Pregnancy Weeks 33-37: Complete!

Haiku Summary:
Dancing immigrant.
Belly bulging against
the tight space

Week 33-37 Highlights

  • Parenting/Birth classes
  • Maternity photos (33 weeks, 2 days)
  • GBS Test (37 weeks)
  • Pelvic Exam and Ultrasound (37 weeks)

Common Symptoms/Complaints I had

  • Tiredness, frequent urination, & braxton hicks (ho hum…)
  • Insomnia  & appetite loss (infrequent)
  • Ate so much my belly button popped out temporarily (hahahahahahaha….)
  • Heart burn (36 weeks, 3 days +)
  • Hips stiff (36 weeks, 4 days +)

Stats (37 weeks)!

  • Mom
    • +27 lbs from starting weight
    • 114/77 blood pressure
    • 1 cm dilated
    • 40% effaced
    • “You have plenty of space!” … rude… 😛
  • Baby
    • 37 cm fundal height
    • 140 bpm heart rate
    • Head down, engaged, but not dropped fully into pelvis
    • New estimated arrival: 1-2 weeks more (between 38-39 weeks gestation)

Currently feeling: hands-free parenting, wooo—aaghh! …was that a foot under my rib?!

Maternity Photo Session

Our maternity photographer was great.

She was very organized and contacted us a week in advance to give us a choice of two nearby locations. Considering our wedding photographer had forgotten about us…and rescheduled us twice with people who booked AFTER us, this was a huge relief! When we moved to CA, I followed every local photographers’ Facebook page. I slowly eliminated those who I didn’t think would mesh. So I knew I liked our maternity photographers style, and by virtue of good scheduling and booking procedures she showed a good business acumen before even the first pose!

She was easy and casual to work with, and the shoot went very smoothly. She posted a sneak peek of our session in less than 24 hours, and our full gallery (60 photos) was available for download in one week! I was more than satisfied. 🙂


Finding out labor costs

Okay, “it costs a lot” is not exactly a savings goal. I got the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) code my midwives would send to billing in an effort to find out exactly how much is “a lot” …and they asked me to call them back in two weeks… I called them back in one week, and they were ready to give me the answer (seriously… they weren’t even contacting my health insurance).

This CPT code includes prenatal care, vaginal delivery, and one post-partum visit. Total? $6,443.00

Wait, wait…

This CPT code does not include any doctor’s fees (ex: the pediatrician who visits), or things like the cost of the anesthesiologist (ex: for an epidural, plus the epidural medication cost), and so on and so on.

Basically, the other departments who visit during pregnancy each has a CPT code(s) which they send to billing. Also, not everyone is there for mom (ex: the pediatrician). We had been saving for the birth under the assumption that we would hit my out of pocket maximum for my insurance. We never took into account that Baby D starts collecting CPT codes too, and that the insurance would then have the family out of pocket maximum, not just my single one.

We decided to just assume we’d hit the “family plan” low-deductible, and out-of-pocket max. Oi.

No-time-to-explainI am the most boring time-traveler ever.

When a newborn is added to the account, the new coverage is effective on the newborns date of birth for all members of the policy. If you elect the high deductible health plan, the expenses will apply to that policy. –My Health Insurance Company

I felt as though both my husband and I should have started an HSA years ago and then just flipped to a low-deductible plan. We could have started one 5 or 6 years ago…! Many companies offer bonuses too…agh! We could have pre-paid for baby D! Oh well, “hindsight is 20/20” as they say.

I suppose it would have been a little creepy of me to say, “we need an HSA to pay for our future child, also, thank you for being my boyfriend.”


Birth Plan

Despite being accused of being type A…I did not write a birth plan. I had researched it, of course. While reading Expecting Better: Why Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong – and What You Really Need to Know by finance professor Emily Oster (which I think is a good read if you like statistics) her birth plan suggestions seemed outdated enough that I hesitated.

I went and reviewed my birth center’s procedures…and they basically operate like the ideal birth plan. I reviewed countless birth plans available online, and found nothing relevant. Our birthing center, by default, did delayed cord clamping, skin to skin (even for c-sections), a volunteer doula program, fully supported a natural, low-intervention birth (less than 10% c-section rate, less than 20% epidural rate), and so on

I decided to just ask my midwife. She said that if we had plans for the placenta (cord blood banking, cannibalism, etc), or simply wanted to write out what we think will happen so everyone is all on the same page, she said a paragraph or some bullet points was probably sufficient since it is hard to read and remember a 3-page laundry list in the throws of things. She also suggested taking the hospitals procedural guide, and making notes for procedures that we were against (ex: Vit K eye ointment, etc).

10818617_10152519902918517_1333044878_nEncouraging sign hung in the birth center

I decided write a “birth plan” as I pre-registered. I wrote: “I want to have a support doula, and I want to give birth in a tub” in their “Any additional requests?” comment box.


bumpie_week_33Week 33
bumpie_week_34Week 34
Week 35

If you can’t tell a difference in the bump size, just take another peek at the size of my boobs in week 33 compared to week 35…it’s like they shrunk!!! ahaha

Week 36
bumpie_week_37Week 37

People were telling me I dropped, but comparing my photos between weeks
I don’t think they what they know what they are talking about.
Our midwife said his head is engaged, but he hasn’t dropped yet. I’ll trust her.

The Baby

It is the one-year anniversary of our miscarriage, which is serendipitously aligned with baby D achieving 37 weeks of gestation—a date that also means I’ve been with my company for over one calendar year (so I qualify for maternity leave), baby D is no longer considered pre-term (preemie), and my hospital will now allow me to use their tub facilities during the birth if I would like them (and I would like them).

We did get another ultrasound to verify that the baby is in the correct position. Yay! I was SO happy. I really wanted to see him again since he must have changed so much since 20 weeks. And…….

You can barely see anything. It is, “do you see that big white circle on the screen?” “yes” “That’s your baby’s skull!” :-O

Ok, never mind then.

Yo yo yo
My name is baby D, and I’d like to say
I dance around at night and through the day

First I dance a little to right
My mom says my moves are pretty tight
Yeah, she thinks my moves are the best
So I dance a little over to the left ~

20141129_002305(I totally could have been an early 90’s rap sensation)

For Thanksgiving, since our family is not local, we decided to do the Turkey Trot 5k in the morning. I definitely recommend waddling your way through a 5k! Sure, we were basically last to finish, but everyone acts like you crossed first 😉 it’s confidence building 🙂


We had a good Thanksgiving, baby D is riding pretty high so standing is nicer than sitting. I cooked the full shebang and we invited some friends over to gorge on the meal.


After so much food, I was curious about what exactly made up the 25-35lb average weight gain. Here are the averages:

Baby support system:

  • At birth, a baby weighs about 7.3 lbs (3.3kg) e.g. 7 lbs, 5 ounces
  • The placenta weighs about 1.5 lbs (0.7kg)
  • The amniotic fluid, which supports and cushions your baby, weighs about 1.8 lbs (0.8kg)

Sub-total: ~10.6 lbs (~4.8 kg)

Mother’s body changes to support pregnancy:

  • The muscle layer of the womb (uterus) grows dramatically, about 2 lbs (0.9kg)
  • Blood volume increases about 2.6 lbs (1.2kg)
  • Bodily fluid stores increase about 2.6 lbs (1.2kg).
  • Breasts increase about 0.9 lbs (0.4kg).
  • Fat stores to support and give energy for breast feeding add about 8.8 lbs (4kg)

Sub-total: ~16.9 lbs (~7.6 kg)

Total median gain: ~27.5 lbs (~12.4 kg)


2 thoughts on “Pregnancy Weeks 33-37: Complete!

  1. Ah not long to go now! I started with insomnia and heart burn around that time too – sorry to say it doesn’t get any better! (I’m 39 weeks now) But on the whole you seem like you’re doing great – good luck for the next couple of weeks! 🙂

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