How my baby's growing:My 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 (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in my 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.
How my life's changing:
My uterus — which was entirely tucked away inside my pelvis when I conceived — now reaches up under my rib cage. If you could peek inside my womb, you'd see that there's more baby than amniotic fluid in there now. My ballooning uterus is crowding my other internal organs, too, which is why I probably have to urinate more often and may be dealing with heartburn a little more.
From here on out, I'll start seeing my Dr. every week. I've created a birth plan to help us focus on specifics - like who'll be present, what pain management techniques I want to try, and where I want the baby to stay after I deliver. My greatest hopes are to deliver this baby as naturally as possible. Nowadays that can mean a lot of things, basically people say if you deliver vaginally you've had a natural birth experience. I on the other-hand would like to attempt to go as drug free as possible. Childbirth is unpredictable however, and chances are I won't follow my plan to the letter, but thinking about my choices ahead of time — and sharing my preferences with my caregiver — takes some of the anxiety out of the process.