Tuesday, December 13, 2011

pregnancy update: week 31

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 - 
From Babycenter.com:
  • 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
From Whattoexpect.com:
  • 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 
From I-am-pregnant.com:
  • 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. 
Mother's Development - 
From Babycenter.com: 
  • 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
From Whattoexpect.com:
  • more frequent urination
  • occasional headaches
  • varicose veins
  • nasal congestion
  • backaches
  • increasing clumsiness
  • forgetfulness
  • forgetfulness (oh did i write that already?)
  • difficulty sleeping
From I-am-pregnant.com:
  • heartburn

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. 


  1. Crazy to learn about the growth. I'm 22 weeks and bewildered about it. Could have sworn I was already following you on GFC and Google + but it says I wasnt. I am now :)

  2. YAY!!! I'm only 1 week ahead of you - I love this post! I +1'd it!!

  3. I've only done it once your a braver girl than me LOL. We may try again I don't know. My pregnancy was the easiest thing in the entire world I felt so blessed. No sickness hardly no swelling. I did have an episode of a pinched nerve or something in my hip and limped for a week. That was weird.

    But Matilda made up for the easy pregnancy on the way out. I had what's called Pro Drommel ( I don't think that's the spelling) basically you have labor pains but no progress. I had this for FOUR DAYS ! I was holding walls and taking baths.

    I thought my insides were just falling out literally it was pretty awful. Before I thought " well maybe I'll try going mostly natural" After that all that would come out of my mouth at the hospital was "Where's the needle did you bring the epidural?" Chad said I was pretty funny about it of course I wasn't laughing.

  4. Hi, I am your new follower via Whimsical Wednesday.