August 24 2004 18:14 (+ 5 - 7 )
posted by (gen_here)

How your baby's growing: Your baby weighs about 5 ounces now, and he's around 5 inches long about the size of a large onion.

He can move his joints, and his skeleton until now rubbery cartilage is starting to harden to bone. His sense of hearing is also developing. The umbilical cord, his lifeline to the placenta, is growing stronger and thicker. A protective substance called myelin slowly begins to enshroud the spinal cord.

With the help of a special stethoscope, you can now hear your baby's heartbeat. Although you probably already heard it weeks ago in your doctor's office, there's almost nothing more comforting or exciting than hearing your baby's heartbeat galloping along. On days when you're worried about how your pregnancy is progressing, hearing the heartbeat lets you know that your baby's developing and growing. For times when boredom strikes and you feel as if you'll be pregnant forever, it can be a pleasant reminder of what will come at the end of 40 weeks of waiting.

How your life's changing: With more weight up high and out in front of your body since your growing uterus has shifted your center of gravity, you may feel a bit off-balance as you walk around. Store away your high heels and wear low-heeled shoes to reduce your risk of taking a tumble.You're likely to feel protective of your tummy, and that's good. Trauma to your abdomen could be harmful to your baby and dangerous to you, so be sure to buckle up when you're driving. Keep the lap portion of the seat belt under your belly and very snug across your hips for maximum protection.

And we did use the special stethoscope at the doctor's office yesterday. Baby is still pumping away at a rate of about 140... like the last time. According to the doctor, I'm perfect (and Geof was there to hear it... I have a witness!). I've gained another 2 pounds... a total of 4 pounds so far this pregnancy. My blood pressure is great. My uterus is growing properly, and everything seems wonderful. So it was a good visit.

We start our childbirth education classes next Wednesday and we're looking forward to that, too. I'm also hoping to get started painting the baby's room in the coming week so that we'll have that done before we get the rest of the furniture here from my mom's house. So the busy-ness is getting started.

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