Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Eighty Eight: 36 Weeks

36 Weeks according to Babycenter, and then of course, my additions in red.

Your baby is still packing on the pounds, as are you— at the rate of about an ounce two pounds a day. He now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon???) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long, assuming you didn't pass along the short genes. He's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered his body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected his skin during his nine-month amniotic bath. As gross as this sounds, your baby swallows both of these substances,  along with other secretions. This results in a blackish mixture, called meconium, and will form the contents of his first bowel movement. If this is your first time to have a baby, this single sentence is in no way a strong enough warning to alarm you about the poop you will see in the first day. In fact, if you are not properly prepared for this first poop, you may think there is something seriously wrong with your baby when you see the tar-like poop.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. Hooray! (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 weeks are post-term.). Why some women insist on waiting more than 42 weeks since God invented Pitocin is one of the world's greatest mysteries.

Most likely he's in a head-down position and you can verify this one of the three times daily when he gets the hiccups. But if he 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 him from the outside of your belly. Sort of like a baby whisperer, but with more force.

How your life's changing:

Now that your baby is taking up so much room, you may have trouble eating a normal-size meal. Smaller, more frequent meals are often easier to handle at this point even if your diet consists soley on 2% milk and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. On the other hand, you may have less heartburn and have an easier time breathing when your baby starts to "drop" down into your pelvis. However, you might be still waiting for this to happen and annoyed when people comment on HOW HIGH your baby is. In fact, your husband may be under the false assumption that "you're carrying so HIGH" is some sort of compliment and make sure to mention it every night.  This process — called lightening — often happens a few weeks before labor if this is your first baby. If you've given birth before, it probably won't happen before labor starts. Lucky you.

You may also feel increased pressure in your lower abdomen, which may make walking increasingly uncomfortable, and you'll probably find that you have to pee even more frequently. Note: "even more frequently" in this context means ALL THE TIME. You will surely spend more time peeing in the middle of the night than you will nursing your baby once he arrives, so at this point, you can officially consider yourself prepared.


Grandpa Lyle said...

Ok, how do I say this: “Ann has started packing, so she can be ready in 30 min. to make the trip” Ok, we are prepared now?

Love Grandpa

Aunt Amy said...

Yippee ... my newest nephew is on his way ... yippee ... I'm so excited :)

Betty said...

It won't be long now! Just get some depends to wear at night. That way you can sleep longer.