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Unlike my first pregnancy, where I documented my growing belly almost every week, I have yet to take a single belly picture of myself… until now. The very last belly picture I took when I was pregnant with Noelle was at 37 Weeks 6 Days, so I wanted to emulate that again and see how my belly looked on that exact day the second time around.
Here I am, 3 days before I gave birth to Noelle:
Here I am now – with Jaren:
What do you think? Any differences?
With Noelle, I had constant heartburn, and the pressure down there was unbearable. I felt like I was about to give birth at any moment, and she proved me right by coming 3 days after I took that picture. With Jaren, I get far less heartburn, and it feels like he’s sitting comfortably in my womb without so much a hint of wanting to get out. He seems quite cozy in there, and I think I may actually make the 40-week mark.
Speaking of heartburn, minutes after Noelle made her grand entrance into the world, the nurses asked if I suffered from heartburn during my pregnancy. Of course I responded with an adamant, “YES!”. They said they had a theory that babies born with a ton of hair (Noelle looked like a troll), gave their mom’s a lot of heartburn. Probably not scientific at all, but I thought that was interesting!
Noelle was born a a hefty 7 pounds 15 ounces. Currently, Jaren is measuring only 6 pounds 4 ounces. Yet when I compare the two pictures, my belly shape and size look pretty similar. I measured my belly, and even the girth is the same as last time, coming in at exactly 40 inches. I also gained the same amount of weight. I guess the body will do what it wants to do because my (unintentional) approach to pregnancy the second time around has been completely different from the first.
With Noelle, I was doing prenatal yoga and walking nightly up until the day she was born. I made sure I was getting plenty of protein and guzzling water like a camel. Nowadays, the word “exercise” doesn’t even exist in my vocabulary. I stopped doing anything remotely active the moment I hit my third trimester. Because of my full-time job, and having to keep up with an increasingly active toddler, I’m left with no desire to even go for a walk around the block at night. I grab food when I can after I make sure my firstborn is fed, and I’m definitely not drinking as much water as I should. Despite my lack of care for myself, my two pregnancies have been more similar than not.
Besides the heartburn, I can’t really think of too many differences. Sure I’m more tired and achy this time around, but that comes with having a toddler. My ugly linea negra is back, but no stretch marks, no swollen limbs, and my feet haven’t increased in size (knock on wood!). I’m having trouble sleeping, I’m thirsty all the time, and peeing a bajillion times a day (I’ve been seriously tempted to buy some Depends), but all that’s old territory for me. We’re down to the wire now and I really can’t complain. Despite my relatively smooth pregnancy, I have NO desire to go through all this again. I don’t know how those with more difficult pregnancies do it… you are my heroes.
Were your pregnancies pretty similar or completely different?
*The post below was an unfinished draft… I went into Labor this week on Wednesday 1/5/11 and never got to finish off Week 38. Noelle Olivia was born in the wee hours of 1/6/11 and she couldn’t have been more perfect. A post on my labor story to come*
I lost my mucous plug (aka “bloody show”) this past Tuesday morning. It was a distinct, thick plug with a tinge of blood about the size of a quarter so there was no denying what it was. I stared at it for a moment in the toilet and even contemplated (briefly) taking a picture of it. A lot of sites list losing your mucous plug as a sign that labor is nearing. Many women go into labor a day or two after losing their mucous plug, but again, this is one of those things that are different for everyone. Some women don’t go into labor til weeks later even after having lost their mucous plug.
Click here to read more about the signs of labor.
I had an OBGYN appointment that same morning and my doc was “impressed” by how low my baby was sitting in my pelvic area (that’s probably why even a few steps from the couch to the kitchen makes me ache!). He said she was in an ideal position for birth and that I’m 3 cm dilated now! Um, to give you some perspective… most women head to the hospital when they’re 4-5 cm dilated. I’m going to try to labor at home for as long as possible though. The less time in the hospital, the better.
Click here to read more about the different stages of labor.
Full term means that our baby would no longer be considered a “preemie” (premature baby) if she were born this week. What a blessing and miracle that she’s made it this far! Most first time pregnancies go past their due date though – I wonder if that’ll be the case with me.
Nothing too exciting to report on my end except all I feel like doing all day every day is nap nap nap. The hormones are sapping all my energy and some days I feel like a narcoleptic. On Christmas Eve, my husband and I actually slept at 9pm when we had every reason to stay up late! What old fogies we are.
I’ve been busy “nesting” though. This includes rearranging cabinets, cleaning out closets, breaking down boxes and making space in our garage, reading up on pregnancy literature, and giving the house an overall scrubdown.
Some other items on our Third-Trimester to-do list:
Install infant carseat
- Get infant carseat checked. 4 out of 5 parents install it wrong. That’s uh… a bad statistic. We went to the police station (FAIL – apparently you have to make an advanced appointment), then we went to AAA (FAIL – they don’t check carseats). What next???
Pack for the hospital Register at the hospital Finish up our last Bradley class Wash baby clothes, blankets, and linen
- Choose a pediatrician – I have a list from of recs from my obgyn. Time to make some phone calls.
- Get carpet cleaned – Scheduled this for the first week of January.
- Get vent ducts cleaned
- Put up our Winnie the Pooh wallpaper border in the nursery.
- Get a prenatal massage – my sis gave me a gift card like 5 years ago to Glen Ivy that I never used! Now’s the time… good thing gift cards can’t expire in CA.
To help me figure out where to begin when it comes to cleaning house, my intense scheduling side took over and I created a calendar to help me allot my time accordingly. I’ll be cleaning windows one day, cleaning bathrooms the next day, and reorganizing rooms on another day. I’m such a checklist person and love making sure things get checked off my to-do list! Am I crazy?
Week 37 Day 6
Weighing in at: 147 lbs. Belly Size: 40 inches
How Baby is Growing:
- Your baby is now considered “full term,” even though your due date is three weeks away.
- If you go into labor now, his lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb.
- Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of a swiss chard).
- Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long.
How Mama is Doing:
- Braxton Hicks contractions may be coming more frequently now and may last longer and be more uncomfortable.
- You might also notice an increase in vaginal discharge.
- If you see some “bloody show” (mucus tinged with a tiny amount of blood) in the toilet or in your undies, labor is probably a few days away — or less.
- It may be harder than ever to get comfortable enough to sleep well at night. If you can, take it easy through the day — this may be your last chance to do so for quite a while.
- Keep monitoring your baby’s movements, too, and let your caregiver know immediately if you notice a decrease. Though her quarters are getting cozy, she should still be as active as before.
- While you’re sleeping, you’re likely to have some intense dreams. Anxiety both about labor and about becoming a parent can fuel a lot of strange flights of unconscious fancy.
Milestone: on Wednesday, my obgyn told me that I am already 1 cm dilated! This means very little in terms of when my baby will be born. Apparently, every woman’s body is so different that someone can be dilated 1 cm for weeks and not progress any further until their due date whereas another can be completely closed and all of a sudden dilate 10 cm within the span of a few hours. Nonetheless, I got very excited by the news. It just means I’m one step closer to meeting my daughter…
After this week, my obgyn wants me to go in twice every week until the due date. It sounds a little excessive, so I’ll go in next week to see how things go, and if I think it’s unnecessary to see him so frequently I’ll ask to cut back to once a week appointments.
After I told my husband about the dilation, he immediately started scrambling like a little energizer bunny (yes I absolutely adore my funny husband). He made Wednesday night our “baby night”. So we spent date night running around Target and doing some more organizing around the house. He opened up the stroller and practiced putting the baby seat into the stroller, making sure he got everything down pat. We even packed for the hospital. So now I have a bag just chillin’ until the day I go into labor. We have a bag for me and another bag for stuff we’re going to keep in the car (like the clothes that the baby will go home in, etc).
The bag for me includes:
- A nursing bra
- Warm socks
- Chapstick (I heard you get really dehydrated and dry)
- Toiletries (toothbrush/paste and shampoo)
- Clothes to wear after birth
We were told to pack as light as possible because you do not want to be lugging around a bunch of stuff when you go into labor. Some women also like to bring their own clothes that they plan to labor in, but I don’t mind wearing a hospital gown.
Another Milestone: I finished my last class of my entire MBA program this Thursday! Its been a long, grueling 2 years with many sleepless nights and tons of papers and presentations, not to mention a gazillion group meetings. I can’t believe I made it. I learned a lot about business & leadership, and about myself… plus I’ve met some wonderful people along the way. Even though I won’t be putting this degree to use right away (I’ll be too busy being a full-time mama), getting the degree was worth it and I’m glad I did it (though I’ve had many moments of doubt).
I can’t fully relax yet though. Unfortunately, I have one more week of studying left. I’m taking my PMP certification test on the 18th so there’s more studying to be done. Come find me at my 2nd home at various local coffee shops until then. It’s a good thing I kinda have a thing for coffee shops.
Weighing in at: 145 lbs. Belly Size: 39 inches
How Baby is Growing:
I have a cantaloupe in my belly!
- At 34 weeks, your baby weights about 5 1/2 pounds and is about 12 1/2 inches long, crown to rump.
- The white, waxy coating protecting your baby’s skin (vernix) is becoming thicker this week.
- The soft, downy hair that has grown on the skin for the past several months (lanugo) is almost completely gone.
- 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 generally do fine.
How Mama is Doing:
- 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.
This week, I experienced my first Braxton-Hicks Contractions. I was wondering when or if I’d even know what they felt like, but the words of my OBGYN, “oh you’ll know” rang true for me this week. Whoever said these were “painless” wasn’t telling the whole truth because these contractions still feel like someone grabbed your uterus and squeeeeezed. It’s slightly uncomfortable, similar to minor period cramps.
I’m also waking up regularly throughout the night and constantly thirsty. This is probably a combination of the third trimester and our dry Cali winters though. My lips are always chapped and I always have the urge to lick them.
Baby N is still doing a number in my tummy as she rolls and punches and hiccups like crazy, though the jabs aren’t coming off as strong as before – probably because she’s running out of room in there as she continues to grow. She is in the right position for birth, with her head down and facing my back in an anterior position. This is considered the optimal position for birth, so let’s hope she stays here! She still has plenty of time to change her mind though…
Random fact: Less than 5% of mother’s have baby’s who are breeched, so it’s not as common as one might be led to believe. No doctors in Orange County are willing to take the risk of vaginally delivering a breeched baby, so if you do end up with a breeched baby and want to deliver in Orange County, the chances of you needing a C-section are 99.99%.
In other news, our co-ed baby shower is this weekend! We only registered at Amazon and things have been slowly arriving at our door.. exciting! I did a ton of research and only registered for things we really needed. I had a lot more fun picking out items for the baby registry than I did for our wedding registry. We have received a ton of hand-me-downs too for our baby’s first year, so clothes aren’t high on our list of priorities… though every time I walk by a cute infant outfit I’m so tempted to purchase it – I can see how easy it is to spoil your baby! Parents really do want to give their children the best of everything. *Sigh*
Week 33 Day 4
How Baby is Growing:
- 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. These bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.
- Brain continues to rapidly grow.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!
There’s so much to be thankful for this year, one of course being the thriving, healthy baby girl in my belly. I had my latest obgyn appointment yesterday and the doctor said she’s at 4 pounds 8 ounces now. Wow! Exactly 2 months left before the anticipated due date of Baby N. The nursery is almost complete. We actually haven’t done anything to it in the last few months, but it’s time to get the ball rolling again! At least the block letters with her name are complete – what do you think?
Lately, my biggest issues are heartburn/indigestion, pelvic aches, trouble breathing, and trouble sleeping through the night. I think the heartburn/indigestion issue is the most annoying. Even if I’m super careful with how much I chew and regulate the amount of food I eat at once, I still get heartburn. It’s a lie that pregnant women can eat to their hearts desire! Even if I wanted to, I’d suffer for it! Some women suggested I take Tums, so I did buy some… but I don’t really like depending on medicine for that kind of stuff.
Week 32 Day 4
How Baby is Growing:
- 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.
How Mama is Doing:
- 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. YES!!!!
- 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. No lower back pain yet..
- 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. I definitely see a posture change! I am clumsier than normal too =/
- 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. YES YES YES and YES. I can’t stay in one position for too long… I constantly have to shift my weight around or else I get very uncomfortable.
I’m officially entering my third trimester… that means I’m 7 months pregnant, with 3 more to go. I think I mentioned this before, but the common misconception is that pregnancy is only 9 months when it is technically 10 months.
Went in for my OBGYN check-up this week and he congratulated me on graduating to the Third Trimester. Starting from this point forward, it’s back to two week visits again. Then as the due date gets closer, it’ll whittle down to one week increments. This past visit, the doc gave me a worksheet to keep track of fetal kick counts daily. They say an active baby is a healthy baby!
How to count fetal kicks:
- Count the time it takes for baby to make 10 kicks (movements) which includes kicks, turns, twists, swishes, rolls and jabs. Your baby should move 10 times in less than 2 hours.
- Select a time when your baby is most active and do the kick count around the same time every day. Baby N is most active at night when mommy’s about to sleep! So last night I started counting her kicks around 11pm. Luckily she was a wild child and kicked 10 times in less than 10 minutes.
- If NO movement is felt during the initial 2 hours, contact your physician immediately!
Most of Baby N’s kicks are on my right side, and sometimes she kicks so hard that you can see the movement of her feet through my skin. It’s so neat to watch. My next OBGYN visit on November 11th will be for another ultrasound, so my husband will be coming with me to that one. I’ll finally get to see Baby N’s little face and fingers and toes again… I can’t wait!
As for third trimester symptoms, I experienced my first major bout of insomnia on Tuesday. I tossed and turned until 5am, finally fell asleep, only to wake up at 8am. 3 hours of sleep screwed me over for the rest of the week. I don’t know how people deal with insomnia on a regular basis, I think I would go crazy. I’m grateful that this pregnancy has been smooth sailing for the most part, but even I’m ready for it to be over and done with. I want to get back to my normal activities again – I want to run, I want to be able to walk without pelvic aches, and I want to sleep on my back again. I want to eat sushi and oysters and rare steak. I want to drink diet sodas and grab a latte whenever my heart desires.
The upside though is the incredible kindness of strangers. I’m constantly engaging in random conversations these days because even strangers are curious about my state of being. Even my professors seem concerned about me and try to make sure I’m not standing for too long. When I walk across streets, cars slow to a crawl and even my dogs seem to know that there’s a baby inside me. These little things make me feel like quite the special woman. I suppose I should enjoy it while it lasts!
Week 28 Day 6
(According to my new Android app – “Mom 2 Be”)
Please excuse the PJ pants. I just rolled out of bed from a nap when S snapped this. I’ve been needing small, daily cat naps because I’m so tired all the time this week.
Anyway, I’m so looking forward to this weekend because my husband and I will be celebrating our one year wedding anniversary in Pasadena while the rest of the world is celebrating Halloween! We’re celebrating a few weeks earlier because we’ll be in Seattle with friends on our actual anniversary weekend. We booked the same hotel we stayed at for our wedding night and are going to explore the surrounding areas such as The Huntington Gardens and Griffith Observatory. Sometimes just staying at a hotel makes us feel like we’re at a faraway place, even when it’s really just our own backyard. As long as I’m with my husband, I am happy. Cheers to an incredible first year of marriage! I couldn’t have asked for better.
How Baby is Growing:
- This week, baby weighs two and a quarter pounds and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels.
- She can now blink her eyes, which now sport lashes.
- If you could sneak a peak at your baby this week, you might be able to determine the color of her eyes.
- With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb.
- Your baby’s brain is is continuing to develop and expanding rapidly.
- Your baby is continuing to accumulate layers of fat underneath the skin.
- She’s now sleeping and waking on a regular schedule. But this schedule isn’t like that of an adult or even a newborn.
- At this size, your baby probably sleeps for only 20-30 minutes at a time.
Its been raining all week and I looooove it. Pitter patter pitter patter… those sounds are so relaxing, especially when I’m indoors and now that my home office is all set up. I have this nice big desk right next to a window where I can lay out all my books, notes, computer and study away. S and I have been busy buying furniture for the nursery and throwing out a lot of junk (S is a sentimental packrat). We got some really cute hand-me-down clothes from a friend too, along with her old glider!
Glucose Screening Update: After the screening, I got a call from the Lab a few days later, apologizing. Why? They messed up on my blood test and glucose screening results so I had to go back in and redo it. So I went directly to the lab and did the whole test over again. I haven’t heard anything from my obgyn since, so I’m assuming I’m in the clear for gestational diabetes. They said they’d only call if something was off.
How I’m Feeling: It’s getting increasingly difficult to do things. However, being the independent woman I am, my first reaction is to attempt to do things on my own, at the big disapproval of S. I’ll randomly try to take out the heavy trash or lift boxes or even push around furniture and he’ll run over and say, “let a man do his job!”. But that’s why he married me in the first place! For my independence and spunk! So there.
Simple tasks like putting on my socks and shoes are some of the most difficult things for me now. I now have to sit down and lift my leg up and it’s sooo hard to reach my toes! I can’t bend from my waist anymore without discomfort. The bloated feeling is also starting to creep in, to my dismay. Indigestion is a problem too – if I eat too much at once I get heartburn and tummy aches. I have to eat in little increments throughout the day. I haven’t been having too much trouble sleeping yet though. In fact, I’m sleeping really well – deeply and through the night! We’ll see how that changes once I officially enter my third trimester (which is next week, I can’t believe it!).
Confession: I did something kinda silly this week, but I don’t think those who really know me would be that surprised. Here goes – I created a gmail address AND a facebook account for our unborn daughter. To say that I’m a planner is a bit of an understatement. :P Sooo… if you’d like to be friends with her on facebook, let me know haha.
Week 27 Day 5
Weighing in at: 140 lbs. Belly Size: 37.2 inches
My belly looks like a torpedo, it just juts straight out! They say that some women have “wraparound bellies” where their bellies grow in width, but my belly is definitely more on the pointy side. Hard to believe that I’m only going to get bigger and still have 3 more months left of this!
How Baby is Growing:
- She is as big as a cauliflower, weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended.
- She’s sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers.
- With more brain tissue developing, your baby’s brain is very active now.
- While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now.
- Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don’t bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.
How Mama is Doing:
- The second trimester is drawing to a close, but as your body gears up for the final lap, you may start noticing some new symptoms.
- Along with an aching back, you may find your leg muscles cramp up now and again from all the extra weight you’re carrying.
- Your expanding uterus is putting pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart as well as on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs. Unfortunately, the cramps may get worse as your pregnancy progresses. So far, no leg cramps (let’s hope I never get them!)
The pelvic aches feel better today than they did last week, but I can still feel them. I went in for another obgyn appointment today and the doctor didn’t really tell me much except to rest more. Mmm, that wasn’t much help Doc…
I had another reason for going to the obgyn today – to test for gestational diabetes. What they do is have you drink a bottle of glucose drink one hour before you’re tested. Then they draw a blood sample from your arm to test your blood glucose level. They call this the Glucose Challenge Screening. I was told by the assistant that the test is more accurate if you don’t eat anything beforehand, so I’ve been starving all morning! However, many websites say that no fasting is required.
The glucose drink looks like this:
I heard some women find it disgusting, but I thought it tasted like Orangina without the carbonation. You’re supposed to down the whole bottle within 5 minutes. Shortly after drinking it I felt really funny – super jittery and I could feel my heart beating really fast. My body must’ve been on a crazy sugar high. The results should come back in 3-4 days, and if my test comes back abnormal, I’ll have to take another test called the Glucose Tolerance test. I wasn’t planning on it, but I also ended up getting a flu shot. Probably a good thing since I was deathly ill with the flu just one year ago.
Milestone: I’m now halfway through my second trimester. Just one more month until I hit the dreaded final third trimester! I have heard that trimester is pretty miserable, accompanied by leg cramps, back aches, insomnia, endless urination, and more. Not looking the least bit forward to that, but at least our nursery is almost complete!
Weight Gain: I started off my pregnancy at a pretty stable weight of 122 lbs. This means I’ve gained a total of 16 pounds thus far. I have 16 weeks left, so I’m thinking I will gain at least 30 pounds or more by the end of this (anticipating that I gain about a pound a week for the remainder of the pregnancy). The recommended weight gain during pregnancy for a woman of healthy weight is 25-37 pounds so I think I’m on the right track.
Let’s see what’s weighing me down (taken from The American Pregnancy Association)!
Baby: 7-8 pounds
Placenta: 1-2 pounds
Amniotic Fluid: 1-2 pounds
Uterus: 2 pounds
Breasts: 2 pounds
Blood: 2 pounds
Water: 4 pounds
Maternal fat and nutrient stores: 7 pounds
That’s a total of 29 pounds right there!
Not much has changed this past week, and from the looks of the picture I might even look slightly smaller. Supposedly, my belly size can look very different depending on how the baby is resting in my belly. So some days I might look like a balloon whereas other days I might look like a deflated one.
Weighing in at: 138 lbs. Belly Size: 26 inches
How Baby is Growing:
- Baby is 15 inches long and weighs about 1 1/2 pounds.
- Her brain is growing quickly now and her taste buds are continuing to develop.
- Her lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world.
- Her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.
- Your baby has a sense of whether he/she is upside down or right side up inside your amniotic sac. That’s because baby’s inner ear, which controls balance in the body, is now developed.
- Babies born at 24 weeks have a greater than 50/50 chance of survival (YAY!!!!!!!). The odds get better with every passing week.
How Mama is Doing:
- By your 24th week, your estrogen level will be slightly higher than your progesterone level.
- To accomodate your increasing lung capacity, your rib cage is enlarging. By the time your baby is born, the distance around your rib cage will have expanded by 2-3 inches.
- Your uterus may begin practicing for labor and delivery. It starts exercising its muscle mass – these warm-up contractions are called Braxton-Hicks contractions – haven’t experienced any contractions yet.
- Your lower spine is continuing to curve backward to help keep you from falling forward from the weight of your growing baby. The changes in your bones, joints and ligaments may be continuing to cause back pain – No back pain for me YET… whew.
Pelvic Aches: I don’t know how it started or where it came from, but one morning I just woke up with this ache in between my legs. The best way to describe it is this feeling of a huge bruise on my pelvic bone area, and the pain is persistent. It hurts the most when I sit/lay in one position for too long and then get up. So now I have to do this thing where I roll to my side and gently prop myself to my feet. I’m not sure if this is normal or if it’s something I should be concerned about. This article is the closest thing I’ve found to describing what I’m feeling, but I don’t want to self diagnose.
Doing prenatal yoga has helped, but it’s hard to motivate yourself to do any sort of physical activity when you’re in pain. Walking my dogs twice a day for about 20 minutes also helps get my blood flowing without too much strain. That’s about as much physical activity as I’ve gotten lately. I miss the days when I could lace up my shoes and go for a run without a second thought.
Prenatal Acupuncture: I got prenatal acupuncture done this week. I thought it was a great experience, and got a good vibe from my acupuncturist. After I filled out a medical history form, she asked me a bunch of questions regarding my health, then she took my pulse. She then proceeded to stick needles in my back and around my feet/calf area. The ones on my back were meant to help with constipation (a frequent problem in pregnancy) and the ones around my calf were “for the health of the baby” (her exact words).
I normally hate needles, but the needles used by acupuncturists are so thin that you don’t even feel them! I laid on the bed for about 30 minutes under a heatlamp and was done. She checked my pulse one last time and that was it. Quick and painless. I asked her if my pulse showed anything weird, and she said it showed her that I was having an incredibly healthy pregnancy and that I don’t really need to see her for awhile. I plan to go again in about a month up and continue to go until I go into labor.
One advice my acupuncturist gave me that I found very interesting was that she told me NOT to have my husband give me shoulder massages. She said there are pressure points in our shoulder area that lead to miscarriage, so if you’re a massage lover… be extremely careful!
I decided to change things up a bit for this week’s picture and do away with the boring old tank top. I happened to be wearing a black dress and simply put on a belt so you can see the belly better. I think I look HUGE this week even in black, what do you guys think?
Week 23 Day 5
Weighing in at: 138 lbs. Belly Size: 36 inches
How Baby is Growing:
- Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance.
- And now that she’s more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes.
- Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby’s increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world.
- Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won’t faze her when she hears them outside the womb.
How Mama is Doing:
- You may notice that your ankles and feet start to swell a bit in the coming weeks or months, especially at the end of the day or during the heat of summer.
- Sluggish circulation in your legs — coupled with changes in your blood chemistry that may cause some water retention — may result in swelling, also known as edema. Your body will get rid of the extra fluid after you have your baby, which is why you’ll pee frequently and sweat a lot for a few days after delivery.
- In the meantime, lie on your left side or put your feet up when you can, stretch out your legs when you sit, and avoid sitting — or standing — in one place for long periods.
- Also, try to exercise regularly to increase circulation, and wear support stockings (put them on first thing in the morning) and roomy, comfortable shoes. You may be tempted to skimp on liquids to combat swelling, but you need to drink plenty of water because staying hydrated actually helps prevent fluid retention.