What’s happening with baby this week:
- Baby is gaining 6 ounces a week
- Baby fat is forming, filling out
- Respiratory system is getting stronger
- May start rotating into birthing position
- Baby's nostrils may open this week (ooh!)
- Starts to prefer either right or left hand
- Hands are fully developed
The baby is about 14 inches long and weighs just under 2 pounds.
Symptoms to expect:
- Lower back pain (no)
- Leg cramps (no)
- More body hair (possibly on stomach, arms; way less on legs though!)
- Fetal movements are now obvious (YES - and fairly constant!)
- Vivid, scary dreams (not yet ...)
- Indigestion or heartburn (no)
- Forgetfulness (okay, maybe a bit)
- Itchy abdomen (no)
The top of uterus is now between navel and sternum; uterus is the size of a soccer ball.
Additional Symptoms I'm Having:
- Shortness of breath / sinus issues continue
- Nesting instinct continues
- Swollen wrists/ankles
For the first time on Friday night, the baby's kicks and movements actually prevented me from getting to sleep. That's a new one. Speaking of sleep, I have been using the Snoogle pillow again, with its long side running down the centre of the bed instead of the side; this prevents the pillow from being kicked off in the middle of the night, but it also significantly cuts into my nighttime cuddles with Chris. However, the soreness in my hip has decreased a lot and that is so wonderful that I'm willing to pay the price.
There are some amazing changes happening with the baby this week; some websites say that s/he will turn his/her head in response to a light shone onto my belly, and will come to a hand if it is placed on my abdomen. I still can't understand how the baby can "feel" a hand on my abdomen, but it's definitely true; I play a game sometimes where I poke, prod, or tickle my belly, and there is almost always a response. In addition, the baby's heartbeat should now be audible with only a stethoscope (no doppler needed) and will soon only require an ear laid on my tummy!
I am getting really ramped up for labour these days. Whenever I think of the magic number of how far along I am, it is now accompanied by the countdown, as you can see in the subject line above. Pre-natal classes will be starting soon and after that, we'll be meeting with Janice (our doula) to talk about what we want from her during the birth. That should be a very interesting discussion! At the moment, whenever I read about labour/contractions/etc, I can recite certain facts and concepts about them, but I don't feel very emotionally connected - that is, I haven't really internalized that this is really going to happen to me. I'm looking forward to learning labour positions/pain coping techniques in our pre-natal classes, and then practicing them at home with Chris and/or Janice - that should make it all feel a bit more real!