Monday, October 20, 2014

Full-Term Update, Plus Great Things About Being Due in November

"In case you ever foolishly forget; I am never not thinking of you."
(Virginia Woolf)

I'm 37 weeks along today, which means that baby girl is full-term now, but we have about 3 more weeks to go before she should really make her debut. The past week has been the most difficult for me of this otherwise great pregnancy. We're in good health -- I'm fine, the baby is fine -- but she's breech, so I have some decisions to make very quickly. There is a lot to take in and potentially let go of. In the meantime, I have been practicing various techniques and hoping that she turns. Only 3-4% of babies are breech at this point. Prayers welcome for me and my little troublemaker.

33 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a durian.
  • She may grow up to a full inch this week alone, and is going through more major brain development; soon, she'll be able to coordinate breathing with sucking and swallowing; her bones are hardening, and she has started to keep her eyes open when awake.
  • 33w1d: Heart rate of approximately 138 bpm.
  • Hospital obstetrical unit tour at 33w2d: It was very helpful to take an advanced trip to the hospital where I'll be delivering (and where my husband and his siblings were born), walk through the entire process, meet some of the staff, and have my questions answered. Compared to the major hospitals in NYC, this one is so nice, and has all private LDRs and postpartum rooms, which is a bonus. They are also opening a natural birth center soon.
  • Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions, acid reflux, unusual dreams.

In Frankenmuth, Michigan's Little Bavaria, at 33w2d
My list of questions for the maternity ward tour

34 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a butternut squash.
  • She can recognize and react to simple songs, and may find them soothing after birth; also urinates about 1 pint per day.
  • Appointment at 34w1d: Urine screen, weight, and blood pressure taken. Baby's heart rate approximately 140 bpm; measuring perfectly.
  • 34w2d: Prenatal massage.
  • Childbirth class at 34w5d: We took a childbirth preparation class at the home of a longtime L&D nurse who has worked at my hospital for around 35 years, has been teaching private classes for almost 30 years, and is highly recommended by my OB. Neither of them approve of the hospital-run childbirth classes, which staff outsiders who don't always know or give correct information.
  • Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions, increased pelvic pressure for the past couple of weeks.
  • Cravings: Cheese, biscuits, scones, pumpkin donuts.

With my fwends at the liberry at 34w5d

35 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a coconut.
  • She won't get much longer, but will put on a pound or more of baby fat before birth; her hearing is totally developed, and she responds best to high-pitched noises.
  • Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions, with a couple of stronger ones; acid reflux.
  • Cravings: Indian food, warm pastries.

In Detroit for dinner at 35w5d

36 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a honeydew.
  • Her skin is getting smooth and soft, gums are rigid, liver and kidneys are in working order, and circulation and immune system are good to go; and she's getting closer to being able to breathe on her own.
  • Began eating a few Medjool dates per day and continued drinking pregnancy tea.
  • Appointment at 36w1d: Urine screen, Group Beta Strep test, weight, and blood pressure taken. Baby is measuring perfectly; heart rate of approximately 147 bpm. Received a phone call at the end of the day, asking to come in the next day for an ultrasound.
  • Appointment at 36w2d: Blood pressure taken. OB performed an ultrasound and confirmed that baby is in a frank breech position, with head up on the left, spine towards the left, butt on the bottom, and legs towards the right. October 15 is also annual Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
  • Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions, with some stronger cramping; hip and leg soreness overnight.

Chilly autumn evening at 36w5d

 Great Things About Being Due in November

To end on a positive note, below is my list of reasons to look forward to having a November or autumn baby:
  • Fall maternity photos.
  • Apple and pumpkin flavors, comfort food, fall everything.
  • Not having the last few months of pregnancy during the hottest time of the year.
  • Lots of time to wear roomy, thick clothes, and oversized sweaters.
  • Sharing the holiday season with a newborn.
  • Something amazing to be thankful for.
  • Baby's 1st Thanksgiving.
  • Baby's 1st Christmas.
  • Baby's 1st Christmas ornament.
  • Christmas cards doubling as birth announcements.
  • Staying home for the holidays, rather than running around for travel, shopping, etc.
  • Being able to hibernate and be less social/stressed.
  • Enjoying holiday coffee drinks, New Year's Eve champagne.
  • Cozy newborn and family snuggles during the cold winter months.
  • Not overheating when babywearing.
  • Not working during the holidays.
  • 2014 tax deduction.
  • Being in Michigan this year, it will be nice to have things quieter and slower paced and be able to do what we want.
  • Baby will be big/old enough to enjoy spring/summer outings, swimming, etc. when the weather gets warm.

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