weekends. Not that I am much of a party animal these days. Your daddy needs to get his nights out out of his system for a little while because soon he will be on baby watch. What does that mean? Well, he has to be responsible so that he can be there for mommy when she goes into labor. I don’t think I could ever let him live it down if he was out partying and couldn’t drive me to the hospital!

Pooh Bear: 35 Weeks!

Your baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that he’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it’s so snug in your womb, he isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Your uterus — which was entirely tucked away inside your pelvis when you conceived — now reaches up under your rib cage. If you could peek inside your womb, you’d see that there’s more baby than amniotic fluid in there now. Your ballooning uterus is crowding your other internal organs, too, which is why you probably have to urinate more often and may be dealing with heartburn and other gastrointestinal distress. If you’re not grappling with these annoyances, you’re one of the lucky few.

From here on out, you’ll start seeing your practitioner every week. Sometime between now and 37 weeks, she’ll do a vaginal and rectal culture to check for bacteria called Group B streptococci (GBS). (Don’t worry — the swab is the size of a regular cotton swab, and it won’t hurt at all.) GBS is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during birth, it can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don’t know it, it’s vital to be screened. (The bacteria come and go on their own — that’s why you weren’t screened earlier in pregnancy.) If you’re a GBS carrier, you’ll get IV antibiotics during labor, which will greatly reduce your baby’s risk of infection.

This is also a good time to create a birth plan. Using our form will help you focus on specifics — like who’ll be present, what pain management techniques you want to try, and where you want your baby to stay after you deliver. It will give you a starting point to discuss your preferences with your medical team. Childbirth is unpredictable, and chances are you won’t follow your plan to the letter, but thinking about your choices ahead of time — and sharing your preferences with your caregiver — should take some of the anxiety out of the process.

See there? “Most of his basic physical development is now complete”! yay! I try to think of you being about 18 inches right now and that seems pretty big. No wonder you are all squishy in there giving me lots of kicks…well to be more accurate mostly punches! (I like to think of them as high 5’s!) Keep growing in there little Pooh Bear, and get stronger and stronger every day. Your daddy and I are still patiently waiting for your arrival.