day-to-day pregnancy

[ Wednesday, September 29, 2004 ]

4:00 am and I was wide awake. Nights seem to be getting shorter, and maybe as a result, late afternoon fatigue is back in full force. Kate has been active most of the day (and night) and her kicks/punches have started to press against my ribs. She literally knocked the air out of my lungs yesterday. I also noticed she is not doing her usual acrobatics anymore, probably because she is running out of room. It's hard to believe we still have two and a half months to go.

[ Saturday, September 25, 2004 ]

From WebMD, about the 28th week: Your baby measures about 10 inches from crown to rump, or a total length of about 15.75 inches from head to toe, and weighs about 2.4 pounds. Brain waves show rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which means your baby may be dreaming. Eyelids are opening. Branches of lungs are developing, so there's a good chance that baby would survive if born prematurely now. Your uterus extends well above your navel. As baby gets bigger and stronger this month, you may be experiencing leg cramps and mild swelling of ankles and feet, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, lower abdominal achiness, clumsiness or scattered Braxton Hicks contractions (hardening and relaxing of the uterus, like rehearsals for labor).

[ Friday, September 24, 2004 ]

I had the last of my monthly doctor's appointments yesterday. From now on, I will be seeing them every 2 weeks until the last month. It couldn't have gone better - my glucose blood test came back perfect, my blood pressure amazes the nurse every time (it has been constant and ideal since the first time) and Kate's heartbeat is as strong as ever. Dr. Cunningham also measured my belly and said the baby is no longer too big for her age. The fact that my weight gain slowed down a lot last month also reflects that - instead of the 4 pounds most women gain in the 6th month, I gained only 2. That puts me at a total of 21 pounds (right on target, says the doctor). That was a big relief, because since the sonogram at 20 weeks, we had been working under the assumption that Kate might be too big for normal delivery.

[ Wednesday, September 15, 2004 ]

I finally had the glucose blood test this morning. It wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared. The sugary drink they give you tastes very much like orange Fanta, cold and carbonated. The blood drawing process was as usual - no visible veins in my arms, let's move to the hands. Thankfully, the nurse didn't fool around and it was just one (mildly painful) poke in the right hand.

From WebMD, about the 27th week: Your baby measures about 9.6 inches from crown to rump and weighs a little more than 2 pounds. Hands are active and muscle coordination is such that he can get his thumb into his mouth. Thumb-sucking calms the baby and strengthens his cheek and jaw muscles. Your baby can cry now.

[ Sunday, September 12, 2004 ]

The ankle was not fractured or broken, just sprained. After a few hours in the emergency room at INOVA Hospital, I was sent home with codeine (strong painkiller), a cast and crutches. As it turns out, crutches aren't such a good idea for someone as clumsy as I am (gee, what were they thinking, giving crutches to someone who's already managed to fall on their own?!). While trying to climb upstairs, the crutches got in the way and I hurt my wrist and elbow in addition to the ankle. This morning, though, the ankle seems almost healed and I am tentatively limping along without crutches.

[ Friday, September 10, 2004 ]

The third trimester arrived with a bang - or better yet, with a loud crack. This morning, after leaving a meeting with a client, I lost my balance when stepping off the curb. Down goes the pregnant lady, with what seemed to be a twisted ankle. Now, many hours, bags of ice and tylenol later, it may amount to a fractured or broken ankle. I didn't expect to see the emergency room again so soon...

Welcome to the third trimester. I will celebrate by getting poked and prodded for a glucose test this Saturday. It will determine whether I have gestational diabetes, which is no fun but only happens in 5% of pregnancies. The test itself is quite an ordeal - have to drink some sweet stuff (probably disgusting), sit around for an hour and then have blood drawn. Because I need to be fasting, the test will be done in the morning. Because it will be morning, and I won't have had food or drink, circulation will be sluggish. Because circulation is sluggish, my veins will be even more uncooperative than usual... hello, bruises!

From WebMD, about the 26th week: Your baby measures about 9.2 inches from crown to rump and weighs almost 2 pounds now. Its hearing is fully developed. As the fetus reacts to sounds, its pulse increases. Your baby will even move in rhythm to music. Lungs are still growing but are not yet mature. Patterns of your baby's brain waves appear like a full-term newborn. It also has patterns of sleeping and waking. The baby's constant movements should be reassuring. You'll be putting on weight at the rate of about 1 pound per week now. You may be feeling some rib pain as your baby grows and pushes upward on your rib cage. The pressure may also be causing indigestion and heartburn. You may even be feeling stitch-like pains down the sides of your abdomen as your uterine muscle stretches.

[ Tuesday, September 07, 2004 ]

3:30am. I've been tossing and turning since 1:00. I can't remember the last time I slept through the night, or even more than 4 hours straight.

[ Thursday, September 02, 2004 ]

We decided to start early and enrolled in birthing classes at Alexandria INOVA Hospital, where I intend to deliver Kate. Most couples in our class are due much sooner (September, even!) but I also want to take breastfeeding and infant care classes, so the timing seems good. The first class was interesting, with videos (not too graphic, probably to spare the husbands!) of labor and different perspectives from women who had epidural, natural birth and c-section. Unfortunately, we had to miss the last two classes - David had to work late one night, and last night we had to rush the dog to the vet - but we can catch up another night.