Our appointment went well this week. I'm still measuring right with my due date! Rob finally got to hear the baby's heartbeat again. He hasn't been able to hear it since the 20 week ultrasound. That was our last appointment at the base hospital! I've finally talked Rob into letting me switch to an off base, German hospital which I've heard a lot of wonderful things about! I got my insurance all switched over and I have my first appointment with my new dr. next tuesday morning. The dr. does a 3D ultrasound at every appointment so we'll get to see our precious baby again! We'll also find out about how much the baby will weigh at birth. If they're not too busy after our appointment on tuesday we'll go over to Labor & Delivery for a quick tour and also check out the postpartum rooms. I was not at all impressed with the base hospital. L&D wasn't too bad, but the postpartum rooms were really small and the showers were down the hall from the room. From what I've heard about St. Johannis, their Labor & Delivery rooms are really nice, they have birthing pools in most of the rooms, and the postpartum rooms are nice too. I really like the fact that they have birthing pools at St. Johannis because I don't want to have an epidural and I'm going to try to go without any pain meds at all. I've heard that the water really helps a lot with the pain. I should have more info about the hospital after our appointment on tuesday.
This week is the last week we need to worry about pre-term labor, and so far everything seems to be going wonderfully! I've had a few contractions here and there, but nothing to really be concerned about. The baby now weighs about 6 pounds and measures slightly more than 20 inches in length. Growth will experience a slowdown now, both so our baby will be able to fit the narrow passageway to the outside and also so he or she can store up all the energy needed for delivery. By now, many of our baby's systems are pretty mature, at least in baby terms — and just about ready for life on the outside. Blood circulation, for instance, has been perfected and our baby's immune system has matured enough to protect him or her from infections outside the womb. Other systems, however, still need a few finishing touches. Once such notable example: digestion — which actually won't be fully mature until sometime after birth. Why's that? Inside his or her little gestational cocoon, our baby has relied on the umbilical cord for nutrition, meaning that the digestive system — though developed — hasn't been operational. So our baby will take the first year or two to bring that system up to speed. As for me, I'm definitely looking the part of a nearly full-term pregnant woman, and walking the part as well! Yep, the wonderful penguin waddle which Rob certainly enjoys making fun of! I'm moving a lot slower these days, but it's all for good cause. The reason for the waddle? Just those pesky pregnancy hormones causing the connective tissue to soften and loosen. And that's particularly important now that we're nearing D-day (delivery day). Our baby needs to squeeze through the pelvic bones, so it's a good thing that they're more flexible now. The downside to all this joint flexibility (besides the resemblance I now bear to our feathered friends down south) is discomfort in my pelvis and hip. Add the pressure from our baby's head (burrowing deeper and deeper into the pelvis now) and heavier uterus weighing me down, and it's no wonder it's a pain to walk around these days.
I suppose that's about all for this week! Hope you're all doing well!
Kayla, Rob and Baby