56 days to go. And that’s to the 38 week date exactly, which is when we’ll have our caesarean if all goes according to plan and the babies stay put until the very end. In the past few days I’ve had a couple of twin mothers urging me to take it as easy as possible and plan to hold on until 38 weeks. I think I’ve been trying to balance being optimistic (“the babies won’t come early, they won’t have to spend any time in NICU, and everything will be straightforward”) with being realistic (I’ve met so many women who have had their twins at anywhere from 29 weeks onwards, often with no prior warning of any complications). But now I’ve decided to abandon my attempts to be realistic: instead, I’m just going to assume that all will be well and we will make it to 15 January! So if you need me, I’ll be on the sofa for the next eight weeks.
Anyway, here’s what’s going on with the babies this week, according to OHBaby:
Now weighing about 3 pounds (1400 grams) and measuring about 10.8 inches (27 centimeters) from crown to rump, your baby continues to gain weight and layers of fat. This fat makes the baby look less wrinkly and will help keep your baby warm after birth.
In preparation for respiration after birth, your baby will mimic breathing movements by repeatedly moving the diaphragm. These movements are rhythmic and may even cause your baby to get a case of hiccups if amniotic fluid is accidentally inhaled. You may feel these hiccups as tiny, rythymic jerks in your belly that feel quite different to the usual kicks.
Your baby’s genitals will be developing, the testes will descend and the clitoris is prominent and not covered by the labia.
Well, it’s good to hear that all the vital baby bits are coming along nicely!
I’ve had baby hiccups from both passengers recently, and it is a very funny feeling. Our girl is a particularly enthusiastic hiccuper – actually, she’s far more active than our boy (although it might be that I’m just noticing her movements far more because he’s much lower down, so his movements feel like weird lurches in my pelvic region – yes, as comfortable as it sounds – whereas her movements are kicks and prods in my bump. We saw the obstetrician today and found that both babies are lying with their backs to my back, so our girl’s limbs are facing into my bump. And they’re still top-and-tailing: he’s breech, and she’s head down.
Huggies has a lot to add regarding baby development:
Your baby is around 27 centimetres this week, from its crown to its rump and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. From now until the next few weeks your baby will literally pack on weight. Enjoy your food and take pleasure in it. You can eat anything in moderation and that includes the occasional treat. If you’re craving particular foods, give in to them. If you don’t you’ll find they are all you can think about. Just remember to avoid foods which may contain Listeria.
More fat is forming under your baby’s skin and it is starting to look rounder and less frail than it has been. The loose folds of skin over its limbs and body are being filled out from the inside until by birth, their skin will be smooth and even a little plump.
Your baby’s brain has grown and their nervous system is almost mature. At birth, they will have millions of neurons just waiting for lots of loving interaction and stimulation from you, to help them form the synapses which will link the neurons together. Don’t wait until your baby is born before you start communicating with him or her. Talking, singing, massaging your tummy and visualising what your baby will look like will all help you form an early emotional connection. Think about keeping a pregnancy journal for the last few weeks. Looking back on this in the years to come will give you and your child something special to share.
Your baby may be lying any which way this week, head up, head down, to the side and even across your belly. The opportunity for it to do complete somersaults is quickly disappearing as it continues to grow and take up space in your uterus.
Your baby’s fingernails are almost at the end of its fingertips this week. Some babies need their nails cut in the first few days after birth, otherwise they scratch their little faces.
I am LOVING my food at the moment (such a nice change from the first trimester), so it’s good to know that all this scoffing is for a good cause.
I guess that this blog is one big pregnancy journal, right? And I must admit that I haven’t been sitting around and singing to my bump, although I do chat to the babies. And I sing along in the car, so the babies should be born with a keen appreciation of the current Top 40.
This morning’s appointment with the obstetrician was entirely uneventful, as always: I’m in excellent health, my blood pressure is great, there’s no protein in my urine, the babies are wriggling away happily, and it’s almost like I was born to produce twins (but please note that I do NOT intend to produce any more after this pregnancy!) We’re now onto a schedule of weekly appointments, so we’re hoping that they’ll continue to be as quick and uneventful. Our next growth scan will be in four weeks, and I guess the only real problem that might come up is if any concerns arise about our girl’s growth, since she’s a bit of a tiddler compared with her brother. However, I think we’ll be OK as long as she keeps growing at the same rate.
Excitingly, other couples from our antenatal group have started having their babies! All of the other couples were a few weeks ahead of us in the pregnancy stakes, so it’s fantastic to see how they’re getting on. Annelise and Nick have welcomed Blake and Hunter, two magnificent boys (weighing in at 3.5 kgs each), and Helen and Frank have had their two girls, Alice and Lauren (a very respectable 2.1 kgs each). I think everybody else will have given birth before Christmas, just leaving us with the January babies.
So long story short: the babies and I are doing really well, and we are now determined to wait out the next eight weeks. I need to start giving the babies some good “hang in there, kids” pep talks.