Third trimester: A miracle in progress

At last, you are in to the home stretch. You may be experiencing all sorts of conflicting emotions. On one hand you are eager to hold the baby in your arms. On the other, you can’t help but wonder what kind of mom you’ll make. And just like the bride who goes screaming down to the altar, cold feet may be setting in.

So far, your day-to-day concerns haven’t been about labor and birth, but now, the reality of getting that baby out of your body is an inevitable fact. Suddenly, friends and family and acquaintances dump sensationalized birth stories upon you. Advice is everywhere, and there is no where to hide. How could you possibly hide with a belly the size of Mount Everest, anyway?

The third trimester has its shares of aches and pains. Still, you manage to decorate the nursery. With birth pending, you suddenly feel crazed to complete old projects, and get the house in ship-shape for Junior.

Speaking of which, the little one, now at 29 weeks, weighs two pounds and nine ounces and is 13 and three-fourths inches long. His or her lungs have been busy creating surfactant, a substance needed for breathing. If born today, your baby’s lungs would probably do just fine on their own; however, the last few weeks are important for the finishing touches of lung development.

By 32 weeks, your baby measures 15 and one-fourth inches long and weighs three pounds twelve ounces. Brain development is rapid. The eyes can now track movement and the iris’ respond to light and dark. The baby may move and sleep in more definable patterns, thanks to visual clues from outside light that filters in through the uterus.

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