A Little About Nora at Week 38

Sorry it’s late…

Week Thirty Eight: Development is complete

You are 38 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 36 weeks)

  • Baby is about 20 inches (51 cm) and weighs about 7.5 pounds (3.4 kilograms).
  • The soft down, which covered the body throughout the pregnancy, is now disappearing.
  • The body fat is continuing to build up, baby putting on about 1oz (28 grams) a day.
  • The wrinkled skin is becoming ‘baby’ smooth.
  • The baby may have reached its final birth position.
  • Most babies are born head first with only about 3 percent coming out feet first.
  • About one in eight births are caesarean.

Development is complete, baby’s main job is to gain weight. The body continues laying on the fat stores at a rate of about an ounce (28 grams) a day, that will help regulate his or her body temperature after birth. The amniotic fluid, this is approximately equal to 4 or 5 cups. It doesn’t sound like much, but just wait until your water breaks, it will feel like much more.

Baby may have a full head of hair now, an inch or more long, but some babies are born with only peach fuzz. Speaking of hair, most of the downy coat of lanugo that covered your baby for weeks has disappeared, but you may see some on the upper back and shoulders when he or she arrives. Almost gone has most of the vernix caseosa, the whitish substance that also covered baby.

Your baby will swallow the lanugo and exterior coating, along with other secretions, and store them in their bowels. These will become your infant’s first bowel movement, a blackish waste called meconium. Your child’s intestines are accumulating lots of meconium. About 30% of babies move their bowels before birth. Usually this is a sign that the baby is under some stress and can cause pneumonia if the baby inhales any amniotic fluid with meconium in it. If there are signs of meconium in the amniotic fluid at birth your care provider will make sure that the baby’s throat and lungs are suctioned thoroughly.

This week, your baby weighs around seven and a half pounds and measures about 20 inches (51cm) head to toe. You are almost at the end of your pregnancy. Your weight should not increase much from this point. It should remain between 25 and 35 pounds (11.5 and 15.5 kg) until delivery.

Pregnancy Today
Your baby’s lungs are now producing large amounts of the hormone cortisol, which helps to produce surfactant, the substance that stops the lungs from sticking together. This will help ensure your baby’s transition from breathing amniotic fluid to breathing air once she’s born is as seamless as possible, but it may take a few hours until her breathing pattern is completely normal.

Her fat stores are continuing to build up, enabling her to regulate her body temperature. And while she may still have some vernix on the surface of her skin when she’s born, it will mainly be in creases and crevices of the skin.

Baby Center
Your baby has really plumped up. She weighs about 6.8 pounds and she’s over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). She has a firm grasp, which you’ll soon be able to test when you hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.
Wondering what color your baby’s eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If she’s born with brown eyes, they’ll likely stay brown. If she’s born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she’s 9 months old. That’s because a child’s irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she’s born, but they usually won’t get “lighter” or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)

The Bump
Baby’s now the size of a watermelon!
The last bits of vernix caseosa (the white goo keeping baby’s skin moist) and lanugo (downy hair) are slowly shedding into your amniotic fluid. Baby’s head is about the same circumference as her abdomen, and her head could be covered in an inch or so of hair.

Dr. Appointment Today

Nothing really exciting happened other than they removed the cerclage. I had a few contractions while I was laying there, and then when Dr. Brabson checked me, he said that I was dilated to 2cm. I go back in on Wed for another NST.

A Little About Nora at Week 37!

Week Thirty Seven: Pregnancy is considered ‘at term’

You are 37 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 35 weeks)

  • Typically, baby now measures 19.5 inches (50 cm) from the head to the heel.
  • Baby weighs up to 7 pounds or 3 kilograms.
  • The head diameter is over 3.5 inches (9cm).
  • The water could break at any time.
  • If it does happen, see a doctor immediately.

Gaining one ounce per day, your baby is growing rapidly. Keep up those exercises, especially your Kegels. Keeping your pelvic floor muscles toned will aid in a quicker recovery from the birth. An elbow, foot or head may protrude from your stomach when baby stretches and squirms about. Soon, as the wall of your uterus and your abdomen stretch thinner and let in more light, your baby will begin to develop daily activity cycles.

Even though you are three weeks from your due date, you are now considered ‘at term’. In most cases, nothing will be done to stop your labour once it starts, even if it is before your 40th week. You may notice a bit more vaginal discharge and/or cervical mucus.

If you go into labor at this point your careprovider may not try to stop it.
So what are the signs that your labor may be starting?
Regular contractions that grow longer, stronger and closer together.
Contractions that are not affected significantly by a change in your activity level.
A trickle or gush of fluid from your vagina.
A regular, rhythmic backache.
If you have any of these signs, contact your doctor/careprovider immediately.
Fewer than 5% of births occur on the due date; 50% of births are within a week of the due date, and almost 90% within 2 weeks.

Have you packed a bag ready for the birth?

Pregnancy Today
By now your baby may have moved well down inside your pelvic cavity. As well as ensuring she’s in the right position for birth, it gives her some space for her legs to continue to grow. She may have hair on her head (although she’s likely to lose most of it after the birth). Any lanugo, the fine downy hair that covered her body and kept her warm earlier on, has all but gone, although you may see traces of it on her shoulders and the back of her neck when she’s born. Some of the vernix (the white, waxy substance that coats her skin in the womb) will still be present, but this also lessens with time. Babies who are born after their due date often have very little still on them. Not only will your baby’s lungs be able to function without any assistance were she to be born today, but she’s likely to have enough fat stores to be able to keep her body temperature stable outside the womb.

Baby Center
Your baby is now considered “full term,” even though your due date is three weeks away. If you go into labor now, her lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. (Some babies need a bit more time, though. So if you’re planning to have a repeat c-section, for example, your practitioner will schedule it for no earlier than 39 weeks unless there’s a medical reason to intervene earlier.)
Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don’t be surprised if your baby’s hair isn’t the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

The Bump
Baby’s now the size of a watermelon!
Your full-term (yay!) baby is gaining about 1/2 ounce a day and getting her first sticky poop (called meconium) ready. She’s also brushing up on skills for the outside world: blinking, sucking, inhaling, exhaling, and gripping (it’s getting strong!).

A Just For Fun Post: What I Want to Eat After Nora is Born

I can think of all these awesome things that I would love to eat right now, but for Nora’s health I haven’t and I won’t until after she is born. Not that I am complaining but I can’t get these things out of my head when I think about what I want to eat.

  • Yellow cake with canned peaches
  • Oatmeal raisin cookies
  • Peanut butter cookies
  • Oreo’s
  • A cold ham sandwich
  • Red velvet cake
  • Brownies
  • Pasta Salad from Ruby Tuesday’s
  • A huge bowl of Fruity Dino Bites
  • Sweet tea
  • Cheese cake
  • Stuffed French toast from IHOP
  • A very large glass of Milk
  • A lot of fruit including Pineapple
  • Toast with real jelly
  • Biscuits with apple butter
  • Real maple syrup
  • A milk shake
  • Homemade pancakes
  • French fries from Five Guys or anywhere
  • Sugar cookies
  • A smoothie
  • Chocolate covered cream filled doughnuts
  • Strawberry Ice cream with strawberries and rainbow sprinkles in it
  • Bread sticks
  • Good potato chips and dip
  • Tortilla chips and cheese dip
  • Pretty much anything from Ben and Jerry’s
  • A baked potato
  • A sweet potato
  • Hash brown casserole
  • Rolls
  • A non-diet soda
  • More Pizza
  • A caramel macchiato

I am sure I will be adding more…

A Little About Nora at Week 36!

Week Thirty Six: Baby may drop into the birth canal

You are 36 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 34 weeks

  • The baby is about 19 inches (48 cm) long.
  • Weight is around 6 pounds (2.7 kg).
  • The baby’s body is becoming chubby as fat layers build.
  • Between now and birth they may gain about an ounce (30g) a day
  • You may feel contractions of the womb, called Braxton Hicks contractions.

While it says that your baby weighs six and a half pounds this week and measures 19 inches long, this is only an estimate. In general, babies are gaining half a pound (225 grams) per week now. Baby continues gaining weight as fat deposits and is forming creases in the neck and wrists.

You may feel contractions of the womb, called Braxton Hicks contractions, which can be used to perform and practice breathing exercises. You may be visiting your caregiver weekly up until the birth. Regular internal exams may begin, to see if your cervix has softened, thinned, dilated or if your baby’s head is dropping into the pelvis. Any of these could be signs of impending labor but there are no guarantees and you could be waiting for weeks yet. Your baby is almost ready, a pair of kidneys and the liver has begun processing some waste products, the only organ still to mature is the lungs.

This week your baby may drop into the birth canal, this is called ‘lightening’ or ‘dropping’. If this is not your first baby, this ‘lightening’ may not occur until right before labor. Your care provider may refer to it by saying that your baby is now ‘engaged’. The majority of babies are now in the birth position, either head down (vertex) or butt down (breech), most will maintain this position until birth. Any movements that they make are more likely to be rolls from side to side.You may notice when this happens because it will suddenly become much easier for you to breathe. While breathing becomes easier, walking may be the exact opposite. If your baby has dropped you may find yourself visiting the bathroom much more often as baby is resting right on top of your bladder again.

Keep talking – by now he or she can recognize you voice, and may respond to any loud noises with a swift kick out.

The average twin birth occurs between 36 and 37 weeks and the babies weigh an average of 5 pounds apiece. A baby’s average size is now 18.5 inches (47 cm) and 6 pounds (2700 g).

Pregnancy Today
Laying down fat is still the name of the game at the moment, and she’s still gaining about an ounce a day. This may start to slow down slightly, though. Most of her bones are still soft, to allow for an easier journey through the birth canal. They will harden up over the first few years of life. Her circulation is fully developed and her immune system is mature enough to protect her from infections outside the womb. By the end of this week your baby will be considered full term!

Baby Center
Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She’s shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.
At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely she’s in a head-down position. But if she isn’t, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an “external cephalic version,” which is a fancy way of saying she’ll try to coax your baby into a head-down position by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

The Bump
Baby’s now the size of a honeydew!
Baby’s skin is getting smooth and soft, her gums are rigid, her liver and kidneys are in working order, and her circulation and immune system are basically good to go. Her lungs are the only organs that still need to fully mature, but every day she gets a little closer to breathing on her own.

Birth Announcements

Michael and I are trying to decide if we should send out birth announcements when Nora comes. On one hand it would be really nice since we have so much family that is out of town, but then again it almost seems like we would be wasting paper and money on something people don’t really look at. Here are a few designs that we are looking at:

And that is just a few that we are looking at. I think if we do send them out it is going to be really hard to decide which design.

A Little About Nora at Week 35!

Week Thirty Five: Reflexes are coordinated

You are 35 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 33 weeks)

  • Your baby is now about 18.5 inches in length and weighs over 5.5 pounds.
  • Baby is about 47cm crown to heel and weighs almost 2.7 Kg.
  • The body of your baby is growing round due to developing fat layers.
  • Your baby’s reflexes are coordinated.
  • Lungs are almost fully developed.
  • About 90% of babies born this week survive.

Most babies gain about half pound per week in the last month of pregnancy. Fat stores accumulate in the legs and arms. These layers of fat will help them regulate their body temperature. Baby still doesn’t have enough fat deposits beneath its skin to keep warm outside your womb. If born now the baby would probably be put in an incubator, about 90% of babies born this week survive.

Lungs are almost fully developed. Your baby’s reflexes are coordinated, they turn their head, grasp firmly, and respond to sounds, light and touch. You should still feel movement every day. She is about 5 and a half pounds and growing fast, it is getting short of space in the womb.

Your uterus has become more cramped, your baby’s kicks and other movements less forceful. You may want to check on your baby’s movements from time to time and do a kick count.

Baby may push up against your ribs and make you a little breathless. Soon your baby’s position changes to prepare itself for labor and delivery. The baby drops down in your pelvis and you will be able to breathe easily again.

Pregnancy Today
Your baby’s hearing is fully formed (although some aspects will continue to develop until about the age of 18 months), so if you’re talking to your bump she’ll be hearing you better than ever this week.

She also has a fully developed pair of kidneys, and her liver is able to process some waste products. And, as she continues to gain weight and lay down fat, the wall of your uterus and abdomen will be more stretched than ever, letting in more light. She’ll be able to see this and she may develop a new, daily activity routine.

Baby Center
Your baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that she’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, she isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times she kicks should remain about the same. Her kidneys are fully developed now, and her liver can process some waste products. Most of her basic physical development is now complete — she’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

The Bump
Baby’s now the size of a honeydew!
From now on, baby’s growth is mostly in the plumping up department — though she won’t get much longer, she’ll put on a pound or more of baby fat before birth. (She’s about 15 percent right now and will be about 30 percent by full-term.) Her hearing is totally developed (tip: baby responds best to higher pitches).

Drop-Side Cribs Have Now Been Outlawed

I started seeing reports of this yesterday, and I think that it needs to be shared since I am still seeing them on Craigslist today. Here is what Bill Hendrick of WebMD reported yesterday:

    “Dec. 15, 2010 — The Consumer Product Safety Commission is banning cribs with drop-down sides because they have been blamed for the deaths of at least 32 infants since 2001.

    The announcement from the office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who has pushed for such a ban, says new federal crib standards will take effect in June, stopping the sale, manufacture, resale, and distribution of drop-side cribs.

    The new rules also will prohibit drop-side crib use at motels, hotels, and child care facilities.

    The announcement was made in Washington by Gillibrand, Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and the parent of a child said to have died because of a faulty crib.

    The CPSC’s new standards also will require mattress supports to be stronger, crib hardware to be sturdier, and more rigorous safety testing of baby beds.

    The CPSC, the government’s top regulator of children’s products, says cribs with drop-down sides have hidden hazards that can cause strangulation or suffocation.”

And that is only one of the numerous resources I read.

Just a Few Notes From Jennifer

First off, I have decided to stop the voting for the “Top Baby Blog” after I asked them a simple question and they pretty much told me that my readers and I were crazy. I do not for see us resuming anything like that in the near future.

Next, some people have asked me what to get Nora for Christmas. I had a list for me of things that we still need, and I just added a few things to that list. The list is on Amazon, and you can click here to view the list.

Lastly, if you are one of the few people that I have asked to be preasent during the labor part of birth, I will be sending you an email in the next few days. So, keep an eye out for that.

I think that is all I have for now. Thanks! Jennifer