37 WEEKS PREGNANT – 38TH WEEK OF DEVELOPMENT
(By request from my good friend Michelle, I’m wearing the shirt that makes my belly look “awesome.” Thanks, Michelle!)
Well, Baby Girl Geekling is now officially full-term and could come at any time. Yikes! We went to the doctor Thursday and everything looks good. I’m not making any progress toward labor yet, but the baby’s head is down and she’s in the right position for delivery. The doctor estimated that she was about 6-6.5 lbs right now, which should be right on target for my goal of 8 lbs or less on the due date. Hopefully she doesn’t get a whole lot bigger, but since my genes are more dominant in that area and I only weighed just over 7 lbs, I’m fairly confident that she won’t be too big for me to handle (besides, I’m going to be on drugs that partially numb the part of my body that would care how big she is, so I won’t care until afterward anyway). According to the Internet, Baby Girl is right below the average weight-wise (the Internet says most babies are about 6.8-7 lbs this week), and should be about 19.5-20 inches long now, or about the length of a leek.
-Her organs have matured and are ready to function outside the womb
-She’s continuing to shed her vernix and lanugo
-She’s also producing surfactant, a substance that will prevent the air sacs in her lungs from sticking to one another when she starts to breathe
-She has a firm grasp now, and we can’t wait to test it when we get to hold her hands
-She’s been moving around like crazy and kicking harder than ever
-Her little feet seem to like to be up under my ribs. Usually I can handle it because I can recline back a little bit to give her more room, but when I’m sitting up straight, like in the car, it’s not fun.
As for me:
-I’ve continued having a lot of nausea, but not nearly as much “active” nausea this past week (knock on wood)
-This kid seems to be balancing right on my bladder, which seems to have gotten a lot smaller these days
-I’ve been having contractions, especially after my doctor’s appointment yesterday, which is good, but they are frequent or strong enough to start counting. Up until now I’ve only had mild Braxton Hicks contractions, though, and I can definitely tell the difference as they get to be more like real contractions, so it’s good that they are starting out so slowly (although I am well aware that they get very painful and hard to handle).
I’ve been working hard on the nursery, and it is mostly complete. We have some generous friends and family who have given us so much (check out the thank you page)! We just have to finish sanding and finishing the cradle from my childhood, and we’re waiting on a few last touches to come in the mail, and then we’ll be ready. But everything is complete enough now for us to bring her home if she decides to come. My bag is packed and in the entryway ready to go (with some last-minute additions required), and tomorrow I’m going to put the car seat in the car, so we’ll really be ready. This is my favorite new addition to the nursery:
The picture of it is a little blurry, but you get the gist: the elephant is trying to push the boulder. We bought it from Nerdy Baby and it’s a perfect combination of Jim’s and my personalities. Above the elephant it says “Force = Mass x Acceleration” then around the boulder it says “Every body perseveres in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straight forward except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force” and under the elephant, on the ground it says “All forces occur in pairs, and these two forces are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.” Newton’s three laws of motion! I couldn’t find a poster frame online for a price I deemed acceptable, and would have had to give my left arm as payment to have one made (expensive!), so I had the poster matted (about $13) and then hot glued the matting to a piece of cardboard, and made a faux frame of ribbon to hang it on the wall. I’m pretty proud of the result. It’s hanging just over the crib, and it’s the perfect addition to our sweet girl’s room. I sure hope she likes elephants!
We went to a childbirth class tonight and in addition to me being more freaked out than ever and Jim being as wonderfully calm as usual, we got to watch a video that showed the stages of labor (including two births), got a briefing from one of the OB nurses who gave us a lot of great, in depth information, and took a tour of the Labor and Delivery ward (or, as they call it here, Family Care Unit). Several people in the class were interested in a two-part breathing class, as well, and since all but two of the seven women in our class are full-term and one is 40 weeks and one is 39 weeks, the nurse scheduled the first part of the breathing class for Sunday, and the second for a week later. So off we venture further into the world of learning about labor. I’m so thankful to have calm, low-stress Jim by my side. It’s going to be great to have him there with me to help me calm down and be my coach and cheerleader, even with the epidural.
Hope you’re all happy and well. I’ll post more after our first breathing class. Soon enough we’ll be posting pictures of our sweet little girl on this blog!