Friday, February 20, 2009

Thirty-Three Weeks

Today Nick is 33 weeks old. Only 49 days to go! I still feel him moving a lot but I know over the next seven weeks I'll feel him less and less, or at least not as strongly, because he'll start running out of room. I am still pretty comfortable physically and still sleeping through the night. I am very impressed with my bladder :)

According to The Cradle, at the close of this week of pregnancy, the circumference, or distance around, Nick's head has increased by another 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) due to his rapid brain growth.

According to Pregnancy Weekly, Nick is now 17 inches from head to heel and weighs about 4.25 pounds, and we are probably both very aware that it is getting more and more cramped in there. Nick's adrenal glands have developed and are producing hormones that stimulate lactation. I may start thinking about food more in this home stretch. Seafood can boost the development of Nick's brain, which will develop most during the ninth month. However, the FDA recommends I consume no more than one serving per month of shark and swordfish due to potentially higher levels of methyl mercury found in these fish.

According to Baby Center, this week Nick 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.

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

This week in our Bradley class we talked about birth plans and what our "ideal" birth would be like. I know how I am, so I'm not trying to think about my "ideal" birth. I just want to focus on avoiding interventions and trying to enjoy the process of labor and delivery as much as I can.

We are still settling into the house. We've received a few baby gifts already, and it is very fun to see some of Nick's things around the house! This weekend is going to be super fun - tonight my sister is arriving from Raleigh - I am so excited to see her!!

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