Your Pregnancy: Week 31
Your baby's the size of a pineapple!
He's about 15.2 to 16.7 inches long and weighs about 2.5 to 3.8 pounds this month. He's getting so big, he's probably crowding your lungs.
Baby's going through major brain and nerve development these days. His irises now react to light, and all five senses are in working order. (He won't pick up anything from his nose until after birth, though -- smell is transferred through air, not amniotic fluid.)
Out of breath? Your still-growing uterus is squeezing your lungs, making it impossible for them to fully expand like they used to. Things will improve once baby drops, probably in the next few weeks. Until then, sit up straight with your shoulders back to get a little relief. www.thebump.com
How your baby's growing:This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.
How your life's changing:Have you noticed the muscles in your uterus tightening now and then? Many women feel these random contractions — called Braxton Hicks contractions — in the second half of pregnancy. Often lasting about 30 seconds, they're irregular, and at this point, they should be infrequent and painless. Frequent contractions, on the other hand — even those that don't hurt — may be a sign of preterm labor. Call your practitioner immediately if you have more than four contractions in an hour or any other signs of preterm labor: an increase in vaginal discharge or a change in the type of discharge (if it becomes watery, mucus-like, or bloody — even if it's pink or just tinged with blood); abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramping; an increase in pressure in the pelvic area; or low back pain, especially if you didn't have it before.
If you're having a boy, you and your partner will want to take some time to think about whether or not to have your baby circumcised. Find out the pros and cons from your doctor, and what the procedure involves. www.babycenter.com
It just hit me recently, that I'm going to be having a baby pretty soon and i might ought to start thinking about labor and delivery. Usually, i think about this well in advance and even have things lined out by this point.
But this pregnancy has been different.
I haven't felt the need to have it all figured out. I have felt much more peace about trusting the Lord to take care of the details. I don't know who will watch my children or if they will be present because it will depend a lot on what time of day it is. I don't know who will be at this birth, besides my midwife (if she makes it-haha!). I don't know what this birth will look like at all.
I do know the Lord knows the day and hour and minute this baby will be born and He will take care of the details. It just means that i have to be willing to let go of the reigns for once and let him take over. This isn't always easy for someone who likes to have it all planned out and pre-arranged, but it is oh so nice to just not worry!
All this open brain space has given me the opportunity to think about things like labor/birthing pools, birthing skirts (read Week 28), and belly/baby photography.
Although i don't PLAN to deliver in the water, i really want to try laboring there. This has been a thought of mine since baby #2 but I've never really had the chance to research and make it happen. It seems to me that if the pool is deep enough that your whole body fits comfortably without being restricted (like in a bath tub) then you can really relax and maybe take some of the weight and pressure off during contractions. I tried the bath tub with baby # 2 but it did not go well, which is why I've never done it again! Maybe the pool would work better for me??? If you have any experience with this, i would LOVE to hear about it!!!
Also, my 7 year old daughter and I have had lots of fun taking pictures of my belly. She loves looking on Pinterest and getting ideas of different shots to try and using different angles and backgrounds. This has been a great hands-on experience for her as she has something to focus on (my growing belly) and she is learning how to use a camera. I'm also looking forward to taking neat baby/sibling pictures after too.
My 30 week visit with my midwife was this past week. The baby's heartbeat was 160, which again puts another mark in the girl column??? I have gained a total of 26 pounds so far, which I'm feeling every day in my back, especially when i bend over to pick things up.
Speaking of backs, after 5 other pregnancies, you'd think i'd remember by now to not bend over at the waist to pick something up, but i do it every time. I had to ask my midwife again what the correct way to bend over is. Of course she said not to bend at the waist but to squat down. I think the reason i prefer to bend at the waist is because once i squat down, it's so much harder to push that extra weight back up. So... I've decided it's best not to bend down at all, if possible. Usually a child is within ear shot and they very sweetly comply with their mama when I ask them to pick things up for me. This is a definite perk to having older children!!!
As far as measurements, they were on the smaller side again-27cm at 30 weeks 6 days. I think i must just have an odd shaped uterus that stays tucked up around the baby tightly. Toni says i don't have a lot of amniotic fluid, which is not unusual for me, so there's just not a lot of give in there, its mostly just baby. My babies are good size at birth being between 7.3 - 8.9 pounds so it's got to be something about the way i carry them??
I'm hoping to get out my Natural Childbirth The Bradley Way book soon (listed under my book tab to the right). I always reread this book before birth just to refresh my mind. I've read a lot of books and this is the best book in my opinion. Every pregnant woman should read this regardless of how you plan for your labor to go. Meaning, if you think you're just going to have an epidural and don't have to worry about natural childbirth, you still need to read this. If you understand what is happening with your body, you will be able to work with it and know what to do in the event you can't get an epidural and even if you do. More on this book later. Once i reread it, i hope to do a review on it.
That's it for this week! Blessing to you all!!!