27 weeks: third trimester, baby

Please excuse the gap in posting for week 26 – it was quite uneventful, and blogging somehow skipped my mind.  BUT!  Now that week 27 is here, it’s party time!

Y’see, there’s plenty of debate about the true definitions of trimesters in pregnancy.  Here in the US (and in plenty of other countries, I believe) we date pregnancies at 40 weeks, or 10 months if you consider every month having 4 weeks.  Obviously, most months have more than 28 days, so 10 months isn’t exactly correct.  Because 4 weeks is a lunar month, that’s the most reliable thing to go by, in my opinion. 

You can look at trimesters as a measurement of time, or as a developmental milestone.  I’m not sure which milestones they look for to differentiate trimesters, but time-wise, 40 weeks divided by 3 is 13.3.  Because my midwife told me that the second trimester starts “around 13 weeks-ish”, I’ve been using the 13 1/3 definition.  That means that hitting 27 weeks today makes me most definitely in the third trimester.  There are a few who will claim 28 weeks, but you’ll see the majority of dating calendars use the 27 week date.

Enough babble.  Trimester 3, here we are – the end is approaching.  Holy shit, you guys.

So, obviously, I’ve been dreading the week after next, with all its horrible tests and appointments that just plain suck.  I’m still having the occasional freakout, particularly about the GD test – but I did have something cool happen last week that’s starting to take my mind off of it.  We started our childbirth classes last Tuesday.

I assumed that they’d be kinda BS, since they’re held at the hospital and they’re mostly Lamaze stuff.  But I was really pleasantly surprised.  The woman who teaches them is a part-time L&D nurse, but she’s been teaching the classes for over 20 years and it’s plain to see that she LOVES BABIES.  She’s adorable – when she talks about them, she gets all misty.  If you can still love babies after helping deliver so many for so many years, you must like your job.  🙂

The best part was the huge amount of information.  I feel pretty informed about pregnancy – I read a hell of a lot, after all.  But my childbirth info was kinda rudimentary, and mostly about procedures that I’m hoping to avoid.  We got a lot of excellent information, and I learned 2 very important things about the hospital we’re delivering in:

  1. The labor and delivery ward has special childbirth beds called Stryker beds.  These beds are state of the art – they are super adjustable and they allow women to push in several different positions, including with a special bar that hangs over the top.  They’ll be an excellent tool.
  2. This hospital is a very huge proponent of the Golden Hour.  This refers to the very first hour after childbirth.  In an ideal situation, the baby is delivered directly to the mother’s stomach and left there for her to bond for at least an hour before standard procedures like weighing & testing, providing there are no medical emergencies.  Things like Apgar testing are all done while the mother is able to still hold the infant, and you’re able to breastfeed right away.  I was fully prepared to have to battle for this hour, and now to find out that it’s actually encouraged by the hospital makes me very happy.

Merry enjoys the classes as well – he wouldn’t stop saying the word ‘placenta’ after the last one.  Which I’m taking to mean that at least he’s paying attention.