A Little About Nora at Week 31

Week Thirty One: Baby detects light
You are 31 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 29 weeks)

  • Baby weighs 3.5 pounds and measures 16.5 inches from the head to heel.
  • Baby’s weight is about 1.6 kg and length around 42cm.
  • The eyes have now completely opened and are responding to light and darkness.
  • A loud noise near you may cause your little one to jump.

Your baby continues to grow. Baby’s lungs and digestive tract are very near to being mature. Now that almost all of the major organs are functioning, growth will focus on maturing those organs and growing muscle mass and fat stores. Baby’s weight gain will exceed its growth in length from now on. He or she should more than double their weight again between now and birth. It weighs about 3.5 pounds (1.6kg), and crown to rump length is 11 inches (28cm). Its total length is 16.5 inches (42cm).

A loud noise near you may cause your little one to jump. Baby may move to the rhythm of music. Studies with heart rates show that they may also prefer some types of music to others at this stage. The eyes can now completely open and the irises are now responsive to light, dilating and contracting as needed.

You will probably find that though you have been feeling pretty energetic throughout your second trimester, you are beginning to slow down now. Pay attention to your body’s signals and rest when you need to. Exercise is still an important activity for you, even though it gets harder as you get larger and heavier. Try swimming, stretching and walking all excellent options for pregnant women.

Your total pregnancy weight gain by this time should be between 21 and 28 pounds (9.5 and 12.5kg).

Pregnancy Today
Your baby’s lungs are fully developed this week, although they’re not mature yet. He’ll be “breathing” rhythmically now, though, although occasionally he will swallow some down the wrong way and get hiccups, which you can feel.

He’s gaining weight rapidly as he lays down fat in preparation for his big arrival, and the brain connections that control sensory input are forming now. His bones are fully developed (although still soft) and he’ll begin building up his own stores of iron and calcium. This is all the more reason to ensure you are getting enough of these minerals in your diet, to keep your own stores topped up.

It’s possible your baby will turn into a head down position in preparation for birth, although some babies leave it until the very last minute so don’t be too concerned if he hasn’t shown signs of doing so yet. Your doctor can usually tell where your baby is lying by palpating (feeling) your bump.

Baby Center
This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He’s probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby’s kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

The Bump
Baby’s now the size of a squash!
Baby’s going through major brain and nerve development these days. His irises now react to light, and all five senses are in working order. (He won’t pick up anything from his nose until after birth, though — smell is transferred through air, not amniotic fluid.)

The Fine Print on Labor Induction

Sometimes there are medical reasons to induce labor, however, in the U.S. there has been a steady rise in “convenience” inductions. To me, convenience inductions are not just planed by the mother, but the doctor as well. I have noticed a growing trend of inductions around holidays or personal holidays for the doctor. Personally, I do not believe that labor should be induced for any reason other than a true medical reason, and Thanksgiving is not a true medical reason.

In my noticing how labor inductions are increasing, I started to wonder: Are doctors telling the mothers the fine print? Below will be the answer to many questions about inductions.

1. What is induction?

  • Labor induction works in several different ways. One way to is introduce synthetic hormones into the mother. Some of these drugs are put into IV’s and some are inserted into the cervix. The most common of these drugs are Pitocin (an artificial form of Oxytocin), Cervidil, and Cytotech (both Cervidil and Cytotech are an artificial form of prostaglandin that are supposed to ripen the cervix).
    Another way is to strip the membranes. The means to manually separate the amniotic sack from the wall of the uterus.
    Lastly, there is rupturing the amniotic sack.

2. What should I expect with a medication induction?

  • You may think to your self that Pitocin contractions would be the same since Pitocin is the synthetic hormone of Oxytocin (the labor starting hormone the occurs naturally),however, that is not true. When the body releases Oxytocin the hormone comes in busts, which causes contractions that start at the top of the uterus which gently (and slowly) pull the cervix open. With Pitocin the synthetic hormone is given in an continuous IV, and can make contraction become very intense causing the uterus to contract all at once.
    For Cervidil contracts can become extremely strong extremely fast. However, with the way that the Cervidil is inserted into the cervix, it can be removed quickly and contractions will normally decrease or stop all together.
    As far as Cytotech, look at my post in October about that drug.

3. What are the risks?

  • When labor induction is done with medication continuous fetal monitoring is required, in some cases continuous fetal monitoring does more harm that good. A more serious risk with medicated inductions would be lower oxygen reaching the uterus and placenta, therefore the baby gets less oxygen. Another risk would be mother and baby could be at an increased risk for infection. There is an increased risk of a c-section. Then there is a very fatal risk of uterine rupture.

So my point is, when your doctor presents you with the option of induction to fit into your busy schedule or the doctor’s schedule, maybe you should think twice.

March of Dimes


I have had two ultrasounds since the last one posted on here. However, we are having difficulty getting them to upload to the blog. The program I am using to edit the ultrasound with is not working correctly. We hope to have them up soon.


Jennifer and Michael

A Little About Nora at Week 30


Week Thirty: Baby puts on pounds

You are 30 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 28 weeks)

  • Baby measurements are 16 inches and weighs about 3 pounds.
  • Length is 40cm and your baby’s weight is 1.4 kilograms.
  • The head is almost 3.5 inches (8cm) in diameter.
  • The feet are nearly 2.5 inches (6cm) long.
  • The wrinkled skin is becoming smoother now.
  • The baby controls its own body temperature.

For several months, the umbilical cord has been the baby’s lifeline to the mother. Nourishment is transferred from the mothers blood, through the placenta, and into the umbilical cord to the fetus. Their bone marrow is now responsible for red cell production. These red blood cells will continue to service your child’s body by transporting oxygen and removing the wastes. Your baby begins storing iron, calcium and phosphorus.

The fetus now weighs about 3 pounds (1.4kg). He or she will gain about half a pound a week until week 38. Baby is getting fatter and beginning to control its own body temperature. Baby continues to put on fat stores and the major weight gains will occur in the coming weeks. Eyebrows and eyelashes are fully developed, and hair on the head is getting thicker. Head and body are now proportioned like a newborn.

Hands are now fully formed and fingernails are growing. Can be seen on ultrasound scans grasping their other hand or feet, this is helping with nerve development. Eyelids are opening and closing, and will often make rapid eye movements – a sign they could be dreaming.

You may be starting to experience some swelling of your ankles and legs. If you have not experienced any swelling yet, it is highly probable that you will, as approximately 40 to 75 percent of women experience mild swelling related to pregnancy.

Your uterus is now about 4 inches (10cm) above your bellybutton. It may feel like you are running out of room as your uterus grows up under your ribs. However, your fetus, placenta and uterus will continue to get larger, you still have 10 weeks to go. The average weight gain during pregnancy is 25 to 35 pounds (11.5 to 16kg). About half of this weight is concentrated in the growth of the uterus, the placenta, the baby and in the volume of amniotic fluid. At this point, you should be gaining about a pound (500 grams) a week.

Pregnancy Today
It’s a busy week for your baby. Her bone marrow takes over production of red blood cells, meaning she’ll be better able to cope on her own when she’s born. She can also recognize your voice as distinct from other people’s. Research has shown that the fetal heart rate slows down when the mother speaks, suggesting that your baby not only hears and recognizes your voice, but is also calmed by it.

Your baby’s growth in length will slow down, but she’ll continue to gain weight and as that happens the volume of amniotic fluid that surrounds her, which is currently about 25 ounces, will gradually decrease. Also, the fine, downy hair (lanugo) that has covered her body is beginning to disappear as her fat stores increase and help to regulate her body temperature.

Her first bowel movement, known as meconium, is being formed in the intestines. It’s made up of various waste products including lanugo, mucous, amniotic fluid and old skin cells. She’ll pass it in the first 24 hours or so after birth, and it will be dark green and sticky!

Baby Center
Your baby’s about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it’s not very keen; even after she’s born, she’ll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she’ll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

The Bump
Baby’s now the size of a squash!
As baby’s skin smoothes out, her brain just keeps getting more wrinkled. All those grooves and indentations increase surface area, meaning more room for that oh-so-essential brain tissue. She’s also adding some brawn — her grip is now strong enough to grasp a finger.

Updated Birth Plan

Dear Delivery Staff,
Please help me make the birth of Nora very clam, un-rushed, and unstressed. My husband, Michael, and I are planning to have an all natural child birth using the Bradley Method. Please make sure that Michael is available to me at all times during labor and delivery.


  • During labor I would like to allow the following people into the room:
    • Michael Marohn (husband)
    • Linda Marohn (mother-in-law)
    • Sharon Terry (my mother)
    • Jamie Taylor (my sister)
    • Sarah Terry (my sister)
    • My Doula (if I decide to have one)
    • and my grandmothers if they so choose
  • If at all possible, I would like to be free to walk around and/or change positions during labor.
  • I would prefer fluids by mouth rather than I.V.
  • In the room, we would appreciate it if the lights where kept low, there was not a lot of distracting noises, and we were able to bring our own music to listen to.
  • My preference is not to have continuous I.V. Fluids.

Anesthesia/Pain Medication:

  • I am well aware that pain medications exist, but please do not offer them, I will ask for them if I need them.


  • During labor, I would prefer not have have continuous fetal/contraction monitoring, and when I have to have this done, please allow to me lay on my side and not my back.
  • I do not want an internal fetal monitor.

Labor Augmentation/Induction:

  • If at all possible, please do not rupture the membranes, and if it must be done, please wait until at least 7 or 8 cm.
  • I would prefer to be allowed to try changing position and other natural methods before Pitocin or any other labor altering drug is administered.


  • During delivery, I would only like to have Michael and my doula present.
  • I would like to try different positions to give birth.
  • Even if I am fully dilated, and assuming my baby is not in distress, I would like to try to wait until I feel the urge to push before beginning the pushing phase. Also, please let me push on my own, and try not assist me with counting.
  • We would appreciate having the lights low.
  • I would like to have my baby placed on my stomach/chest immediately after delivery barring any complications.

Immediately After Delivery:

  • Michael would like to cut the cord after it has stopped pulsating.
  • Please allow all procedures that the baby needs done in my presence.
  • If the baby must be taken from the room, I would like to have Michael be able to go with her.


  • Unless required for health reasons, I do not wish to be separated from my baby.
  • I would like to have the baby “room in” with me at all times.


  • I am planning on breastfeeding, and I would like to be able to breastfeed Nora shortly after birth.
  • Please do not give my baby any bottles of formula or water.
  • I would like to meet with a lactation consultant.

If there are any questions, and I am no position to make a decision, Michael is the only one who can make a decision for me.
Thank you so much for your help in making this a great birthing experience.

~Jennifer Marohn

How to Talk to Nora

I really like this article. It has been my believe for a long time that children learn better language if you talk to them in your normal tone with normal words easy to understand words. This just backs what I think up, and I found it on eHow.com

    Talk your baby through daily events that happen to her, such as diapering, feeding and naptime, so that she will begin to anticipate them and cooperate with you.

    • When you talk to your baby, use your own natural inflection and way of speaking. Being genuine in this way carries through to other aspects of your life together.
    • Tell your baby before you pick her up or do anything else with her: “I’m going to change your diaper now.” Or, “It’s time for your bottle.” This way, she can begin to anticipate what will happen next. Being able to anticipate daily events gives her a feeling of security and control.
    • Talk her through things that are happening to her, as a doctor or dentist might do with a patient. This adds to her feelings of security.
    • Tell your baby your expectations. Ask for her cooperation when you do things with her, such as bathing her or changing her diaper: “Can you lift your bottom?” Even if she doesn’t completely understand or have the ability to comply, you are involving her in the task and inviting her to cooperate.
    • Tell your baby when you are leaving the room. Even though tears may follow, she will eventually learn to accept the fact that Mommy or Daddy goes away for a time. This type of honesty is better for your child than having a parent who seems to disappear. Disappearing undermines the basic trust that you are trying to establish.

Another thing to consider instead of baby talk would be to sing.

    Singing Benefits for Mom
    Scientists at the University of Frankfurt in Germany have done a study showing that singing increases Immunoglobin A, which acts as a natural antibiotic in the body, and hydrocortisone, a stress-reduction hormone [Janice Tuck, The Benefits of Singing to Your Baby, January 2007]. The result is an improved immune system, something that all mothers can benefit from, given the challenges that face them each day.

    Talking and singing to your baby every day will give your child a head start on verbal development. Hold conversations with your baby, and sing to them as you complete basic daily tasks. As your baby begins to babble, encourage their efforts at communication.


A Little About Nora at Week 29

Week Twenty Nine: Movement is more forceful

You are 29 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 27 weeks)

  • Your baby now weighs about 2 and a half pounds (1150gm)
  • and is about 15 inches (38.5cm) long from head to heel.
  • Brain is busy developing billions of neurons.
  • Baby’s muscles and lungs are continuing to mature.
  • The fetus can taste and respond to pain.
  • The milk teeth have developed under the gums.

The baby’s head is growing bigger to accommodate the brain, which is busy developing billions of neurons. The eyes can move in their sockets. They may be able to follow a blinking light. As well as your baby’s increasing sensitivity to changes in light, they may also be able to taste. Various studies show that your baby may indicate preferences or dislike for particular tastes at this stage.

Baby is also moving from side to side, but probably still is head up. In the next few weeks, they will move to the head down birthing position. At times you may feel as if baby is performing somersaults for an olympic gold medal. Baby may be performing fewer movements because living conditions in the womb are becoming more cramped. The baby is still doing a lot of kicking and stretching. Some of your baby’s kicks and punches may even take your breath away.

Baby hears things better from the vibrations all around, and can now distinguish real sounds and voices. Do not forget to continue to ‘teach’ your baby in the womb by exposing them to music, literature, and simply talking to them. At this stage baby eyes are almost always blue and can distinguish bright sunlight or artificial light through the uterine wall.

At week twenty nine, your baby measures about 11 inches (28 cm) from crown to rump, or a total length of about 15 inches (38cm) from head to heel, and weighs about 2.5 pounds (1150gm).

Pregnancy Today
Your baby is still in the midst of a period of intense activity. The blood vessels in his lungs are maturing and they’re gradually getting ready for his first breath. For now your placenta is providing him with all the oxygen he needs.

All five of your baby’s senses are developing well (sight is the last to develop and will continue maturing once he’s born). He’s increasingly sensitive to changes in light, sound, taste and smell and may indicate preferences for particular tastes or odors. Whatever you are eating will flavor your amniotic fluid. It can smell strongly of curry, garlic, onion and cumin for example, and researchers have found your baby will drink it faster the sweeter it tastes (one study showed that a 33-week premature baby will suck harder on a sweetened nipple than on a plain one).

Baby Center
Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you’ll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby’s hardening skeleton each day.

The Bump
Baby’s now the size of a squash!
Baby’s energy is surging, thanks to white fat depositing beneath his skin. And since he’s growing so fast (weight will triple by birth), things are getting kind of cramped in the womb. What all this means for you: Get ready for some more kicks and jabs to the ribs.


I guess you are wondering what that is to begin with. Amniotomy is the breaking of the bag of water artificially by the health care provider. I have noticed that more and more women are saying that their doctor broke their bag of water to get their labor started. I was really confused by this because I have always thought that the bag of water or amniotic sac is there for protection for the baby and you, even if it is during labor. So, you know me, I had to look up the pros and cons of this procedure. Here is what I found:


  • It will let you know if the baby has passed merconium (the first bowl movement) in the uterus. Merconium could lead to lung infections if not handled properly.
  • Could possibly speed labor up. If you have a labor that has stalled, braking the bag of water could help make the baby’s head drop some and put more pressure on the cervix.


  • Can often be the start of many unwanted interventions. Breaking the water often goes along with Pitocin or other contraction strengthening drugs (including Cervidil and/or Cytotech), and then will require continuous fetal monitoring.
  • Research has shown that women who have their water broken are more likely to end up with a c-section.
  • Once the water has broken, there is no longer that cushion for the baby’s head. Which can lead to deformities of the skull.
  • The umbilical cord is more likely to become compressed (or squeezed) during contractions cutting off some or most of the oxygen to the baby.
  • Sometimes makes women feel like they are in less control of their bodies.
  • The women and the baby no longer have that natural barrier from infection.
  • Puts the women under a time limit to deliver the baby.

As you can see there are serious risks involved in breaking the bag of water. In fact, most health care providers agree that unless the baby is showing signs of distress, then there is no reason to break the bag of water.

If your labor becomes stalled, it is best (from what I have read) to do other labor stimulating techniques before you have medications administered or have your water broken.