January 04 2005 12:13 (+ 7 - 7 )
posted by (gen_here)

How your baby's growing: Your baby is still putting on the pounds about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds and is a little less than 19 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the creamy substance that covered and protected her skin during its submersion in amniotic fluid. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, which will stay in her bowels until birth. This blackish mixture, called meconium, will become her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Babies between 37 and 42 weeks are considered full-term; a baby born before 37 weeks is pre-term and after 42 is post-term.) Most likely she's in a head-down position by now, which is optimal for a smooth delivery, but if she isn't in the next week, your provider may suggest scheduling an "external cephalic version," which is a fancy way of saying she'll try to coax your baby into a head-down position manually, by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

How your life's changing: While your baby continues to grow and crowd your internal organs, you may find that you're not as hungry as you were a few weeks ago. Smaller, more frequent meals are often easier to handle at this point. On the other hand, you may have less heartburn and have an easier time breathing when your baby starts to drop down lower in your pelvis. This dropping called lightening or engagement is more likely to happen before labor if this is your first baby. When it does, though, you may feel increased pressure in your lower abdomen, making walking increasingly uncomfortable. Some women say it feels as though they're carrying a bowling ball between their legs, or as if the baby is going to fall out. (Don't worry, she won't!)

You might also notice that your Braxton Hicks contractions are a little more frequent now. Be sure to review with your practitioner exactly when and where to call her when you think your labor has started. As a general rule, you should call when you start having regular contractions coming every five minutes for about an hour. Of course, you'll want to call right away if you're not yet 37 weeks and have signs of preterm labor. You should also call without delay if your water breaks (or if you even think you're leaking amniotic fluid), if you notice a decrease in your baby's activity, or if you have any vaginal bleeding, fever, severe headaches, abdominal pain, or changes in your vision.

Even if you're enjoying an uncomplicated pregnancy, it's best to avoid flying during your final month, when you're more likely to go into labor. In fact, many airlines won't let women on board who are due to deliver within seven or sometimes 30 days of the flight.

Let's see... as of yesterday's appointment, we are now measuring 38 - up from 36 two weeks ago. I'm up 4.5 pounds... most likely because since the baby dropped I can finally eat again - and I hadn't "removed" any solids from my body in a few days (I'm so looking forward to my internal organs not being smooshed any longer!). I'm not dilating at all, but I also wasn't expecting that I would. We'll be checking for that weekly now. Heartbeat was right around 150 (although Geof couldn't hear it... but the doctor and I did - baby was just being stubborn). Also, from where the baby was kicking and what the doctor felt externally, she believes that Wags is head down - but still not 100% sure. That's not a biggie... we still have time for baby to flip a bit - even if it is painful to me =) And I'm not having any serious Braxton Hicks or anything... just some light, almost pulling feelings around my belly button from time to time.

Speaking of the "turkey timer" - it has now gone back in and barely sticks out at all. Really, though, I don't feel a ton different since the baby dropped. The heartburn isn't as frequent and I breathe a lot better... but I have to pee every 2 minutes (instead of every 5 before). We're just excited that Wags is still doing well and seeming to have a good time kicking up a storm... especially after last night's Chinese food =)

We made about 90 phone calls (it seemed) yesterday to make sure the breastfeeding class was still meeting... only to find out it's on Thursday. So we got more time to do some leisurely shopping in Sioux Falls. And since we got there before 5, we didn't have to battle too much with the after-work crabbies that are usually there. It was quite a nice trip, actually. We got a lot of pre-baby shopping done... a few more outfits, some Red Raspberry Leaf tea and capsules for me, baby meds (tylenol, mylecon, etc, since the stores around here close between 6-8 pm and the nearest "late night" stores are 45 minutes away). We also got baby's car seat and an ear thermometer (thanks, Mom T.) - so we're now completely set with the things we absolutely NEED before the baby gets here (and with the car seat, we can now legally take Wags home from the hospital!).

So, if scheduling allows, this Thursday we'll be at the breastfeeding class. If not, then I'll go to the La Leche League meeting on Friday - but I can't do both... it just won't happen. And since we're (finally) getting measurable amounts of snow, we're pretty much leaving our travel plans in God's hands.

one comment:

Stingray [() (link)] January 04 2005 14:47
Snow!!! YAY!!!!

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