December 28 2004 17:39 (+ 7 - 6 )
posted by (gen_here)

How your baby's growing: Your baby's getting big. He weighs a tad over 5 pounds and is just over 18 inches long. Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

How your life's changing: Your uterus now up under your ribs has expanded to about 15 times its original volume, and you may feel like you've run out of room! If you could peek inside your uterus, you'd see that there's much less amniotic fluid and much more baby in there now. Your ballooning uterus is crowding your internal organs too, which is why you probably have to urinate more often and have heartburn and other digestive problems. If you don't have these problems, you're one of the lucky few.

Your doctor or midwife will probably want to start seeing you every week until you deliver. She may ask you to count fetal movements, to track your baby's activity level. Between now and 37 weeks, she'll also do a culture to check for bacteria called Group B streptococci (GBS). This is done by swabbing the lower end of your vagina and your rectum the swab is the size of a regular cotton swab, and it won't hurt at all. Group B streptococcus is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during labor and birth, it can cause complications (like pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection). Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don't know it, it's important to be screened. (The bacteria come and go on their own that's why you weren't screened earlier in pregnancy.) If you're a GBS carrier, you'll be given IV antibiotics when you're in labor, which will reduce your baby's risk of infection by 70 percent.

This is also a good time to fill out your birth plan. Using our form will help you focus on specifics like who will be present, what pain management techniques you want to try, and how long you want to stay in the hospital. It will give you a starting point to discuss your preferences with your medical team. Labor and delivery are unpredictable and you probably won't follow your plan to the letter, but knowing ahead of time what choices you have to make can take some of the anxiety out of the process.

Things are definitely getting crowded now - and the kicks are getting MUCH stronger! In fact, when baby turn around, I sometimes have to stop what I'm doing and shift positions because s/he's smooshing my intestines or something - none too comfortable! This past week it looks like I've grown out a lot more... I seemed to be growing up most of this pregnancy, then all of a sudden I'm seeing less and less of the floor in front of my feet =) The "turkey timer" (belly button) is starting to pop out as well... so that means baby is almost "done."

I talked to my doctor about what tests are required during pregnancy before we were even pregnant, and I know that she does not routinely do the Strep B tests. And the birth plan is already done - so that's not something I have to worry about anymore either.

So far, the weather is holding out really well here - in fact, we're supposed to have RAIN this week. Let's just see if this good traveling weather will continue to hold out for us for labor-day =)

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