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But for now, I hope you enjoy the third and final part of Pregnant Pause, which will bring you up to speed on my journey so far.
My little one’s movements are starting to feel really intense, plus, I find myself feeling out of breath every now and again as her increasing size means that my organs are being squashed.
She’s constantly wriggling and writhing, and some of her movements cause me really sharp pains in the lower left side of my belly. But I have to remind myself that baby is probably as frustrated as I am, as she gets bigger and has less room to manoeuvre in there. Since suffering what’s known as a pulmonary embolism (blood clot to the lungs) in 2009, I’ve dealt with occasional anxiety; the fear of things going wrong, particularly in relation to my health. It really didn’t help when news broke (on August 6) of British singer Gary Barlow’s wife giving birth to a stillborn baby.
I started worrying about my increased risk of clotting during labour, but also about the possible reverse scenario of excessive bleeding if things should go wrong.
I had another emotional moment (Aug 12), when I began reasoning with my husband about why I’ve so far been apprehensive about buying things for baby. But after more reassurance, I decided I need to approach this journey with a positive mindset. Add to that the packs of nappies, wipes and the hamper full of baby clothes (right), blankets and bibs that my mother-in-law bought (and washed and ironed) for us – plus the chest of drawers we bought and built (well, my other half built) to house baby’s things – and the goods really are taking over our spare room! Pregnant or not, there are things that wind me up, so it irritates me that any annoyance I express during this time will probably be written off as me being hormonal.
With baby running out of space in the womb, she’s now kicking less and doing what feels either like she’s rolling around or slowly stretching.
I’ve been so struck by her movements that I’ve filmed my belly a couple of times while she’s been wriggling around. One of the running themes of my pregnancy has been people repeatedly telling me “you’re carrying very small.” So many people have expressed shock that my bump hasn’t been bigger for whatever stage of pregnancy I was at. My weight has increased more rapidly in this trimester than in the previous two, and I’m now really feeling it. If I’d needed an ego boost about my physical appearance, I certainly got it at a family wedding (Aug 25).
Several family members and even people I met for the first time, told me how nice I looked, with some saying they didn’t even realise I was pregnant.
Feeling good about myself, I even took to the dance floor to join in with the obligatory-to-every-family wedding Candy dance. At our last scan (at 20 weeks), baby had been in the breech position – bottom first, sitting down (inconveniently, on my bladder) – which is not the ideal position for a baby to be born in. I was so grateful I took notes when my husband and I attended an antenatal class (August 29). I had to chuckle to myself when all the attending dads-to-be were set the task of putting a nappy and a baby grow on a baby doll. At our 34-week scan (August 31), my husband and I saw just how much baby has grown, and we smiled when we saw her nose and mouth, which appeared to be kissing the screen!
I suddenly hoped that this wasn’t a sign of things to come; that this little child isn’t planning to embarrass me with defiance in years from now!
The business of journalism requires a lot of planning; scheduling in advance to decide what will run in the paper when.
For example,last week, I received a press release for a new show called Doc McStuffins; an animated series which has a black character as its star and is set to launch on Disney Junior UK in October. I love a good animation anyway, but having a little one will give me a proper excuse to tune in! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous; not only about giving birth, but also about the road ahead once baby is born.
Though I have a wonderful husband and won’t be going on this parenting journey alone, I feel that it will be my responsibility in particular to guide my daughter on certain matters.
But for now, I’m praying for my baby’s safe arrival into the world – and for at least a few hours of sleep each day once she gets here!
Throughout my journey, I haven’t missed the oppotunity to ask some of my interviewees with children for their top tips on parenting.
My advice to you would be to acknowledge from the beginning that motherhood is the greatest challenge you will ever have. As much as you want your children to listen to you, as a parent you need to listen to them.
ABC News reports that Courtney Baker took more than a year to write this letter to her doctor.
Baker’s doctor advised her to have an abortion because they found out her child had Down syndrome.
But she refused to do so, and a year later she wrote a moving letter to her doctor, a letter she knew she needed to write when she had the baby. A friend recently told me of when her prenatal specialist would see her child during her sonograms, he would comment, “He’s perfect.” Once her son was born with Down syndrome, she visited that same doctor. Because, you see, Emersyn has not only added to our quality of life, she’s touched the hearts of thousands. This letter reminds me of what Rich Mullins told his sister, who was upset over her newborn having a birth defect that would require multiple surgeries.


I hope this doctor, whoever he is, is filled with God’s love so that he truly understands what this mother is trying to tell him.
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During the 5th & 6th week of pregnancy the placenta and umbilical cord have developed and the tiny embryo that will become your baby is being nourished within your body.
From the 8th week, even though it is still very tiny your embryonic baby's heart is beating fairly steadily, organs begin to function and fingers and toes begin to form. I’m also still getting occasional heartburn and back ache, as well as dealing with the frequent need to use the loo.
So, unsurprisingly, pregnancy has provided its challenges, with worries popping up every now and again.
My worry drove me to tears, but thankfully, my other half was on hand with reassuring words and a whole heap of tissues! I admitted that it was anxiety about doing things ‘too soon,’ for fear that things could go wrong. So my husband and I jumped on his iPad and (finally) ordered the baby goods he’d previously earmarked online (God bless Amazon). But I accept that on some occasions, I probably am being affected by my hormones – I just can’t be sure when! Sometimes her movements create what feels like a rippling sensation, sometimes it makes my insides feel sore, and other times, it causes me intense, cramp-like pain.
I find it amazing (though slightly weird) watching my tummy move up and down, sometimes slowly, sometimes in a quick and intense motion, as baby pushes against me.
Now that I’m over eight months gone, many have still insisted that I’m carrying small – but I feel like a whale! I take the lift or the escalator where possible, as climbing too many stairs leaves me feeling like I’ve completed a marathon. For the occasion, I’d found a lovely black dress with a toga-style front, which hung nicely over my bump, almost hiding it. I’d spent the day before getting my hair and nails done, so I did feel like I scrubbed up quite well! Later that night, I had to wonder if baby had picked up the steps as I struggled to get sleep thanks to her dancing around in my belly!
Thankfully, we discovered at our next appointment with the obstetrician (August 28), that baby has turned and is now lying in the desired birth position: head first. The poor fellas looked lost, but they quickly followed my husband’s lead as he successfully clothed the little doll.
But I couldn’t help but shake my head when, once again (just as she had done at the last scan), baby refused to move to a position that would enable the doctor to take certain measurements. I was concerned when the doctor told us that baby’s stomach is a little smaller than it should be at this stage, but I was reassured when the doctor said that they’d keep a close eye on this, and that it wasn’t a cause for alarm. The show follows a little girl called Doc (above) who can talk to the stuffed animal and toy worlds – and they talk to her too, especially when they need her help repairing a stitch or bandaging a boo-boo. From teaching her to appreciate her natural hair, to ensuring she doesn’t ever feel that she has to adhere to European standards of beauty, I know that if I want my daughter to become a strong woman, I have to set the example. It has the potential to make you the best person you could ever be, and it’s the most amazing love you’ll ever know. You need to make sure you have time for you and your partner, as well as time for your children. Also, I’ve had to learn to exercise a quality, which I don’t have much of at all, and that’s patience! Baker rejected the idea, but her doctor explained to her that if she had the baby, her quality of life would considerably diminish and asked her to reconsider having an abortion.
While I was so grateful for my friend’s experience, it filled me with such sorrow because of what I should have had. The most difficult time in my life was made nearly unbearable because you never told me the truth.
His sister said she was angry with God and wondered what she had done wrong to deserve this. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. You are likely to experience more frequent urination, your breasts will be increasingly sensitive, and you may feel the need for a quieter pace of living with increased rest.
Many of the uncomfortable symptoms, including morning sickness, tend to fade away after week 12, and are replaced by that "glow" that often surrounds pregnant women. Then, I started thinking about my own baby’s birth, and the fact that it has been decided I should be induced so the doctors can, to a degree, control the process. Cot, pram, baby bath, bottles, steriliser and a video monitor (husband’s choice – men and their gadgets), were amongst our purchases. So when my husband has put some of my reactions down to my hormones, I’ve occasionally found myself quite annoyed! Interestingly, she often tends to move more when my husband talks to her (well, to my belly).


Turning from one side to the other in bed is a real chore as I have to carefully move my belly over.
It was a bit short for my liking, so I teamed it with a yellow maternity skirt to add a splash of colour (right). From learning about the three stages of labour – the opening of the cervix, the actual birth of baby, and the delivery of the placenta (which sounded yucky) – to hearing about the different forms of pain relief (gas and air sound like a Godsend), to finding out where we have to go to register baby’s birth, there really was a lot to take in. So allowing your child to spend a couple of hours with the grandparents, friends or the childminder while you go for dinner could be time very well spent. So when other people want to hold your baby – which they will – you have to try not to be too possessive. Are you curious how big your developing baby is, what your baby looks like as it grows inside you, and when you'll feel it move? Take a peek inside the womb to see how a baby develops from month to month. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Because of this, you may need to remove some items from your environment or move yourself away from them to alleviate a feeling of sickness. You will usually feel more serene and at peace with the world and are likely to wholeheartedly enjoy being pregnant.
And as the items started arriving that week, I marveled at how a person that’s so small requires so much stuff!
Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site.
I told you her name, and you asked us again if we understood how low our quality of life would be with a child with Down syndrome. I’m sad the intricate details and the miracle of those sweet little fingers and toes, lungs and eyes and ears don’t always give you pause.
It really is tiring having to move around with extra body weight that has been accumulated in a relatively short space of time. But I tell my son every day that I love him, and the other day, he put his hands on my face and said ‘I love you daddy.’ So the hard work is worth it.
I’m sad you were so very wrong to say a baby with Down syndrome would decrease our quality of life. This will show your baby moving and responding and will reveal facial features and expressions and also gender. Within about three days after conception, the fertilized egg is dividing very fast into many cells.
By now your baby's hearing is developed, and by week 24 he or she is waking and sleeping regularly.
It passes through the fallopian tube into the uterus, where it attaches to the uterine wall. Development at 4 WeeksAt this point the baby is developing the structures that will eventually form his face and neck. The heart and blood vessels continue to develop. And the lungs, stomach, and liver start to develop. A home pregnancy test would show positive. Development at 12 WeeksThe baby measures about 2 inches and starts to make its own movements.
Development at 20 WeeksThe baby weighs about 10 ounces and is a little more than 6 inches long. Soon -- if you haven't already -- you'll feel your baby move, which is called "quickening." Time for an UltrasoundAn ultrasound is usually done for all pregnant women at 20 weeks. During this ultrasound, the doctor will make sure that the placenta is healthy and attached normally and that your baby is growing properly. You can see the baby's heartbeat and movement of its body, arms, and legs on the ultrasound. You can usually find out whether it's a boy or a girl at 20 weeks.Shown here is a 2D ultrasound (inset) contrasted with a 4D ultrasound, both at 20 weeks.
Development at 24 WeeksThe baby weighs about 1.4 pounds now and responds to sounds by moving or increasing his pulse. With the inner ear fully developed, the baby may be able to sense being upside down in the womb. Development at 28 WeeksThe baby weighs about 2 pounds, 6 ounces, and changes position often at this point in pregnancy. Birthing classes prepare you for many aspects of childbirth, including labor and delivery and taking care of your newborn.    Development at 32 WeeksThe baby weighs almost 4 pounds and is moving around often. Development at 36 WeeksBabies differ in size, depending on many factors, such as gender, the number of babies being carried, and size of the parents. He is an early term baby if born between 37-39 weeks, at term, if he's 39-40 weeks and late term if he's 41-42 weeks, Birth!A mother's due date marks the end of her 40th week.
The delivery date is calculated using the first day of her last period. Based on this, pregnancy can last between 38 and 42 weeks with a full-term delivery happening around 40 weeks.



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