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24 Weeks - Elizabeth Unexplained
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24 Weeks
As of today (a few hours from now since we can be really exact about this), I am 24 weeks pregnant. This is a big deal because this is the threshold of viability. If something terrible were to happen and I were to go into early labor at this point, there is a chance that the baby would survive. This would still be Bad, because as most pregnancy books will tell you "outcomes for babies born this early are extremely poor". What this translates to more specifically is that if a baby born this early manages to survive they will probably be disabled. Still, the 24 week milestone has been the one I've been looking forward to ever since we saw the heartbeat. From this point forward every day I am pregnant for the next sixteen weeks increases the chance that this might turn out well after all. These last sixteen weeks are different because from here on out I know she has a chance without me, a chance that gets slightly better every day I keep her happy and healthy in there.

Appropriately enough, a big box containing gently used baby items arrived yesterday. Margaret sent me a bunch of stuff that she no longer needs. I didn't have a chance to sort through the loot before the gamers arrived yesterday, but I did notice one item in particular. There was a small box Mother's Milk. From a quick read of the label this is a product that is promoted as helping to boost breast milk supply. I'm guessing that if size is anything to go by I'm probably not going to have the same supply issues as Margaret. I've been living with what I've been internally calling the B.O.U.S.s for months now. It takes effort to stuff them into my stretchy gym tops. My maternity bras have become snug. If these things on my chest aren't up to the task ahead I am going to be seriously annoyed.

The fetus continues to give every appearance of taking after Margaret. As best I can tell she is now working out in there several times a day. She has also been nagging me to get more exercise, quite effectively. There is nothing like someone using your bladder as a rebounder to get you up for a short walk in a hurry. It's a good thing she is learning the value of a low-impact cardio workout early. Of course she does take after me in some respects. Whenever her movements are forceful enough that I am sure Warren ought to be able to feel them from the outside she quiets down as soon as his hand gets close. Clearly she inherited a tendency to be difficult from someone. Of course I enjoy the frequent reminders that she is still alive in there. She can start running marathons in there for all I care, just so long as she arrives healthy and near her due date.
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enugent From: enugent Date: March 5th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
You never know. When my milk came in last time, I broke a G-cup bra and had to rush-order an H. I had great supply for the first four months or so, but when I went back to work and started pumping all day, it got harder and harder to keep up. Mother's Milk tea is OK, but there are plenty of other things you can do to boost supply. If you get into that state, be sure to blog about it or email me and I'll send you my handy-dandy list of tips.

Oh, and I highly recommend taking a breastfeeding class before the baby is born. You feel a little silly pretending to nurse the infant doll, but it really helps with getting an idea of the possible positions and the ones that are comfortable for you so that you're not struggling so much when presented with a real live baby. I also really like the books Nursing Mother, Working Mother and The Milk Memos for practical advice on working and pumping. Nursing Mother, Working Mother's advice on when to start pumping and stockpiling milk before going back to work and how to fit in pumping sessions during that period is particularly valuable.
enugent From: enugent Date: March 5th, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and I forgot to add - you're not the only one with B.O.U.S.'s. I just ordered an I-cup bra from Birth and Baby.
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