Wednesday, December 21, 2005

36 Week Update

Remember in my first post where I promised not to discuss bodily functions for as long as possible? Well, be warned, I'm going to start discussing my cervix now.

This weekend, my right hip stopped functioning. Made it a little difficult to walk. Saw the Chiropractor on Wedesday, who worked me over pretty good. For about 12 hours after that, my muscles were all tensed up and I still couldn't walk, but I could tell that my hips were back in balance. So after some stretching and a good night sleep, things were as right as rain again. It's something of a constant effort, keeping the baby in a good position and my hips functioning. But at least I am not in the pain I was with the first two pregnancies. Still have trouble turning my whale-like self over at night, though. I discussed pubic symphysis separation back in Week 15.

Had the Group B Strep test this week. So I say to my midwife, while you are at it, let's see if anything's going on down there. Turns out I am 50% effaced and "real soft". That's encouraging. I feel like I need to be ready for a labor that is either fast or early. Fundal height is 37 cm. and the big shocker was that in the last month, I gained 13 pounds. My weight gain is still constistent with the other two pregnancies; the little champion is just putting on some fat. Still, there's something about crossing into the 140's that seems like a milestone to me.

Your baby is still putting on the pounds — about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds and is a little less than 19 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the creamy substance that covered and protected her skin during its submersion in amniotic fluid. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, which will stay in her bowels until birth. This blackish mixture, called meconium, will become her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Babies between 37 and 42 weeks are considered full-term; a baby born before 37 weeks is pre-term and after 42 is post-term.) Most likely she's in a head-down position by now, which is optimal for a smooth delivery, but if she isn't in the next week, your provider 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 manually, by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

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