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36 Weeks!!!!!!

Wow.. As of Friday this little guy will be considered Full Term.. Which means he can be born and most likely won't have to spend any extra time in the hospital... The official due date is Dec. 6 but I certainly wouldn't mind if he chose to arrive a couple of days early!  Wishful thinking, I know, as most first-time mothers give birth LATER than their due dates, not early!  Still, a girl can dream!

Here's the official weekly update, it's a long one this time!:

"How your baby's growing:
Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. He now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. 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. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

At the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. (Full-term is 37 to 42 weeks; babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 are post-term.) Most likely he's in a head-down position. 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.

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. 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. 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.) If your baby drops, 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. If your baby is very low, you may feel lots of vaginal pressure and discomfort as well. Some women say it feels as though they're carrying a bowling ball between their legs!

You might also notice that your Braxton Hicks contractions are more frequent now. Be sure to review the signs of labor with your practitioner and find out when she wants to hear from you. As a general rule, if you're full-term, your pregnancy is uncomplicated, and your water hasn't broken, she'll probably have you wait to come in until you've been having contractions that last for about a minute each, coming every five minutes for an hour. Of course, you'll want to call right away if you notice a decrease in your baby's activity or think you're leaking amniotic fluid, or if you have any vaginal bleeding, fever, a severe or persistent headache, constant abdominal pain, or vision changes."

Wow. Lots of information there!  I am definitely having trouble eating a full-sized meal, I can generally eat about half of what I normally would... And I've noticed that over the past few days my heartburn hasn't been as bad and I'm feeling more pressure in my lower abdomen, especially when I stand up after sitting or lying down for a while.. Perhaps the baby has "dropped"!

Tomorrow I have a doctors appointment and they're sending me for one final ultrasound to check the position and size of the baby.  I have to admit I'm a bit nervous as the doctor told me several times throughout the past 9 months that they only do ultrasounds around 14 weeks to confirm the due date and again around 20 weeks to check the anatomy.  Having one at 36 weeks is not typical for the practice I go to so I'm wondering if there is something that they're worried about. I'm sure it's not an emergency or they wouldn't have had me wait two weeks from my last appointment to have the ultrasound but I still wonder if maybe something is up.  Perhaps the baby isn't big enough?  A lot of people have said I don't look as far along as I am... Although I'm not a very big person and I was a tiny baby so I'm not exactly expecting to birth a ten-pound child!  Hopefully I'm just being paranoid and all will go well tomorrow at the ultrasound... I have to admit I'm pretty excited to see what the little guy is looking like these days!!!

Things are wrapping up at work- I have 10 more days in the office assuming that my last day is the day before Thanksgiving as planned.  I've worked out a great deal with my boss for when I come back from maternity leave in March which I'm feeling good about...

I'll be sure to update the blog tomorrow with ultrasound pics and any other news there might be!!


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