Friday, January 30, 2009

Thirty Weeks

Today Nick is 30 weeks old. Only 70 days to go! The results of my 1 hour glucose test came back normal, so that was a relief. I've been trying some tricks to get Nick to turn but so far I don't think they've worked. I'll keep trying! Right now I'm having some problems with my TMJ issues, so I'm hoping to get that worked out - these last two months are very important for Nick's body and brain growth, so I need to keep eating properly! Nick is SO active and his movements are SO strong - it's amazing to feel and see! Even though I've been feeling him move for two months now, I still smile and stop to pay attention each time he moves. I almost feel bad, like I have him trapped in my body and he's fighting to get out - but it's just not time yet!

According to The Cradle, Nick's toenails may be visible, and a good head of hair is often present by this point. When this day ends, I will have been pregnant for seven complete months. While Nick's growth has been rapid and sustained for many weeks, his growth rate will begin to slow as the date of birth approaches.

According to Pregnancy Weekly, Nick now weighs around 3 pounds and is about 16 inches from head to heel. An ultrasound image may show Nick yawning or even sucking his thumb, and I may also notice that Nick does not move at all during any Braxton Hicks contractions. This is because my muscles tighten and constrict his movement. By now Nick is probably more used to Braxton Hicks than I am (I think I've only had two Braxton Hicks contractions and they were a few weeks ago).

According to Baby Center, Nick's about 15.7 inches long now, and he weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds him, but that volume will decrease as he gets bigger and takes up more room in my uterus. His eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after he's born, he'll keep his eyes closed for a good part of the day. When he does open them, he'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means he can only make out objects a few inches from his face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

We had our fourth Bradley class on Tuesday and this week we watched a movie that featured a home birth, a few hospital births and some birth center births, and talked about the role of the coach. Although Jeff and I disagree on where Nick should be born, we both agree that we want a natural, unmedicated birth for Nick, and we are learning how to work together to achieve that.

We are still hoping to close on the house a week from today, although we have not been able to confirm yet if that is going to happen. No matter what, we still have our 3D/4D ultrasound on February 7 to look forward to! We also think we found a daycare for Nick - it's right by the new house, and it was awesome! It's brand new, it has a ton of enrichment programs in the curriculum, the infant caregivers are required to wear scrubs, they have separate warming dishes for breast milk and formula, they have no problem with using cloth diapers, they don't believe in having televisions anywhere in the center - we pretty much couldn't ask for more, and best of all, it's within what we budgeted for daycare! What a relief :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bump Picture

29 weeks, 2 days.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Twenty-Nine Weeks

Today Nick is 29 weeks old. Only 77 days to go! Yesterday I had my 1 hour glucose test and my regular monthly prenatal appointment. The orange drink was not too sweet for me - I do have a sweet tooth! - but it was a little too cold, my tongue and throat were numb once I finished it. The results should be in today, but they won't contact me unless the results are bad. The good news is - I am having such a healthy pregnancy my midwife said I don't need to start going to see her every two weeks yet! My weight gain is right on target, Nick's heartbeat was still in the 140s and I am measuring 30 weeks - one week ahead, which means he is growing fine. At my appointment I met two of my midwife's three new partners - they were both fantastic, and I think I would be comfortable with any of them in the delivery room with me. It was a very reassuring visit! However, the bad news is that Nick is still breech. My midwife said I want him to turn within the next 3 weeks. She suggested some exercises for me to do to try to get him to turn, and if he hasn't turned by my next appointment, she said I'll have to take more "aggressive" steps. His head is up toward my right shoulder, with his back along my left side. I think his head keeps getting lodged underneath my right ribs, which is uncomfortable (but I wouldn't say it 'hurts') and we keep feeling his feet, knees and/or hands around my belly button.

According to The Cradle, Nick’s eyes can now move in their sockets. Nick is practicing looking.

According to Pregnancy Weekly, Nick is now about 15.5 inches from head to heel and weighs about 2.7 pounds. He continues to be active and grow; however, I may be feeling fewer kicks and punches. This is because even though Nick is getting larger and stronger, he also has less space in which to gain momentum for these movements. Nick's blood is now being produced from the stem cells in its bone marrow. Many expectant parents choose to collect and freeze their baby's umbilical cord blood after he or she is born and the cord is cut. This usually-discarded blood contains stem cells, which may be invaluable in case the family needs them in the future. Some scientists believe that in the future we will all be treated with our own stem cells to cure conditions such as diabetes, Alzheimer's, and heart disease.

According to Baby Center, Nick now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, I'll need plenty of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, I should be sure to drink my milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in Nick's hardening skeleton each day.

According to The Bump, Nick's energy is surging, thanks to the formation of white fat deposits beneath the skin. Nick is also settling into sleep and waking cycles, though they don’t necessarily coincide with mine. Also this month, all five senses are finally functional, and the brain and nervous system are going through major developments.

We had our third Bradley class on Tuesday and this week we talked about interventions. As our instructor said, it was a downer of a class. It made me wish even more that we could have a home birth - but we agreed to compromise on using a midwife in a hospital. I KNOW that my body can handle a natural, unmedicated birth - the question is, will the hospital let my body do its work? We shall see in less than three months!

We have a couple of very busy and exciting weeks coming up. February 6 we close on the new house, and February 7 is our next/last 3D/4D ultrasound. Tomorrow we are going to an open house at a daycare in Northville. We also have to start looking for a pediatrician. So much to do before our son arrives! :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bump Picture

28 weeks, 2 days.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Twenty-Eight Weeks

Today Nick is 28 weeks old. Only 84 day to go! Today is the first day of my last trimester - very bittersweet, because we can't wait for Nick to arrive, but I have enjoyed my pregnancy and don't want it to end so quickly. Nick is still very active. I don't know if I detect any particular sleep/awake patterns, but he is active every few hours. He is still allowing me to sleep through the night, thank goodness - wonder how much longer that will last?

According to The Cradle, in just two weeks, Nick has gained 6 ounces (168 g) and has grown 3/4 inch (19.1 mm). My uterus continues to push on my bladder, reducing its capacity. During pregnancy, the tubes that lead from the kidneys to the bladder lack tone and are more readily dilated, kinked, and compressed.

According to Pregnancy Weekly, Nick weighs approximately 2.4 pounds and is a little under 15 inches from head to heel. He has been gaining weight steadily during the past 27 weeks as his stem cells develop into organs, blood and immune systems, and bones. However, from this point forward, Nick's weight gain will be due to increasing amounts of body fat. Nick would have a very good chance of surviving a premature delivery if born today, but preemies are relatively rare thanks to modern obstetrical care.

According to Baby Center, by this week, Nick weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of his head to his heels. He can blink his eyes, which now sport lashes. With his eyesight developing, he may be able to see the light that filters in through my womb. He's also developing billions of neurons in his brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Our second Bradley class was on Tuesday. We talked about the importance of nutrition during pregnancy and nursing after the baby is born. Bradley recommends pregnant women eat 80-100 grams of protein a day. That seemed like a lot to me - but yesterday I tracked my normal eating and I had 78 grams! So I just need to improve a little :)

Everything worked out with the house. The inspection went great and we are now scheduled to close on February 6. That will give us two full months (hopefully!) to settle in to the new house before Nick arrives. We are really excited and feel very lucky to be experiencing so many amazing things right now!

And, someone finally asked me if I'm pregnant who I hadn't already told!! It happened on Wednesday and was very exciting. I still haven't had any strangers touch my bump yet (thank goodness, I'm still trying to decide how I'll handle that one) but at least I finally look pregnant enough for people who don't already know to ask about it. Only took six months!! :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bump Picture

27 weeks, 2 days.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Twenty-Seven Weeks

Today Nick is 27 weeks old. Only 91 days to go! Nick is very active, and I can tell he's getting stronger and bigger. His movements are very strong! But they still don't wake me up at night. I am experiencing more back pain, and I definitely have pregnancy congestion, but other than that - no real symptoms. I truly feel lucky to be having such a delightful pregnancy!

According to The Cradle, Nick has grown a 1/2 inch (13 mm) in just 7 days. As Nick gets bigger, I may notice some shortness of breath. As my growing uterus presses on my diaphragm, it becomes harder to fill my lungs and to breathe out completely.

According to Pregnancy Weekly, Nick weighs approximately 2 pounds and measures nearly 14.5 inches from head to heel. His facial features are almost fully developed and synchronizing enough that he may make faces that are visible on an ultrasound. Nick's skin is becoming thicker and fleshier and increasingly wrinkled, thanks to the amniotic fluid. The skin will remain wrinkled for the first month or so after birth - just think about how your hands or feet look after you have been in the water for just 30 minutes! During this week, the brain continues its rapid growth, and the lungs continue to develop.

According to Baby Center, Nick weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with his legs extended. He's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing his eyes, and perhaps even sucking his fingers. With more brain tissue developing, Nick's brain is very active now. While his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if he were to be born now. I should chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements I may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother Nick, so I should just relax and enjoy the tickle.

We had our first Bradley class this week. Didn't learn anything new yet, but we are just waiting to get to the good stuff. It's a small class of seven couples, including us, taught by an independent instructor at her home. It was a good atmosphere, and the instructor seems very knowledgeable and easy-going. We have nine more weeks of classes, so hopefully she'll teach us what we need to know to have the natural birth we are aiming for!

We scheduled our second 3D/4D ultrasound for February 7. I can't wait to see the changes! Jeff's parents are going to attend, and maybe my mom and Jeff's brother.

We also bought Nick a house! Well, almost - the offer has been accepted, our inspection is scheduled for Saturday, and if all goes well, we'll close on February 11. We are so excited! It's pretty close to being our dream house :) It even has a basketball hoop on the driveway! It is definitely big enough for the family we are planning. Here is a picture of the outside, of the room we'll probably give to Nick, and the big playroom in the finished basement. We plan on putting a media room and our home office in the basement, so it will probably be where our family spends a lot of time :) We are just so relieved to have found a nice house in a safe neighborhood with good schools. We are both sleeping better at night - or we will be, as soon as we move in :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bump Picture

26 weeks, 2 days.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Twenty-Six Weeks

Today Nick is 26 weeks old. Only 98 days to go!! He is so active, which I love - it lets me know everything is ok in there. Sometimes it feels like he's resting with his chin on his hand and his elbow propped on one of my organs :) I am thankfully still sleeping through the night - no midnight bathroom trips or 2 am kicks to wake me up, but I am sure those things are coming :)

According to The Cradle, at this point, Nick has completed two-thirds of his stay in my womb. In the next three months, Nick will be progressively able to survive without such an intimate attachment. By the end of this sixth month of pregnancy, Nick will measure at least 9 inches long CRL (230 mm) and weigh at least 1 3/4 pounds (779 g).

According to Pregnancy Weekly, Nick weighs almost 2 pounds, measures around 14 inches from head to heel, and hears noises, responds to light, and is generally more aware of his surroundings. In the same way that I can see a flashlight if I hold it against my palm, Nick can see the light coming through my belly. I may notice increased activity when in brighter light and decreased activity in darkened rooms. His hearing is fully developed, and as he reacts to sounds, his pulse increases. Nick may even move in rhythm to music!

According to Baby Center, the network of nerves in Nick's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both my voice and Jeff's as we chat with each other. He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel. His testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.

Yesterday at New Year's in Ludington, Jeff and I met baby Isabella - his cousin's wife had a baby on Dec. 7. She is so tiny and adorable! Here I am holding her. I held her for a little while and could only marvel at how perfect and small she is, and think about what it will feel like to hold Nick and marvel at how perfect and small HE is :) Every little thing Isabella did was fascinating - we can only imagine how fascinating Nick will be to us! Grandma Lundberg already knit baby Nick four pairs of booties - Jeff and I love our adult-sized booties from Grandma, so we're sure Nick will love his too.

I also found my new favorite store this week - Buy Buy Baby. It's a chain owned by Bed, Bath and Beyond - so it's set up just like a BBB but with just baby stuff! I was there for a good hour and a half just wandering around. They had a great selection of baby clothes, nursery furniture, strollers and car seats.