Saturday, February 27, 2010

35 weeks info from

Your pregnancy: 35 weeks

How your baby's growing:

Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same.

His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

Your uterus — which was entirely tucked away inside your pelvis when you conceived — now reaches up under your rib cage. If you could peek inside your womb, you'd see that there's more baby than amniotic fluid in there now.

Your ballooning uterus is crowding your other internal organs, too, which is why you probably have to urinate more often and may be dealing with heartburn and other gastrointestinal distress. If you're not grappling with these annoyances, you're one of the lucky few.

From here on out, you'll start seeing your practitioner every week. Sometime between now and 37 weeks, she'll do a vaginal and rectal culture to check for bacteria called Group B streptococci (GBS). (Don't worry — the swab is the size of a regular cotton swab, and it won't hurt at all.)

GBS is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during birth, it can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don't know it, it's vital to be screened. (The bacteria come and go on their own — that's why you weren't screened earlier in pregnancy.) If you're a GBS carrier, you'll get IV antibiotics during labor, which will greatly reduce your baby's risk of infection.

This is also a good time to create a birth plan. Using our form will help you focus on specifics — like who'll be present, what pain management techniques you want to try, and where you want your baby to stay after you deliver.

It will give you a starting point to discuss your preferences with your medical team. Childbirth is unpredictable, and chances are you won't follow your plan to the letter, but thinking about your choices ahead of time — and sharing your preferences with your caregiver — should take some of the anxiety out of the process.

Prep early for those first weeks "To streamline a chore like filling out birth announcements, address and stamp your envelopes now while you're still in control of your time." — Laura

3 Questions About...Arriving at the hospital

How can I prepare for my arrival at the hospital?

Long before you go into labor, you and your partner should map out the most direct route to the hospital or birth center. Find out where to park, keeping in mind that you'll be leaving your car for at least 24 hours. Ask the hospital staff where you should enter if you arrive after-hours. Most hospitals offer tours of the obstetrical floor at designated times. Taking advantage of these tours will give you a chance to do a dry run before the big day.

What should I do when I get to the hospital?

If you've preregistered, you should follow the instructions you've been given, which probably include breezing right by the front desk and going directly to the maternity ward. If you haven't preregistered, you can probably still head directly to the maternity ward. There's usually a check-in desk once you get there. The staff there will help you deal with any necessary paperwork.

A nurse may lead you directly to a birthing room and pair you with a labor and delivery nurse. If it's not clear that you're in active labor or need to be admitted for other reasons, she'll most likely bring you to an exam room first. Your caregiver will evaluate you there to see if you're ready to be admitted.

The nurse will ask you for a urine sample and have you change your clothes. Then she'll check your vital signs and ask when your contractions started and how far apart they are, whether your water's broken, and whether you've had any vaginal bleeding. She'll also want to know if your baby's been moving, if you've recently had anything to eat or drink, and how you're coping with the pain.

Your caregiver will check the frequency and duration of your contractions as well as your baby's heart rate. Then she'll perform an abdominal and vaginal exam. If it looks like you're not in labor or are still in early labor— and everything is okay with you and your baby — you'll probably be sent home until your labor is further along. Otherwise, you'll be admitted.

What will happen once I'm admitted?

The nurse or your caregiver may ask if you have a birth plan. Even if you don't have a written plan, share your needs and preferences with the staff, including your feelings about using pain medication during labor.

Then you'll have blood drawn (to find out your blood type among other things) and an IV may be started. You'll definitely need an IV to get antibiotics if you test positive for Group B strep, for hydration if you can't keep fluids down, if you want a spinal or an epidural, if you need oxytocin (Pitocin), or if you have any health problems or pregnancy complications.

Your nurse or caregiver should also orient you, showing you where everything is in your room and where your partner can get ice for you. Don't be shy about requesting things you might need, like a rocking chair, a cool washcloth, or another blanket, or asking any lingering questions you might have. And if you're going to have continuous electronic fetal monitoring and are interested in how it works, ask her to explain which lines on the strip show your contractions and which show the heartbeat, and let her know if you'd prefer the volume on the machine to be turned up or down.

Talk to your caregiver about preregistering at the hospital. If you prepare the paperwork now, you won't have to worry about it on the big day.

This Week's Activity:

Prepare food to eat after your baby's born. If you cook, start doubling recipes and freezing half. You and your partner will be too exhausted to cook in the first weeks after you bring your baby home and you'll be thrilled to have healthy meals you can heat up fast.

If you don't cook, go around your neighborhood and pick up all the takeout and delivery menus you can find. You'll be grateful for all the options at your fingertips.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

34 weeks info from

Your pregnancy: 34 weeks

How your baby's growing:

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever.

Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

By this week, fatigue has probably set in again, though maybe not with the same coma-like intensity of your first trimester. Your tiredness is perfectly understandable, given the physical strain you're under and the restless nights of frequent pee breaks and tossing and turning, while trying to get comfortable. Now's the time to slow down and save up your energy for labor day (and beyond).

If you've been sitting or lying down for a long time, don't jump up too quickly. Blood can pool in your feet and legs, causing a temporary drop in your blood pressure when you get up that can make you feel dizzy.

If you notice itchy red bumps or welts on your belly and possibly your thighs and buttocks as well, you may have a condition called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP for short). Up to one percent of pregnant women develop PUPPP, which is harmless but can be quite uncomfortable. See your practitioner so she can make sure it's not a more serious problem, provide treatment to make you more comfortable, and refer you to a dermatologist if necessary. Also be sure to call her if you feel intense itchiness all over your body, even if you don't have a rash. It could signal a liver problem.

Slide your way to slumber "In the third trimester, turning over in bed is a nightmare. The solution? Big satin pajamas and even satin sheets — the slipperiness of satin helps tremendously!" — Carrie

3 Questions About...C-sections

What are my chances of having a c-section?

About 30 percent of pregnant women in the United States give birth by cesarean section these days. In certain cases the surgery is scheduled in advance. In others, it's done in response to an unforeseen complication.

W hy might I need a c-section?

You may have an unplanned cesarean delivery for many reasons, such as if your cervix stops dilating, your baby stops progressing down the birth canal, or your baby's heart-rate gives your practitioner cause for concern. A planned cesarean may be recommended if:

• You've had a previous cesarean with a "classical" vertical uterine incision or more than one previous c-section. (If you've had only one previous c-section with a horizontal incision, you may be a good candidate for a vaginal birth after cesarean, or VBAC.)

• You've had some other kind of invasive uterine surgery, such as a myomectomy (the surgical removal of fibroids).

• You're carrying more than one baby. (Some twins can be delivered vaginally, but all higher-order multiples require a c-section.)

• Your baby is expected to be very large (a condition known as macrosomia).

• Your baby is in a breech (bottom first) or transverse (sideways) position. (In some cases, such as a twin pregnancy in which the first baby is head down but the second baby is breech, the breech baby may be delivered vaginally.)

• You have placenta previa (when the placenta is so low in the uterus that it covers the cervix).

• The baby has a known illness or abnormality that would make a vaginal birth risky.

• You're HIV-positive, and blood tests done near the end of pregnancy show that you have a high viral load.

What should I expect during a c-section?

Typically, your partner can be with you during the surgery. If you don't already have one, your medical team will start an IV and insert a catheter to drain urine during the procedure, and you'll be given an epidural or spinal block, which will numb the lower half of your body but leave you alert and awake.

A screen will be put up so you don't have to watch the actual procedure. Once the doctor reaches the uterus and makes the final incision, she'll ease the baby out, lifting him so you get a glimpse of him before he's handed off to be cared for by a pediatrician or nurse. While the staff is examining your baby, the doctor will deliver your placenta and stitch you back up.

When your baby has been examined, the pediatrician or nurse may hand him to your partner, who can hold him right next to you so you can nuzzle and kiss him while you're being stitched up. Closing your uterus and belly takes a lot longer, than opening you up. This part of the surgery usually takes about 30 minutes. When the surgery is completed, you'll be wheeled into a recovery room, where you'll be able to hold your baby and breastfeed if you want to.

This Week's Activity:

Make a labor contingency plan. You may go into labor early or have a complication that requires you to be in the hospital longer than you anticipated. Give at least one friend or neighbor the keys to your house in case you need something and can't get home.

Line up people to do the following on a moment's notice:

• Take care of children
• Drive older children to and from school and to any afterschool activities
• Feed the dog, water the plants, get the mail
• Fill in for you at work or any other obligations

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What do you predict for the baby?

OK so a lot of people are on "Team Girl" though I don't know if it's more about just wanting the baby to be a girl or if there are actual instincts/impressions that baby will be a girl.

Team Girl
- Mom (me)
- Dad (T)
- Rhyme Girl
- Grandma Y.
- Sammygirl
- Karen
- Leah
- Tonya
- Liz K.
- Jennifer G.
- Kris
- Karyn
- Heather
- Beth C-M
- Hayley
- Christine H.
- Chuck C.
- Dee N.
- Gina W.
- Judy
- Carole
- Darlene M.
- Barb

Team Boy
- Little Man
- Jeebus
- Sarah B-S
- ~S
- Tracy
- Heather Y-D.

Birth date

March 24th (date set for my C-section)
- Little Man (though in October he guessed March 25th)
- Kris
- Heather
- Judy
- Dad (T.)

March 23rd
- Christine H.
- Tracy

March 21st
- Carole

March 20th
- Gina W.
- Heather Y-D

March 19th
- Mom (me) -- though I have March 13th in my head as well...
- Shayla (and she didn't know that this was the date I was thinking)

March 18th
- Sammygirl

March 17th
Grandma Y.
Dee N. (2nd guess)

March 16th
Chuck C.
Dee N. (1st guess)

weight guesses

9 lbs 9 oz
- Grandma Y's 2nd guess

9 lbs 8 oz
- Sammygirl's 1st guess

9 lbs 3 oz
- Chuck C.

9 lbs 1 oz
- Judy

8 lbs 9 oz
- Dad (T.)

8 lbs 8 oz
- Heather

8 lbs 6 oz
- Allison

8 lbs 4 oz
- Gina W.

8 lbs 3 oz
- Christine H.
- Heather Y-D

8 lbs 2 oz
- Mom (me)

8 lbs
- Dee N.

7 lbs 15 oz
- Tracy

7 lbs 14 oz
- Grandma Y. (guess #1)

7 lbs 9 oz
- Tonya

7 lbs 7 oz
- Carole

7 lbs 5 oz
- Sammygirl's 2nd guess (yes, I let her have 2)

7 lbs 2 oz
- Shayla
- Kris

6 lbs, 13 oz <-- not actually my guess - but I think it would be cool since it's my fav 2 numbers

6 lbs, 7 oz
- Karyn


22 inches
- Dad (T.)

21 inches
- Mom (me)
- Judy

20 inches

- Gina W.

19 inches

- Heather Y-D
- Carole

33 wk baby belly pic

Saturday, February 13, 2010

33 weeks info from

Your pregnancy: 33 weeks

How your baby's growing:

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening.

The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.)

These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

As your baby fills out even more of your belly, lots of things might start to change: Whereas before you were sashaying, you may find yourself waddling.

Finding an easy position to sit in — let alone sleep — is becoming more of a challenge. And bumping into chairs and counters is par for the course.

You may be feeling some achiness and even numbness in your fingers, wrists, and hands. Like many other tissues in your body, those in your wrist can retain fluid, which can increase pressure in the carpal tunnel, a bony canal in your wrist. Nerves that run through this "tunnel" may end up pinched, creating numbness; tingling, shooting or burning pain; or a dull ache.

Try wearing a splint to stabilize your wrist or propping your arm up with a pillow when you sleep. If your work requires repetitive hand movements (at a keyboard or on an assembly line, for instance), remember to stretch your hands when you take breaks — which should be frequently.

Many women are still feeling sexy at this stage — and their partners often agree. You may need to make some adjustments, but for most women, sex during pregnancy is fine right up until their water breaks or their labor starts.

Bored with pregnancy? Try this! "Every time I start to get bored with my pregnancy, I lie down and rub my belly. Sure enough, my baby starts to kick, and I think about how wonderful it will be when I'm able to hold him." — Barbara

3 Questions About... Monitoring your baby's movements

How often should I feel movements?

Your baby should be moving as frequently as she has for the last month or so. Every baby has her own pattern of activity and there's no correct one. As long as you don't notice any major changes in your baby's activity level, chances are she's doing just fine.

Do I need to keep track of my baby's kicks?

For an added sense of security, many practitioners recommend that after 28 weeks, you formally monitor your baby's movements at least once or twice a day. There are lots of different ways to do these "kick counts," so check with your caregiver about how she wants you to track your baby's movements.

Here's one common approach: Choose a time of day when your baby tends to be active. (Ideally, you'll want to do the counts at roughly the same time each day.) Sit quietly or lie on your side so you won't get distracted. Time how long it takes for you to feel ten distinct movements — kicks, twitches, and whole body movements all count.

You should feel at least ten movements within two hours. (Don't worry; it probably won't take that long. Sometimes you'll feel ten kicks within the first ten minutes.) If you don't feel ten movements in two hours, stop counting and call your midwife or doctor.

What should I do if I think my baby's movements have slowed down or changed?

Let your practitioner know right away if you notice a slowdown of your baby's movements. A decrease in fetal movement may signal a problem, and you'll need a nonstress test or biophysical profile to check on your baby.

This Week's Activity:

Wash your baby's clothing and bedding. You know all those adorable outfits you bought or received at your baby shower? You should wash anything that will go near your baby's skin to remove any irritants in the fabrics. The gentlest detergents are those designed for babies and those that are labeled hypoallergenic or good for sensitive skin.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

32 wk and 4 day OBGYN appt

Grr Arrgh!

OBGYN was in extreme cranky mode today.

Remember though - I choose him for his skill IN SPITE OF his bedside manner...

Still no c-section date --- arrrgh! This was the 3rd now (I think) appt in a row where it was discussed that it still needs to be booked. Now he was saying probably sometime March 23 - 25th depending on when other ones are booked.

Since the 23rd - 24th is the date range we've been discussing since what - January? Then maybe it should have been bloody well booked already!!!

I've apparently lost 3 lbs since my last appt and he asked why I thought that happened and I mentioned the wicked night-time heartburn/night sickness and then he says, "Well what do you want me to do about it?"

So I pointed out that I thought he'd want to know. He told me to try Gaviscon.

Oh, and the waiting room was standing room only today.

HOWEVER -- the office is going to be closed for a wk while he goes on vacation sometime before my next appt so he'll HOPEFULLY be nicer next time.

Anyway, I brought up that he said at my last appt that I'd be having another U/S and he said they'd book that for me and I said, "Oh, OK."

So he says, "Well how else do you expect it to happen?" And I said that with my previous 2 ultrasounds, my family DR had given me the requesitions and had me book my own within a timeframe the DR gave me.

Nonetheless, they booked the U/S for me with no input on the place I prefer to go, and no input on the time so I have to go to a place on Pine St for 2 p.m. on March the 3rd.

The form they gave me just says that it's to check "fetal growth" -- but now I'm wondering, does that mean he's concerned about the baby's growth?

Oh and that same day, the 3rd, is also when I go for my next OBGYN appt - and that's at 10:45 a.m.

He's never given me my measurements or anything even though he measures me -- but he was so cranky today I didn't want to ask ANYTHING...

Stats for today were:

Weight - 285 lbs
Blood Pressure - 134/80

Baby's heartrate - 121 bpm. He said 120 - 160 is "normal" and I asked if I should be worried since it was so close to the low end of normal and he repeated that 120 - 160 is normal.

So I asked if that was his way of telling me to NOT worry about it. And he said, "yes."

So there we go.

And re: the baby bpm guessing site --

babybpm fetal heart rate gender predictor

Saturday, February 6, 2010

32 wks info from

Your pregnancy: 32 weeks

How your baby's growing:

By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds (pick up a large jicama) and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus.

You're gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she'll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb.

She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:

To accommodate you and your baby's growing needs, your blood volume has increased 40 to 50 percent since you got pregnant.

With your uterus pushing up near your diaphragm and crowding your stomach, the consequences may be shortness of breath and heartburn. To help relieve your discomfort, try sleeping propped up with pillows and eating smaller meals more often.

You may have lower-back pain as your pregnancy advances. If you do, let your caregiver know right away, particularly if you haven't had back pain before, since it can be a sign of preterm labor.

Assuming it's not preterm labor that's ailing you, you can probably blame your growing uterus and hormonal changes for your aching back. Your expanding uterus shifts your center of gravity and stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles, changing your posture and putting a strain on your back.

Hormonal changes in pregnancy loosen your joints and the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. This can make you feel less stable and cause pain when you walk, stand, sit for long periods, roll over in bed, get out of a low chair or the tub, bend, or lift things.

Get support from your partner "Sleeping is getting difficult. The only way I can get any rest is to lie with my back to my husband as he cradles my body. The support from him and a pillow between my legs is the best help." —Anonymous

Decision Guide: Who should be in the labor room with you?

Childbirth is an intensely personal experience, as is your decision whether to have additional family members, friends, or labor coaches in the birthing room with you. Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare your guest list:

• There's no one right decision. In a recent BabyCenter poll, 44 percent of expectant moms said they preferred to have no one but their partner and medical staff in the room when they gave birth, while 37 percent said they brought an additional relative along and 16 percent requested to have a friend present. Only 3 percent of respondents asked for a doula or labor coach in the birthing room.

• Some husbands or partners may be confused about their role in the birth or reluctant to participate if others are present. If you bring outside relatives or coaches in, make sure your partner is on board with the plan.

• You may be under pressure from mothers or mothers-in-law who are eager to be present for the birth of their grandchild — regardless of your wishes to keep the experience private. If you want to be alone with your partner, don't be afraid to enlist hospital staff for support in carrying out your wishes and keeping relatives out of the delivery room.

• Labor and delivery nurses come and go according to their shifts, so if you'd like to be attended continuously by one person, a private labor coach or doula is a good option. In fact, some research shows that women attended by labor assistants have shorter labors, fewer labor complications, and healthier newborns. You should also give serious thought to having a doula present if you're set on having a drug-free birth.

This Week's Activity:

Start lining up helpers. Your friends and family will want to pitch in after your baby's born, but many new moms are too overwhelmed to direct household help. How to prepare now:

• If anyone offers to help during the newborn weeks, write down their name and number.
• Select one friend to set up a schedule so that all the friends who wish to help are given a date on which they can bring you a meal.
• Create a master grocery list so you can hand it off to a friend.
• Create a childcare or ride schedule for older children.
• Line up a friend or neighbor to take out your garbage, walk your dog or feed your pets.