Friday, February 6, 2009

Thirty-One Weeks

Today Nick is 31 weeks old. Only 63 days to go! So far Nick is still breech. We have an ultrasound tomorrow, and I have a midwife appointment Thursday. If Nick hasn't turned by then, I've made an appointment for an acupuncture/moxibustion treatment on Valentine's Day. Several medical studies have shown that moxibustion is effective in getting breech babies to turn. I'm not sure *exactly* what it is - if I have to have it done, I'll blog about it :) All I know is, it doesn't hurt!

According to The Cradle, calcium needs are greatest during the last twelve weeks of pregnancy, when rapid ossification of the baby’s skeleton is taking place and calcium is required for bone development. The calcium in milk or milk products is very readily absorbed and utilized, while the calcium in pill form is not. A total of 222 bones is needed to adequately support the soft parts of the baby’s body, especially during sitting and standing.

According to Pregnancy Weekly, Nick now weighs approximately 3.5 pounds, measures just over 16 inches from head to heel, and is getting used to the world of light and dark by opening and closing his eyes. His facial muscles continue to strengthen, and Nick can make different expressions. His lungs are nearly mature; however, these last few weeks are crucial to healthy and complete lung development.

According to Baby Center, this week, Nick measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so I may have trouble sleeping because Nick's kicks and somersaults keep me up. Take comfort: all this moving is a sign that Nick is active and healthy.

We had our fifth Bradley class this week and the topic was first stage labor. We had to do a contraction simulation exercise where we held an ice cube in our bare hand for sixty seconds, then took sixty seconds off, then held it again for sixty seconds with our instructor doing guided imagery to help us through, then took sixty seconds off, then held it again for sixty seconds while we tried to distract ourselves. I know a lot of women want silence during contractions, but the guided imagery made the "contraction" go by so much faster, Jeff and I are going to work on learning some guided imagery to use during my real contractions to see if it helps. We also watched a video that showed unmedicated and medicated moms with their babies, some who were left with their moms for an hour after birth and some who were taken away within twenty minutes. The unmedicated moms with babies who were left with them for at least an hour had the easiest time nursing - some of the babies did a crude crawl up to nurse! It was amazing to watch and further reinforced my determination to avoid medication and to make sure the nurses leave Nick with me for at least the first hour.

We are closing on the new house today at 1:00 pm. We are beyond excited. We will have a good two months to get settled in before Nick arrives (hopefully!) and we are so relieved to have found a house we can grow into as a family, in a great neighborhood in a nice town with good schools.

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