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Week 24

Jul02

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week by week pregnancyYour Baby:

  • Is just about a foot long now. I believe it is a tradition to consume a foot-long sub sandwich or hot dog in your baby’s honor at this point. I also believe I just made that up.
  • Is still very skinny looking, with translucent skin, but this will all start changing soon.
  • Is officially at the edge of viability, and most hospitals would automatically attempt every possible life-saving option if your baby were to be born now.

You:

    • Will undergo the glucose screening test at some point between now and 30 weeks to check for gestational diabetes. It’s done at a routine prenatal visit and involves chugging down an incredibly sickly-sweet beverage. Then you wait an hour and give a blood sample. And then you get someone else to drive your ass home, because you will be 1) passed out cold from a sugar crash or 2) howling in pain from a headache or 3) both. I brought a book to pass the time but fell asleep 20 minutes after the shot of sugar and woke up drooling on my husband, and I felt like crap for hours afterwards. But I passed! (A positive screen does not necessarily mean you have GD; it just means you have to get a whole OTHER, more-monitored test.)
    • Oh! But then I had a huge baby anyway, and this one nurse in the recovery area at the hospital was all, “DIDN’T YOU HAVE THE GLUCOSE SCREEN? WE NEED TO TEST YOUR BABY’S BLOOD SUGAR BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY YOU HAD GD BECAUSE BABIES AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THAT BIG.”
    • I did not have undiagnosed gestational diabetes, and Noah’s blood sugar was FINE, THANK YOU.
    • Oh, I’m sorry, were these bullet points supposed to be about you, or something?
    • Are probably noticing more aches and pains as we come to the final couple weeks of the second trimester, particularly in your lower back, hips and other joints.
    • Sciatica! Eeeeeeeeeee! Stopit!

Two or three weeks ago, after listening to me complain about yet another crappy night of sleep, my husband asked if I wanted one of those big full-body pregnancy pillows. I said no. They’re too hot, our bed is too small, I had one before and didn’t really think it did anything a regular old pillow shoved between my legs couldn’t have done just as well. They’re a scam! Slap “maternity” onto anything and instantly charge $49.99 for it! *shakes frugal fist in direction of baby store*

My husband is away on business this week, and in equal parts celebration of having the entire bed to myself and total sleep-deprived desperation, I went out and bought a Snoogle. (GEDDIT? It’s a noodle that you snuggle with. Oh, barf.) Unlike the pillow I had last time (which was promptly claimed as a bed by my dog while I was off giving birth), which WAS hot and way too easy to kick away in my sleep, this one actually stays put and is pretty darn satisfying to cuddle up to. I still woke up quite a few times during the night due to baby kicks and bladder calls, but I found it was MUCH easier to re-curl myself around the pillow and fall instantly back to sleep than with a regular pillow (which involved blindly digging around the covers for it, shoving it back into place, changing my mind and rolling over, then fluffing the pillows under my head and readjusting everything one last time — right before realizing that I was already wide awake.).

The other persistent Husband Question I’ve been getting is the viability one. “When can the baby make it? If you were to go into labor right now, would the baby survive?” I don’t know where this flavor of paranoia comes from, but it’s clearly at the forefront of his mind — pregnancy is all me, all mine. He gets to stand by helplessly and supply the ice cream and scoop the litter box while I’m a ticking time bomb of mystery. I think he’s looking forward to the birth just to get the baby away from my incompetent, coffee-chugging hands. (The fact that his brother’s wife went into premature labor at 33 weeks earlier this year probably doesn’t help much either, even though our niece was ultimately just fine.)

So he was happy to hear that we’ve sailed past 24 weeks and that with every week that ticks by, our baby’s chances improve in case something goes wrong. That said, I’m still gonna make y’all listen to the signs of early labor and symptoms you should absolutely NOT ignore at this point:

1: An increase or change in your vaginal discharge, especially if it becomes watery or tinged with blood (even just the slightest bit of pink or brown).
2: Abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramps.
3: More than four uterine contractions in an hour, even if they don’t hurt or aren’t timed regularly.
4: Sudden pressure in your pelvic area — like your baby is bearing down on your cervix — or intense pain in your lower back (especially if you haven’t had any pain there).
5: Decrease in fetal movement. I’m not a fan of the set kick counts — I know MY babies don’t preform on cue or on any sort of set schedule, but at this point, if your baby does have established patterns (active at night, or after meals) that it suddenly deviates from OR you go about 24 hours without feeling any kicks, call your doctor or midwife immediately.
6: A high fever of 100 degrees or higher, or sudden vomiting that is also accompanied by pain or fever.
7: Blurred vision, severe headaches and dizziness.
8: Sudden swelling of your face, hands, legs or ankles, or suddenly gaining more than four pounds in a week.

These are annoying, I know, since so many of them can actually be completely normal. (I get headaches. I still have to occasionally bolt to the toilet to puke. And let’s not even DISCUSS the many shades and textures of weirdness that is Normal Pregnancy Vaginal Discharge.) But even if everything ultimately turns out to be perfectly okay, no one is going to think you’re an idiot for calling the doctor or getting checked out at Labor & Delivery. (I ended up there last time over Suspicious Watery Fluids and Decreased Fetal Movement. We spent the night listening to our suddenly wide-awake child kick the hell out of me over the monitors while the Ph testing strips consistently came up negative for amniotic fluid. But I’m still glad we went.)

Baby Registry checklist time!

BABY GROOMING & SAFETY

Buy Now:

    • Baby bath tub. Something small enough to be used in your kitchen sink and your bathtub, and preferably one that folds up or stores easily. Don’t go berserk on this — you won’t be using it that long.
    • Towels and washcloths. Listen, people looooooove the baby towels. They will buy them for you by the truckload — itty bitty squares of pink and blue cloth and tiny hooded towels embroidered with ducks and ridiculous little infant bathrobes. We owned them all too, and while they were fun for photos, their practicality soon wore off. The towels are suddenly too small to cover your baby’s legs, the washcloths start disappearing in the wash, and seriously. A bathrobe. For an infant. At some point we figured out that you are, in fact, allowed to use regular towels and washcloths on a baby (provided you’ve switched to an allergen-free laundry detergent for everything, which is just a good idea, really).
    • Gentle tear-free shampoo and body wash. (Oh God, this stuff too. We had 34 bottles of varying brands and scents and purposes by the time Noah was born. Those little baby bodies are SMALL, people. You need one bottle! I’m sure you’ll make it back to the store at some point before you run out.)
    • Baby grooming kit (brush, comb, nail clippers, nail file, etc.)
    • Ear and rectal thermometers. (Get niiiice digital ones. You’ll cherish them for years of illnesses.)
    • Nasal bulb sucky thing. (Yeah, they’ll give you one at the hospital, but having two is nice, since at some point you’ll get thoroughly grossed out by it and toss it, OR your baby will only allow you to clean his or her nose if he or she is allowed to suck on the spare one. Yeah.)
    • Humidifier/vaporizer.
    • Petroleum jelly (UNSCENTED), baby oil, lotion, cotton balls and swabs.
    • Teething rings and teething pain relief options (tablets and/or numbing gel). Yeah, they aren’t born teething but if I put this in the “Buy Later” category you will all curse me when you forget to buy it and four months later your baby suddenly erupts in teeth in the the middle of the night and DAMN YOU, AMYYYYYYYY.
    • Diapers! Yeah, you’ll need a slew of these. A couple small packages of the newborn size and a giant box of the size ones should cover you for a couple weeks. Maybe.*
    • Wipes! Some newborn skin cannot tolerate wipes of any kind at first, while other babies are fine. Get fragrance and alcohol-free wipes, and also a giant bottle of Cetaphil to use instead in case of a bad rash or skin irritation. Travel-sized wipes for the diaper bag are a good idea too.
    • Diaper rash cream. Lots of it. Different brands too.
    • First aid kit
    • Baby monitor

Buy Later:

    • Any type of baby-proofing product. Seriously. They aren’t born mobile and lack the hand-eye coordination required to stick forks into the outlets.
    • Bath toys. Newborns? Not big toy fans, no matter how precious that teeny rubber duck may seem.
    • Potty seats and step stools.

*Or cloth diapers.

Here’s a complete online version of our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist and here’s the downloadable & printable version of our Baby Registry Checklist in case you’re going to the store (like they did way back in the 90s).

Don’t forget to visit Amalah’s Pregnancy Calendar from Weeks 22 & 23 when she first starts the baby registry discussion.

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If you’re considering an online baby registry, we recommend our affiliate Amazon’s Baby Registry, which offers free 90-day returns on baby store purchases. You can even add items from other websites onto to your baby registry.

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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17 Responses to “Week 24”

  1. LizPres Jul 02 at 2:24 pm Reply Reply

    Cloth Diapers: We are doing it, and really like it. Buy a slew of newborn ones — even though we didn’t use them until his cord fell off, they pee and poop A LOT at the beginning. By the time our baby graduated to bigger sizes, two dozen diapers is plenty. But we needed more covers — so we have seven covers and 24 diapers now, and needed about 48 diapers and the same seven covers (although teenier) when our baby was born.

  2. Elizabeth Jul 02 at 3:38 pm Reply Reply

    We used FuzziBunz pocket diapers for the first year, and loved them. But if you are using cloth, it’s nice to have disposables to use for the first week or so, so that no one has to do the extra laundry when they are supposed to be doting on the new mama and her baby. And actually the diapers didn’t seem to fit properly until the baby was about two weeks old (and she was only a couple ounces smaller than Noah at birth), so the disposables were good to have then. We did fine with 12 FuzziBunz (with a few extra inserts) and doing laundry every day. (We had a small, front-loading washer at that point, so 12 seemed like a good-sized load, and we didn’t have to do extra rinses or anything).
    Also, my daughter is now 18 months and I am still using the baby bathtub most of the time because I can’t figure out how to wash her hair without getting water in her face unless she is reclined like that.
    Someone gave me a really thick hooded towel for the baby that was just perfect. The ones I had picked out in a pack with some wash cloths at Target were just too thin.

  3. eva Jul 02 at 3:44 pm Reply Reply

    1) Not everyone has the glucose test. I didn’t because I wasn’t at high risk for GD and because a positive result would have led to more testing, more worrying etc. The midwife I had was fine with my decision.
    2) We don’t use wipes. Just bought a crapload of washcloths and a squirt bottle (for water, just plain water) and voila! Instantly soft moist cloths for the baby’s bum, face, hands etc.
    3) We use cloth diapers. Seems that I am a closet granola hippie chick. Started with 2 dozen newborn sized diapers – a mixture of prefolds, fitteds, and fuzzi bunz. Worked great.

  4. Lindsey Jul 02 at 3:45 pm Reply Reply

    One more thing you don’t want to be with out at 3am- Mylecon drops. Because lets face it, “colic” actually maens “I’m sorry your kid is screaming for hours on end but really we have no idea what the problem is. That’ll be $100.” Let’s rule out gas first eh?

  5. Luba Jul 02 at 3:46 pm Reply Reply

    baby wipes – even the alcohol free ones can cause diaper rash. What I have found that works great and with little to no diaper rash side effects – just plain ol water (in a small spray bottle) and gauze. I keep travel size wipes in the diaper bag for convenience though.

  6. Dr. Maureen Jul 03 at 9:44 am Reply Reply

    If you want to use cloth wipes, you can use the Peri bottle from the hospital as a squirt bottle for your baby’s butt. Also, consider BumGenius cloth diapers, because they are AWESOME. FuzziBunz are OK too, but BG’s rule.
    (I have a whole how-to thing on my blog if anyone is interested.)

    • Susy Sep 05 at 12:28 pm Reply Reply

      HI Dr Maureen – what’s your blog’s website?
      My husband doesn’t want to do cloth diapers because he thinks the washer machine will be cover on poop all the time, and that his clothes will end up smelling like poop!
      :P

      • Isabel Kallman
        Isabel Kallman Sep 05 at 3:46 pm Reply Reply

        Susy, Amalah has written lots here on cloth diapers: including getting poop off the cloth diapers ;)  Here’s the link to our Cloth Diaper posts: http://alphamom.com/tag/cloth-diapers/  (it’s in the order of most recent first, but you may want to go in reverse order)

  7. Karen Jul 03 at 11:48 am Reply Reply

    Diaper service yay!
    Cloth diapers… and no laundry. I don’t actually have the baby yet, but I think it’s going to be AWESOME, in so far as methods of dealing with baby pee and poop can be awesome. For the DC area peeps, there’s moderndiaperservice.com.
    Shortly after the 6 weeks of service I got my mom to buy us runs out, we may start doing our own… after all, we’re going to have a bunch of our own cloth diapers anyway, because they are so very useful in so very many ways… so… that would be pretty easy, as long as we’re up to the laundry.
    Or we might switch to gDiapers. Or we might give up on the whole endeavor altogether! Who knows!

  8. Kate Jul 03 at 9:28 pm Reply Reply

    Weight gain: I’m due to have a boy in the same week as Amalah and I’m gaining a truly exceptional amount of weight. 10kgs to be precise. Yes, M&Ms and an exercise bike gathering dust may have something to do with it but for god sakes, I’m pregnant! Does that work? Care to take any of my extra kilos?

  9. Melissa Jul 08 at 3:00 pm Reply Reply

    I tried gDiapers and didn’t like them. Having to tear the insert and then swish with a wand and flush… I don’t know about everyone else, but that is damn hard to do when you have a baby who will! not! be! put! down!
    We use cloth. We have Bum Genius 3.0. We bought ‘em because they are one-size fits all. Ok, really, when she was a 6 lbs peanut we used disposables because the cloth were too large. Since she hit 7 and some odd, we’ve been using cloth exclusively.
    The BG are easy to use (outer part works just like disposable, inner part gets stuffed into a pocket). No folding, no pins or snappis, etc.
    We have 30 diapers and wash roughly every three days since she uses 6-8 per day. We line dry to save energy too.

  10. Lorna Oct 28 at 5:30 pm Reply Reply

    I got a snoogle at 13 weeks of pregnancy, after finding a body pillow too hot and bulky – and it is the BEST… i am now 25 weeks along and I watch telly with it curled into a spiral, then change it to folded husband cushion shape as the night wears on and then gradually my husband unfolds it as i end up sleeping… GET ONE… be warned – when i come back to bed from one of my late night toilet trips i often have to prize my husbands sleeping body from being wrapped around the snoogle.

  11. Ebony Jenkins Dec 05 at 12:56 pm Reply Reply

    hay am 24 weeks and all i do is eat eat until i can’t eat no more just playing but am ready to have dis baby

  12. Me Jan 27 at 1:50 pm Reply Reply

    I too would like to give a shout out to the snoogle. I got one early as well, and now at 23 weeks I couldn’t imagine sleeping without it. My husband complained that it is a wall and a bed hog. He also calls it his “replacement”, but then yesterday morning after I got up I turn to the bed only to find him snuggling with the snoogle. The cats like it as well.

  13. Della Apr 27 at 2:46 pm Reply Reply

    Regarding the baby lotions and soaps: If you don’t know which one you LOVE, buy (or ask for) trial size ones. Then, once you’ve tried them all, you can buy a bulk size one of your favorite brand/flavor.
    Like Amy said, baby bodies are small. I use our favorite baby wash as a bubble bath about 50% of the time, my son is 14 months old, and I still have about 1/3 remaining in my second bottle.

  14. Amy M Dec 13 at 2:16 pm Reply Reply

    i actually don’t know anyone that’s used baby oil. did you use this instead of baby lotion? with baby lotion? do tell!

  15. Wendy Dec 31 at 2:14 pm Reply Reply

    Ha! Before I read this article, I actually ate a whole foot long sandwich in one sitting this week (to my horror).  Now I feel better knowing it was all in celebration. Thanks Amy!

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