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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, October 29

24 weeks

How your baby's growing: Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts her at just over a pound. [1 lb 4 oz as of Monday] Since she's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), she cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but her body is filling out proportionally and she'll soon start to plump up.
Her brain is also growing quickly now, and her taste buds are continuing to develop. Her lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help her air sacs inflate once she hits the outside world. Her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

How your life's changing: In the past few weeks, the top of your uterus has risen above your belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball.

Most women have a glucose screening test (also called a glucose challenge test or GCT) between now and 28 weeks. [Mine is schedule for 11/12, I think] This test checks for gestational diabetes, a pregnancy-related high-blood-sugar condition. Untreated diabetes increases your risk of having a difficult vaginal delivery or needing a cesarean section because it causes your baby to grow too large, especially in his upper body. It also raises your baby's odds for other complications like low blood sugar right after birth. A positive result on your GCT doesn't mean you have gestational diabetes, but it does mean that you'll need to take the glucose tolerance test (GTT) to find out for sure.

Finally, if you don't already know how to spot the signs of preterm labor, now's the time to learn. Contact your caregiver immediately if you notice any of the signs mentioned below. [Easier said than done, since many of the signs of preterm labor are the same as regular pregnancy symptoms!]

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