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Week 34: Uncharted territory

This is a monumental week in my pregnancy. For most ladies, being 34 weeks along in pregnancy comes and goes with no real fanfare or excitement. But for me, it is a point that I have waited patiently for since I found out I was pregnant. The first time I was pregnant, my water broke at 33...

This is a monumental week in my pregnancy. For most ladies, being 34 weeks along in pregnancy comes and goes with no real fanfare or excitement. But for me, it is a point that I have waited patiently for since I found out I was pregnant.
The first time I was pregnant, my water broke at 33 weeks, 6 days, and I gave birth the next day. It was a shock when my water broke as my husband and I settled down to watch a movie on Labor Day … yes, actual Labor Day in September. Quite a coincidence, isn’t it? And as we sat in the Labor and Delivery ward, talking with OB/GYN, after neonatologist, after nurse, my nerves grew, and all I could do was pray and hold my husband’s hand. The rest of our family was far away, and the reality that our first baby was entering the world early was hitting me square between the eyes.

On the left is my last picture two years ago before I went into preterm labor and delivered my son at 34 weeks. On the right, here I am currently a few days past 34 weeks with my little girl still cooking away! Woohoo!

On the left is my last picture two years ago before I went into preterm labor and delivered my son at 34 weeks. On the right, here I am currently a few days past 34 weeks with my little girl still cooking away! Woohoo!


So, ever since we found out we were expecting last summer, I wondered if we would be facing the same situation with this baby. It was one of the first questions I asked when we spoke with our doctor at the first appointment. And from the very beginning, all anyone could say is, “We don’t really know …” So comforting, right?
I don’t blame them. No one really ever figured out why I went into labor early the first time. I always joked that I just grow babies faster since our firstborn came out at a whopping five pounds, 13 ounces despite being six weeks early. In reality, though, we had no idea what the rush was all about, so it was hard to predict if it would happen again. Doctors did their best to try and help me prevent from going into preterm labor with advising I get progesterone shots and warning against excessive exercise, among other things, but it was all just their best guess.
So, as I cross the hurdle that was my delivery day last time around, I am breathing a deep sigh of relief. Not that I’m ready for this baby to appear quite yet, but I feel like if for some reason it did happen again, I could handle it. I at least know what I’d be dealing with (most likely a small baby, a few days in the NICU and probably some struggle with breastfeeding). What I don’t know is what to expect from my body from here on out. How big will this belly get? How much more uncomfortable can I get? HOW MUCH MORE WEIGHT WILL I GAIN?
And then, I breathe another sigh of relief and remind myself that with every day that passes, this baby is gaining just a little more weight, a little more maturity and a little more ability to survive on the outside of my womb, and I just relax. We’ve made it a long way baby girl, and just think, you can always joke with your big brother that you were more patient in the very beginning, so you already have that on him.
Have any of you already had a worry about preterm labor? Is there a certain week where you will be able to relax and let go?

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