So as of yesterday, I’m 26 weeks pregnant, have 98 days until my due date, and the baby is the length of an English hothouse cucumber. Can’t say that I’ve ever seen an English hothouse cucumber, but that’s what he is.
“The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other. He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches from head to heel. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.”
Also, here is a diagram of what he actually looks like in there now. Poor guy is starting to look a little squished! Of course, it’s only going to get worse as we go on!
So, now for the small excitement of yesterday. I’d been having the Braxton Hicks occasionally, but that’s completely normal. Yesterday, for whatever reason, they picked up. I tried to sit with my feet up at work and drink a lot of water (which was what they said to do if I had more.) By mid afternoon they were getting to be about 2-4 an hour, consistently. I called my OBs office, just to confirm that this was normal. They weren't painful and I didn't really have anything else going on. I wasn’t worried, but just wanted a little reassurance. They ended up having me come in to get checked out – better to be safe than sorry.
I got there at 4:15, they were running late - I think it was about 5 before I was seen. I gave a urine sample, they checked my cervix (all closed!), and did the test to check for something called fetal fibronectin. This is a protein that is produced during pregnancy that acts as a glue, attaching the fetal sac to the uterine lining. It’s typically present in early pregnancy, and then again later – but it should not be there between 24 and 34 weeks. They do a test to make sure that it’s negative – which means that they can be 95% certain that I will not go into labor in the next 2 weeks.
They also decided that they wanted to hook me up to a monitor to watch the “tightening” I was feeling. Because it was now after hours I had to go down to labor and delivery to have it done. Just as a precaution, I was actually wheel chaired down. It was actually nice – my OBs office is on the 4th floor of the hospital, which is the same floor as labor and delivery. They wheeled me out one door, and there I was! I had my own room (identical to the one I will have when I actually delivery – which is so nice it’s like you’re in a hotel.) I had two belt type things strapped around my belly – one monitored the baby’s heart rate, and another monitored me. I also had a little button I had to push whenever I felt him move – which was a ton! He was digging all of the excitement. :) (Or annoyed by it – hard to say.) Anyways, during the 1 1/2 hours I was hooked up they saw several of the "irritations" - nothing more though. Yay! All the tests came back fine too, except one that said I was slightly dehydrated. Apparently that, plus being on your feet more (which I was this weekend) can cause the increase in BH. Everything else is just fine and he’s staying put to cook some longer.
I was never all that worried, but it’s nice that they suggested I come in to do all of that. I love my OB (she was actually who was on call last night and who discharged me) and it was reassuring to know that everything is fine.
So that’s how I spent almost 4 ½ hours of my day yesterday! Now I’m just taking it easy and making sure to get enough water!