Monday, October 28, 2013

37 weeks!

bump watch: definitely growing by the day now! at my last few midwife appointments, i've been measuring anywhere between 1 to 1 1/2 weeks ahead, although there's no talk of changing the due date. baby's just chubbing up and that is a good thing! 

sweet pea: is FULL TERM!!! the ideal time for delivery is still as close to 40 weeks as possible, but it's reassuring to know that baby is developed enough at this point to thrive in the outside world. sweetpea weighs an estimated seven pounds (probably a little more if he's a he, according to the gurus at What to Expect), and will keep adding ounces on over the next few weeks. baby's lungs are producing more and more surfactant, which lowers surface tension on the alveoli to support normal respiration. 

Fetal Development Week 38

best moment: last night, Nick and i and sweetpea enjoyed an organ concert at our church. any time the low pedals sounded, baby started kicking. and for one incredulous thirty-second span, those kicks were exactly in time with the music. even though we're 90% sure it was a coincidence, it's still fun to imagine our baby's own future forays into music-making. 

symptoms: more intense Braxton Hicks contractions! i had the first few uncomfortable contractions at work last week (previously, i've just felt my belly tightening but it wasn't actually painful). there were only three of them, but they were 10-15 minutes apart and i started to think we might be meeting Sweetpea sooner rather than later! now they're just sporadic, and an excellent way to practice my hypnobabies techniques before the real deal. it is amazing how you can literally feel the tension melting away. 

also, i have random bursts of energy. i don't know if it qualifies as "nesting" -- i think it has more to do with the Reminders app on my phone that (shocker!) reminds me of all that's left to do before baby arrives. plus, it's way more fun to stuff and fold cloth diapers than it is to mop the floor. sweetpea's bum is gonna be stylin'!

cravings: back to the sweets this week. and i've started drinking red raspberry leaf tea, which one midwife had warned me tastes "like artichokes", but i find it very similar to green tea and quite delicious with a little honey! 

what i miss: being able to roll over in bed without feeling like i'm making a 15-point turn in a schoolbus. 
looking forward to: snuggling this little one. i've run the gamut of typical third-trimester emotions, from being so excited for baby to get here, to terrified of how much will change once we become a family of three. but over the past few weeks, i've come to truly believe that we'll figure it out and that, apart from the inevitable self-doubt and over-reacting of first time parents, we'll settle into a family routine that works for all of us. we love our sweetpea so much already! 

Monday, October 14, 2013

35 weeks!

bump watch: this week marked the first time i got the "swallowed a watermelon?" comment (at the mall, from a young man determined to sell me salt scrub for $129. his persistence did not pay off.) sweet pea is measuring right on track ... cantaloupe, watermelon, or whatever you want to call it.

sweet pea: in the past month, baby's development has mostly focused on brain growth and chubbing up. at my 32-week appointment, the midwife estimated that sweet pea weighed 4 1/2 pounds. now baby weighs around six pounds and has reached his or her birth length, between 19-21 inches long. sweetpea's circulatory and immune systems are fully developed. every week from here on out ensures that baby's lungs are mature and that the brain and nervous system are well-regulated. keep on cooking, baby!

best moment: taking the stroller out for a walk with Kaiser. granted, i was pushing around my purse and not a baby, but it was still a fun glimpse into the not-so-distant future. and Nick got instant daddy points when i couldn't figure out how to disengage the locking system to unfold the stroller (and had brilliantly folded up the instruction manual inside the stroller caddy before folding it, because after reading it cover-to-cover three times i thought i had everything down pat). i hadn't even finished typing "how to unfold chicco liteway plus stroller" into my phone's internet browser when he (having never seen the instruction manual) popped open a lever and voila! the stroller sprung into action. daddy magic already!

symptoms: shrek feet. that is the most apt description i've heard yet for the sudden onset of puffy feet and cankles. unfortunately, the best technique for getting rid of the swelling (apart from lots of water and walking) is lying down and elevating the feet ... and sweetpea is currently facing posterior with his or her face towards my belly instead of towards my spine, so to encourage baby to spin into the most optimal position (occiput anterior), i'm supposed to lean forward and keep my knees lower than my hips. 

cravings: not so much, recently. i've definitely reached the stage where i feel full faster and sometimes have to wait a bit for things to digest before finishing my meal. 

what i miss: a full wardrobe of clothes that fit. i've hit an unpleasant point where my belly is too big to fit many of the shirts that have served me well throughout the pregnancy up to this point, but too small to convincingly fill out the fall maternity clothes i bought. definitely a first world problem! 
looking forward to: finishing up the nursery! the stroller, carseat, swing, pack'n'play, co-sleeper and bouncer are all set up; baby clothes, blankets, towels and sheets are washed; diaper bag and my birth bag are packed; and now we just need to set up the changing table and crib, and hang the pictures in the nursery. i'd like to have it all ready by 37 weeks so we can just relax and wait for baby!