Friday, March 20, 2009

Thirty-Seven Weeks

Today Nick is 37 weeks old. Only 21 days to go! Officially he is full-term, but according to my Bradley class, the average pregnancy actually lasts 41 weeks 1 day - which would put Nick being born on April 18. I am fine with him arriving anytime between April 2 and April 24 :) His movements are still strong and frequent, which is a good sign. I have to sleep sitting up now because my side gets really sore (I'm guessing from the extra weight) and I am starting to have edema (swelling) in my calves and feet. Not terribly uncomfortable but not great-feeling either :)

According to The Cradle, as I approach delivery, the amniotic sac (bag of waters) may break. Generally, it’s more of a trickle than a gush. I should contact my practitioner if I think I'm leaking amniotic fluid.

According to Pregnancy Weekly, Nick is considered full term, even though the 40-week mark is still three weeks away! He is almost 6.5 pounds and measures just over 19 inches in length, and has developed enough coordination so that he can grasp an object with his fingers, called the palmar grasp reflex. This is a good time to consider how extensively I want Nick screened for diseases and conditions. The number of conditions a baby is tested for varies by state; however, every state screens for at least two disorders. Expanded newborn screening is available through private companies and screens for up to 40 disorders.

According to Baby Center, my baby is full term! This means that if Nick arrives now, his lungs should be fully mature and ready to adjust to life outside the womb, even though my due date is still three weeks away. Nick weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But I shouldn't be surprised if Nick's hair isn't the same color as mine. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

According to The Bump, at week 37, my pregnancy is considered full term, meaning baby is likely to thrive after birth. Baby spends these last weeks in preparation for the outside world… meaning careful refinement of the blink, suck, inhale and exhale. Meconium, which I’ll probably find in the first diaper, is accumulating in the intestines. If (okay, as) I worry about giving birth, I should consider what it’s like for the little one. During the journey out of my womb, Nick will produce more stress hormones than any other time in life.

This week was baby-filled. Monday we met a pediatrician, Tuesday was our last Bradley class, Wednesday was my last four week midwife appointment, and Thursday we had an infant care class. My midwife appointment went great - my BP was a little higher but still in the normal range. Nick's heartrate was 152 and I measured 37 weeks. Ten babies had been born at Henry Ford West Bloomfield as of Tuesday night at 10 pm - and it just opened on Sunday! We scheduled a tour for this Sunday - I saw the hospital during the Open House, but Jeff hasn't seen it yet.

We are feeling more and more ready every day. Nick's clothes are all clean and folded and put away, we installed the car seat base in my car (we have to have it checked still though), my hospital bag is mostly packed and all of Nick's stuff is packed, and I bought the rest of the stuff we "need," except a pump (which I will be buying in the next few days - I've decided on the Ameda Purely Yours pump). This weekend I plan on shopping for and doing most of my freezer cooking - the goal is to have 30 dinners in our chest freezer before Nick arrives. It's so strange to think he could arrive any day between today and five weeks from now! We just can't wait to hold him and see him and rock him and watch him sleep - and especially to watch him grow up and do new things everyday and help guide him. I am excited about carrying him in my Moby and Jeff is excited to "share" him - I've had him all to myself for 37 weeks now! :) I have to practice saying "my son" and "our son." I'm sure it will feel strange to say it at first but hopefully soon it'll feel natural. I remember saying "my husband" on our honeymoon - it still makes me smile to think that Jeff is *actually* my husband! So I can only imagine how excited we'll be to say Nick is our son :)


N. VanDervort said...

I have loved keeping up with your pregnancy with this blog . . . everyday I expect to see a facebook update with LABOR written in.

Jessica and Dominick said...

Getting ready for the baby is half the fun, and saying "my/our son" will just roll off your tounge. The enormous amount of love that you'll have for your child cannot even be explained, I often get super emotional looking at my daughter and telling her how much I love her....could just be all of the hormones in my body too:) The last few weeks of pregnany are amazing but the birth and coming home with your child are even better!