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14 months later

It’s hard for me to believe that 14 months have passed since I’ve last written here.  As a friend whom I haven’t spoken with in quite a while said today, “You’re in another phase of life now.  It will pass soon enough, enjoy it for everything it is while you can.”  And that is exactly what I have been doing.  Enjoying my precious little gift from God, Jordan Christopher Quandt.  He is a true blessing.  We love every minute with have to walk with him and look forward to all the future steps God has for us to take together.

Our Jordan will grow a 1/2 an inch longer this week to reach 17 3/4 inches long, and weighs in at 4 3/4 pounds!  The little brain is developing nicely as it goes into the critical period of development this last month of pregnancy, increasing the size of the head by 3/8 of an inch this week.  The soft baby skin is starting to smooth out as fat deposits lay down thicker and thicker.  Now when it’s awake and stretching out as much as it can in the cramped quarters in there, the tiny eyes are stay open and they close when it sleeps.  The eyes are blue right now and if they don’t stay that way (which we’re hoping they will to match their daddy’s) the final pigmentation won’t fully develop for several weeks, it requires exposure to direct light in order to complete it’s process.  This week the baby is starting to develop its own immune reaction to mild infections.  It’s still using my immune system but can pitch in a bit now.  I knew this was a great kid, starting to pull it’s weight even before it’s born!  🙂    “Each time you look at your child you see something mysterious and contradictory-bits and pieces of other people-grandparents, your mate, yourself, all captured in a certain stance, a shape of a head, a look in the eyes, combined with something very precious-a new human soul rich  in individuality and possibility.  ~Joan Sutton~

Right now our little one is growing in length.  By the time this week is over it will have increased by about a 1 inch and weigh about the same as 7 cups of water.  In addition to baby weight, the amount of amniotic fluid has reached about one quart, it’s  maximum for the pregnancy.  From here on out, there will be slightly less fluid and more baby as little Jordan presses on to almost double in weight.  Quite a bit of that weight this week comes from the growing brain mass as the circumference of our baby’s head will increase by about a 1/2 inch.  The developing brain pushes outward on the skull, but it also folds in upon itself to create more of the convolutions (or, wrinkled storage area) where migrating cells find what will be their homes for operation for the rest of the baby’s life.  The tiny toenails have fully formed and the skin is turning from dark red and transparent to pinkish and translucent. It’s been a crazy week for both mom & dad as we get everything prepared to take some time off when the baby arrives and we’re happy to get some time to just sit and watch the baby move inside or feel those frequent hiccups.  We’re getting as much done as we can while our little one is still fully contained 🙂

Pregnancy~Week 31

Our little Jordan weighs in the same as a quart and a half of milk this week and is almost 16.5 inches long.  Getting big! They say that it’s growth and weight will slow this month, but still, baby is expected to gain 2 pounds over the next four weeks…that seems like a lot.  Even though growth is slowing its internal systems and tissues continue to become more sophisticated, so, I keep taking the amazing amount of vitamins and drinking my mother’s tea every day.  This week I really noticed a difference in not getting all my vitamins when I skipped a day and my feet swelled up the next.  That’s MOTIVATION!  Good thing too because the baby’s bones are working like crazy to calcify for the next couple of weeks (no wonder I can feel all that movement in there more and more:) ) and so getting enough of my calcium & magnesium is super important.  They’re so obnoxious to take that I was skimping on them and woke up the other day with a horrible leg cramp.  Avoiding that is worth any amount of vitamin taking in my book, so I’m back to taking all of them, and actually getting used to it now.The baby’s brain is still developing rapidly, increasing the number of interconnections between individual nerve cells and identifying groups of cells that will perform complicated functions throughout its lifetime.  It still amazes me that all of the things it will learn and absorb are having the foundations laid right now.  What a wonder God’s plan for humanity is!

This week our little Jordan’s brain is forming so rapidly that it will begin to take on the characteristic “wrinkled” appearance.  These wrinkles are called convolutions and a convoluted brain contains more brain cells than a smooth one.  The production of the red blood cells, which were first produced by the tissue groups called the blood islands, then by the liver, and after that by the spleen will be entirely taken over by the bone marrow by the end of this week.   Since the baby’s eyes are opened now, it spends much of the time with them open practicing “looking” movements.  I wonder if it can see that most of the tiny fuzz covering it’s body has disappeared and that it’s toenails & fingernails are visible now?  It should be feeling stuff more.  I’m quite sure it feels when I push on it, there is always kicking or pushing back, or if I push it’s shoulder I can feel it try to wiggle against me.  The myelinization process (the covering of nerve cells with a fatty substance) is starting to speed nerve cell transmission and those responses are getting quicker.  It’s great to be able to feel the baby grow now.  There is such a difference in strength and response to outside stimuli in just the several weeks I’ve been able to feel it that I am ever amazed.  Even the speed of our little one’s hiccups has changed.  While they were quite rapid at the beginning, now they have taken on a slower rhythm much closer to what a newborn’s hiccup pattern is.  Makes sense,  I guess, as with still 10 weeks to go, little Jordan is already almost 3 (2 and 9/10) pounds and 15 and 3/4 inches long!  Still a lot of weight to put on but definitely getting there 🙂 .Chris & I have both had dreams that the baby is a girl now.  It will be interesting to see if that means anything… to see if we get to use the nickname I adore, Jori, (little Jori Q).  And, we’ve finally decided on middle names.  For a girl: Jordan Dai’Maris (which means flowing into great promises of God), and for a boy, Jordan Christopher (meaning, flowing into Christ likeness).  We like them 🙂  Names fit for a little child of God.

This week our little one’s brain can now control rhythmic breathing.  I’m pretty sure it’s 100% got the hang of “rhythmic.”  At least once or twice a day those little rhythmic “hick, hick, hick”s go off inside of me.  Even as I write this, the little “hick”s have just begun again!  I can tell there is some serious growth inside there as the “hick”s get stronger each and every day.  The baby’s eyes are sensitive to different levels of light now but can’t detect objects.  They will be able to fully move within their sockets by the end of this week.  Also, the baby will have increased substantially in sensitivity to light, sound, taste & smell.  The touch sensation is already well established.  And, covering the sensitive little body, the baby’s skin is becoming smoother and less wrinkled as more fat is deposited underneath its surface.  It is also changing to a whiter hue as the body fat accumulates. There is more and more movement as this tiny person develops inside me.  I never cease to be amazed at it’s growth and increasing stamina, ever present within me.  Already, it is a true blessing to see what God is doing with this little life that will soon come out to touch and be touched by us all.   I count it a privilege to spend this time with such a dear life.  What a joy it is to bask in the opportunity to spend time utterly close to another life.

Jordan & I are in week 28 now.  Apparently Jordan’s lungs are really starting to develop because we’ve been experiencing hiccups once or twice a day.  The other night when we were going to bed it started so I suggested Dad feel them.  He had a hard time believing our little one is actually big enough to be experiencing real hiccups 🙂 !  We are both so amazed at how a little baby can be growing inside of me!   All of the muscles are growing steadily now though.  In addition to those little stomach muscles allowing for hiccuping, the sucking and swallowing skills have improved with stronger muscles and, tiny arm & hand muscles, legs & all the rest are all bulking up.  I can always tell now when baby is asleep or awake as there is quite a bit of exercise going on in there all the time!   Also this week, the little eyelids will unfuse and open partially and by the middle of the week, there will be little eyelashes present.  So cute! Our baby gained quit a bit of weight and is now 14 inches long and 2.22 pounds.  Everything’s going great and we’re almost all ready for the advent 🙂