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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, December 17

31 weeks

How your baby's growing: This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. She weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt.
She can turn her head from side to side, and her arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath her skin. She's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

How your life's changing: Have you noticed the muscles in your uterus tightening now and then? Many women feel these random contractions — called Braxton Hicks contractions — in the second half of pregnancy. [I can't tell if I'm having these or cramping...I get tightening every so often, but my OB isn't concerned at this point, regardless] Often lasting about 30 seconds, they're irregular, and at this point, they should be infrequent and painless. Frequent contractions, on the other hand — even those that don't hurt — may be a sign of preterm labor. Call your practitioner immediately if you have more than four contractions in an hour or any other signs of preterm labor: an increase in vaginal discharge or a change in the type of discharge (if it becomes watery, mucus-like, or bloody — even if it's pink or just tinged with blood); abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramping; an increase in pressure in the pelvic area; or low back pain, especially if you didn't have it before. [They make it sound so easy to tell, but honestly, I have all of these symptoms at different times because they are also "normal" pregnancy symptoms. Argh!]

You may have noticed some leaking of colostrum, or "premilk," from your breasts lately. If so, try tucking some nursing pads into your bra to protect your clothes. (And if not, it's certainly nothing to worry about; your breasts are making colostrum all the same, even if you don't see any.) If your current bra is too snug, you might also want to pick up a nursing bra. Choose a nursing bra at least one cup size bigger than you need now. When your milk comes in you'll be grateful for that extra room! [Amen! So glad my sisters brought one to the hospital for me last time. Ouch!]

The FFN test results came back negative! Yeah. That means, hopefully, another 2 uneventful weeks (which is good because I REALLY don't want a Christmas baby!).

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