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39 Weeks Pregnant

26 Jan
"Your baby’s ready to greet the world! He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth, but it’s likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) Your baby’s organs are fully developed and in place, and the outer layers of skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath. "
 
"The umbilical cord that carried nutrients from the placenta to your baby is now 20 inches long (50 centimeters) and is a half inch (1.3 centimeters) thick. Because your baby weighs about 7 pounds (3250 grams) and consumes all of the space in your uterus, it’s common for the umbilical cord to become knotted or wrapped around him.

Most of the vernix that covered your baby’s skin has disappeared, as well as the lanugo. Your body begins to supply the baby with antibodies through the placenta that will help the baby’s immune system fight infection for the first 6 months of life."

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38 Weeks Pregnant

19 Jan
"Your baby has really fattened up. She likely weighs between 6 and 7 1/2 pounds now (boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls), and she’s probably between 19 and 20 inches long. She has a firm grasp, which you’ll soon be able to test with your pinky! Her organs are fully developed and in place, but her lungs and brain — though developed enough for her to function now — will continue to mature right through childhood.

Wondering what color your baby’s eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If your baby is born with brown eyes, they’ll likely stay brown. If she’s born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she’s 9 months old. That’s because a child’s irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she’s born, but they won’t get "lighter" or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)"

 
"Your baby weighs about 6 pounds, 13 ounces (3100 grams) by now and measures about 13.8 inches (35 centimeters) in length. Fat is still accumulating, although growth is slower now. You may notice that your weight gain has decreased or ceased.

Since your baby has had the muscles to suck and swallow amniotic fluid, waste material has been accumulating in his or her intestines. Cells shed from the intestines, dead skin cells, and lanugo hair are some of the waste products that contribute to meconium, a greenish-black substance that constitutes your baby’s first bowel movement."

 
How can I possibly get any huger?!

37 Weeks Pregnant

13 Jan
"Congratulations! Your pregnancy is now considered full term — meaning your baby is developmentally ready to handle life outside the womb. (Babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 weeks are post-term.) Your baby probably weighs a little over 6 pounds at this point and measures between 19 and 20 inches, head to heel.

Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don’t be surprised if your baby’s hair isn’t the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children are born blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz. "

 
"This week, your baby is considered full-term! But your baby hasn’t stopped growing yet. He or she continues to develop fat at the rate of one half an ounce a day. In general, boys weigh more than girls at birth.

Your baby has developed enough coordination so that he or she can grasp with the fingers. If shown a bright light, your baby may turn toward it in your uterus."

 

This picture doesn’t really show how huge my belly has gotten, but it’s the best one from this week.  I’m trying to catch a glimpse of my stretch marks.  In the other pictures Michael took, I have dumb expressions on my face, and you can really see just how yucky those stretch marks have gotten.  Blagh!

36 Weeks Pregnant

5 Jan
"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."

 
"The wrinkly, tiny fetus you may have seen on earlier ultrasounds has given way to an almost plump baby. Fat is deposited on the cheeks this week, and powerful sucking muscles also contribute to your baby’s full face. Your baby now weighs approximately 6 pounds (2750 grams).

Maternal calcium intake has helped to create the baby’s firm skull, but it’s still soft enough to deform slightly when the baby passes through the birth canal. Don’t be surprised if your baby arrives with a pointy or misshapen head! After a few hours or days, your baby’s head will be back to a rounded shape."

 

This isn’t the best picture of me, but the other one showed the nasty red stretch marks I’m starting to get on my sides.  I just might have to stop taking pictures!

35 Weeks Pregnant

29 Dec
"Your baby’s getting big. He weighs a tad over 5 pounds and is just over 18 inches long. Because it’s so snug in your womb, he isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight."
 
"Your baby already weighs about 5 pounds, 10 ounces (2550 grams), but this week begins your baby’s most rapid period of weight gain – about one half to three quarters of a pound each week! Fat is being deposited all over your baby’s body, especially around the shoulders.

Because of your baby’s increasing size, he or she is now cramped and restricted inside the uterus – so fetal movements may decrease, but they may be stronger and more forceful. Your baby’s head, if he or she is in a head-first position, is also resting on your pubic bone in preparation for labor."

34 Weeks Pregnant

22 Dec
Michael was in a playful mood when he took my belly shots this week, so I’ve included some of the silly ones, too.
 
"Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds and is probably almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which she’ll need to regulate her body temperature once she’s born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her central nervous system is still maturing and her lungs are well developed by now. If you’ve been nervous about going into preterm labor, you’ll be happy to know that 99 percent of babies this age can survive outside the womb — and most have no major long-term problems related to prematurity."
 
"Maternal calcium intake is extremely important during pregnancy because during the pregnancy, the baby will draw calcium from the mother to make and harden bone. If a pregnant woman doesn’t get enough calcium during pregnancy, it can greatly weaken her own bones and teeth because the developing fetus will take minerals from the mother’s skeletal structure as needed.

Meanwhile, your baby’s adrenal glands have grown and are producing hormones that stimulate lactation. The vernix coating on the baby’s skin is becoming thicker, whereas lanugo hair is almost completely gone.

Babies born at 34 weeks usually have fairly well-developed lungs, and their average size of 5 pounds (2250 grams) and 12.6 inches (32 centimeters) allows them to survive outside the womb without extensive medical intervention, although oxygen might be needed for a few days."

33 Weeks Pregnant

15 Dec
"This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds and measures 17.2 inches from the top of his head to his heels. His skin is becoming less red and wrinkled, and while most of his bones are hardening, his skull is quite pliable and not completely joined. This will help him ease out of your relatively narrow birth canal."
 
"In these last few weeks before delivery, the billions of developed neurons in your baby’s brain are helping your baby to learn about his or her in-utero environment, allowing the baby to listen, feel, and even see somewhat. The pupils of the eye can now detect light and constrict and dilate, allowing your baby to see dim shapes. Like a newborn, your baby sleeps much of the time. He or she even experiences rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the dreaming period of sleep!

Your baby’s lungs are almost completely matured. Fat will continue to be deposited on your baby’s body for protection and warmth. Babies in utero gain a good deal of their weight in the final few weeks before birth.

By now your baby is in position for delivery. Your health care provider can tell you if your baby is positioned head or bottom first."