Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Week 36 - we made it this far...

How your baby's growing:Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. He now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. He's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered his body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected his skin during his nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of his first bowel movement. At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely he's in a head-down position. - He is!!!
How your life's changing: Now that your baby is taking up so much room, you may have trouble eating a normal-size meal. 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 into your pelvis. This process — called lightening — often happens a few weeks before labor if this is your first baby. (If you've given birth before, it probably won't happen before labor starts.) If your baby drops, you may also feel increased pressure in your lower abdomen, which may make walking increasingly uncomfortable, and you'll probably find that you have to pee even more frequently. If your baby is very low, you may feel lots of vaginal pressure and discomfort as well. Some women say it feels as though they're carrying a bowling ball between their legs! You might also notice that your Braxton Hicks contractions are more frequent now. Be sure to review the signs of labor with your practitioner and find out when she wants to hear from you. As a general rule, if you're full-term, your pregnancy is uncomplicated, and your water hasn't broken, she'll probably have you wait to come in until you've been having contractions that last for about a minute each, coming every five minutes for an hour. Of course, you'll want to call right away if you notice a decrease in your baby's activity or think you're leaking amniotic fluid, or if you have any vaginal bleeding, fever, a severe or persistent headache, constant abdominal pain, or vision changes.Even if you're enjoying an uncomplicated pregnancy, it's best to avoid flying (or any travel far from home) during your final month because you can go into labor at any time. In fact, some airlines won't let women on board who are due to deliver within 30 days of the flight.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Week 35 - getting closer...

How your baby's growing:Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). 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.See what your baby looks like this week.Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.
How your life's changing:Your uterus — which was entirely tucked away inside your pelvis when you conceived — now reaches up under your rib cage. If you could peek inside your womb, you'd see that there's more baby than amniotic fluid in there now. Your ballooning uterus is crowding your other internal organs, too, which is why you probably have to urinate more often and may be dealing with heartburn and other gastrointestinal distress. If you're not grappling with these annoyances, you're one of the lucky few.
From here on out, you'll start seeing your practitioner every week. Sometime between now and 37 weeks, she'll do a vaginal and rectal culture to check for bacteria called Group B streptococci (GBS). (Don't worry — the swab is the size of a regular cotton swab, and it won't hurt at all.) GBS is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during birth, it can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don't know it, it's vital 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 get IV antibiotics during labor, which will greatly reduce your baby's risk of infection.This is also a good time to create a birth plan. Using our form will help you focus on specifics — like who'll be present, what pain management techniques you want to try, and where you want your baby to stay after you deliver. It will give you a starting point to discuss your preferences with your medical team. Childbirth is unpredictable, and chances are you won't follow your plan to the letter, but thinking about your choices ahead of time — and sharing your preferences with your caregiver — should take some of the anxiety out of the process.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Week 34 dr. appointment update

Well, BT gave us a bit of a scare last week at the doctors appointment. On Tuesday the 13th we went in for the regular 34 week check up and did the strep B test. Dr. thought it was a good time to make sure he was head down, and while he was, I was also 1cm dilated and 50% effaced. Being as I was only 34 weeks the dr. was a bit concerned and put me on the monitors for about 20-25 minutes. No contractions on the monitor while I was there, but she gave me instructions to do a "modified bed-rest" meaning no work until we went back in a week to get checked again. Ugh. Well, it was scary to say the least, and every time I felt a contraction I thought to myself that he just wasn't ready. I've been thinking about him being a June baby for so long.... how could he be born in May?

Well, looks like now we're still on track for a June baby, though we may not make it to the due date of 6/22. PB thinks it'll be 6/8, and I'd be happy to make it to 6/1. :) I stayed home and tried to sleep in, relax, watch crappy daytime television, sew and basically catch up on doing nothing for awhile. It was nice but a bit boring, and I know that it was hard on PB to not be able to do stuff together like we used to. We did spend some time at the pool on Saturday, which was very nice, and I got some color on the belly - baby sure does like that :)

Went back to the dr. yesterday and there was thankfully no progression, so I was given the OK to go back to work for awhile. So, here I am, trying to play catch-up, and stay stress/frustration free. It's weird to be back after a week, after not knowing if I was coming back before the baby and all... everyone has been nice, and it'll be great to finalize things a little better before I'm outta here.

So, for now, that's the update. I was able to sew more on the quilt, and finished a changing table organizer (it's actually on the crib), and I started the diaper bag and made a bunch of burp cloths... so it was certainly a productive week. I'm just glad that's he's decided to stay put for the time being.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Week 34...

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds and is almost 18 inches long. His fat layers — which will help regulate his body temperature once he's born — are filling him out, making him rounder. His skin is also smoother than ever. His central nervous system is maturing and his lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

How your life's changing:By this week, fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester. Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you're under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning, while trying to get comfortable. Now's the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day (and beyond). If you've been sitting or lying down for a long time, don't jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy.

If you notice itchy red bumps or welts on your belly and possibly your thighs and buttocks as well, you may have a condition called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP for short). Up to one percent of pregnant women develop PUPPP, which is harmless but can be quite uncomfortable. See your practitioner so she can make sure it's not a more serious problem, provide treatment to make you more comfortable, and refer you to a dermatologist if necessary. Also be sure to call her if you feel intense itchiness all over your body, even if you don't have a rash. It could signal a liver problem.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Baby Art

We had a week off last week for our Bradley classes, and we both agreed that it was a welcome week off. I really enjoy the classes, however, it's been so crazy busy lately I feel we have had something every night. So, with softball over (spring season at least) and no Bradley class, we had a much more relaxing week last week. But, with that week off came extra homework. We slacked a bit and haven't even cracked open the student workbook yet, so I sent that off with PB to work today so he can get going on his part, then I'll take the book tomorrow and work on my part. If this rain doesn't let up then we can do our joint part together tonight cause the disc golf tournament will be cancelled - otherwise we'll figure it out.

Another part of the homework was baby art. Anything we wanted. We had talked about doing the belly shots - which we still will...hopefully. But we just didn't get around to it. Instead we worked this weekend on the altered letters to hang above the BT's crib. I finished decorating them last night while we watched Cinderalla Man. (good movie by the way...). I love how they turned out! Of course I don't have any pictures yet, but we'll take them to class tomorrow, and then hang them up this weekend. I can't wait to see them hanging above his crib (which is totally ready for him). PB asked recently if I was "nesting" and I guess I really am. All I want to do when I'm at home is wash his clothes, get the crib ready and basically prepare for his upcoming arrival. I finally feel like we are ready to bring him home... and I can't wait.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Month 8

Baby’s senses are continuing to improve -- when light peeks in through your (extremely) stretched belly, those tiny eyelids and irises blink and dilate. And, baby can now recognize and react to simple songs… time to start practicing your lullabies! Growth (at least inside your womb) is starting to slow, and you may notice baby descend into your pelvis at the end of this month.

Week 33 - Are you kidding me????

How your baby's growing:

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.See what your baby looks like this week.Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

As your baby fills out even more of your belly, lots of things might start to change: Whereas before you were sashaying, you may find yourself waddling. Finding an easy position to sit in — let alone sleep — is becoming more of a challenge. And bumping into chairs and counters is par for the course.You may be feeling some achiness and even numbness in your fingers, wrists, and hands. Like many other tissues in your body, those in your wrist can retain fluid, which can increase pressure in the carpal tunnel, a bony canal in your wrist. Nerves that run through this "tunnel" may end up pinched, creating numbness; tingling, shooting or burning pain; or a dull ache. Try wearing a splint to stabilize your wrist or propping your arm up with a pillow when you sleep. If your work requires repetitive hand movements (at a keyboard or on an assembly line, for instance), remember to stretch your hands when you take breaks — which should be frequently.