How your baby's growing: Your baby is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heeland now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash).
How your life's changing: Your baby's very active now. [Yes she is. Sometimes she makes me jump!] Your healthcare provider may ask you to spend some time each day counting kicks and will give you specific instructions on how to do this. Let your provider know if you ever notice that your baby is becoming less active. You may need a nonstress test or biophysical profile to check on your baby's condition.
Some old friends — heartburn and constipation — may take center stage now. The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation, coupled with the crowding in your abdomen, slows digestion. Sluggish digestion can cause gas and heartburn — especially after a big meal — and contribute to constipation. [Oh, these, especially heartburn, are pretty constant friends already!] To prevent constipation, eat a high-fiber diet, drink plenty of water, and get some regular exercise. [also, Miralax is my friend!]
Your growing uterus may also be contributing to hemorrhoids. These swollen blood vessels in your rectal area are common during pregnancy. Fortunately, they usually clear up in the weeks after giving birth. [thankfully, none yet. Fingers are crossed.] Avoid sitting or standing for long stretches. Talk with your provider before using any over-the-counter remedies during pregnancy, and let your provider know if you have any rectal bleeding.
Some women get something called "supine hypotensive syndrome" during pregnancy. This happens when lying flat on your back causes a change in heart rate and blood pressure that makes you feel dizzy until you change position. [this is a constant worry of Jim's, but luckily so far, it isn't too bad, especially since laying on my back seems to be more comfortable depending on whatever aches at the moment!] You might notice that you feel lightheaded if you stand up too quickly, too. To avoid "the spins," lie on your side rather than your back, and move slowly as you go from lying down to sitting and then standing.
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.