Your Pregnancy: Week 26
If it feels like time is speeding by while simultaneously dragging on, you're not crazy, you're just pregnant. One minute you feel totally unprepared for the changes having a baby will bring, the next minute the anticipation of meeting the Mini that's been swinging from your ribs makes you cry. Such is the roller coaster of pregnancy (and strangely enough, of being a parent, too).
Wondering what's up with your body, your baby and your life this week? Read on ...
What You're Thinking:
"Do I have fleas? Why am I so freakin' itchy?"
There are a multitude of icky things that happen during pregnancy (skin eruptions, gas you can't possibly control, etc.) but increased vaginal discharge might top the list. Other fun stuff going on:
If you find yourself leaking a small amount of urine when you cough, laugh or sneeze, don't worry. Temporary incontinence is common in pregnancy. That's just great, you think. You knew you had to get diapers, but you thought they'd be for the baby, not for you. To head off that problem at the pass, try working out your hoo-hoo by doing Kegels
If your discharge is thick or itchy, you might have a yeast infection
. Even if you've had a hundred of them, this isn't a time for over-the-counter treatments without consulting your doctor first, so get on the phone.
If you're finding yourself having to urinate much more frequently than normal (that would be urinating like every 10 minutes instead of every 15 thanks to a certain someone sitting on your bladder), you might have a urinary tract infection
. Again, see your doctor. Usually a simple "pee in this cup" can tell you for sure.
Deep breath! Air sacks are developing in your baby's lungs, which means it just might be possible for your baby to take a breath at the end of this week. The air sacks (technically called alveoli) will continue to grow for the next nine years. The membrane that keeps the alveoli separate from the blood vessels is now thin enough to allow for that oxygen–carbon dioxide exchange we call breathing. Other highlights this week:
The retina completes the development of its normal layers this week—all the better to see you with. Well not you, per se, because her eyes are still sealed shut and it's really dark in there, but your baby's eyes are now fully developed.
Brainwaves for the auditory and visual systems are detectable in baby's noggin this week. That means baby's brain is registering things like sound and light. She can't understand what any of it means yet, but she's on track to comprehend an entire episode of Blue's Clues
in no time!
As hearing continues to develop, your baby will start to recognize your voice. One hint that your karaoke rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" is not the best would be when the baby starts banging on your gut. Your bambino will also start to recognize your partner's voice. He may feel silly talking to your stomach, but assure him that somebody other than you is definitely listening. Research has shown that newborns actually recognize familiar sounds after birth. Proof that your baby has been paying attention all along.
Break out the sparkling apple juice—baby has now completed two-thirds of her stay in Hotel Womb. Your baby is about 1 2/3 pounds and is 14 inches long head-to-heel, or about the length of a burp cloth (otherwise known as your primary wardrobe accessory for the next several months).
Not that you'll need it (knock wood), but getting certified in infant/child first aid and CPR is a smart thing to do. Find a class from your local chapter of the Red Cross
or the American Heart Association
. Your fire station or hospital should also be able to provide information.
Don't stop there: Ask your partner—and anybody else who will be spending time with your baby—to attend as well.
Speaking of mouth-to-mouth, why not plan one last solo getaway with your partner before your twosome becomes a threesome (and we're not talking about a kinky threesome, we mean the baby. Get your mind out of the gutter). Do it now while you're still able to travel, and pull out all the romantic stops.
"I'm so sick of all the idiotic comments I get now that I'm preggo."
8 fabulous, affordable diaper bags!
What household toxins are dangerous for my baby?