Thursday, April 24, 2008

30 Weeks

This week in Monkey development:
  • His brain is developing wrinkles. Up until now, the surface of his brain has been smooth, and the rapid growth he's working on now means he needs more surface area for those deep thoughts. Hence, wrinkles.
  • His little water world contains a pint and a half of amniotic fluid
  • Lanugo, the hair that was helping with the body temperature regulation, is starting to disappear as he puts on more fat
  • Monkey is now capable of producing tears
  • Toenails are in their final stage of production
  • At almost three pounds, he's going to more than double his weight in the next 10 weeks (and in the case of Zoo Keeper's family, tripling his weight is entirely possible!). He stretches to just under 16 inches.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

29 Weeks

Things happening this week: Monkey is hardening his skeleton, which takes lots of calcium. His head is growing bigger as his brain is really filling out. His bone marrow is now completely responsible for his red blood cell production and he's starting to regulate his own temperature. His eyes can move in their sockets and he is increasingly responsive to outside stimuli like light and sound. When he's not busy preparing for his second appearance on stage in a few weeks, he is working very hard at packing on the pounds and working out. At just over 2.5 pounds, he measures more than 15 inches long.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's Official: Third Trimester at Last

By all accounts we are officially in the third trimester today. To celebrate, large quantities of blood will be taken. Hooray! But before we head to the doctor's office, here is the weekly update on Monkey:

His eyes are blinking now as he responds to light and dark and he's got eyelashes! His brain is doing some heavy duty work creating neural folds and pathways. His bone marrow is cranking out the red blood cells and his adrenal glands are starting to put out some hormones of his own. His big task from here on out is putting on fat - without the fat deposits under his skin he wouldn't be able to regulate his body temperature, which is a big challenge for newborns. At around 2.25 pounds and just under 15 inches, he's got a ways to go before he's ready to meet the world. In the past week he's become more active, and we haven't been able to discern a pattern in his waking and sleeping as it seems he is awake all the time. He's very chillaxed about it though - he's a swimmer, not a fighter.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Week 27

According to various sources, the third trimester either begins this week or next week. Monkey and Zoo Keeper don't particularly care which, but we seem to be entering the home stretch either way. This week Monkey's brain continues to work on hearing and taste. Right now he has more taste buds than he'll ever have again, and about 2 hours after Zoo Keeper eats he can taste the difference in his amniotic fluid. His heartbeat is very strong and occasionally can be heard through the naked ear on the belly. His lungs are nearly at maturation, and his chances of making it on the outside are very good right now - not that he needs to be in any hurry. He is practicing his breathing (which sometimes leads to hiccups), might be sucking his fingers, and is settling into periods of waking and sleeping like a newborn. At more than 2 pounds and 14.5 inches long, he has doubled his weight in the past month.

On a more serious note, Zoo Keeper belongs to a pregnancy message board for babies due in July. In the past few weeks two of the babies have been born: one survived and has a great prognosis, and the other was too early to have a chance. Please keep those families in your prayers and ask for continued success for baby Aybra (born at 26.5 weeks - same due date as Monkey) and healing for the family of baby Owen (born at 22.5 weeks, lived 12 minutes).

We are reminded once again how very, very grateful we are that Monkey and Zoo Keeper are both healthy and growing.