I'll start with how I've been feeling. I've definitely grown a lot in the past few months, and I really look and feel pregnant. My tremendous weight gain started at 14 weeks and didn't really slow down until about 26 weeks or so, and then it held steady for a few weeks. I was worried, but it looks like the upward trend has begun again this week. As of this morning, I've put on almost 9 kilograms total (just shy of 20 pounds), and I am starting to feel it. I am walking slower (although I don't think I'm waddling yet) and getting tired more easily. Fortunately, though, swimming still feels wonderful. I plan to continue doing that as long as I can still squeeze myself into my maternity swimsuit (not always easy when you are wet and being stared at by a sizable contingent of Korean ladies). Even when I am not walking or swimming, I am sometimes a little short of breath and occasionally have little dizzy spells, but nothing serious or scary. It is much harder to get comfortable on the couch while watching TV (lots of pillows help), but I am happy to report that I've been sleeping like a rock. I'm not as hungry as I was through most of the first and second trimesters, and I tend to fill up fast, especially at dinner time.
The baby is very well-developed at this point and is mostly putting on finishing touches. Her lungs have developed to the point that she might be able to breathe on her own if she was born now, although we don't want to put that to the test. The big work she is doing now is gaining body fat to keep her warm and developing her brain to prepare her to absorb all the new sensory experiences she'll be having in a few months. At our last appointment, Dr. Lee told us that she weighs about 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds), which is right on target. She continues to move around a lot, and I am continually surprised at how far up my abdomen I can feel her now. In fact, just this morning I felt her pushing gently (thank goodness) almost right below my ribs on my right side. I haven't noticed any real patterns in the times that she's awake and moving around, although I think I am slightly more likely to feel her in the late afternoon and evening. It seems like she'll spend a few days really kicking and pushing strongly and then a few days where she's more mellow. I wonder if she's turning around to face inside on those days that I can't feel her as well. I've also felt what I think are hiccups, sometimes more than once a day. That's good because it could mean that she's exercising her diaphragm in preparation for breathing.
Mentally, Keegan and I have been focusing a lot on the birth. I am reading everything I can get my hands on about the birthing process, and I'm planning to put together a list of things for Keegan to read too so that he'll know what to expect. We'll be touring the birthing center and asking Dr. Lee a lot of questions at our next appointment next week. I think that talking to him will really help me to be less anxious about the birth because I'll hopefully know more what to expect from the hospital and what their standard procedures are. Now I feel very positive and excited about the birth - I can't wait to meet my baby, and I am excited about facing the physical challenges of labor. My major anxiety is over communicating with the Korean staff at the hospital and about any requests that we have that might be out of the Korean norms (like keeping the baby with us rather than have her go to an incubator for hours and hours after the birth). Like I said, I hope the talk with Dr. Lee next week will help me feel less anxious about those things. It also helps to know that Keegan will be there to back me up.
I think the nursery is pretty well prepared at this point. One of my friends just offered us a high chair, so now there's really nothing left on our baby supply list except for diapers! The nursery is packed full of baby things, and this week I managed to clean out the linen closet and make a tiny bit more space to hang any pretty dresses our little girl acquires. I'll take some more photos and post them once we neaten up a few last odds and ends and get the rest of the pictures we have up on the walls.
That's pretty much the long and short of it. Stay tuned for more adventures and ultrasound pictures!