Sunday, March 18, 2012

36 Weeks Pregnant - The Final, Final Stretch!

My wife is now at 36 weeks pregnant. My baby girl is now 6 pounds and is 18-1/2 inches long from her head to heels, weighs as much as a Crenshaw Melon! She's now losing her covering of thin peach fuzz hair and the waxy material that covered her skin called the vernix caseosa. Ever gotten out of a hot bath after sitting for awhile and got wrinkly skin? Well, this covering helps the baby stay wrinkle free in the amniotic fluid for 9 months.

This week, my wife's prenatal exams have increased in frequency to weekly. Our midwife started checking the cervix and there is no dilation yet. She'll check every week and it can help them gauge how far off the start of labor is.

This week my wife and I have finally felt like we can see the light at the end of the long and arduous tunnel of pregnancy. I think it's a relief mentally for her to be at this point now, but there's still the anxiety of the actual pending birth which although we've prepared for, we are still uncertain and nervous.

The biggest thing weighing on our mind, which is probably the same for most people, is the pain at birth. We are hoping to have a water birth, however there are many factors that can prevent this. (ie. too much blood loss, unsafe increase in fetal heart rate, no pain meds allowed in the water, and being able to physically get in and out of the water without assistance)

We are learning to take comfort in the little things we can control: our diets (we're both trying to eat more fruits and veggies), our mental health (taking time to relax and de-stress), feeling and hearing the baby's heartrate (my mom is a nurse and gave us one of her stethoscopes), and just knowing that the end is near.

I'm not ashamed to admit, as a new dad to be I'm stressed about it and kind of scared terrified at times. I mean, I think no matter how much you prepare, the thought of having a little life before you that you're absolutely 100% responsible for their well-being 24/7/365 is enough to put stone cold fear into any man before he learns how to do it. I've wondered if I was ready, and even had days where I questioned myself, but I know I have what it takes. I need to remember to breathe, and know that I was born to do this, I am equipped with all the necessary skills, and wherever I lack knowledge I will quickly learn and re-learn as I go.

Sympathy Weight Update: UNCHANGED, at 206 lbs, my sympathy weight gained stands at 21 lbs so far.

Well that's all for now, next week my baby will be as long as a swiss chard... what the heck is a swiss chard - see it here???

See How My Baby's Growing at 36 Weeks

See What's Happening Inside the Fetus this Week

See how big my baby is getting week by week, now she weighs as much as a Crenshaw Melon! Ouch!!!

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