Each of your babies now weigh over a pound and are approximately 12 inches long. Space is getting very cramped inside now and you most likely look like you could have the babies at any time! Week 24 marks a special time for you. This is generally the week that is considered the week of viability for the babies. Although your babies still need time to grow and finish the `final touches`, there is an 85% chance of survival if they were born now. Of course, your babies would need to spend a few months in a NICU for advanced care. However, almost half of babies born at this time will have some kind of lasting effect from being born prematurely. Pay special attention to any signs of preterm labor and call your doctor immediately if you experience any symptoms of preterm labor.
Your babies will have periods of rest and awake times throughout the day, but they may not coordinate their schedules! You should be feeling them move every day at different intervals. The babies will bump into one another and nudge each other for some extra room! Sometimes they will all stretch their legs out in one direction and you will see an obvious budge on one side of your abdomen.
The membrane that separates the babies is amazingly elastic. Every joint in their bodies is flexed at this time. The chin is at the chest and their elbows are tucked at their sides. Their legs are often brought up to their chest and the feet are tucked under their bottoms. On ultrasound, you will often see that they like to have their hands up near the face. After delivery, you will notice that your babies keep thier hands clenched and often have their feet tucked upwards.
You should be very comfortable discussing concerns with your doctor at this point. It is important to share your feelings and questions with them. Make sure to keep your doctor informed on your lifestyle and any changes that are occurring. If you have not had a 20 week diagnostic ultrasound performed, you will most likely be receiving that as well. Your doctor will be reviewing the results of any tests you have had performed. Your doctor will probably be going over the sings of preterm labor and giving strict instructions on when to call if needed. In addition, your caregiver will also be checking:
1.) Weight gain
2.) Blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate
3.) Heart and lung check
4.) Breast exam
5.) External palpation of the uterus
6.) Measure height of fundus
7.) Fetal heartbeat
8.) Urine screening for blood, sugar and bacteria