Even though this is my 4th pregnancy and I know what to expect for the most part, I still like to read about the development of the baby and what's happening with my body. I use all sorts of resources. I skip around from site to site and see if they all say the same thing, or if anyone can tell me something new or different than the last. I'm willing to bet I'm not alone, so I thought this week I'd gather up some unique information from a few sites and put them all in one place. I did not repeat information shared on two or more sites.
Baby's Development -
- baby measures over 16 inches long
- weighs about 3.3 pounds
- is heading into a growth spurt
- can turn his head from side to side
- arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin
- probably moving a lot
- baby's brain connections developing quickly
- now processing information, tracking light, and perceiving signals from all five senses
- putting in longer stretches of sleep, which is why you're probably noticing more defined patterns of wakefulness (and movement) and rest
- This week marks an incredible milestone in your baby's lung development. Before now, the air sacs and branches in your baby's lungs were present but not functional. The lungs were not able to inflate properly. However, now there is surfactant being produced in your baby's lungs. Surfactant prevents your baby's lungs from collapsing outside of the uterus and the baby is able to take in air and breathe properly.
- fetal ear is almost completely developed both inside and out. Your baby can hear your voice and other familiar sounds that she will recognize after birth.
- the skin's color is pink instead of red at this point
- baby's fingernails have grown to the end of her fingers and she may scratch herself while she is in the womb.
- many women feel 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.
- some women may have noticed some leaking of colostrum, or "premilk," from your breasts
- diaphragm is feeling a little cramped
- more frequent urination
- occasional headaches
- varicose veins
- nasal congestion
- increasing clumsiness
- forgetfulness (oh did i write that already?)
- difficulty sleeping
So, there you have it. The baby's development is always an estimate, of course. As far as the mother's development, I can easily compare what they say I should be feeling and what I am actually feeling. For me, the biggest complaints I have at this point are very frequent Braxton Hicks, as well as real contractions. Definitely feeling that cramped diaphragm and feeling like I am out of breath. Calling it "frequent" urination is close, but I think "perpetual" urination is more like it. I might as well set up a portable toilet in my dang bedroom. The nasal congestion, clumsiness, and forgetfulness are hit and miss. Some days I experience one more than the next. Difficulty sleeping? Um, yes. Definitely. I sleep more and more comfortably AFTER I have my babies. Third trimester sleep is a nightmare. And last but certainly not least, glorious, unwavering heartburn. Who doesn't like waking up at 1:30am feeling like acid is creeping up their throat? I just prop a few extra pillows up behind me and try to let nature fight the beast. Awful yes, but there is a positive aspect to that. I think that sleeping position serves two purposes, imagine how freaked out my kids are when they creep in at 5am to see zombie mom practically sitting straight up in bed. BOO!!
If you're a mom, what do you remember as the single worst pregnancy symptom you experienced late in pregnancy? I think mine is just the overall sensation that I feel like I am going to burst because I have no room left to expand. I can barely move.