35 Weeks

This week has been a bit different than the previous weeks.  I’ve been having more Braxton Hicks contractions, and a couple of them have been painful.  I hope this will continue so my body goes into labor naturally.  My blood pressure is still normal/low but it’s climbing up a little more.  My last blood pressure reading at the doctor was 112/80.  At home when I take my blood pressure, it is usually low 90’s/60’s.  Thankfully I still don’t have high blood pressure!  My urine samples have also been normal.  I lost another pound and now weigh 151.  At my last appointment, they measured my belly and it measures at exactly 35 weeks… so no big baby yet.  However, the doctor would like to take an ultrasound at my next appointment just to make sure of her weight.  An ultrasound would give us a better estimate of her size.

Dr Perry is my favorite doctor.  She listens to me much more, and does not rush me at all.  She really takes time to explain what’s going on, compared to all the other doctors.  With gestational diabetes, I have had more questions, and different symptoms that I’ve never experienced before.  When I talk to my other doctors, I’ve heard things like, “Ok, well I have other patients waiting, so …”   and that’s within a few minutes after the doctor entered my room!  I have mentioned to the other doctors about having an ultrasound just so we have a better picture of what to expect upon delivery, and they have said it’s not necessary as long as my belly is measuring normally.  Dr Perry, however, wants to be a bit more thorough which I really appreciate.  She sat with me for a while simply looking over my chart, asking questions about my blood glucose numbers, my previous heart palpations I’ve had in the first-trimester, etc.  She just seems genuinely focused on her patients, instead of just getting through the day.  I hope I will have her when I deliver.

Something Dr Perry told me that the other doctors didn’t is that with gestational diabetes, even though my belly may be measuring right on schedule, the baby could still have broader shoulders or a larger tummy which could still make it difficult to have a natural delivery.  This is why she would like an ultrasound done just to see the baby and make sure everything is ok.  Like I said before, a bigger baby can pose risks to the baby and myself.  The baby could experience trauma during delivery if she gets stuck.  She could break bones or have permanent nerve damage to her arms or neck.  So knowing as much as we can about her size BEFORE delivery is very important.  I’m thankful Dr Perry suggested an ultrasound.

35 weeks belly pic..

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What baby looks like at 35 weeks…

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Your baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that she’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (about the size of a honeydew melon). Because it’s so snug in your womb, she isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times she kicks should remain about the same. Her kidneys are fully developed now, and her liver can process some waste products. Most of her basic physical development is now complete — she’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

 

It was exactly 4 years ago today that I announced what our first-born daughter’s name will be on my blog – What’s in a Name?

After realizing this, I thought now would be the perfect day to announce our second daughter’s name.

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It actually took us a long time to come up with a name.  I never rushed it, figuring that God would let us know which names were right for her when the time comes.   We never agreed on any names for a good long time, and when we did agree on some names, we weren’t too crazy about them.   After searching the meaning of Josephine Ruth, we knew it was meant to be.

Josephine is a feminine form of Joseph, which is derived from the Hebrew Yōsēf  which means “God will add, God will increase.”  This is exactly what we prayed God would do for us; add to our family.

The name Ruth is a Hebrew name. In Hebrew the meaning of the name Ruth is: Companion; friend.  This is also why we prayed for another child; so that Faith will have a life-long companion and friend.

I love the story of Ruth in the Bible.  Ruth celebrates the family and the way it continues through many generations. Ruth, a childless widow at the beginning of the story, became the great-grandmother of Israel’s great king, David.  Her devotion to her mother-in-law, and her faith in God was evident in her words, “Do not persuade me to leave you.  For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live.  Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Ruth 1:16

This is what I pray it will be like for Faith and Josephine.  A friendship that will never end, and an unwavering faith in God.

Two are better than one.  If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

34 Weeks

This week’s 2 doctor appointments went well.  Blood pressure is still low.  Blood sugars are still within normal range.  I weigh 152.  Not gaining weight, but not losing weight anymore either so that’s good.  My feet are starting to swell some, but not much.   I have been wearing compression socks to help with that.

One new symptom I’ve begun having is very sharp pains in my groin area.   Baby’s head is bearing down and putting lots of pressure on my cervix.  When this happens, I can begin to dilate in preparation for labor.  The doctor examined me at my last appointment just to make sure that I wasn’t beginning to dilate.  I have dilated just a teeny tiny bit; not enough for the doctor to think that my body is preparing for labor.  She said at 34 weeks, if I go into labor, they won’t stop my contractions and just let the baby come.  The baby is now fully developed enough that if she does arrive early, she shouldn’t have any long-term health issues.  I hope my body doesn’t go into labor until 39 weeks… and I really hope I don’t have to be induced.  I’ve been feeling Braxton Hicks contractions for a couple weeks now.  When this happens, the pressure in my belly is uncomfortable but not painful.

I’ve begun getting my hospital bag ready.  Just 5 more weeks left!  God willing!

34 weeks belly pic…

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What baby looks like at 34 weeks…

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Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (about the size of a cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she’s born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you’ve been nervous about preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

33 Weeks

My non-stress tests have all been great.  Baby is active, and heartbeat is always strong.  My blood pressure is still low/normal.  My belly is measuring at exactly 33 weeks, right on schedule.  My blood sugar levels are still within the normal range and are fairly stable.  I’m getting use to measuring/weighing my food, counting carbs, eating enough protein and logging all my meals.  It’s time consuming and still very annoying, but I’m getting use to it.

I spoke with a different doctor at my last baby-checkup and she also said that they want me to deliver by 39 weeks.  So, I guess baby’s due date is April 21st.  I didn’t lose any weight this week.  I’m 152, so I gained almost a pound.  Still under my pre-pregnancy weight but at least I’m not losing a lot of weight too fast.

I hope and pray I go into labor on my own this time.  This is my last pregnancy and I really want to be able to experience my body’s natural response to labor.  I don’t want to be forced into labor again.  I read a great article about how a mother’s body prepares to go into labor on its own.  The placenta tells the brain that baby is ready for life outside the womb, and it sends signals to the brain to release hormones in preparation for painful contractions and other hormones to prepare your body for delivery.  When the body is in control, labor and delivery go much smoother and quicker.  When you’re induced, you’re flooded with synthetic hormones to force your body to deliver the baby.  It’s always more painful and it takes much longer.   I went through this with Faith.  31 hours of labor until I finally gave birth.  I want to experience labor and delivery naturally this time.  This is my last chance to have this experience.  I pray that I’ll go into labor on my own at 39 weeks.  I absolutely don’t want her to arrive any earlier than that.  There are all sorts of complications to baby’s health when they’re born premature.

I have been working hard on my big assignments for this semester.  I want to get them done early, before they’re due just in case I’m in the hospital.   I’m so glad I’ve finished my final assignments that are due at the end of the semester.  However, the last big assignment is an oral presentation with a PowerPoint slideshow due on the very last day of class.  I may not be there for the oral presentation, but the PowerPoint presentation is complete and she will just have to accept that if I can’t be there.  I really hope my GPA doesn’t drop if I can’t properly complete the oral presentations.  I have a 3.95 GPA which I worked very hard for.  I don’t believe there is any reason why my teacher can’t accept a video presentation if I’m in the hospital or at home recovering.  I graduate in May :)

33 weeks belly pic…

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What baby looks like at 33 weeks…

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This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds and has passed the 17-inch mark (about the size of a pineapple). She’s rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and her skeleton is hardening. The bones in her skull aren’t fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for her to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as her brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.