Week 36

In less than 6 hours, the pregnancy will be at full term!  That’s right, the baby could come at any time and not be premature.  There was no visit to the clinic during these past 7 days, but there will be one tomorrow.  This will involve a lot of tests.  We’ll also be scheduling the birth.  Our clinic specialises in scheduled births with painkillers.  It’s not common to use painkillers during birth in Japan, as it’s believed by many superstitious people that it’ll result in feeling distant from the baby.  The mother and baby can’t bond because she’s not writhing in agony.  Of course, we both think that’s a load of BS.  So, the birth date will either be next week or the week after.  We’ll be seeing her soon!

My wife has been having plenty of pain in the pubic area, most likely due to dilation of her cervix and pressure from the baby.  She says that she has a lot of problems breathing because of pressure from the baby on her diaphragm and lungs.  She finds it difficult to sleep, as well.  Her bellybutton has popped out quite a bit, too.  She feels that it’s hard to eat large meals, as well.  Some common signs in pregnant women are extra body hair, stretch marks and varicose veins.  Luckily, she hasn’t had stretch marks or varicose veins!  Just the extra hair that I understand pretty much every woman gets when pregnant.  Yes, she has a hairy belly from the pregnancy.  But it should fall out in a few months.

How’s the baby doing?  Well, she continues to be quite active, moving a lot.  She hiccups a lot, too.  From what I’ve read, at week 36, the fine hair and waxy substance covering her skin will fall off, and she’ll swallow much of it.  That’ll result in her first bowel movement after birth being slimy and black.  I’m guessing she’s over 2700 grams now.

I’ll probably have some more news tomorrow about the scheduling and the checkup.

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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 25

It’s the final day of week 25 today, and we’re getting to the final two weeks of the second trimester.  Only 3 months away from birth!

The baby should be around 34cm long now and about 680 grams.  She’s growing hair on her head, and her wrinkly skin is starting to smooth out, as she is now gaining body fat.  As always, she’s been kicking and punching a lot.

Mom is having a hard week.  She spent one day extremely dizzy, having a difficult time walking anywhere in the apartment.  But that happens when lying on her back for too long.  Too much pressure on her veins in her back.  She’s also been experiencing some pain due to the growing baby.  Sleeping at night has been difficult, but this isn’t a problem with the pregnancy.  Our dog has been pacing back and forth all night for the past 2 nights, and only sleeping during the day.  We’re concerned about his health, as this could be a sign of dementia, or it may be pain (he does have a bad back).

Later this week, mom starts her bimonthly checkups.  We’re getting into a more critical period where the baby’s development and mom’s health have to be watched carefully.  The baby is at a stage at which she can be born and survive at any time, but we certainly don’t want a premature birth.  It’ll get harder over the next 3 months.

Week 19, and it’s a…..

This post is a few days late, but it’s still week 19.  The last day of week 19.  On Thursday, we went to the clinic for the first time in 4 weeks for an ultrasound and checkup on the baby.  There were lots of questions for the doctor, and a reassurance that everything is going normally.

So, how’s the baby?  It’s now 16.7 cm long, which is normal for 19 weeks and 2 days.  Everything is in the normal range for size, though the legs are slightly shorter than average.  The senses are developing quickly and the baby can now hear.  So talking to the baby is a good idea from now.  The kidneys are producing urine now, and hair is beginning to grow on the head.  Also, the baby is moving a lot.  My fiancee feels the baby moving quite a bit, and I was excited to feel it moving this past week.  These are the ultrasound pictures:

Ultrasound at 19 weeks, 2 days

4D ultrasound at 19 weeks, 2 days.

How’s the mom?  Well, her morning sickness is pretty much gone, but it’s been replaced with lots of cramps.  This is normal, though.  It’s her round ligaments expanding.  Also, she’s had some leg pains due to her vena cava being compressed by the baby in her back.  This can lead to varicose veins and collecting of blood and swelling in the feet, ankles and legs.  Her sleeping schedule is pretty unusual now, sleep during the day, awake at night.  This is normal, according to the doctor.  An interesting side effect of pregnancy is forgetfulness, which has been happening as well.

Finally, some exciting news.  A month ago, the doctor told us what the gender was, but I didn’t announce it, because of the uncertainty at that time.  But now, we are much more certain.  We are having a girl!