November 09 2004 19:21 (+ 8 - 7 )
posted by (gen_here)

How your baby's growing: By this week, your baby weighs a little over 2 pounds and measures about 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can open her eyes which now sport lashes and she'll turn her head toward a continuous, bright light from the outside. Her fat layers are beginning to form, too, as she gets ready for life outside the womb.

How your life's changing: Do your legs feel creepy-crawly at night? Tingling in your lower legs and an irresistible urge to move them is known as restless legs syndrome (RLS), and it can make it hard to relax when you're settling in. No one knows what causes RLS, but it's common among pregnant women. Try cutting down on caffeine, which can make the symptoms worse, and massage your calves when they feel tense. If you're not already getting folic acid through a prenatal vitamin, you may want to try taking a supplement. Folic acid and iron supplements, if you're anemic may help ease the symptoms.

At this point, you may visit your doctor or midwife every two weeks; then, at 36 weeks, you'll switch to weekly visits. Depending upon your risk factors, your practitioner may recommend repeating blood tests for HIV and syphilis, plus cultures for chlamydia and gonorrhea during your third trimester, to be certain of your status before delivery. (Identifying and treating these infections is crucial for your health and your baby's.) And if the blood work done at your first prenatal visit showed that you're Rh negative, you'll receive an injection of Rh immunoglobulin to prevent your body from developing antibodies that could attack your baby's blood. (You'll receive another shot of Rh immunoglobulin after you give birth if your baby is Rh positive.)

Many dads worry about watching childbirth. "We don't like childbirth," writer Rick Epstein says. "It's spooky and iffy and it takes too long. Also it hurts, and we don't like to see that." Click here to read more of Rick's thoughts on pregnancy and labor.

Yesterday was my Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT). I was able to keep from throwing up before the blood draw, but not by much. To make a long story short, we ended up eating out twice yesterday... lunch at about 2:30 and dinner about 5-5:30. We had class that night to make up for the one we missed while in Chicago, and when we got home (about 10 pm) I started getting really bad gas pains. We called the PA that saw me at the clinic that afternoon to see if Gas X was okay for pregnant women (it is) and tried that and positioning and bathroom trips until 1:30. Then we called the regular doctor's on-call number to talk to a totally different doctor. She said really all I could do was try Tums and 7-up, and if I was still hurting in the morning to see the doctor. Soon after that call, I was able to find a position that helped a lot (on my side hugging a pillow) and Geof lay behind me to keep me warm. I feel asleep shortly thereafter, but kept waking up because I would throw up and inhale - and cough for a long time. When I finally got to sleep for the night for good, I was dead to the world.

All this time, I'd been trying the relaxation techniques we learned - deep breathing, changing positions, low moaning - and Geof was doing his "coach" role... encouraging me, rubbing my back where I asked him to and leaving me along when I had too much. We joked that it was great practice for labor - but at least with contractions I get a short break in between them - this was almost 5 hours of straight pain that just got worse and worse. But Geof did great - coached like a champ! He may be like the men mentioned in the link above that don't like childbirth - but he'll do a great job!

So we're not sure if it was from the glucola, gas, or food poisoning. Other medical reasons have been mostly ruled out by talking to the different doctors. We are both glad it's over, and Wags started kicking up a storm after I was finally able to settle down for the night.

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