November 16 2004 17:47 (+ 5 - 4 )
posted by (gen_here)

How your baby's growing: Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to accommodate his brain which is busy developing billions of neurons. With this rapid growth, it's no surprise that your baby's nutritional needs reach their peak during this trimester. To keep yourself and him well nourished, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, iron, and calcium. (About 200 milligrams of calcium is deposited in your baby's skeleton which is now hardening every day.)

How your life's changing: You should be able to feel your baby's movements strongly now. Pay attention to the kicks and nudges, and let your practitioner know if you ever notice a decrease in activity. She may ask you to do fetal kick counts to make sure everything's okay.

Some old friends heartburn and constipation may take center stage again. The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation, coupled with the crowding in your abdomen, slows your digestive process, which can cause gas, especially after a big meal. Another problem you can credit to your growing uterus (and constipation) is hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids which are simply swollen blood vessels in your rectal area are very common during pregnancy and usually clear up soon after delivery. If they're itchy or painful, try soaking in a sitz bath and applying a hot pad or cold compresses medicated with a little witch hazel to the affected area. Also avoid sitting or standing for long stretches. Talk with your practitioner before using any over-the counter remedies during pregnancy, and let her know if you have any rectal bleeding. To prevent constipation, eat a high-fiber diet, drink plenty of water, and get some regular exercise.

A small number of women get something called "supine hypotensive syndrome" during pregnancy. When they lie on their backs, they get a change in heart rate and blood pressure that makes them feel dizzy until they change position. You might note that you get dizzy if you stand up too quickly, too. To avoid getting the spins, move slowly as you go from lying down to sitting and then standing.

It seems another old "friend" is back... morning sickness. I have an appointment on Monday with our doctor, so I'm going to bring that up with her, too. At least the really bad pain hasn't been around much.

It's so hard to believe how big Wags is getting. I mean, I guess it shouldn't be because I can feel the baby through my stomach... its head (or possibly butt?) feels about the size of a small grapefruit. And Wags is definitely more active - and stronger, too! The occasional movement of my whole stomach when the baby kicks is a thing of the past - that's now EVERY kick and somersault.

And, tomorrow is our last childbirth class - I can't believe that we've gone through 12 weeks already! And there's a good chance that Geof and I will be the only ones there tomorrow, too... One couple delivered about 3 weeks ago, two were in labor last week, and the only other one left was already over a week past her due date. So we'll see!

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