Pregnancy and birth

27 weeks

Put on your party hats and release the balloons, people: we’ve hit the final week of the second trimester!  Hurrah!  It’s only 77 days to go until we get to 38 weeks.  That’s really not very long, is it?

Time for the weekly baby check-in.  Huggies says:

Your baby can be measured from its head to its heels from this week on. It’s spending less of its time curled up and more time unfurled.  An average length at 27 weeks gestation is 38 centimetres. Your baby is growing quickly, with more all important fat forming under its skin and around its vital organs.   Your baby is less skinny than it was and is filling out.

Big changes with your baby’s eyes this week, with more maturation of their retinas.  This important light sensitive portion of the eye is essential for your baby to see properly.  They’ve been able to open and close their eyes for a couple of weeks now, so there’s lots of visual development all around.

Your baby has learnt how to soothe itself and can now suck its thumb when it wants to. This simple pleasure is not so much an involuntary act from 27 weeks on. It is still breathing the amniotic fluid in and out of its lungs, practicing for those all important first breaths when it is born. All of your baby’s oxygen needs are still being catered for by the placenta.

Is it just me, or is the idea of an unborn baby sucking its thumb one of the cutest things ever?  So sweet!

OHBaby says:

Your baby now weighs around 900 grams and is 38 cms in length (including extended legs). By this first week of the third trimester, your baby looks similar to what he or she will look like at birth, except thinner and smaller. The lungs, liver, and immune system still need to fully mature, but if your baby was born now, he or she would have at  least an 85% chance of surviving.

As your baby’s hearing continues to develop, he or she may start to recognize your voice as well as your partner’s. Sounds may be muffled, though, because the ears are still covered with vernix, the thick waxy coating that protects the skin from becoming chapped by the amniotic fluid.

Given that our boy was over 900 grams in (estimated) weight a couple of weeks ago, who even knows how big these monster babies are now?  We’ll have another growth scan in a couple of weeks, so we’ll be able to check in on them then.

And Babycentre chips in with:

Your baby now weighs nearly 2 pounds/ 875 grams and measures 14.5 inches/ 36.6  centimetres from head to toe. Her eyes open and close, she sleeps and wakes at  regular intervals and she may suck a finger or thumb.

Sweet dreams, little baby! Some experts believe that babies begin to dream by  the 28th week. What do they dream about? No one knows for certain but the brain  is active this week as well. The characteristic grooves on the brain’s surface  start to appear and more brain tissue develops.

Chalk up any rhythmic  movement you may be feeling to a case of the hiccups, which are common this week  and throughout the pregnancy. Your baby has them but is breathing in amniotic fluid than air. A paper bag can’t cure her  hiccups, obviously, but an episode usually lasts only momentarily. The sensation  for you may be strange but not unpleasant.

I think I mentioned baby hiccups last week – our girl also had them the other day.  It is such a funny feeling (particularly when you can also see your bump moving.

The question of foetal dreams is an interesting one – I’m guessing that our boy could be dreaming about confined spaces (thanks to his sister sitting on him), and our girl could be dreaming about kicking back and ruling the world…

Now, I’m not going to bother quoting the trite ‘this is what’s going on with you’ updates this week, because it’s easier just to tell you what it’s like!  Somebody on the secret fertility Facebook group to which I belong commented the other day that it’s sometimes quite difficult to complain about anything to do with pregnancy when you’ve had a real struggle to get pregnant in the first place: you feel like you shouldn’t be ungrateful, given how lucky you are to be having children at all.  I can totally relate to this – I feel really guilty any time I moan (and I feel like I’m moaning a lot, although lovely Tristan keeps telling me that I’m not).  So please take it as read that I know how incredibly lucky I am to be pregnant at all, and that I recognise that this is only a few months of my life and that I’ll most probably forget all about the crappy bits once the babies are here.  OK?  Good.

Right.  I’m now well and truly the size of somebody at full term with a singleton, so if you can imagine/remember how uncomfortable it is to be heavily pregnant, and then contemplate what it’s like to know that you’ve got up to 11 more weeks of getting even bigger and more uncomfortable, you’ll be able to guess how I’m feeling at the moment.  I commented to somebody yesterday that a twin pregnancy must be deliberately designed to be pretty hard, in order to make you actually look forward to the prospect of having two crying newborns in your house!

My main pregnancy complaint at the moment is the on-going discomfort of heaving around this big bump.  If I’m on my feet for too long (and some days we’re talking a matter of minutes), I get pain around my ribs and have to lie down in order to relieve it.  and then, when I lie down, my bump crowds in on my lungs and leaves me feeling unpleasantly breathless.  Even doing supposedly innocuous things, like sitting in the car, is enough to make me feel pretty fed up.  Sunday’s drive back from visiting friends in Taupo was exhausting.  And I had that weird restless leg syndrome thing going on.  There are few things more infuriating, I reckon.

And I’m so flipping tired.  When I flew down to Wellington for a day last Thursday (I know, not my brightest idea), I was absolutely exhausted before I’d even arrived.  I know that I need to start taking it easier and doing less, but I just can’t shake the feeling that I’ll be seen by the world at large as a lazy cow if I start lying around now.  And I’m also worried that, by ‘giving in’ and not doing much now, the next 11 weeks will really crawl by.

The tiredness is not helped by my growing inability to sleep well.  To give you a frame of reference, I’ve been up since 3.30 am today – after waking up for the third or fourth time and failing to get comfortable again, I gave up and joined Tui in the living room.  And later today I’m due to go to the doctor, and then pick up some high chairs, and then visit Emma and her new babies.  And I’ll have to walk Tui as well.  I’m worn out just thinking about it.

So long story short: I’m feeling a bit fed up with being heavily pregnant!  I really can’t wait to meet these babies of ours…

8 thoughts on “27 weeks

  1. Forget about walking Tui – get your lovely neighbour to do it for you. That family adores Tui so ask them to help. Plan to do only one thing; eg collect the high chairs OR go visit a friend with her love new babies. Prioritise – that is the name of the game. Do what you need to do rather than what you want to do. A mantra to live by – needs not wants! Time passes quickly if you sleep lots but sleep doesn’t need to be in one long consecutive lump, (sorry about that), you can have naps of an hour or so, wake up and get into another comfy position and then go back to sleep again.
    I do feel for you. It is a pity you don’t have a large deep bath that you could float in. And you are allowed to moan so, as my part time secretary Lynda says, fill your boots!

    1. I know you’re right about only doing one thing each day – yesterday ended up being a bit manic, so I’m not going anywhere today.

      I will get Sarah and co. to walk Tui if I absolutely can’t do it, but I’m not at that stage yet, and I think it’s good for me to get some fresh air each day, so I’ll keep driving her down to the beach for a little trot around – I walk so slowly on the beach these days that I’m regularly overtaken by spritely 80 year olds!

      Yes, a big, deep bath would be lovely! I did buy some maternity togs last week and am joining an antenatal aqua exercise class next Tuesday (with a couple of friends from my antenatal class) for some very gentle exercise. It will be lovely to feel weightless for a while!

  2. I agree with Pauline – one thing a day. If I have any energy for a second thing then I call it a very good day!
    I also agree with the guilt thing. I feel guilty because I know I am lucky to be pregnant when other women can’t be. I really do! But still I have to say it – I am surprised by how much I hate being pregnant. It’s painful, uncomfortable, the baby is so low she’s nearly sitting on my knees etc. I just count myself lucky I don’t have any complications to deal with too!

    1. Steph, I feel exactly the same – I am so grateful that we haven’t had to deal with any real complications, but the endless litany of small niggles really starts to get to me after a while. I went to my GP yesterday and had four or five things to cover: got to get your money’s worth, after all!

      Luckily it’s not too much longer for either of us. Yay!

  3. I hear and agree. I feel like I have even less to moan about, as I’m only 23 weeks with the one bump in tow but hells bells….. this weekend was genuinely one of the worst ever. I haven’t been that ill since I was nearly hospitalised in Australia due to extreme sea sickness on a Live-Aboard trip to get my scuba certificate. They had to get me back to shore within 24 hours I was in such a bad way. This weekend – well, the norovirus or whatever gastro joy it was, is something I never want to go through again – especially when there is a hyperactive baby kicking your stomach and bowel at every opportunity. It has made me totally freak out about labour – safe to say, I do not handle pain and discomfort well!

    Finally back at work today but still not 100% and stomach in a bad way. My ribs are killing me and my pelvis hurts all the time.

    And yet I know I am damn lucky to be pregnant and am so thankful that thumper appears to have sailed through the whole experience unscathed, the last thing I should be doing is moaning about the pitfalls of pregnancy! (I can’t silence this little voice in my head most nights which wonders “How on earth and WHY do women do this more than once?!”…..

    1. My sentiments exactly! Thank goodness we’re getting a two-for-one deal, so we know that we’ve got an instant family and I don’t have to go through it all again!

      You poor thing, being so ill! I’m glad that you and Thumper have got through it OK.

  4. You will forget all the crappy parts once the babies are here. Mostly. I still remember having restless legs when I was pregnant with Liam. Horrible. Make the most of the fact that you can rest now, and just do it. There is nothing that you have to do, you don’t have other kids you have to chase after, you should enjoy the peace and quiet while you have it! I loved being pregnant most of the time (the restless legs, and heartburn, were the worst things for me). I would happily do it again – I enjoyed it more than I disliked the bad bits.

    1. I know – I am so lucky that I don’t have to work all day in an office, or run around after other kids! And thank goodness I’m not in England, with a two hour daily commute… I’m pretty sure that I would have had to give it all up by now. This week I seem to be steadily falling apart, sadly – I’ve not got a bung right knee, a really painful tendon in my left foot, and some seriously buggered left rib ligaments. Maybe I’m just too old for this pregnant carry-on!!

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