33 weeks pregnant and counting
Thirty-three weeks in and excitement is shaping your reality with only a short while until your baby arrives. However, the joys of the future can seem overshadowed by the fact that you're tummy is reaching maximum capacity. Babies are developing their new immune system and can better react to stimulus like touch and sound. Also, your child is around seventeen inches long and weighs in at about four pounds; additional 'baby weight', placenta, and amniotic fluid are taking up any excess room you wish you had and your belly bears it all.
A baby bump at this stage is very hard to ignore and can even impede basic activities. Sleeping, maneuvering around the obstacles of your home, and sitting down at the table are now awkward experiences that keep your baby at the center of attention. Insomnia especially increases in expecting mothers; the fetus is more active and runs on its own schedule even if you're running on fumes! Restless leg syndrome is quite an irritating distraction at bedtime, and the best cure for it is some simple exercise. Daily walking and other light cardio activities can aid in sleeping trouble, as well as going the extra mile with relaxation.
More issues you can be facing is increased or continuing edema (swelling) in your wrists and ankles, spidery varicose veins, excessively emotional reactions, a frequent urge to use the bathroom, and braxton hicks contractions. Though, keeping up with stretches and setting aside time to cool down are bound to keep you more comfortable. False contractions are shock worthy for a first time mother, but chances are you've already had them and hadn't realized it yet. Now that you're approaching the full term mark, birth is possible but unlikely. Real labor is accompanied by regularly decreasing intervals of time and with intensifying pain; braxton hicks contractions are brief (up to two minutes, but normally around 15-30 seconds) and the discomfort would reside if you just changed positions.
Now is a good a time as ever to get your house ready for a baby. Washing the adorable little onesies and socks, setting up child-proof locks (better sooner than later!), and deciding what to bring with you to the hospital are all good pass-times. Keep in mind that your spouse should still be a solid support system for you. ManyWeeksPregnant, a week-by-week guide for symptoms and expectations, emphasizes how important it is to keeping your spouse involved at this time. Once the baby is born it's an eighteen year game plan that requires, at the very least, adequate teamwork. When your partner is aware of what you're going through and interacts with the baby, the beautiful bond of parent and child is blossoming. Even if you find yourself in different circumstances, anyone who will be a part of the child's home life is worth engaging with the baby.