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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 1

Half way (hopefully!)

How your baby's growing: Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. She's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana.
For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against her torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of her head to her bottom - the crown to rump measurement. After 20 weeks, she's measured from head to toe.

She's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for her digestive system. She's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in her bowels, and you'll see it in her first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).

How your life's changing: Congratulations! You've hit the halfway mark in your pregnancy - 20 weeks. The top of your uterus is about level with your belly button, and you've likely gained around 10 pounds. [I'm definitely showing much higher and I haven't weighed myself while on vacation, but I think I've gained around 12 pound, maybe] Expect to gain another pound or so each week from now on. Make sure you're getting enough iron, a mineral that's used primarily to make hemoglobin (the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen). During pregnancy, your body needs more iron to keep up with your expanding blood volume, as well as for your growing baby and the placenta. Red meat is one of the best sources of iron for pregnant women. Poultry (especially the dark meat) and shellfish also contain iron. Some common non-meat sources of iron include legumes, soy-based products, spinach, prune juice, raisins, and iron-fortified cereals.

If you haven't already signed up for a childbirth education class, you may want to look into one, especially if you're a first-timer. [I signed up last week...maybe we can actually attend this time! I didn't think we needed them, but Jim did and since he is my "coach," he probably wants some pointers!] A structured class will help prepare you and your partner for the rigors of labor and delivery. Most hospitals and birth centers offer classes, either as weekly meetings or as a single intensive, one-day session. Many communities have independent instructors as well. Ask your friends, family members, or caregiver for recommendations.

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