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Week 27

Jul22

by

week by week pregnancy
Your Baby:

  • Hey! Remember when I told you your baby was as big as a gummy bear? Oh, about 19 or 20 weeks ago?
  • Now imagine a two-pound, 15-inch-long gummy bear. Yep.
  • Eyelids (which have been fused since 11 or 12 weeks) can now open and close.

You:

  • Are officially in the third trimester! Feel free to celebrate/panic at will.
  • May notice more of that pesky round ligament pain as your belly gets harder and bigger and rounder, or as it starts to dip down a little bit, looking a little less perky and cute than it did a few weeks ago.
  • Depending on your baby’s position, the kicks and movements might be a little painful. Feet up under your ribcage, jabs to the cervix, random body parts of mystery poking you way off to the side, where you didn’t even think those little appendages were long enough to reach.

Glucose Screen Test
I had my glucose screening this week, and I am happy to report that 1) I passed, and 2) it was not as terrible as last time. Don’t quote me on this, but I think it maybe had something to do with the fact that I ate breakfast before chugging the sugary drink of sugary crash sugar goodness. I know! Where do I come up with these off-the-wall hypotheses?

Last time I showed up on an empty stomach. I thought that would be the best and easiest way to ensure that I didn’t accidentally space out and put jelly on my toast or start eating spoonfuls directly from the sugar bowl (there’s to be no sugar — either refined or from fruit — before you take the test). I gulped down the glucose drink in under a minute and experienced the trippiest hour this side of college, with a jittery rush of sugar and then an immediate zonking out on my doctor’s couch. They woke me up for the blood test and sent me on my way to work, where I struggled to stay awake and alert before finally succumbing to a terrible migraine and went home.

This time I ate a piece of whole-grain toast with a little butter. The drink (which reminds me of that orange drink that McDonald’s used to provide for my elementary school field days and such) made me very tired and sluggish, but it wasn’t nearly as dramatic a crash. And no headache. So…if you haven’t had the glucose screen yet, consider EATING SOME DAMN FOOD before you go. Good God. It’s a wonder I don’t just pass out cold from the force of my own brilliance.

Traveling When Pregnant
Speaking of passing out, I talked to my doctor about traveling at this stage of pregnancy. This was also exceedingly brilliant, since I’d already booked non-refundable airline tickets from D.C. to California. He gave me the thumbs up, saying that he’s generally comfortable with pregnant women taking long trips until about 34 weeks (although most airlines will let you fly until 36 weeks domestically and 35 weeks internationally). If you have complications (problems with the placenta, for example, or are at risk for premature labor), then your doctor may give you an earlier cutoff for travel — air or otherwise. Otherwise, you’ll probably hear the same spiel I did:

  • STAY HYDRATED. Duh. And yet, easy to screw up and forget until it’s too late, particularly with the 3-ounce liquid rules for air travel. After getting two unopened bottles of water confiscated from me on my last trip, I showed up at the airport empty handed, assuming I’d be able to stock up once I was through security and near my gate. Surprise! Things didn’t go quite as planned, and by the time the plane was taking off, I was ridiculously parched and suffering from Braxton-Hicks contractions. FAIL.
  • DON’T FAINT. As if long lines at security checkpoints didn’t already suck enough, they put you at an increased risk of fainting. Sit on your suitcase, if you can, and don’t be afraid to loudly announce that you need help if you start blacking out. Fainting during pregnancy is really common and won’t hurt your baby, but obviously big falls or smashing blow to your head is something you should try to avoid. I also messed up on this one, nearly blacking out at a standing-room-only party. My doctor would seriously give me an F in travel, if he read my blogs.
  • TOULA, EAT SOMETHING. It’s easy to eat like crap when you travel. Fast food, impulse-buy candy bars, sugary breakfast pastries and all the soda and coffee your system can handle. The problem is you’re asking your body for kind of a lot here — anxiety, early-morning flights, heavy luggage, walking, standing and OH YEAH, CREATING PRECIOUS HUMAN LIFE — so try to opt for the healthiest choices possible, or pack your own snacks. Avoid excess sugar and sodium in particular, and try to pack as much protein and food of real substance in instead.
  • WALK IT OUT. Okay, so while standing in one place for too long is bad, so is SITTING in one place for too long. I know, I know. Go ahead and bite your pillow because it’s all just too much to remember. If you fly, try to get an aisle seat (also better for ALL THE PEEING you’ll do as a result of staying so nicely hydrated) and walk the aisles at least once an hour. Don’t cross your legs while seated. Once you’re at your destination, try to spend as much time as possible with your feet elevated to prevent swelling.
  • (I had a middle seat on my way out to California, but was just so grateful to be on the plane at all that I didn’t protest, but instead stared at my sleeping seatmate with Eyes of Intensity, looking for any sign that she was awake, and then jumping up and over her any time I saw her eyelids open. On the way back I had a WINDOW seat, which is pretty much the worst idea ever, since my belly and I simply did not fit while trying to climb over a pair of elderly grandmothers who were watching some awful cooking show that involved the innards of a chicken on their in-flight entertainment systems. Luckily, a flight attendant found me an aisle seat in the back of the plane where I was free to get up to urinate to my little heart’s content.)

    Oh Yeah, THIS: My sciatic nerve! Hello, old friend. I was wondering when you were going to show up and cause me UNBEARABLE PARALYZING PAIN.

    New This Time Around: My sciatic nerve! Last time I would get the occasional searing bit of pain down my butt and through my thigh. I could usually walk it off or roll over in bed for it to let up. Now I’m getting these crazy, extended bouts of nerve pain in my lower back, butt and BOTH legs. I can’t even move enough on my own to attempt to walk it off, and generally have just sat there and rocked and moaned until the baby decided to move his precious little self over a few centimeters and relieved me of the pain.

    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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    21 Responses to “Week 27”

    1. Wallydraigle Jul 23 at 7:50 am Reply Reply

      A friend sent me this exercise a while back when I was still waiting tables and having a terrible time with my sciatic nerve. You can ignore all the chatter on the page. Figure 19 is what you’re looking for. It was like magical fairy dust sprinkled across my back. Hard to do lying down without feeling suffocated, so I’d just find a good chair and do it semi-vertical.

    2. Michelle Jul 23 at 8:49 am Reply Reply

      UGH, I wish I had been allowed to eat before the stupid glucose test. I had to do the 3 hour after failing the one hour, but passed (HOORAY!) Also – sciatic pain = horribleness. WTF kid, move over!

    3. Elizabeth Jul 23 at 9:43 am Reply Reply

      I had sciatic pain from about 12 weeks on. Doing a lot of cat-cow worked, as did floating around in the pool (although the pool really only helped things while I was actually there) and sleeping with my Snoogle. Otherwise, it sounds like it’s time for a pregnancy massage! That definitely can make a huge difference.
      Oh, and everyone (including one of my yoga teachers) told me that if my sciatica was that bad while I was pregnant, it was probably going to bother me forever. Not true: my sciatic nerve hasn’t said a word to me since the baby was born.

    4. Islandy Jul 23 at 10:05 am Reply Reply

      I am a massage therapist and also 24 weeks pregnant at the moment, and I can categorically state that a prenatal massage will feel great. I’d be surprised if it’s actually your baby pressing on your sciatic nerve; it’s more likely a muscle acting up due to your new posture. Getting someone to press on that muscle can help turn of the spasm. Find a massage therapist with lots of experience and credentials, and don’t be afraid to ask her to push harder- there are “endangerment zones” that shouldn’t be pressed deeply for extended periods, but the gluteal muscles aren’t among them.
      Also, consider a strengthening routine just for pregnancy. Tomorrow I’m seeing a physical therapist who specializes in women’s health, because I suspect that weak muscles will only make me more prone to the aches and pains that will get worse as I get bigger, and that strong muscles will help me have more control over pushing the kid out.

    5. Wallydraigle Jul 23 at 2:11 pm Reply Reply

      TypeKey hates me. I can’t sign in. I posted that first comment, and “this exercise” was supposed to be a link to this:
      http://www.spine-health.com/Wellness/Exercise/Sciatica-Exercises/Piriformis-Syndrome-Exercise.html
      Sorry about the crazy long address. It’s worth it, though.

    6. andrea Jul 23 at 3:09 pm Reply Reply

      I too am suffering horrid sciatic never pain. My OB said it is much more common for it to be worse in second pregnancies with all the lifting and bending we are doing with our other kids. I’ve tried all the exercises and natural remedies that I’ve read about and finally gave into the notion of having a steroid shot to help ease the pain. I am experiencing moments of numbness in both legs and at some point I fear they are just going to give and you are going to find my fat, pregnant ass splayed out on the ground. Lovely.

    7. Islandy Jul 24 at 9:23 am Reply Reply

      Also, regarding the “Glucose Challenge Test” (as I’ve learned the initial one-hour test is called), WebMD has this to say: “you do not need to limit food or fluids before the test.” Mine is later on this morning, and my doctor has said nothing about “no fruit” or “no eating straight from the sugar bowl” beforehand.
      Are people assuming that ridding the bloodstream of existing sugar will make it easier for your body to process the orange drink, and therefore more likely you’ll pass the test? Or has my doctor withheld information?

    8. The Ex Jul 29 at 12:38 pm Reply Reply

      Ohmahgawd, the teddy bear baby is so adorable. I think I will from now on imagine all my fetuses (fetusi?) as plush teddies.
      Hope your sciatic pain gets better!

    9. I agree the glucose screening wasn’t that bad this time around. Maybe it’s because I knew what to expect. But let’s not mention the sciatic nerve pain. I haven’t gotten it yet, but now you’ve made me really nervous. I’m going on a road trip this weekend and I hope it doesn’t decide to show up then! Ugh!

    10. charlotte Sep 03 at 7:07 pm Reply Reply

      I had the glucose test (they call it “glucola,” as if there were anything Coke about it–blech) at 25 weeks. 2 hours of fasting beforehand to make sure you have a predictable amount of gucky sugar in your system–and after the blood draw the crash of the century. I’m not kidding you. I almost fainted in the bookstore to which I went afterwards.
      Plus, that orange stuff gave me horrible heartburn

    11. erica Nov 21 at 8:38 am Reply Reply

      I was allowed to eat 28 jelly belly beans (within 5 minutes, 45 minutes before testing) for the glucose screening test. I’ve never eaten that many that quickly, but I’ve come close in the past, so it wasn’t too bad.
      I felt great afterwards, no sugar crash, heartburn, or anything else.

    12. Alissa Dec 18 at 7:29 pm Reply Reply

      The hospital I’m getting my glucose screening test lets you eat jelly beans, a glass of orange juice or apple juice, and other things like a piece of bread and a banana or something like that. You just have to bring your own food with you. I told my midwife that I really, really didn’t want to drink the orange stuff and she gave me a list of the substitutes. It’s worth asking about!
      Oh and also she said I could eat beforehand. Her tip was to eat a lot of protein that whole day before going in for the test.

    13. kendall Jan 12 at 3:51 am Reply Reply

      Ask to skip the Glucose Test if you exercise regularly, eat low-fat & are pretty lean.
      I’ve always passed on this test with my kids because I’m a marathon runner & train durning pregnancy.
      It’s a waste of time & too much sugar for us health fanatics.

    14. liberrian Jan 26 at 9:48 pm Reply Reply

      @Kendall: none of that guarantees that you won’t develop gestational diabetes. I had NO risk factors, was healthy, active, eating well (enough), etc. but lo and behold, the tests came out glaringly positive. And now I’m on pregnancy #2 and they tested me at 16 weeks (oh joy! 6 months of this awful diet), and it was positive, and here I am at 27 weeks on insulin.
      I am also quite grumpy about the whole thing.

    15. Jessica Jan 30 at 4:27 pm Reply Reply

      I had heard horror stories about the glucose test before I took it. So I got my boss to let me off work early so that I could go home and have my hubby drive. But I had no problems. I wasn’t given any restrictions and was told to eat normally. I drank the “fruit punch” stuff and it just tasted like badly made kool-aid. I wasn’t drained or sick afterward and I passed with flying colors. So for everyone that still has to take it… it might not be a bad experience.
      Also… I totally agree with the kicking statement you made. This baby kicks me all the time and sometimes it does hurt. Or well… I guess it’s uncomfortable, it doesn’t really hurt. But I love the constant reminder that she’s there and growing big and strong!

    16. Me Mar 08 at 4:13 pm Reply Reply

      liberrian:
      I too am not overweight, was relatively healthy only I have a genetic disposition to diabetes. Ladies get those myths out of your head! Just because you are not overweight, and have been eating healthy means nothing. Get the test and see. I found out at 28 weeks. Lucky for me, I am married to a type I diabetic, so I already have access to blood glucose meters and knew immediately I had to cut the calcium OJ, the banana with lunch, and the apple as a snack in the evening.

      • Maree Dec 11 at 11:27 pm Reply Reply

        I’m another example of a fit, healthy person with GD. I was told however that the management of GD is quite different from Type 1 and I have actually had to increase my daily carb intake (though spread it around throughout the day rather than all at lunch and dinner). Previously I was a follower of a lower carb approach. I am eating my first (rye) toast for breakfast in years and to get my levels right I am eating a carby supper before bed. This is definitely a case of needing individual advice…

    17. Llama Oct 13 at 9:32 am Reply Reply

      I’m surprised you’re allowed to eat before the test… Doesn’t that completely skew the results? I’ve had the test done in two European countries and the whole point of the test is that the first blood sample is on an empty stomach and that you don’t eat before the second sample. But then maybe they do it differently over here.

    18. Sarah Harm Oct 21 at 2:15 pm Reply Reply

      I was forced to fast starting at midnight before my glucose test but my doctor told me to find bacon as soon as I was done. Protein after sugar was better than more sugar from pancakes or oatmeal. The headache at work the rest of the day was miserable.

    19. Alyce Jan 24 at 9:15 am Reply Reply

      I wished I’d read this last week before I went for my glucose test!
      I had a couple of crackers before having it and was sick as a dog for the rest of the day! Next time I’m getting myself organised, thanks for your blog, each week I have so much to relate too.

    20. Nicole Nov 23 at 5:51 pm Reply Reply

      I have my Glucose Test next week and was told I am not allowed to eat anything after midnight the night before :/ I’m pretty nervous and don’t understand why I have to fast.

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