Monday, September 27, 2010

36 weeks

Here's what is going on with Noah this week according to;

Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her 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 her 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 she's in a head-down position. But if she isn't, your practitioner 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 by manipulating her from the outside of your belly. 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.

As for me, I'm doing good.  It's starting to sink in that we only have one month left until my due date (October 24th), and less than a week until the initial due date they gave us of Oct. 4.  We've been thinking that Noah will probably arrive somewhere between those two dates, but we'll just have to wait and see.  I haven't dropped yet, and am not really experiencing any contractions anymore, so at least as of now there aren't any signs that he'll be here too soon.  We're anxious for him to get here, but I could use an extra week or two to make some final preparations.  Although all of the important stuff is done, so whenever he arrives we'll be okay with it, I'm sure I'll always have a list of more things that I'd like to get done.  My official last day of work will be Oct. 15, unless Noah decides to arrive prior to that.  As of this week I will be going to the doctor weekly for the rest of my pregnancy, and she will be starting examinations to see if I'm dilating and if there are any signs of labor approaching.

All is going well, and I'm still feeling suprisingly good.  I'm still sleeping through the night, with the exception of trips to the restroom.  I'm not quite as comfortable as I was earlier in pregnancy, but there isn't anything specific that is really bothering, I'm just huge, and ready to be a little more mobile and bendable again.  I have perfected the waddle, which Jeremy finds hilarious, but I guess that is to be expected at this point. 



Mary said...

Awww, you're getting so close! Glad to hear that you're feeling well! Love that belly :-)

jasjawillis said...

Your belly is so cute! You are still so skinny everywhere else and you REALLY look like you are hiding a basketball under your shirt! :)