31 weeks along:
My baby according to the average status in their 33rd week weighs an approximate 4 pounds and measures roughly 19 inches long! S/he is steadily gaining this week and will continue throughout the remaining time. My baby’s brain is working hard at maturing and their skin is turning more and more pink as s/he gains weight.
My body is certainly changing! During this 33rd week, the uterus generally measures 5 inches above the belly button. After a quick measure, my belly shows itself 4 inches above my belly button. I’ve gained 35 pounds and my fundus measures 32 cm.
Emotions that I’m going through this week are excitement, anticipation and determination. I am excited to meet this precious little one I know little to nothing about; I’m anticipating the experience of delivering at home and pondering the preparations that I must make; and determined to get all I need/want to done and experience God’s design for bringing a precious gift into this world. I am more than 3/4 of the way there and have just 7 weeks to go.
Physical symptoms I’ve begun to notice more frequently are braxton hicks contractions. I’ve contributed the more recent rise to the little amount of water I’ve been consuming (changing that btw). My fingers are swollen due to the heat and water retention, but is better the more I move around and the more water I drink. I am quite comfortable despite my growing belly and weight gain but have had to adjust the normal bending over and getting up in order to be successful! haha
Adjustments I’m making due to my growing belly and weight gain include how to bend over, how close to the floor I sit, how I get up, and how much weight I carry. I’m trying to end the lifelong habit of crossing my legs at the knees and working towards the habit of ankle crossing since the former has been uncomfortable for several months now. Walking too much has its contribution to the normal hip and pelvic discomfort during this time of pregnancy. Sleep has become something of a necessity requiring me to be more diligent in when I go to bed and when I get up in the morning.
Preparing for the big day, I hope to include my daughters in this natural and miracle of an experience. We talk about contractions and what that means. We bought some shower curtains that we hope to lay on the floors once stage one of labor is apparent. This will help with clean up and allow me to freely move about the house without concern of where my waters might break. We’ve also created a birth plan for the hospital should we be transferred in an emergency. I also hope to have the following on hand:
- Phone numbers of people to call in an emergency and to inform after the birth
- Baby clothes and/or receiving blanket
- Newborn nappies
- Cartons of juice/drink
- Camera and film
If anyone can add to this (as I’m feeling blank at the moment! LOL) please do!
Because of my last labor I hope to invest time during these next weeks to ensure optimum presentation! My younger daughter was in the ‘occiput posterior’ (OP) position meaning head down, but facing towards my tummy rather than my back (‘occiput anterior’ (OA) – the ideal birthing position). Because of this my labor was long, painful, and exhausting (early induction only increases this discomfort). Also, the baby descending into the pelvis may not happen until labor starts which makes it harder for labor to progress because the body tries to position the baby correctly. 87% of babies starting labor in OP rotate to the OA position to be born. My daughter didn’t. If a child is born in the OP position, it is called ‘persistent occiput posterior’.
To ensure an OA position for this baby so as to not experience the same fate as my sweet 2 year old did, posture and activity during these next weeks is important. After doing some reading, my baby appears to be OP at present. So I’ll be spending lots of time kneeling upright, sitting upright or on hands and knees. While sitting I’ll have to make sure that my knees remain lower than my pelvis and that my trunk is tilted slightly forward. I’ll also be working in some more yoga positions that are ideal for the former requirements. One thing I’m finding it extremely difficult to do but am working VERY hard at is not crossing my legs because doing so reduces the space at the front of the pelvis and opens it up at the back. I am also working on not laying down with my feet up as this too encourages the posterior presentation.
Some interesting things I’ve learned these last few days has been that when feeling the baby and trying to determine his/her position, one should remember that the head will feel hard and round, while their bottom will feel soft and round! I didn’t know this! I just assumed they felt the same! haha Long and painful ‘practice contractions’ are common also when the baby is posterior because the baby is trying to turn around to engage in the pelvis. The most enlightening, is confirmation of what I believe occurred during my last labor. All that led up to delivering my little girl was what I personally contributed to why we experienced what we did. Praise God!
I share all this because my experience can help others. When is a better time to share all that I’m learning than when I’m learning it? My labor with my last child can be avoided by those who are educated beforehand. Be sure to do the research. Doctors have their part, but educating parents in preparation is NOT their job. Read up and ask questions (and not just the doctors but other moms). Find out the common experiences and how to get the best outcome. It is possible to have the ideal birthing experience safely and with minimal discomfort. And it is quite probable for those who have the appropriate mindset with wisdom under their belts.
I hope this blog has blessed all of you! Moving forward and I’m sure I’ll post more before the big day comes!