Your Pregnancy: Week 33~You're large, but you most definitely don't feel in charge, since the baby seems to be completely taking over your body. Up several times a night to go to the bathroom? It's all just practice for getting up in the wee hours for feedings, changings and general fussiness. The one difference: Cuddling that babe in your arms for a feeding is way better than heaving yourself to the bathroom for the sixth time—in the dark
Your Body~At about this point you have probably begun to obsess over labor and delivery. You may have a vision of how you'd like the whole event to go: contractions are brief and painless and in one push out pops your baby to the background music of "Chariots of Fire." That fantasy is all well and good but it's important to be flexible and brace yourself for little surprises that may occur. Also, keep an open mind as far as medication and labor support go once you're in the thick of things.
Research your pain relief options. There are countless natural options in addition to medicinal options for managing labor pain. Now would be a good time to decide who you want in the labor and delivery room with you. We advise against inviting someone you may be embarrassed to see what's going on "down there."
You also might want to start thinking about what you are going to pack in your hospital bag. Don't forget your lip-gloss! When everyone wants to take a picture of you and the new babe, you'll thank us.
Your Baby~The big news this week is lung development—baby's respiratory system is almost completely mature. That means if your baby was born this week, odds are he'd be a healthy bouncing baby with a just a little help from his friends (aka, the NICU). Some of the specifics are:
Your baby can now detect light and tell the difference between night and day (of course that ability will miraculously disappear once he's born and up all night screaming). His pupils will constrict and dilate in response to light. If you shine a flashlight on your belly, your baby may shy away from the light as if to say, "Cut it out, Ma. You're soooo annoying."
The bones in your baby's skull are soft and are not yet fused together. In other words, now is not the time to teach him how to do a headspin while breakdancing. This pliability allows the bones to overlap; making that trip down the tight birth canal possible (and resulting in that surprising cone head look your baby will sport for the first few days post-birth. Don't worry, it's totally normal and that's what hats are for.)
Your baby will continue to pack on the pounds gaining around ½ pound a week from here on out.
Your baby weighs about 4½ pounds, as much as a grownup duck, and is approximately 17.5 inches long, about the same as a collarbone-length pearl necklace. (Did somebody say push present?)