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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Friday, August 6

12 weeks and 19 months

How your baby's growing: The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder.
Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.

How your life's changing: Your uterus has grown to the point where your healthcare provider can now feel the top of it (the fundus) low in your abdomen, just above your pubic bone. It will increase in size by almost 1,000 times by the end of your pregnancy! [crazy!] It's now pushing into your abdomen, though not yet in any uncomfortable way. You may already be into maternity clothes, especially if this isn't your first pregnancy [not yet!]. If you're still fairly small and not yet ready for maternity clothes, you've no doubt noticed that your waist is thickening and that you're more comfortable in loose, less restrictive clothing. [for sure!]

This is about the time the muscles of your stomach slow down, making your stools harder and drier and making you gassier. [lovely!] Your heart rate may speed up because of the extra volume of blood in your body. Your hips are actually widening to make more room for your uterus to grow. [oh, they've been widening for weeks] With one week to go in your first trimester, you may feel more like your pregnancy is real. [almost the second trimester already? Where is the time going?] Take brisk walks, eat high-fiber foods, and drink plenty of water to keep your intestinal tract moving.

You may begin to feel heartburn (also called acid indigestion), a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of your breastbone to your lower throat. [no heart burn yet, but I'm sure it will come, as it did a lot with Finn] Many women get heartburn for the first time during pregnancy, and those who've previously had bouts of heartburn may find that it gets worse. During pregnancy, the placenta produces a lot of the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Particularly when you're lying down, gastric acid can seep back up the pipe, which causes the uncomfortable burning sensation. For many women the problem doesn't begin (or get worse) until later in pregnancy, when your growing uterus starts to push up on your stomach. The discomfort may range from mildly annoying to intense and distracting.

Finn is 19 months today, hence the title of this post. Time is just flying by! We are camping right now and hopefully having a great time (I scheduled this post before we left). You'll get a full report on Sunday, I'm sure.

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