The muppets are officially 35 weeks corrected gestation today. That means that today is the very first day they would have stood a chance of coming home without an extended NICU stay. It’s been seven weeks. I like to think of them as being the Pod B Seniors. (The giraffe can be the team mascot – since that’s the brand name of the isolettes all the NICU babes live in.)
The NICU is at capacity again; the last time they were full was when our little dudes were admitted. Yet, so many of the new babies are “older” – 32-34 weekers. I admit to many bouts of jealousy. I look around our pod and see the brand new residents with no need for oxygen assistance. They immediately take their bottles with no need for feeding tubes. And they only stay for a week or two.
So I decided to take a look back at what life would have been like if I was still waiting to meet them. One of my favorite sites during pregnancy details the development of each week. Interestingly, my actual experience wasn’t terribly far off.
Your child – 35 weeks
Due date: Aug. 23, 2010
July 19 – July 25
Do you know the difference between real and false (Braxton Hicks contractions) labor pains?
You betcha! I had real labor pains for many moons. The docs gave the three of us Indocin to stem the contractions. (Dr. Meyer, our perinatologist, called the twins “little Indocin addicts.”)
It’s normal to be nervous about labor and delivery.
Yeah, no kidding! Especially if you’re terrified your babes are too young to face this great world, even if the tiny ones appear to think they’re big bad boys. I was wheeled into the OR muttering “healthy babies” feverishly and incessantly.
Planning to breastfeed? Ask your hospital’s labor ward if they provide on-site lactation consultants, or interview consultants you may want to work with after the baby is born.
They do. Regardless of how long after birth you need them.
Your prenatal visits may be weekly now that you’re in the home stretch.
Well, they’re not prenatal visits so much as postnatal. And they’re not weekly, they’re daily. But back before the muppets arrived…nope – they were daily then too. (Granted, I was living in the hospital.)
Make a tape of music to listen to during labor. Pick songs that perk you up, inspire you, or relax you.
Any calm labor plans went out the window when the muppets decided to grace us with their presence three months before any birth plan could be created. But I’ve got songs for the boys now: songs I love and songs that ones I love have sent their way.
Only 5 percent of babies are born on their due date, so don’t worry if yours comes and goes and you’re still waiting.
Seriously? Do I even need to comment on this one?
How your baby’s growing:
Your baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that he’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds. Because it’s so snug in your womb, he isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.
Only 5 ¼? Although our little guys aren’t quite there, the little porkers are already tipping the scales at 4.6 pounds. Not bad for guys already using a ton of energy out in the world. But yes, they will be spending the next few weeks (months/years) putting on weight.
Search and Destroy started a new medication today. Supposedly it may help with their saturation swings and get them off the oxygen sooner. (Search’s back on his nasal cannula. He got tired.) They’re both getting so close.
I have high hopes for the next two weeks. Weeks 35 and 36 are the weeks twins are often expected, arrive and go home. So even if they’re not quite ready to come home, they’re well on their way. 35 weeks along, seven weeks old and almost five pounds – they’re big boys now!