Whew... this week has kicked my butt. We had a great holiday weekend — pictures to come — but when we got back into town on Tuesday I still had a 4-day work week ahead of me. I'm working the night shifts through Saturday. I don't mind working NYE since I wouldn't be going out anyway, but staying awake at the office has become a challenge for me. I am totally exhausted and have been dealing with some ongoing pain (of varying degrees) in my lower abdomen for most of the week. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to get things checked out, but it sounds like it might be from the baby moving down into the birth canal a bit early. Whatever he's doing in there it's certainly uncomfortable for me! But, of course, all worth it in the end. I just want to make sure the pains, fatigue and chest pressure I've been feeling are all still in the "normal" range of pregnancy woes and not a sign of something wrong.
On a less-whiny note... here's the update from the experts this week:
Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.