Wednesday, September 16, 2009

32 Weeks--Nesting and the New Midwife

pregnancy week by week

Ahh, over 4lbs and about a foot and a half long (you got that, he's close to birth length, even though he's got at least a couple of pounds to grow) no wonder I can feel him pushing and wiggling all over in there. He likes to stretch out and push against my pelvis and my ribs at the same time...laying down in bed at night feels great because it lets me (and him) stretch out. I'm blessed with a long torso, so I guess I have more room in there than a lot of women do, but even I start getting squished at this point. ☺
Your not-so-little-one is just a bit closer to their birth weight and height at around 4 pounds and 17 inches. With each added layer of baby fat, your baby's skin starts to look more and more like it will when they finally get to see the light of day. The heavy news: you can expect your miracle-gro muffin to gain about a half a pound of weight per week from now until about two weeks before birth.

Your baby's still-developing immune system has gained substantial strength over the past few weeks getting them in full gear to face our disease-ridden world o’ wonders. Obviously, a large majority of your child’s immune strength will be derived from exposure to breast milk as well as the outside elements. Their cute little noggin’ (which could already be covered with luscious locks or just purty peach fuzz), is still soft because the skull bones have not yet fused together. As much as that sounds a little too vulnerable, their “skull softness” allows for a much smoother passage through the birth canal during labor—something both you and your little swimmer will appreciate when it’s finally time to “go!” Also, some babies will have that “soft spot” on their head for up to one year after birth.
I am getting Braxton-Hicks contractions fairly regularly now. I don't generally find them painful, although I definitely do notice's just a big squeeze in my middle. BHs are sometimes referred to as "false labor" but that's something of a misnomer...they are real and they are doing something, it's just not full on labor. It's more like "practice labor," and thank heaven for it because every little bit that can get done now is a bit that I won't have to worry about on delivery day!
I've gained about 15lbs at this point, which I think is slightly 'behind' on the average curve, but it seems pretty normal for me. I had gained 10 or 11lbs at this stage last time. I seem to just wait till the second half of my pregnancy to put on any weight, but then I gain it steadily enough and Bear was a healthy size so I'm not the least bit worried about Eagle. I have a gut feeling that Eagle is (or will be) a little bigger than Bear was, but I'm really not worried. Bear wasn't that big (I was actually surprised at how little he was--just over 7lbs) so we've easily got a couple of pounds leeway.
32 weeks, as you may recall, was the time when I got my first stretch marks with Bear. Well, I haven't noticed any new ones this time around, and since I have plenty and to spare leftover from that pregnancy I am hoping that they will last me through this one too and I won't need any new stripes this time. I guess only time will tell!
I had my first prenatal appointment with my new midwife last week and I'm so happy with her. Even when I was seeing the midwives in Utah I felt like I was on a bit of an assembly line, or a to-do was just such a busy clinic that I'd have to wait for my appointment, then they'd take me back and I'd wait some more in the room, then the midwife would come in and spend 5 minutes with me and be on her way. 45minutes in the office and only 5 of it with the midwife, you know? Sure, they were nice, but they were just in a hurry. My midwife here, A, practices on her own, so it's a small office and she doesn't take too many mothers at once. I hardly had to wait at all and she spent over an hour with me. One thing I really liked was that she felt my belly to determine the baby's position (my OB did that one time with Bear--toward the end, to make sure he'd turned head-down, but A does it at every visit). Since she knew precisely how the little Eagle was laying, she was able to put the doppler in precisely the right spot to hear his heart (rather than moving it around and spreading goo all over my belly as she hunted, which is what the other midwives always did). Another thing I loved about A was that she made Bear part of the appointment--she let him climb up on the table next to me and then let him put the doppler on my belly in the place she indicated--he was so pleased with himself when that thumpa-thumpa came over the speaker.
Aaaaand, yes, I'm nesting. As we've gotten things unpacked and settled in here in our new home, I've found myself feeling the need to get out baby things too. So I've gotten out (and washed) all the baby blankets. I've gotten out the small size of cloth diapers. I've got all my babywearing things unpacked's terribly fun looking at the tiny jammies and remembering how they are way too big for the newborns...but how they get outgrown in a matter of weeks (or days) after birth. I haven't set up the crib yet--but I have to save something for the last month, right?!

Now that I have my midwife here, and I have seen where I'll be giving birth, I'm able to start visualizing D-day (delivery day). I'm getting really excited for this birth...I was always excited for the baby, but I'm starting to get into the headspace of preparing for the actual birth, and that's exciting. Two of my friends have had babies recently and I've been reading their birth stories (one had twins, naturally, at home, and both were breech!). I've been reading [natural] birth stories from books too, and it's so inspiring to read page after page of stories of women bringing their babies into the world. ☺

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