Well today makes for 36 weeks with Ruth. Only 4 weeks to go. From here on out weight and length are a guess, but she is probably averaging around 19 inches and nearly 6 pounds. She's taking up enough space that I can't eat a full meal, but at the same time I feel like I'm starving every few hours. The good news is while she continues to gain weight in fat until she gets here I might not gain much if any more. A pound a week tops.
She has been able to suck on her thumb for a little while now, but she's finally able to nurse now, since her gums have become hard and ridged in the last week. In fact, the only thing that isn't fully mature yet is her lungs. Though, it's mature enough to function if she were to be born today. By next week she they will be completely matured. Our midwife, Lauren told us today that if she were to be born this week, that there would most likely be no complications, but that they would want us to stay 48 hrs just in case, whereas next week if we had her then we could leave after 12 hours if we really wanted to.
The placenta is taking more and more of a backseat these days. It doesn't produce that many hormones now that your Ruth's system is doing most of that without help now. One really neat thing about this week is that she is getting more and more antibodies through the umblicial cord from me; they can protect her from whooping cough, mumps, measles, and even mundane coughs and flu. She's stocking up on these immunities, since her own immune system won't be fully functional till around 3 months.
Most babies drop this week into the birth canal, I'm pretty sure that Ruth has since I'm not feeling her under my ribs as much now as I was. She's measuring in at station -3, meaning that she's now engaged in my pelvis, but not down so low that I'm waddling. The exciting news is that I'm 40% effaced and dialated to a 2. Lauren doesn't think that Ruth will arrive this week, but said at this rate next week is looking good. I've told Gary one more week I can do, four more weeks I'm not so sure about.
The midwife told us to plan on taking it very easy this week, in fact her words were to do as little as possible (score for me, Gary says boo), since we've been having some regular (those short and spaced out) contractions in the last week. So we plan to lay around the house, go to the beach on Sunday with some friends, and generally enjoy this next week.