Even though each trimester is unique and exciting as our little baby grows and develops, I think I am more excited about this third trimester than any other! Knowing that the pregnancy end is in sight and that we will be meeting our sweet little baby girl as the grand finale, is so encouraging and exciting! All of the nausea, aches, pains, ligament stretching, heart burn, etc... will all be worth it when our baby is in our arms! We continue to pray that God will keep her healthy and safe. To be added to our prayer list now is that she will begin to settle in head down, in preparation for birth. I am feeling a lot more movement in my upper stomach and soreness in my ribcage, so I wouldn't be surprised if those are her little feet kicking away!
Your baby is settling into the proper position for birth, with his head facing downward (toward your body's nearest exit!). Your little work in progress is now about 2.5 pounds and almost 16 inches long. He's busy adding new skills such as blinking to an already impressive repertoire of tricks like coughing, sucking, hiccuping, and taking practice breaths. Your baby's sleep now includes the REM (rapid eye movement) phase — and that means he could be dreaming already (what do you suppose he's dreaming about?). Though his lungs are nearly fully mature (so both of you might breathe a little easier if he were born now), your baby still has plenty of growing to do.
Your little angel is still little, between 2 and 2.5 pounds (0.9 to 1.1 kg) and 15 to 16 inches (38 to 40 cm) long. Your baby is actually a little "chubbier" than before. That's because the number of fat cells she has is increasing, filling out the skin from underneath. Eyebrows and eyelashes are also growing, and the hair on her head is getting longer. This is also an important time for your baby's brain development.
Your weight is climbing, too! During this month, you may begin to experience Braxton Hicks contractions--a kind of "dress rehearsal" for labor that isn't dangerous for you or baby. They occur when the uterus hardens and relaxes. Because your growing baby is putting more pressure on your pelvis, your ankles and feet may swell, your legs may cramp, and as your growing uterus bears down on your bladder, you may once again feel the need to urinate more often. And don't be alarmed if you start to feel out of breath; it's just baby pushing on your diaphragm.
The thought of having only 12 weeks left really helps to make this delivery and pregnancy so much more real and close now. As we continue in our birthing class and as I continue to read Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way, I am becoming more convinced that having a natural delivery is really what I want for my birthing experience. I'm not completely against an epidural if it is medically necessary, but I will be requesting on my birth plan that the nurses not even offer me any pain medication unless I ask for it. This will keep me from being as tempted to give in to meds. Women have been doing this for thousands of years without medication and I hope to do the same. We are thankful to have a wonderful new friend as our Doula who will be helping Kyle to coach me through the labor and delivery. She will be able to come to our home while I'm in the first stage of labor; helping me to breathe through and work through early labor. My goal is to not go to the hospital until we are close to transition so that most of the uncomfortable labor will be done in the comfort and privacy of our home, not in a noisy hospital. Then, once we are admitted to the hospital, hopefully transition will happen quickly and then it will be only a few more hours until little Miss Roland makes her presence.
It is amazing to read how God has so amazingly created a woman's body to go through this "labor of love" for her children. It will be the hardest work that I will ever do, but the reward is so great! I cannot wait to feel the joy of holding my own baby in my arms and to watch Kyle hold her and the pride of being a daddy fill his face and heart! Thankfully, our hospital gives us many options on our birth plan and Kyle can choose to be apart of the delivery process (hopefully catch the baby?) and to cut the umbilical cord. We also have the option to give our baby her first bath and to have immediate contact with her and nursing before she will be cleaned up and all the procedures are done. This is so important for the baby to not be immediately taken away from the mother because she needs that initial bonding time to start breastfeeding and to be able to hear the comfort of my heartbeat as she lays on me. This will help her transition into this new little world she is apart of.
We cannot be more thrilled and excited about this pregnancy drawing to a close! We are trusting the Lord as He continues to grow our little baby and are expectantly waiting to see how this new little life changes our world. I know that we will grow so much as we learn to be parents and that we will make many mistakes. Yet, this further shows us our need for our Savior and His grace in our everyday lives. We have no hope apart from Christ, even in pregnancy, labor, delivery, and parenting. We are so thankful that our hope can rest in the One who gives hope and the One who supplies our needs.
Born and raised in Texas... but moved to Kentucky where I met and married my best friend. We were then blessed with two precious little daughters, ages 3 and 19 months. I love the Lord and I am so thankful that He has given me the blessing of serving my husband and daughters in our home!