Week 34

Talk about ups and downs.  Last week, she was head down.  Well, this week, she’s head up again!  We’re now at the end of week 34, and coming into the homestretch.  It’s quite possible she may be born in only 3 weeks!

So, this was the last checkup of the year for the baby.  We were supposed to be finding out about when she’ll be born.  But the question is how she’ll be born.  With her being in the breach position, it’s possible it’ll be a Caesarean section.  If so, she’ll be born between January 17th and 23rd (week 38).  If she turns around again, the birthdate is anyone’s guess.  She’ll come when she’s ready.

The baby is still healthy, in the average size range.  However, she’s getting to be a bit bigger than the middle range of average.  She’s now 2496 grams, which means she’s big enough to be born within the next week, and be a healthy, though small, newborn.  However, her size is of a 37 week fetus, when she’s just about to start week 35.  She’s getting big!  She has quite the big belly, too.  But nothing to be concerned about.

Mom is experiencing plenty of growing pains, as well as enduring painful kicks and punches.  Thanks to the baby’s incorrect position, she will now have to sleep on her left side for the next week.  She has new orders from the doctor, and that is to take it easy.  Rest and relax for the next week, and avoid doing anything active.  That means no exercising, no long walking, no cleaning.  Standing to cook is okay, but I’ll have to do all the shopping while she stays home.  If all goes well, the baby will turn back to the correct birth position.  However, due to her position, our next appointment will occur during the holidays.  In fact, we go in on January 1st!  Our plans for the New Year at her parents’ house in Saitama have been cancelled.

We did get an ultrasound picture, but it didn’t turn out well.  She was being camera shy.

At 34 weeks and 6 days. This picture isn't the best. She was being difficult to photograph this week.

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Week 33

This week was a bit unusual.  Because of the baby’s incorrect position last week, we had to go back to the clinic today to check on her position.  We were told to come between 2 and 4 pm, but we got a call from the clinic at 10:50 am, and they asked us to come to the clinic by 11:30.  We had only 40 minutes, and we were still in bed!  I’ve been fighting a cold for the past week and just wanted to sleep, while my wife has trouble sleeping at night and wanted to sleep more.  Well, we quickly got ready and left the apartment.  We walked much faster than usual and arrived at the clinic at 11:31.  Well, after about a 20 minute wait, she was called in to have the baby checked.  It was only supposed to be a brief check, but I was later called to come in.  I was slightly worried, actually.  But it was just to see the ultrasound.  The baby was back in the head down position!  Great news!

What we saw on the ultrasound was our healthy baby girl, only about a month away from birth.  She’s still average size, slightly long legs and her nose looks a bit like mine.  We also saw her open and close her mouth several times, as if she were chewing.  She’s now 2102 grams, closing in on the minimum 2500 grams for full term birth.  Her bones should be hardening, while her skull will remain flexible for the birth.  She looks like a newborn baby by now.

Mom is feeling the kicks and punches a lot these days.  She can now sleep on either side, the doctor said.  Her sleeping habits continue to be unusual, but that’s thanks to the baby keeping her awake.  She has a hard time sitting up from bed, so needs to roll over and try push herself up.  She easily gets out of breath from walking uphill.

With only about a month to go, we’re getting pretty excited to see our baby girl.  Here’s the ultrasound picture we received today.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a good 4D picture, as her arms were obscuring her face.

This is 33 weeks, 6 days. At the top is her full face, though both of her arms are slightly blocking the view. Below is another view of her chin, lips and nose.

Week 32

It’s been another week, and this one came with a surprise.  Not a pleasant surprise, though.  The baby has flipped again, and is now head up.  This is a bit of a concern because the baby should be settling into the birth position by now.  If she doesn’t flip back over to the head down position, then a Caesarean section is likely.  This is something we don’t want, as that is a major surgery that can have an effect on the health of my wife and a second child.  Recovery is a lot longer than a vaginal birth.

Anyway, other than the position of the baby, she’s very healthy.  She’s now 1895 grams, only 600 grams away from minimum healthy birth weight.  She’s a bit chubby, too.  Her legs are also a bit long, so it makes me wonder if we’ll have a tall daughter.  Her toenails, fingernails and hair are all there now.  She’s been filling out her loose skin, so she should look like a normal baby now.  In fact, she could be born at any time now, and be healthy.

Mom is still feeling pain from the baby’s kicks, as well as the rapid growth of the baby.  Due to the baby’s new position, the doctor advised my wife to sleep on her right side now, instead of her left.  She’s had many sleepless nights lately due to the baby moving.

We’ve now bought everything required for a hospital survival kit (actually, it’s just the things my wife needs for a week at the clinic) for when she goes into labour.  As it’s getting so close to the birth, we have to be fully prepared.  We’ve made plenty of decisions recently, like where the baby will sleep (in the living room) and where my wife’s mother will sleep (in the bedroom with us, but on a rental bed).  We also decided on using cloth diapers, which can be washed, and will save us money in the long run.  The doctor has no information about when he thinks the baby will be born.  It’s going to be a surprise.  Because of the baby’s position, we have another appointment with the clinic next week, just to check if she’s flipped over again.  Hopefully, she’ll be back to the head down position.

Here are the ultrasound pictures.  They weren’t supposed to be done this week, but due to the baby’s incorrect position, the doctor had to take a look.

The top shows her full face at 32 weeks, 6 days. At the bottom is her nose (very clearly), lips and chin.

This 4D image shows her face. Not as clear as the one from 6 weeks ago.

Week 31

Week 31 is coming to a close now, and it was an eventful week for mom.

The baby is growing pretty quickly.  She’s as active as ever, and not only does she kick and punch, but when she slides her feet or hands along the walls of the uterus, my wife said it feels “kimoi” or a weird sick feeling.  She’s getting heavier as fat fills out her skin, and she’s about to go into a big growth spurt.

As I said, mom feels “kimoi” sometimes, and she does feel sick quite often.  This past week, she had a pretty strong dizzy spell that caused her eyesight to start blacking out.  Low blood pressure is most likely to blame, but she said it seems to run in her family.  She still can’t eat much at one sitting, so needs to spread out the food over the day.  She’s always hurting and feeling sick with the baby growing and her abdomen stretching, pressing into her stomach, and her pelvis preparing for birth.

Full term is only 5 weeks away!

Shopping for the baby

On Monday, after visiting the clinic, my wife and I, along with her mother, went to Terrace Mall Shonan by Tsujido Station in Fujisawa.  The mall is brand new, just opened on November 11th.  It’s pretty big, and it includes a baby goods store called Akachan Honpo.  There are many clothes, toys, baby carriages, beds, and more, for babies and children.  My mother-in-law seemed to enjoy choosing clothes for our baby.  Lots of pink and yellow.  Looking around in that store, I suddenly felt that it was even more real than before.  The birth will be next month.  The next few weeks will go by very quickly, I think.