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Friday Update: Week 21

PhotobucketShe’s as long as my water bottle this week! 10-1/2 whole inches! This is my water bottle and I love it so much. I carry it with me everywhere and try desperately not to loose it!

Hold on – as long as my water bottle?! Whoa. Super whoa.

Baby’s size may seem to have jumped dramatically since last week’s birthday hat to this week’s water bottle. Apparently the reason for this is that baby is too difficult to measure from head to feet up until week 20, so measurements are always listed as “head to rump” until that point. From now on though, baby is measured from head to foot. Of course, growth rates after the first trimester do vary, so these measurements are really just an average and a way to have fun finding comparably-sized objects!

This we week had two appointments up at the hospital, one for our ultrasound and one regular midwife visit. We’re getting to know the campus a little better but Mr. Handsome is still a bit worried that he’ll get us lost on the way to deliver! We’re delivering at the university hospital and it is huge! By far the most sprawling hospital campus I’ve ever seen before. It’s kind of intimidating but, at the same time, every possible medical situation will be covered if we need it. And we get all the benefits of having the midwives too, like being able to labor freely without monitoring or an IV and the option to have a waterbirth (which I will probably write about in more detail in a couple months).

A few highlights from the 20-week appointment:

  • My uterus is up to belly button level now!
  • Midwife says my diet is pretty good, but if I want to keep my weight manageable I need to ease up on the carbs and replace them with vegetables. More salads, less pasta. I will work on that. (After the appointment we went out for pizza and I had a big spinach salad instead of a slice. So, pat on the back for me, eh?)
  • Baby2’s heartbeat is great! She was moving around SO much that they (midwife + student) didn’t do an official count but they didn’t really need to – no cause for worry there.
  • The ultrasound pictures were reviewed and they said she looks perfect! No problems whatsoever, which was music to our ears of course. They didn’t even have a problem with my slightly short cervical length (3.2 cm, average is 4, danger zone kicks in at 2.5).
  • I told them more about my headaches (which have subsided a bit), stabbing abdomen pain and lower back pain. They agreed with previous assessments about the abs from when I’ve called in 2-3 times previously: as long as I’m not doubled over in pain or having contractions, it’s probably just round ligament or related pain and nothing to worry about. It’s weird but no worries. Stay hydrated is the constant refrain when it comes to prevention (and it really does work because I notice a lot fewer lame symptoms if I’m well hydrated for several days).

Some statistics for the week:

  • Total weight gain: 16 pounds. Only one pound again this week, despite the large amounts of birthday food consumed. I attribute that feat to getting back on the elliptical! Plus I did a fairly good job at holding back on the sweets this week, again despite the birthday.
  • Cravings: Carbs, any carbs. They’re so tasty! And ice cream. Ooooo, ice cream (control, fading. must. resist. the freezer).
  • Coolest symptom: Seeing our beautiful baby girl at the ultrasound was a pretty sweet symptom of pregnancy! Both times that I was on the exam table this week, she started kicking like crazy as soon as I reclined back. The tech and the midwife said she’s a mover and a shaker for sure!
  • Lamest symptom: On Sunday I bought a size 36D bra. It fit fine then. It’s too small now. Bring on the DDs. (I believe Mr. Handsome sees this as a good thing though, of course.)
  • Exercise this week: The goal is 210 minutes per week (that’s an average of 30 minutes per day). This week I was super, super bad. Friday, Monday and Wednesday night we were out late (like, 8 pm!) and once I get home and get Kiddo1 to bed and take care of other things it’s time to go to bed myself. The weekend was totally shot – I just never seem to find the time amongst the errands, projects, cleaning, etc. I need to really work on that if I plan on meeting my goal next week. I almost gave up on exercise completely this week but I did manage to get in a total of 115 minutes, 45 of yoga, 10 of arms and 60 on the elliptical. I should be proud of myself for getting back on the elliptical, so I don’t feel like a total exercise failure this week.

Baby2 did not fail to grow and change this week though! Here’s what’s new with HER, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long – the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like he or she is practicing martial arts as initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to your baby’s activity as you get to know him or her better. In other developments, your baby’s eyebrows and lids are present now, and if you’re having a girl, her vagina has begun to form.

Friday Update: Week 20

Week 20, “the halfway point,” is here! Earlier this week, while talking to a co-worker, I referred to this time as the “golden period” in pregnancy. Think about it: you’re not too big yet but big enough to for others to safely assume you’re pregnant, the baby moves around and you can feel it, lame symptoms have pretty much subsided, energy levels are high, the “worries of birth” are not yet threatening, I mean, it’s a pretty great time.

PhotobucketThis week baby is about 6-1/2 inches long which is the approximate height of a standard birthday hat. Why did I pick a birthday hat this week? Because today is my 31st birthday! Yay! I love birthdays, and the past couple years they’ve been especially great because I’ve discovered all the free stuff you can get around your birthday if you sign up. I get a free entree at Noodles & Co, a local pasta place, Benihana’s, a free drink at Starbucks, goodies at Sephora and a free scoop of ice cream at Baskin Robins (although I’m boycotting them since they discontinued my favorite flavor, Chocolate Fudge. I nearly cried). There’s way more free stuff out there, you just have to search the web for it.

I love all the free birthday stuff, but this week and from now on, really, I’m trying to be a bit more careful about what I’m eating. Super Bowl Sunday fatty foods plus Valentine’s day candy was a bad combination for my weight gain the last couple weeks. I gained five pounds pretty quickly there. This week I’ve been better and my weight reflects that (see below).

I’ve always been a bad vegetable eater. I thought maybe, just maybe, I could will myself into craving super healthy foods during this pregnancy. Well, no such luck. I am capable of eating a vegetable a day (or so) so that is the goal. I tend to lean toward the green leafies (I love spinach) or “green stringies” such as asparagus and green beans. I like carrots, too. Today at work we’re having a pot luck and someone is bringing eggplant parmigiana so I’m excited to finally try eggplant!

I’m also trying really, really hard to limit my chocolate/sweets intake. I’m craving chocolate like no other now, though, so I still allow myself a little bit every day, but only one thing! So if I indulge at work and have some dark chocolate pieces, I can’t have ice cream that night. So far it is working pretty well (it’ll work a lot better once we get these girl scout cookies gone!).

So yeah, happy healthy birthday to me! Today we’re not doing much but tomorrow I have a haircut and I might stop to get a pedicure on the way back home. I might do some shopping around to get a picture framed for the nursery too. Monday we’re going out to dinner at Mr. Handsome’s restaurant which I’m so excited about. They do a prix fixe menu twith a twist and literally bring you every item on the dinner menu (it is a small menu, but all their food is delightful!). I’m getting ready to eat a lot of great (and mostly healthy!) food.

Some statistics for the week:

  • Total weight gain: 15 pounds. Woohoo only one pound gained this week! I’m back on track!
  • Cravings: Lots of chocolate, but also pasta, of course. I’m not really craving anything out of the ordinary this week. I mean, I’ve always wanted chocolate and pasta!
  • Coolest symptom: Woohoo more kicking! Sometimes I even feel it in the day now, when I’m not lying completely still! It’s awesome to feel the baby move and know that things are still going on in there.
  • Lamest symptom: You know, I’m really feeling pretty great this week! Headaches are pretty much gone, stabbing abdomen/round ligament pain has mostly subsided (I’m drinking lots of water!) and my back hasn’t been bothering me TOO much (but still a bit here and there). It really is the “golden period” right now!
  • Exercise this week: The goal is 210 minutes per week (that’s an average of 30 minutes per day). This week the count is a little odd because I’m sorta counting the class field trip I chaperoned – we did about three hours of walking downtown, seeing the sights. I’m also counting another rigorous vacuuming session. Those two things together are about four hours, but I’m only counting 90 minutes of field trip and 30 minutes of vacuuming because counting more than than just seems unfair for some reason. Yoga and arm exercises rounded out the week for a total of 215! Yay!

Here’s what’s new with baby:

Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He or she is around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel – the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby’s legs are curled up against his or her torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken “crown to rump” – from the top of the head to your baby’s bottom. After 20 weeks, your baby’s measured from head to toe.) Your baby is swallowing more these days, which is good practice for the digestive system. He or she is also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in your baby’s bowels, and you’ll see it in that first soiled diaper. (Some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).

Friday Update: Week 19

PhotobucketYikes, week 19! The days seem so long but the weeks are SO short! Where is all this time going, honestly? Sheesh we’ll be a family of four before I know it.

At 19 weeks, baby is about 6 inches long which is the height of this 24 oz. box of raisins! Mmmm, raisins. Mr. Handsome loves ’em.

What I don’t love, on the other hand, is this freaking annoying-as-all-get-out abdomen pain that I keep experiencing. It’s been going on since just before my last midwife visit, so since about week 15.

What I’m experiencing is a stabbing, sharp pain about an inch or two to the right of my belly button. It isn’t very deep, I would say no more than an inch below my skin, but it’s sharp and it hurts. Okay, it doesn’t hurt so much that I’m doubled over, immobile, crying, etc. but it is annoying and I don’t like it.

What’s also super dumb is that it comes and goes, sometimes it shows up at the same time every day (for about a week it was 4:15 on the nose), it waves in and out of more or less painful and it sticks around for sometimes an hour or two and then peaces out til the next day. WTF?

So I called the midwife a week or two ago. She asked a bunch of questions about my appendix (because I’m a rare one that has all the parts I came with, except my baby and wisdom teeth) but then determined that since I’m not in a super duper amount of pain that it probably isn’t appendicitis. (Well thank goodness because abdominal surgery right now would freak the f outta me.) She ruled out critical conditions and that was about it.

I called again after Kiddo1’s birthday party last weekend because it was getting pretty painful. We talked more about my symptoms. She believes I may be experiencing round ligament pain (however from my research on this subject I believe what I’m feeling is far too high in my abdomen to be my round ligaments). This pain is caused my ligaments and tendons in the uterus and pelvic area which are stretching out due to the growing baby.

This type of pain is completely normal, especially in second pregnancies (and third, fourth, etc). It’s also most common to feel this “stretching” in the second trimester. Finally, the pain can be triggered by lots of activity (hence its onset at the end of my work day or after activities such as a four-hour birthday party) and/or light dehydration (so time to really focus on getting more than 60 oz of water per day).

So when I feel the pain now, I’m trying to slow down a bit and take it easy, but grab the water bottle first and suck up some hydration while I lounge. Things have been a bit better the last couple days, but I’m really hoping this subsides soon. It’s just annoying and causes unnecessary worry!

Here are a few other things going on:

  • Total weight gain: 14 pounds. What. The. Hell. That’s three pounds this week alone (and five pounds in the last two weeks!). I blame this on Mr. Handsome because he brought home a whole lotta candy for Valentine’s Day and I am powerless against it.
  • Cravings: Freaking Valentine’s Day chocolate is the death of me this week. I can’t stay away!
  • Coolest symptom: Yes, there have been some definite, very light but definite, baby kicks. I’ve been teased for what, maybe a month now, by little flutters that I think, maybe, aren’t gas or other tummy rumbles but little waves of somersaults and baby tae-bo. But lately, in the evening when I’m quiet and still, I feel things. I hope they get stronger soon so I can stop going crazy with second-guessing myself!
  • Lamest symptom: Same ol’ problems as of late (lower back pain, stabbing abdomen pain/round ligament pain that comes and goes, headaches aren’t as frequent but still annoying, inconsistent but daily-ish bowel movements). These are more annoying than anything, they don’t get in the way. Honestly, I don’t really mind because at this point they’re all I’ve got to remind me that, yes, there’s a baby growing in there!
  • Exercise this week: The goal is 210 minutes per week (that’s an average of 30 minutes per day). I started a brief (5 minutes a day) arm routine to compliment all the yoga and bits of cardio I’m doing. I hope to have nice-looking arms by baby time! So total exercise this week was 215 minutes! All yoga except for arms and 30 minutes of vigorous soccer practice with Kiddo1 (soccer season is just around the corner!). I have got to get back to the elliptical but it made my back hurt so much last time I used it that I’m scared off. I must get over myself!

Now let’s check in with baby’s growth, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby’s sensory development is exploding! His or her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that your baby may be able to hear your voice now, so don’t be shy about reading aloud, talking to him or her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you. Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom – about the size of a large heirloom tomato. The arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of the body now. Your baby’s kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on his or her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on the skin to prevent it from pickling in your amniotic fluid.

Friday Update: Week 18

Photobucket18 Weeks! Baby is about 5.5 inches long which is the diameter of a standard cereal bowl, one that I like to fill to the brim with Cheerios. Mmmmm. They are a delicious whole wheat snack!

This week I kicked my stretch mark prevention routine into high gear. I have a morning and night routine that I’ve finally been able to be consistent about.

A few weeks ago I was reading about how vitamin E oil was great at preventing stretch marks. Makes complete sense – that’s usually the stuff in serious lotions and skin repair treatments. It was recommended to get some vitamin E capsules, break them open with a pin and slather that oil all over your growing belly. So that’s what I did.

This method seemed to work pretty well. Breaking the capsules open was a bit odd (sometimes they broke in a spot other than where I placed the pin, due to the pressure, and a bit of oil would shoot across the room!) but the routine was otherwise easy. Then, about a week into it, I started to get an eczema-like rash on my sides, where I applied the oil directly prior to smoothing it around. Sad face. I quit using the oil right then. Maybe it was just too concentrated for my skin. I do have slightly sensitive, very pale skin. I didn’t research this much, I just tossed it aside as a failed option.

After a week or so the rash cleared up and I was free to start a new routine. I decided to go with the same stuff as last time, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. I had really great results last time: I do have a few light marks on my sides and the upper half of my bottom, however in Palmer’s defense I only really concentrated my efforts on my belly itself. Another one of the things I didn’t realize nine years ago: stretch marks can appear anywhere. Plus, last time I didn’t start my routine until around 30 weeks, after some marks on my backside had already shown up. This time my routine includes using a bit more product and slathering it on every thing from my breasts to my bum and from side to side (all the way to the parts of my back that I can reach).

Stretch marks are hereditary. My mom had them so I consider myself very lucky for getting away with only a few after Baby1. I attribute that to my deligent routine with Palmer’s. I really hope that my nine-years-older skin will have even better results this time. Stretch carefully precious skin!

Some statistics:

  • Total weight gain: 11 pounds! I skipped right over 10 pounds. I blame this on fatty Super Bowl foods.
  • Cravings: Nothing in particular this week. Maybe Pita Pit. And cookies (the mint chocolate crinkle from Panera – drool).
  • Coolest symptom: My headaches seem to have subsided. They aren’t gone completely but they are a lot less frequent. That isn’t really a symptom but I think it’s cool! I’d like to say this is due to all the yoga… My back has been feeling slightly better too.
  • Lamest symptom: The stabbing abdomen pain has also lessened. Yet the main lame symptom is that I feel like I’m suffering from major pregnancy brain. Even work projects have suffered the wrath of my blood-relocation-induced stupidity. I hate blaming it on pregnancy but I have no other explanation!
  • Exercise this week: The goal is 210 minutes per week (that’s an average of 30 minutes per day). Last week I hit 215. This week was 210 exactly, which I am very proud of myself for considering I also fought a cold for a few days. All exercise was yoga except for 45 minutes of vigorous vacuuming which I’m totally counting as cardio (I mean, it did make me sweat!).

Here’s what’s new with Baby2, courtesy babycenter.com:

Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and weighs almost 7 ounces. She or he is busy flexing arms and legs – movements that you’ll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. Your baby’s blood vessels are visible through thin skin, and his or her ears are now in their final position, although they’re still standing out from the head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his or her nerves, a process that will continue for a year after your baby is born. If you’re having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you’re having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.

Friday Update: Week 17

PhotobucketThat’s right: at five inches long, baby is about as big as a roll of toilet paper at week 17. A whole roll of toilet paper can fit in there?! No wonder I have to go to the bathroom all the time…

This week I felt a surge of energy return! I don’t know if it was all the exercising/yoga that I’ve been doing or just the fact that it’s about that time in a typical pregnancy when the first trimester energy drain subsides. Either way, I started to feel really good at the beginning of this week.

Then on Wednesday morning I woke up with a head cold. Boo! I’ve had such a great, sickness-free winter. I was kind of starting to take advantage of it, to be honest. I haven’t been taking my usual sickness precautions such as vitamin C, covering my ears outside (somehow this relates to colds for me), etc. I tried to consume lots of lemon tea (another one of my preventative remedies) on Tuesday to hold off what I already knew was inevitable, but to no avail.

This cold could be a lot worse than it is, though. I only really have a runny nose and the tension headache has been a constant for the last month or so anyway. I can’t complain. Plus, my energy level hasn’t dropped too much which has got to be a benefit of the exercise. Bonus!

Wrap-up time:

  • Total weight gain: 9 pounds.
  • Cravings: donuts and various breakfast pastries. There have been a lot of donuts/bagels in the office this week and I have indulged. It felt good.
  • Coolest symptom: Increased energy! Overall I’m feeling really good, despite the cold and below “lame” symptoms.
  • Lamest symptom: I still have the stabbing abdomen pain, although it is not as strong and is a daily, temporary occurrence. The headaches continue. Some lower back pain has kicked in too. That all sounds worse than it is, I swear.
  • Exercise this week: The goal is 210 minutes per week (that’s an average of 30 minutes per day). Last week I hit 135 minutes. This week’s total was 215 minutes! I did 35 of the elliptical and would have done more but my lower back was really giving me problems. The yoga made my back feel better so I did 180 minutes of that. I love it!

Let’s check in with baby’s development, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby’s skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord – your baby’s lifeline to the placenta – is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip) and is around 5 inches long from head to bottom. Your baby can move his or her joints, and sweat glands are starting to develop.

Friday Update: Week 16

PhotobucketBaby is as big as an iphone this week! Four and a half inches long – holy cow!

This week my head has been in some strange places. I’m not really emotional, per se, at least I’m not having any spontaneous crying or crazy fits (whew!). But I am having other odd moods.

First off, “pregnancy brain” seems to have hit pretty hard. At work I’m usually the first to come up with a few ideas, but this week the boss asked to brainstorm project ideas for this year and I came up with nothing. Flat out, nothing. This never happens! Our company is in constant flux and growth so there’s always something to think of to be improved. And I come up with nothing. Nice. At least he understands; his wife just gave birth last month.

Also, I’ve had crazy anxiety about the sex of our baby! Ugh! Why am I stressing out over something that I have absolutely no control over?! Mr. Handsome and I would really like a girl this time, mostly to even out the sexes in our household. However, a boy wouldn’t be so bad either, as we have prior experience and Kiddo1 really would like a younger brother. No matter what the outcome, I know we’ll be excited and thrilled to welcome another member to the family! I just need to quit stressing out about it!

So I’m working on getting my head back under control. Mind over matter!

The weekly summary:

  • Total weight gain: 8 pounds. The pound a week trend is keeping up. I’m trying to be okay with this (I know it isn’t a bad thing though!).
  • Cravings: dark chocolate. I can’t get enough. Chocolate makes happy babies, though. Google it.
  • Coolest symptom: Mr. Handsome and I heard an amazing and strong heartbeat of 160 BPM at our appointment on Tuesday! The midwife also said that my uterus is measuring 3.5cm below my belly button which is right on track.
  • Lamest symptom: I’ve had this weird stabbing pain in my upper abdomen the past few afternoons. It comes around about 4:00 and leaves in about an hour. I mentioned this to the midwife and she didn’t seem too concerned. I will monitor this and call if it sticks around much longer. Also, the headaches are getting bad again. I’m considering acupuncture and just found out that my insurance covers some of it too!
  • Exercise this week: I added this bullet to motivate my exercising. If this information is out there for all to see then I’ll force myself to fill this spot with awesomeness. This week wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either. I did 45 minutes of walking and 90 minutes of yoga (three sessions of 15, 30 and 45 minutes each). I still didn’t make it on the elliptical, but only because I really fell in love with the yoga! It is so relaxing but surprisingly effective! My core finally feels like it’s getting some attention again. I have a feeling I’m going to need those muscles in a few months. (I have taken several yoga classes before so no worries about not knowing what I’m doing and screwing up my body and what not.)

Science time:

Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his or her weight and add inches in length. Right now, he or she is about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. Your baby’s legs are much more developed, his or her head is more erect than it has been, and his or her eyes have moved closer to the front of the head. Your baby’s ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his or her scalp has begun, though hair isn’t recognizable yet. Your baby has even started growing toenails. And there’s a lot happening inside as well. For example, your baby’s heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to rise.

Friday Update: Week 15

Week 15 already?! Geez, it feels like time is really cruising by. I remember back around week 6, begging time to move a bit faster so I could start telling people and showing. And now here we are, having done those things. Thank goodness there’s still a good chunk of time left. We’re not even halfway there yet!

PhotobucketThis week baby is 4 inches long, which is about as big as your standard incandescent light bulb (which you shouldn’t be using anymore but everyone knows how big they are!).

This week I’m a little frustrated with myself for my lack of exercise. I know how important it is to keep active: it’s good prep for the birth and it will help me recover and get back in shape so much faster.

But I’m so tired in the evenings! (And in the mornings I already struggle to get to work on time, so that’s out too.) I don’t mean, oh I’m pregnant and so tired! To be honest, I’ve always struggled to get going after work.

I need to find a good way to motivate myself. Maybe something like shopping or chocolatey treats! If I tell myself I can’t have something unless I exercised X number of times that week, that could be just the kick in the pants I need! We’ll see how that works this week…

Also, I need to shake it up a bit. Usually I just stick to my trusty elliptical machine, which we keep in the basement. It’s nice because it’s right there in our house and I can even watch Netflix on my phone while I do it! But it still gets boring. I have a prenatal yoga DVD that I should start using. The community center down the street from our house also does water aerobics; the pool is filled with a lot of white hair (if you know what I mean), but it’s low impact and it could be fun! If it really lacks excitement I could always just swim laps.

So we’ll see how those resolutions work this week. I’m hoping for the best!

Wrap-up time:

  • Total weight gain: 7 pounds!
  • Cravings: cheese. Since Mr. Handsome started with his nightly cheese and crackers plates I like, HAVE to have them now. Cheese is so tasty!
  • Coolest symptom: I still feel like there are tiny movements in there. I know they aren’t gas. I just have to wait a couple weeks to be sure I guess, then they’ll be stronger.
  • Lamest symptom: Really no new lame symptoms this week. And most of them (except last week’s, of course) have subsided.

Science time:

Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). He or she is busy moving amniotic fluid through the nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in the lungs begin to develop. Your baby’s legs are growing longer than his or her arms now, and he or she can move all those tiny joints and limbs. Although your baby’s eyelids are still fused shut, he or she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, your baby is likely to move away from the beam. There’s not much for your baby to taste at this point, but taste buds are forming. Finally, if you have an ultrasound coming up, you may be able to find out whether your baby’s a boy or a girl! (Don’t be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby’s sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby’s position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to “hide the goods.”)

Friday Update: Week 14

Officially in the second trimester!

Depending on who you ask, the second tri starts at 12 weeks, 13 weeks, 13-1/2 weeks or the start of the 14th week. Whatever, it’s definitely official. There’s no arguing with me!

PhotobucketAlso, this is the third “13” reference in three posts: today is Friday, January 13th! A lucky day to start the second trimester! There will be one more Friday the 13th (in April), before my Friday, July 13th due date. It’d be nice to make it that long (a full 40 weeks this time!) however then I’d have to miss my friend’s wedding which is the next day. Baby’s got some decisions to make. Ha.

Anyway, actual baby stuff: baby is now 3-1/2 inches long, about the size of a Rubik’s Cube! Kiddo1 asked for one of these last Christmas (and we obliged the request). Over a year later and still none of us can figure it out.

However, this week what I feel like I am figuring out is this whole “pregnancy thing.” First trimester symptoms are behind me: I didn’t ever experience morning sickness, but I did have to get used to being super thirsty and hungry all the time and the frequent bathroom breaks (including about three trips from my bed to the bathroom each night). I’ve learned to give in to *most* of my cravings and not force myself to eat certain things or at certain times if I’m not up for it (because I’ll just give up halfway through anyway and end up wasting food). Also, my cravings for beer and wine have finally subsided… for the most part.

Back around week 6 or 7, when I’d already gone over a month without my blessed beer, I was missing it big time. I know, I know, I’m engaged in an activity (that being person-growing) that is so much more important and satisfying than beer could ever be. I get that. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t miss what I love so much but cannot have! Just the sight of it for a little bit there was nearly heart-wrenching. It’s been so long now though that I know I can make it through the next six months just fine. Beer can wait until I’m ready to pump ‘n dump!

I’m used to carrying around a little more weight and knowing I have no where to go but heavier – and being more than okay with that! I’m used to forcing myself to exercise, but forcing to a point, however. I know that if I’m completely not feeling it then I shouldn’t force it, but that doesn’t give me an excuse to be lazy!

Most of all, I’m slowing getting used to the fact that our little family of three will soon be a family of four. Eeek! I said slowing getting used to it!

On to the weekly standards:

  • Total weight gain: 6 pounds now. That’s one pound a week for the last two weeks! Part of me hopes that pace doesn’t keep up, although with 26 weeks left I guess it wouldn’t be too bad.
  • Cravings: salads. I want to eat all the lettuce and spinach that I possibly can. Which I’m sure is a good thing, as long as I don’t overdue the Caesar dressing. Also, Mr. Handsome has been making me cheese and crackers plates in the evenings and I love them. I love him.
  • Coolest symptom: I’m probably crazy and making stuff up, but sometimes I think I can feel the slightest little movement in there. If I lie really still at night I could swear I feel it. I must be patient.
  • Lamest symptom: Gross alert, gross pregnant lady stuff about to be disclosed. Normally I poop every day, in the morning, right on schedule. This week I’ve been on an every-other-day sort of routine, and it can happen at any time of the day. This is totally normal, I know (damn progesterone), but it’s still lame. Gross time, over.

Science time, courtesy of babycenter.com:

This week’s big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his or her thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, your baby’s facial muscles are getting a workout as tiny features form one expression after another. The kidneys are producing urine, which your baby releases into the amniotic fluid around him or her (this continues until birth). Your baby can grasp, too, and if you’re having an ultrasound now, you may even catch your little one sucking a thumb. In other news: Your baby’s stretching out. From head to bottom, he or she measures 3 1/2 inches – about the size of a lemon – and weighs 1 1/2 ounces. The body’s growing faster than the head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, your baby’s arms will have grown to a length that’s in proportion to the rest of his or her body. (The legs still have some lengthening to do.) And your baby’s starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy layer of hair, called lanugo, that covers the body. Your baby’s liver starts making bile this week – a sign that it’s doing its job right – and the spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can’t feel tiny punches and kicks yet, your little one’s hands and feet (which now measure about half an inch long) are more flexible and active.

Friday Update: Week 13

PhotobucketIt’s Friday, time for another week to begin and this week it is another lucky number 13! (Not because last week was also the 13th week but because baby was the size of a #13 billiard ball and I talked about the due date being Friday, July 13th. Just in case you haven’t been paying attention.) Baby is about three inches long, the exact diameter of a Bubble Tape container. My son loves Bubble Tape and I recall feeling the same way when I was nine. What’s not to like about it? The taste is bubble-tastic (for about five minutes, but kids have a short attention span) and you can break off as much as you want! No need to stuff multiple pieces in your mouth and deal with all the wrappers. Score!

This week I am super excited because (drumroll, please) my baby bump has officially arrived! And it is noticeable to people besides myself! I caught a few people at work eyeing it as I arrived/left meetings or walked the halls. Yes, I do see you looking down and I know you’re not checking out my boobs (although there’s certainly a bit more of them to notice lately, too).

It’s exciting when the bump arrives. It just makes the whole pregnancy thing feel a little more real. I, like loads of pregnant women nearing the end of the first trimester, don’t have a lot of symptoms so it can be hard to remember that I’m pregnant sometimes… except for when I really want a glass of wine but know I can’t have it. Urrrrg.

Yesterday evening I was lounging on the sofa with the laptop (writing this post) and Kiddo1 looks over and he says, “Wow, mom, your belly is getting bigger every minute!” Out of the mouths of babes, I tell you what. Right now that kind of talk is music to my ears. In a couple months, however, we might have a situation on our hands…

So that’s the baby bump update. Let’s hear what’s going on with the actual baby, courtesy babycenter.com:

Fingerprints have formed on your baby’s tiny fingertips. Veins and organs are clearly visible through his or her still-thin skin. Your baby’s body is starting to catch up with that oversized head, which makes up just a third of his or her body size now. If you’re having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce.

Finally, the weekly standards:

  • Total weight gain: 5 pounds (apparently the “experts” say one should only gain 3-5 pounds in the first trimester. However, the midwives that I have met with tell me that as long as you are eating right and taking care of yourself, the weight can’t doesn’t need to be a focus. So I feel better.)
  • Cravings: pasta! I seem to have a huge pasta addiction this week. I ate pasta for lunch AND dinner a good four days this week. It wasn’t all bad though: the majority of the time I had whole wheat pasta and I tried to always mix it with a veggie like spinach.
  • Coolest symptom: having a real bump for a few days has been nice!
  • Lamest symptom: the headaches still linger, although they’re not as frequent as last week. I’ve read that this is a big second trimester symptom (and depending on who you ask I’m still not even technically in the second tri!) so yay. I still haven’t caved to the tylenol yet though!

Friday Update: Week 12

Photobucket Baby is the size of a billiard ball this week! I chose the #13 ball because Baby2 is due on lucky Friday, July 13th! When I pointed that out to the midwife (that the 13th is a Friday, that is), she said, “Oh well we can make it the 14th if you want.” Yes, let’s do tell the baby when s/he is allowed to make her/is arrival.  That would be awesome!

I don’t put too much stock in due dates. Kiddo1 was a little early himself. I doubt Baby2 will arrive right on time, and if the 13th is our day, then that’s cool too because it’s usually not such a bad day for me, as far as luck goes.

What HAS been pretty unlucky in the last week or so are the headaches. After I published last week’s update (about how awesome not having morning sickness is, natch) I started getting these looooong-lasting headaches. I had one that started on Christmas Eve, lasted all through Christmas Day and finally ended… well I’m still sort of waiting for it to end. I woke up with it again yesterday, it came and went throughout the day and I’m hoping that means I’m almost at the end of it? I hope…

Through my research I found a few helpful hints that I hope will keep the headaches away:

  • Eat lots. Not just lots but good food. Usually I eat a ton (also noted in last week’s update post), but that tends to be while I’m at work. This week I’ve been at home for holiday break so I’ve been keeping myself busy with cleaning, laundry, projects and, of course, lounging on the couch trying to rid myself of the headache-that-will-not-end. So eating hasn’t been on the top of the priority list. Big no-no! No wonder my head ached so much – I wasn’t eating my normal copious quantities of good food.
  • Drink lots of water. I usually get in at least 60 ounces a day, but I’m trying to increase that to 90. “They” say pregnant women need at least 64 ounces of water each day plus an additional 8 ounces for each hour of light activity. So drink up.
  • Sleep. Mmmm glorious  sleep. At least 8 hours a night. This usually isn’t hard in the first trimester as exhaustion usually is a symptom of pregnancy, but shoot: ladies are busy (pregnant ones included) and between work, out-of-the-uterus kids and other domestic obligations it can be tough getting those 8 hours every night. In order to keep productive throughout the day, though, sleep needs to be a priority every night.
  • Caffeine withdrawal. I don’t drink coffee, soda, etc. so I don’t think this is a factor in my headaches. But sometimes I do find that a few sips of Mr. Handsome’s soda does help somewhat. Caffeine thins the blood a bit and allows it to flow more freely through the brain. Don’t overdo it though, for multiple reasons: mostly that it can thin the blood too much and over 200mg of caffeine is not a good idea for baby. I can just see the little fetus bouncing off the ute walls in there, all jacked up. Probably not cool.

Sometimes preventing doesn’t work. In that case, here’s what I’ve tried and each have helped a little (although nothing works as well as my old, now forbidden, stand-by, Advil. Sad face):

  • Lay down in a mostly dark room (especially if light makes the pain worse).
  • Quiet.
  • Cold packs to the forehead for tension headaches, hot packs for sinus headaches.
  • Hot shower or bath with some steam action.

Thanks to americanpregnancy.org for the info listed above. For more on triggers and when to call your health provider, follow this link.

The weekly standards:

  • Total weight gain: still 4 pounds
  • Cravings: scrambled eggs
  • Coolest symptom: When I lay on my stomach I can feel an “expansion” where I believe my uterus is. My bloat is also getting a bit harder so it feels like the uterus is at last taking over some of the “bump” I have!
  • Lamest symptom: the aforementioned headaches

Science Time, courtesy of babycenter.com:

The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby’s fingers will soon begin to open and close. His or her mouth will make sucking movements. Toes will curl, and eye muscles will clench. Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby’s brain, synapses are forming furiously. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won’t be able to feel it. Your baby’s intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into the abdominal cavity, and the kidneys will begin excreting urine into your baby’s bladder. Your baby’s face looks unquestionably human: His or her eyes have moved from the sides to the front of the head, and the ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.