Sunday, October 11, 2009
Rachael is getting bigger every day. She'll be 7 weeks old tomorrow. Hard to believe. She's starting to smile "real" smiles now and has found her fist/thumb. Whoops...I hear her callilng me now!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Nothing really to report on the baby front. At my appt yesterday, we were told that "there's nothing going on yet". Oh, well. Maybe next week!
Congratulations! You've got what is officially considered a full-term baby, even with three weeks to go. That doesn't mean he's finished growing — in fact, he's still packing on about a half pound a week (at this age, the average fetus weighs about 6.5 pounds). Right now, your little superstar is busy rehearsing for his big debut, inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid (to get the lungs ready for that first breath), sucking his thumb (to prepare for that first suckle of milk), blinking, and turning from side to side. Meanwhile, your body is going through its own preparations as your practitioner starts looking for signs of labor. On the checklist: the baby's position in relation to your pelvis (engagement) and whether effacement (thinning of the cervix) and dilation (opening of the cervix) have begun. Your practitioner may also determine whether your cervix has begun to soften and move to the front of the vagina, another indication that labor is getting closer. Keep in mind that these processes can occur gradually, over a period of weeks or even a month or more in some women — and overnight in others. So while they're clues that you're indeed progressing, they're far from sure bets when it comes to pinpointing the actual start of labor.
With just three more weeks to go, your baby is doing just fine. You can expect weight gain to be about half an ounce per day. (Boys, though, are likely to be heavier at birth than girls. And here's a bit of boy baby trivia to back that one up: Moms carrying boys tend to eat more than moms carrying girls — a foreshadowing of teenage refrigerator raids to come.) Since your little one is considered full-term at 37 weeks pregnant, if your baby was to leave the wet nest this week, he or she would likely thrive. That's because Mother Nature and you have done such a fine job.
So what's keeping your little one busy while waiting it out until D-day? Practice, practice, practice. Your baby is simulating breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking on his or her thumb, blinking, and pivoting from side to side (one day you feel the tushy on the left side, another day it has swung around to the right side). All these are skills needed for his or her next gig — starring as newborn.
Here's an interesting fact: Your baby's head (which, by the way, is still growing) will, at birth, be the same size circumference as his or her hips, abdomen, and shoulders. And guess what's making an impression (literally) these days on those shoulders and hips: fat — causing little dimples in those cute elbows and knees, shoulders and hip, and creases and folds in the neck and wrists.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
But...before we move there, we are moving to Albequerque, NM the beginning of Sept. We'll be there until sometime in January. (Great...moving to Montana in the coldest month, based on avg. temps!)
But....before THAT, we have a baby to be born!!! We are officially counting down days (DAYS!!) now! 28 to go as of 8/4. Eeekkk!!
So, onto our formal update:
Your baby's bones may be ready to rock and roll, but yours may be aching something awful right now.
It's a good thing your baby's almost done cooking, since your body may feel pretty "done" by now as well. For one thing, you're doing the full-term pregnancy waddle, the result of hormone-triggered loosening and softening of your connective tissue. This is your body's way of getting ready to squeeze a big baby out of a small space. Unfortunately, those loose joints can lead to some pretty serious hip and pelvic pain — but hang in there! Try to focus on your baby, who is now about six pounds and 20 inches long, with soft bones and cartilage to allow a safer journey through the exit door. Most of her systems (from circulatory to musculoskeletal) are ready for prime time, though her digestion system — which has done only practice runs so far — will kick into gear as she takes her first suckle at the breast or bottle.
Your baby's skull isn't the only soft structure in his or her little body. Most of your baby's bones and cartilage are quite soft as well (they'll harden over the first few years of life) — allowing for an easier journey as your baby squeezes through the birth canal at delivery (and less prodding and poking for Mom along the way). At 36 weeks pregnant, the skull bones are also not fused together yet so that the head can easily (well, relatively easily) maneuver through the birth canal.
So your little bruiser (who you've now learned won't be bruising you all that much with those soft bones) is now about six pounds in weight and measures slightly more than 20 inches in length. Growth will experience a slowdown now, both so your baby will be able to fit the narrow passageway to the outside and also so he or she can store up all the energy needed for delivery.
By now, many of your baby's systems are pretty mature, at least in baby terms — and just about ready for life on the outside. Blood circulation, for instance, has been perfected and your baby's immune system has matured enough to protect him or her from infections outside the womb. Other systems, however, still need a few finishing touches. Once such notable example: digestion — which actually won't be fully mature until sometime after birth. Why's that? Inside his or her little gestational cocoon, your baby has relied on the umbilical cord for nutrition, meaning that the digestive system — though developed — hasn't been operational. So your baby will take the first year or two to bring that system up to speed.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Allan is UPT complete!!! He gets his assignment tonight, and will be getting his wings on Friday! It has been a LONG 7 years to get here, and I'm so very proud of him!!
35 week update:
A rapidly growing brain makes your baby's head weigh more and that means more pressure on Mommy's bladder.
Your baby is standing tall (so to speak) this week at about 20 inches and continues her steady weight gain to 5.5 pounds. While she won't get much longer, she will continue to pack on the pounds — including large amounts of baby fat — right up 'til delivery day. Something else that's moving at a mind-boggling pace these day: fetal brain development! There's a lot going on inside that tiny head, which is, by the way, still soft to allow an easier exit through the birth canal. And now that she's head-down in preparation for delivery, chances are your bladder is feeling the squeeze, causing you to leak a little every time you sneeze (or cough or laugh). One way to improve your body's holding power: Do lots and lots of those pelvic-floor exercises called Kegels. They can help strengthen your pelvic muscles (important now and postpartum).
At about 20 inches and five and a half pounds (but with about five more weeks to grow), most of your baby's growth over the next month or so before you meet will be in weight (with a gain of anywhere from one pound to several), not height (baby's pretty much reached the in utero limit in that department). Accordingly, fat continues to accumulate at a rapid pace these days (on baby, not just on your hips). Back in the middle of your pregnancy, your baby's weight was made up of only two percent fat; now at 35 weeks pregnant, that percentage has soared to closer to 15 percent (and will increase to 30 percent at term). Which means your baby's once skinny arms and legs are now quite plump…and irresistibly, squeezably soft.
Also continuing to grow at an amazing pace is your baby's brain power. Luckily, the part that surrounds that amazing brain — the skull — remains soft. And for good reason: A soft skull will allow your baby to squeeze more easily through the birth canal. (Mother Nature was really thinking this one through — imagine trying to push out a rock-hard head…ouch!)
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Woohoo!!!! Allan drops on Friday!!! We can't wait! Only 6 more weeks to wait for our little princess to make her appearance (give or take).
Your baby could be as tall as 20 inches right now and about five pounds. Need a visual? Hold a five-pound bag of flour in your arms and imagine it's your soon-to-be-born baby (cradle it, and you'll only get strange looks in the baking aisle). Then stack three such bags one on top of the other (and get ready for some more strange looks, maybe from the same clerks who saw you grinning and holding that one-pound box of sugar a few weeks ago). That's how tall your baby is at 34 weeks pregnant. (Now go bake some oatmeal raisin cookies with all that flour!)
You're not seeing things — at least not as well as usual. That's because your eyes are yet another part of your body that falls prey to those pesky pregnancy hormones. Not only can your vision seem less sharp these days, but a decrease in tear production can leave your eyes dry and irritated, especially if you wear contact lenses. Plus, an increase in fluid behind your eyes' lenses can temporarily change their shape, making some women more nearsighted or farsighted than usual. Happily, these vision changes during pregnancy are all temporary. Things should clear up as your eyes return to normal after delivery (so there's no need to change your prescription just yet).
Your baby's fingernails now reach the end of the fingertips and may even curl over the tip, making a manicure one of the first things you'll need to do for your little bundle.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
33 week update:
Rachael still feels like she's in the same position as before (at least to me it does). She'll shift somewhat, but always settles back in the same place.
This week your baby may be anywhere between 17 to 19 inches in length and weigh more than four and a half pounds. At this stage in fetal development, your baby could grow a full inch more this week alone — especially if he or she has been on the shorter side. Weight gain can range from a third more growth to a full doubling before the big debut.
The level of amniotic fluid in your uterus has reached its maximum at 33 weeks pregnant, making it likely that you have more baby than fluid now. That's one reason why you're probably feeling lots of nudges and pushes — there's less liquid to cushion the blows. (Of course that means you're even closer to your baby now!)
If your uterine walls had eyes, here's what you'd see: your fetus acting more and more like a baby, with his or her eyes closing during sleep and opening while awake. And because those uterine walls are becoming thinner, more light penetrates the womb, helping your baby differentiate between day and night (now if only baby can remember that difference on the outside!).
And good news! Your baby has reached an important milestone about now: The development of his or her own immune system that (along with antibodies from you) will be able to provide protection from mild infections.
With midnight bathroom runs, leg cramps, heartburn, and your basketball-sized belly, it's no wonder sleep is elusive. Third-trimester insomnia strikes about three-quarters of pregnant women (who may also be coping with a mind that races all night long). But your body needs rest, so do your best to get comfy. Grab a pile of pillows, wedge them where you need to, and look on the bright side: Pregnancy insomnia is great training for those sleepless nights to come! Your baby is still gaining weight (about half a pound a week), and she could grow up to another full inch this week. With that much baby inside your uterus, your amniotic fluid level has maxed out, which explains why some of her pokes and kicks feel pretty sharp these days. (There's less fluid to cushion the blows.) Antibodies are being passed from you to your little one as she continues to develop her own fetal immune system, which will come in handy once she's outside the womb and fending off all sorts of germs.
Hopefullty this came out shorte than last weeks post!
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
We put our 'dream sheet' in and will find out where we are going, after Albequerque, on the 24th!!! I can't wait! We will also be finding out when we will be moving to ABQ too.
This is the hotel where we stayed (one of the buildings).
Baby update: As of my Dr. appt on the 6th, little miss Rachael is still breech, and now is also oblique. That means she has her head pointing towards my right shoulder and her bottom going towards my left hip. We'll know more about how we will procede after my next visit on the 27th.
This week your baby weighs almost four pounds and could be up to 19 inches long. And though that's a head-to-toe length, your baby is actually back to a curled-up position (you try standing up in those cramped quarters!). At 32 weeks pregnant, you're likely feeling tapping and squirming instead of your baby's signature rocking and rolling. That's because, while comfy, your baby is a bit tight for exercise space right now. Your baby has also probably settled into the head-down, bottoms-up position in your pelvis in prepartion for birth. That's because the fetus's head fits better at the bottom of your inverted, pear-shaped uterus. It also makes it easier during childbirth if your baby comes out head first. Fewer than five percent of babies prefer the bottom-down (or breech) position by full-term. Don't worry if your baby hasn't assumed the head-down position yet. There's still a good chance he or she will flip head-side-down before birth — even in the tight confines of your uterus.
While your baby is still getting nourishment through the umbilical cord, it won't be long before you'll be bringing on the breast milk or formula (and soon after, the mashed carrots and peas). In anticipation of that momentous transition to mouth feeding, your baby's digestive system is all set and ready to go.
And speaking of that big day, hope you're resting up for it — because your bambino certainly is. In preparation for that big first date with you, your baby is sleeping like a baby — with sleep cycles of 20 to 40 minutes long (which would also account for the decrease in movement you're likely feeling these days).
Your baby is practicing survival skills like sucking and breathing, while your uterus is practicing some Braxton Hicks contractions.
This week, your body may start prepping for delivery day by flexing its muscles — literally. If you feel your uterus bunching or hardening periodically, those are practice contractions, otherwise known as Braxton Hicks. These rehearsals (typically experienced earlier and with more intensity in women who've been pregnant before) feel like a tightening sensation that begins at the top of your uterus then spreads downward, lasting from 15 to 30 seconds (though they can sometimes last two minutes or more). What's up with your baby? She's starting to get ready for her big debut, tipping the scales at almost four pounds and topping out at just about 19 inches. In these last few weeks, it's all about practice, practice, practice as she hones the skills she'll need to survive and thrive outside the womb, from swallowing and breathing to kicking and sucking. And speaking of sucking, your little one has been able to suck her thumb for a while now. Another change this week: As more and more fat accumulates under your baby's skin, she's becoming less transparent and more opaque.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
As far as growth goes, your baby's still on a roll, measuring an impressive 18 inches and weighing in at more than three pounds. At 31 weeks pregnant, you can still expect your baby to gain at least three to five pounds, possibly more, before you two meet.
Your baby's brain is working overtime these days, developing faster than ever. Connections between individual nerve cells are growing at a frenetic clip, and your baby can now perceive information from all five senses. Sure, your baby can't smell anything right now, but that's only because he or she is still submerged in amniotic fluid and needs to be breathing air to get a whiff of anything. Lucky for you — and your baby — yours will be one of the very first scents your baby breathes in, a scent that will quickly become his or her very favorite.
So what's your little dove doing all day while you're busy feathering your nest for his or her arrival? Making faces, hiccupping, swallowing, breathing, pedaling with little hands and feet along your uterine wall, and even sucking his or her thumb. In fact, some babies suck their thumbs so vigorously while in the womb that they're born with a callus on their thumb (what a little sucker!).
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Allan got his "dream sheet" yesterday. That means that we are in the process of figuring out where we would like to spend the next 4 years of our life, ranked by preference. Fortunately, Allan is fairly high up in his class, meaning we should get our 1st or 2nd choice (provided they are even available). He has to turn it in next Tues, and we will find out the results on July 24th!!
I'll do our baby update tomorrow.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Rachaels' "first" pair of ears!
Always the princess! This was in our hotel lobby.
Now for the baby update:
Your baby's brain is getting smarter by the minute, but for Mom, the only thing that smarts right now may be heartburn pain.
These days you may feel as if you've got a flamethrower in your chest. Heartburn is one of the most common (and annoying) pregnancy ailments and here's why: The same pregnancy hormones that cause your body's pelvic muscles to relax so you can deliver your baby also relax the ring of muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach. The upshot? Food and digestive juices can head upstream from your tummy into your chest and throat — hence, the infernal inferno. Your expanding uterus, now exerting pressure on your stomach, only fuels the fire. And speaking of your belly, its increasing size is a definite clue that your baby is getting bigger every day, weighing in at over three pounds now. Also growing daily is his brain, which is actually starting to look like the real thing with those characteristic grooves and wrinkles. And now that your little genius can regulate his own body temperature and turn up the heat, he'll start shedding lanugo, the downy body hair that's been keeping him warm up until now.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Now for some pictures, then our regularly scheduled update....
Your baby's packing on the pounds, which look so cute on her. If only you could say the same for your varicose veins....
Your baby is almost 17 inches tall now, nearly as tall as he or she will be at birth. But that three-pound weight will likely more than double — and may even come close to tripling — by delivery time.
At 29 weeks pregnant, your baby is almost 17 inches tall now (nearly as tall as he or she will be at birth), and close to three pounds (a weight that will likely more than double — and may even come close to tripling — by delivery time). His or her wrinkled skin is smoothing out as more fat is deposited under the skin surface. This fat, called white fat, is different from the earlier brown fat that your developing fetus accumulated. Brown fat is necessary for body temperature regulation while white fat (the fat you have, Mom) actually serves as an energy source.
Which explains why your energizer baby feels so…well…energized! Space in your baby's living quarters is now at a premium, so you'll be feeling jabs and pokes from elbows and knees mostly. But those kicks will be more vigorous than before (and also less erratic) because your baby is stronger and excitedly responding to all sorts of stimuli — movement, sounds, light, and that candy bar you ate half an hour ago.
Luckily, your baby doesn't have teeth yet that would need a brushing after that sugary treat, but it won't be long before you'll need to buy that first baby toothbrush! You'll recall that your baby's baby-teeth buds formed weeks ago, but now the buds for permanent teeth are forming in his or her gums as well.
And back to those kicks, who's counting? Actually, you should be. Now's a good time to start doing a kick count twice a day to make sure baby's doing just fine (plus, it's a good excuse for a rest). Lie down (preferably after a snack) and keep track of your baby's movements. You're looking for at least ten movements in an hour's time (don't forget to count movements of any kind — kicks, flutters, swishes, rolls, and so on).
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Your baby is settling into the proper position for birth, with his head facing downward (toward your body's nearest exit!). Your little work in progress is now about 2.5 pounds and almost 16 inches long. He's busy adding new skills such as blinking to an already impressive repertoire of tricks like coughing, sucking, hiccuping, and taking practice breaths. Your baby's sleep now includes the REM (rapid eye movement) phase — and that means he could be dreaming already (what do you suppose he's dreaming about?). Though his lungs are nearly fully mature (so both of you might breathe a little easier if he were born now), your baby still has plenty of growing to do.
While it's good news that your baby is settling into the right position for childbirth (since you're now entering the third trimester), the potentially painful news is his head — plus the weight of your uterus — may now be sitting on your sciatic nerve, which runs through the lower part of your back, buttocks, and legs. This common condition (called sciatica) can cause sharp, shooting pain and/or tingling or numbness, starting in your rear end and radiating down the backs of your legs. The best thing to do for sciatica (and the rest of your week 28 aches and woes)? Take it easy — and hope your baby changes position sooner rather than later.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Here's our 27 week update:
Your baby moves on to a whole new growth chart this week, while your swollen feet and ankles may need a growth chart of their own!
Puffy? That's to be expected — about 75 percent of soon-to-be moms experience edema (mild swelling of the hands, feet, and ankles) around this point in pregnancy. That's because fluids build up in your body tissues thanks (or no thanks) to increased blood flow and uterine pressure on the vena cava (the large vein that cycles blood from your lower limbs to your heart). So while you may have a hard time squeezing into shoes or getting your rings on (or off), keep in mind that the puff factor is completely normal and temporary. As for baby, it's time to trade in the old crown-to-rump measurement for a new head-to-toe standard (that's 15 inches this week — more than a foot long!). His weight is creeping up the charts as well, coming in at just over two pounds. More big news: Your baby may recognize your voice by now, so feel free to serenade your belly.
Most babies this age, yours included, still like to snuggle in a slightly curled position inside the uterus (thus the term "fetal position"). Even so, beginning at this stage, your baby's length will be measured from top of head to toe — which makes your baby nearly a full 15 inches now. And at just over two pounds, he or she has doubled in weight from four weeks ago.
Your baby's auditory development (hearing) is progressing as the network of nerves to the ears matures. And even though the sounds your baby hears are muffled (thanks to the creamy coating of vernix covering those ears), he or she may recognize both yours and your partner's voices. So this might be a good time to read and even sing to your baby (or rather, your belly) — and a good chance to start boning up on those nursery rhymes and lullabies you'll need to be repeating (and repeating) pretty soon. And while you're at it, here's another way to have some family fun at 27 weeks pregnant: If your partner presses his ear to your belly, he might be able to hear the baby's heartbeat.
Your baby's taste buds are very developed now too (with more taste buds than he or she will ever have outside the womb, actually). Need a taste test? If you eat some spicy food (you hot mama, you), your baby will be able to taste the difference in the amniotic fluid (but keep in mind that you'll have different mealtimes, with your baby's coming about two hours after yours). Some babies will even respond to that spicy kick by hiccupping. And although hiccups (which feel like belly spasms to you) may seem like they're disturbing to your baby, he or she isn't stressed at all. It's just one more sensation that babies need to get used to.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
My Dr. appt went well. Blood sugar and other blood work all came back perfect. So, no worries there.
Can't wait to come home tomorrow!!!
The Baby Update:
At nine inches and more than a pound and a half in weight, your baby is taller than two juice boxes stacked one on top of the other, and almost as heavy as four of those little boxes (an analogy you'll find particularly apropos in a few years, when those juice boxes start taking over your refrigerator, your pantry, your car.…).
Don't look now (as if you could), but your baby's skin is turning pinker. No, not because he or she's getting overheated (in fact, the amniotic fluid is perfectly climate controlled, keeping your baby at an always comfortable temperature), but because small blood vessels, called capillaries, are forming under the skin and filling with blood. Later this week, blood vessels will also develop in your baby's lungs, bringing them one step closer to full maturity — and one step closer to taking that first breath of fresh air. But at 25 weeks pregnant, those lungs are still very much works in progress. Though they are already beginning to develop surfactant, a substance that will help the lungs expand after the baby is born, the lungs are still too undeveloped to sufficiently send oxygen to the bloodstream and release carbon dioxide when he or she exhales.
The lungs aren't the only system that's gearing up for air intake. Your baby's nostrils, which have been plugged up until now, are starting to open this week. This actually allows your little one to begin taking practice breaths. (Of course since there's no air in there, your baby is really only "breathing" amniotic fluid, but it's the practice that counts, right?)
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
If your former innie is now an outie, welcome to the club. Almost every expectant mom's pregnant belly button pops at some point as her swelling uterus pushes on everything in its path. Things should return to normal after delivery, though your navel (and some other parts of your body) might look a bit, well, stretched. Just think of it as one more badge of honor that only moms get to wear. As for your baby, she's about eight and a half inches long and one and a half pounds, gaining steadily at a rate of six ounces per week. Much of that weight comes from accumulating baby fat, as well as from growing organs, bones, and muscle. By now, that fabulous face is almost fully formed, complete with eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair. Is your baby a brunette, a blond, or a redhead? Actually, right now her locks are white since there's no pigment yet.
Wondering what (and who) your baby will look like? If you had a baby cam at 24 weeks pregnant, you'd almost be able to tell by now. That beautiful face (though still tiny) is almost fully formed. What's still missing from the picture is the fat that will be piled on under baby's skin. Until those fat deposits are made, that very tender skin is still very transparent, which means a close look would let you see clear through to all the organs, bones, and blood vessels. Fortunately, that see-through look won't last much longer. Babies at this stage of fetal development are gaining about six ounces each week — with much of that gain coming from fat, in addition to growing organs, bones, and muscle.
What's been playing on your little rocker's stereo system these days? All kinds of sounds can be heard by your baby in your womb: from air exhaling from your lungs (deep breath now), those gastric gurgles produced by your stomach and intestines, your voice and your partner's (which your baby will be able to recognize at birth), and even very loud sounds such as honking horns, barking dogs, or a wailing fire truck.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Not much going on around here this week, so on to the weekly update:
At eight inches and slightly over a pound, your baby is the size and shape of a small doll when you are 23 weeks pregnant. (But then, you already knew that you were carrying a living doll, didn't you?) This week marks the beginning of some serious weight gain. Your baby's weight in the next four weeks alone should double (and you may feel as though yours is too).
You have probably heard your developing baby's heartbeat through a Doppler a number of times already (though you never get tired of hearing it), but by now you can also hear it through a standard stethoscope. What a heart throb!
You're now in your sixth month and your baby is about to chub up a bit. His saggy skin will start to fit his frame as fat deposits fill things out. Beginning this week, he'll start to pack on the pounds (which means you will, too!) and by month's end he'll be double the weight he is now (though you won't be — whew!). Right now, your baby's organs and bones are visible through his skin, which has a red hue due to developing veins and arteries beneath. But once those fat deposits settle in, he'll become less transparent, too.
Yes, the baby you're expecting is cozily ensconced in your abdomen — yet, by now you've probably noticed that pregnancy affects you head to toe, and pretty much everywhere in between. At 23 weeks pregnant, your head is fuzzy (this is your brain…this is your brain on progesterone), and your toes (well, your feet, at least) are growing. Stretch marks are blooming in vibrant shades of pink and purple on pretty much every available surface of skin and…wait! What's that funky dark line running down the center of your belly?
That line has actually always been there, but you probably never noticed it until pregnancy hormones caused hyperpigmentation. Other (less than delightful) skin changes on your body may include red palms and soles, bluish blotchy legs, heat rash, and skin tags.
Believe it or not, it's called the "dark line" — or as your practitioner likes to call it, linea nigra. A common emblem of pregnancy (more noticeable in darker skinned women), the linea nigra, which runs between your belly button and your pubic area, is caused by the same pregnancy hormones that cause all the skin discolorations you might be noticing. Like the deeper tone of the freckles on your arms and legs.
Some women (again, more often darker-skinned ones) notice discoloration on the face too, especially in the area around the nose, forehead, cheeks, and eyes. It's called the mask of pregnancy (or chloasma) because it appears as a mask-like configuration on the face. Rest assured, you won't be playing masquerade for much longer. All these skin discolorations will fade within a few months after delivery. In the meantime, bring on the concealer (though not the bleaching creams, which won't work anyway).
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
On a sadder note, our new friends (and neighbors) left Monday to move to Alaska. We're all really bummed about it. The guys got along great and would get together to play video baseball and go golfing. I would hang out and go shopping with his wife. She was a great pregnancy resource for me as well. They have a now 7 month old daughter who is just adorable and also showed Allan that having a little girl is fun!! Ashlyn would watch sports with all of us. They will truly be missed. We're already trying to figure out how to meet up with them again, especially if we end up assigned to the pacific northwest.
Now on to the "important" stuff!!
Guess what? At 22 weeks pregnant, your baby has finally broken the one-pound mark. How heavy is that? Hold a one-pound box of sugar in your hand the next time you're in the grocery story (and expect people to ask you why you're grinning from ear to ear). Is the box eight inches long? That's about the length your baby is too! This week, your sweetie is making more sense of the world as he or she develops the sense of touch. In fact, your little one's grip is quite developed by now — and since there's nothing else to grab in utero, he or she may sometimes hold on tight to that umbilical cord (don't worry — it's tough enough to handle it). The sense of sight is also getting more developed. Your fetus can now perceive light and dark much better than before (even with those fused eyelids). But remember — unless you're shining a flashlight over your belly (which you can do, by the way), it'll be mostly dark for your baby inside that cozy womb of yours.
Moving up from the eyes, the eyelashes and eyebrows are well formed now — and even more hair is sprouting atop that cute little head. You'd be quite surprised, though, if you could see your little one up close and in color. Hair at this stage of fetal development has no pigment, so it's bright white.
As if an ever-expanding belly wasn't enough — now your feet are getting in on the act! That's because the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which loosens your pelvic ligaments when you're expecting, loosens every other ligament too — including the ones in your tootsies. In turn, the bones beneath those ligaments spread slightly, which results, for many women, in a half or whole shoe-size increase. So if you haven't already stashed away your stilettos, now's the time to bid farewell — at least for a while. Besides, you need sensible shoes to help you balance that big belly and your changing center of gravity. This week, your baby weighs in at a whopping pound and measures nearly eight inches, about the size of a small doll. But your doll is a living one who can now perceive light and dark. She can also hear your voice, your heartbeat, your gurgling stomach, and the whoosh-whoosh of blood circulating through your body.
By now you may have been the target of at least one well-wishing tummy-toucher — you know, those people (and they could be anyone — friends, co-workers, the guy you buy your morning paper from, a perfect stranger on the deli line) who just can't resist reaching out and rubbing your belly. And who can blame them? After all, pregnant bellies — so round, so cute, and housing something even cuter — practically beg to be touched. Now you may not mind being treated like an exhibit at a children's museum (and, if you're a touchy-feely person yourself, you may even welcome the public display of affection for your belly), but if you do mind, there are a couple of approaches you can take. One, use your words ("I know it's tempting, but I really would rather you didn't touch my belly"). Two, back off — literally, dodging their advances. And three, turn the tables by giving their belly a rub to see how they like it (especially effective with middle-aged men sporting paunches). Remember, you're sharing your body on the inside — you don't need to share on the outside too.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
At about seven inches in length and almost 11 ounces in weight, your baby is about the size of a large banana. By 21 weeks pregnant, your baby swallows at least several ounces of amniotic fluid each day — not only for hydration and nutrition, but also to practice swallowing and digesting — skills your baby will need as soon as he or she arrives in your arms. And keep this in mind: The taste of the amniotic fluid differs from day to day depending on what you've eaten (spicy enchilada one day, sweet carrots another). And that smorgasbord of tastes won't be lost on your baby. That's because your little one has very developed taste buds already. In fact, researchers have noted that babies who were exposed to certain tastes in utero via the amniotic fluid were more eager to eat foods with that same taste after birth. Want your baby to eat his or her broccoli later? Eat yours now! Your developing baby still has a great deal of room in your womb — though like anyone who lives in one space for a long time, this tenant will soon begin to feel cramped. Until those uterine walls start closing in, however, there's plenty of space for twisting, turning, and even an occasional somersault (so that's what you were feeling last night!).
How big is your baby? About the size of a large banana — and speaking of bananas, if you eat one this week, there's a good chance your baby will get a taste, too. That's because he swallows a bit of amniotic fluid each day (for nutrition, hydration, and to practice digesting), so he eats whatever's on your menu. In other (not so welcome) news, you may start to notice some stretch marks as your body expands and your belly and breasts just keep on growing. These pink, red, or purple streaks appear when the supporting tissue under your skin gets torn as skin stretches (and stretches and stretches) during pregnancy. Not every woman gets them, though you're a likely candidate if your mom had stretch marks during her pregnancy or if you've gained weight rapidly. Most pregnant women fear them. Many won't even talk about them. Some particularly enlightened ones wear them proudly as a badge of pregnancy. No, not maternity clothes. Stretch marks. Your baby's not even born yet and, at 21 weeks pregnant, is already leaving a mark — all over your belly, butt, thighs, hips, and breasts. More than half of all pregnant women will get these pink or red (sometimes purplish) streaks that are caused by tiny tears in the supporting layers of tissue under your skin as it becomes stretched to its limit.
Unfortunately, there's no proven way to prevent stretch marks from zigzagging their way across your skin (though there's no harm in applying moisturizers, such as cocoa butter, to your skin; if nothing else, it will prevent the dryness and itching associated with pregnancy-stretched skin). Susceptibility has lots to do with genetics: Chances are, if your mother got them, you probably will too. If your mother sailed through her pregnancies with smooth skin intact, you'll probably stay as smooth as your baby's butt. Rapid weight gain can also predispose you to getting stretch marks — another good reason to add your pounds slowly and steadily (at an average of about a pound a week these days). Darker-skinned women are less likely to get stretch marks (plus, they're not as visible on dark skin) — but fair-skinned gals are usually less lucky. Is there any good news about stretch marks? Here's something: They won't stay so vividly hued forever. After delivery, they usually fade to a less noticeable (and more easily concealable) silvery gray color. Meanwhile, try to wear them with pride.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
On to the "official" update:
Congratulations, at 20 weeks pregnant, you're at the midpoint of your pregnancy. Keeping pace, your fast-ballooning uterus has also reached the midway point, just about even with your belly button now. So go ahead — take a feel. That's one of the perks of being pregnant — you get to rub your belly anytime you want (in fact, it's expected when you're expecting). Happily, there are other good side effects of pregnancy too. Can't think of any? Well, here's one: Have you checked out your nails lately? They're likely growing faster than usual, and faster than you can manicure them. What about your hair? Does it feel thicker and look more healthy than usual? It's probably growing faster, too (not to mention growing in unexpected places, which may not be such a good thing). You can credit (or blame) those pregnancy hormones again for these changes. The increased blood circulation that's bringing more nutrients to your hair and nails also deserves some thanks.
Curious about whether that melon-sized belly contains a boy or a girl? Now's your chance to take a peek! Your second trimester ultrasound, scheduled for anywhere between 18 and 22 weeks, gives your practitioner a chance to see how things are going in there. And, wow, are they going! If you're having a girl, her uterus is now fully formed and her ovaries are holding about seven million primitive eggs. If you're having a boy, his testicles have begun their descent from the abdomen to their ultimate destination: the scrotum. And while your baby is definitely getting bigger (he's about ten ounces, six and a half inches), there's still plenty of growing room in there, which allows him to twist and turn (and allows you to feel his acrobatics!). You might be noticing your nails are stronger and your hair (all over your body) is thicker and fuller than usual — all thanks to pregnancy hormones and increased circulation, which furnish extra nutrients to hair and nail cells. But while the hair on your head may be lovelier than ever, you might not be digging those sprouts on your chin. This situation is indeed temporary, but feel free to tweeze!
You've got a heavyweight in your belly at 20 weeks pregnant (well, in baby terms, anyway). Your little champ weighs about ten ounces and has a height, crown to rump, of about six and a half inches. Think small cantaloupe (and probably as sweet too).
Is it a boy cantaloupe or a girl cantaloupe? You'll be able to find out your baby's gender via the ultrasound by this point. If you're carrying a girl fetus, her uterus is fully formed this week and her vaginal canal is starting its development (which means that in about twenty-five or thirty-some-odd years, she could be just where you're at, Grandma!). She also has primitive eggs in her tiny little ovaries now, seven million of them — though by the time she's born, that number will be down to two million (still more than she could ever hope to use). And interestingly, your baby girl will be born with all the eggs she'll ever have.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Wish us luck!!! We'll update everyone tonight!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
On the baby front......we have our appointment on Monday at 3:30 for our next ultrasound. This is the "big" one. We're hoping that peanut will cooperate and show us what we want to see! I can't wait, and I think some of my friends are more anxious than I am (if that's possible).
Onto our update:
Six inches long this week and about eight ounces in weight, your baby is the size of a large mango. Your little action figure is able to choreograph Matrix-like moves at 19 weeks pregnant. Arms and legs are finally in proportion, neurons are now connected between the brain and muscles, and cartilage throughout the body is turning to bone. All these upgrades combine to give your baby more control over limb movements. Which explains all that kicking, stretching, and bodysurfing (or rather bellysurfing) you've possibly started feeling by now.
Something else going on this week: Your baby is getting a cheesy varnish. Say what? Yup — a protective substance called vernix caseosa (vernix is the Latin word for varnish; caseosa is cheese) now covers your baby's skin. It's greasy and white and is made up of lanugo (that downy hair), oil from your baby's glands, and dead skin cells. This waxy "cheese" may not sound too appetizing or attractive, but it's there for good reason: Vernix protects your baby's sensitive skin from the surrounding amniotic fluid. Without it, your baby would look very wrinkled at birth (sort of what you'd look like if you soaked in a bath for nine months). Some babies — especially those born early — will still be covered with vernix at the delivery, so you might get a look at your baby's first anti-wrinkle cream.
One minute you're lying peacefully in bed and the next your calf muscle feels like it's about to explode. Leg cramps during pregnancy are pretty common (though no one knows exactly what causes them) and tend to strike at night. You might also be wondering about tingling and numbness in your fingers and toes about now. It's a weird sensation but totally normal, probably a result of your body's swelling tissues pressing on nerves.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Here's a picture from "Mustache March" (tradition in the Air Force)...
Something you won't see on the ultrasound, but you'll know is in working order, is your baby's nervous system, which is maturing rapidly at this time. Nerves, now covered with a substance called myelin (which speeds messages from nerve cell to nerve cell), are forming more complex connections. And those in the brain are further specializing into the ones that serve the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. Talking about hearing, your baby's is growing more acute, making your little one more conscious of sounds that come from inside your body (which means you could both be listening to each other hiccup — a skill that your baby has by now).
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Allan is flying out and backs now. They are what they sound like....they fly out somewhere, and then back here. So far he has only been flying in the local area. Today he's off to Panama City,FL (weather permiting).
Here's a picture from last week.....
Now for the *technical* update:
How big is your baby at 17 weeks pregnant? About five inches long and more than three and a half ounces — the size of your open hand. (Open the other one too and imagine your baby cradled in both your arms right after delivery!) Body fat (baby's, that is) is beginning to form and will continue to accumulate through the end of your pregnancy. By the time your baby is born, body fat will make up about two-thirds of his or her weight (and will make all those chubby parts especially yummy). Your baby is almost certainly listening up by now. In fact, loud noises — the dog barking, the doorbell ringing — will actually startle your baby (and also get him or her used to such noises; for instance, fetuses who regularly hear a dog barking will become babies who sleep right through Fido's outbursts).
Your baby's eyes (which have fortunately finished their migration to the front of his or her head) are making small side-to-side movements and can even perceive some light, though the eyelids are still sealed. And since practice makes perfect, your baby is sharpening his or her sucking and swallowing skills in preparation for that first (and second…and third) suckle at your breast or bottle. In fact, most of the survival reflexes that your baby will have at birth are being perfected in utero right now.
And here's some proof that your baby is truly one of a kind (as if you needed any!). Within the next week or so, the pads on your baby's fingertips and toes will become adorned with completely individual swirls and creases (aka fingerprints).
Remember when you were so queasy you could barely stomach ginger ale and a cracker? Happily, your toilet-hugging days (and nights) are probably over. And happily (and hungrily) these days it's more likely that you can't get enough to eat. For most women, the second trimester not only brings relief from morning sickness, but also brings on a truck driver's appetite. Don't be surprised if you suddenly feel hungry enough to polish off a 24-ounce porterhouse, a three-pound lobster (with lots of butter), or a whole tray of baked ziti at 17 weeks pregnant. And was that you who turned that extra large pizza into a personal pan?
What's turning you into a one-woman demolition derby at the buffet? What has you outeating your spouse (and often, eating food off his plate?) Simple — you're taking signals from your baby, who's getting bigger and hungrier. Just a few sensible words of advice, however, as you interpret those signals: Though it may be a relief to enjoy food again after three months of queasies (and aversions), you may want to proceed to the dinner table with caution. Keep in mind that no matter how big or hungry your baby is, eating for two should never be taken literally during pregnancy; if it is, you'll end up looking like two…of you. Now's a good time to play weight gain catch-up if you didn't gain enough (or even lost) weight during the first trimester. But if you find your weight gain is getting ahead of itself, you may want to reel your appetite in just a tad. Remember, too, as you're diving fork-first into that second plateful of pasta, that there's no better time than now to foster the optimal eating habits during pregnancy that will fuel the growth of your healthy baby.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Well....we are now in week 16!! Only 4 more weeks until we find out what we're having!!
This week's update:
Your baby's eyesight (and eyelashes!) is developing rapidly, but all you might be seeing in the mirror these days is a body that looks depressingly bulky. It's hard to watch yourself gain weight during pregnancy, even when you know there's a wonderful reason for it. The challenge, though, is to try to embrace your body's new shape and think of every pound you put on as a sign of good health for you and your baby. As long as you eat right during pregnancy (minimize junk and maximize nutrient-dense foods) and get regular exercise, you'll be fine in the long run. Remember, every woman is different and gains (and loses) at her own pace. One way to show your changing shape some love this week and feel better about yourself in the process: Buy a garment (or accessory) that makes you feel pretty at your new size (and don't forget to buy underwear that fits!). Hey, your baby's bulking up, too! He now weighs in at a whopping three to five ounces, and he's four to five inches in length. His tiny muscles, especially the ones in his back, are gaining strength, so he can straighten out a little more. And those eyes are finally working, making small side-to-side movements and perceiving light (although the eyelids are still sealed). Peek-a-boo!
Listen up: Tiny bones in your fetus's ears are in place this week, making it likely that the baby can hear your voice when you're speaking (or singing in the shower)at 16 weeks pregnant. In fact, studies have found that babies who are sung to while they're in the womb recognize the same tune when it's sung to them after they are born (so choose your baby Muzak with that in mind…). And baby's busily boning up in other ways. For one, the backbone (along with the back muscles) is stronger now — strong enough, in fact, to enable your baby to work on straightening his or her head and neck even more. Baby's crown-to-rump measurement is between four and five inches in length, and weight is hovering around three ounces.
This little one's a looker — with a face that has both eyebrows and eyelashes — but a skinny looker since there's no baby fat yet. And here's the skinny on baby skin: It's practically translucent now, so if you took a peek inside your uterus, you'd be able to see your baby's blood vessels under that thin skin.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Now for the 15 week update:
You might not yet be feeling it, but your baby is kicking those little legs and flexing those elbows, while — higher up — you may be coping with some dental weirdness. Pregnancy hormones are pretty rough on your body, especially the teeth and gums, causing inflammation and making them more susceptible to plaque and bacteria. Your formerly healthy gums may have become super-sensitive and prone to bleeding.In addition, you might be coping with a chronic stuffy nose or even nosebleeds during pregnancy, also brought on by progesterone surging through your system. Fear not — it'll all pass. In the meantime, focus on how much is happening with your baby. She's about the size of an orange this week, her ears have migrated to the sides of her head, and her eyes are moving to the front of her face. Plus, your little smarty-pants can now wiggle her fingers and toes and make breathing movements in preparation for life outside the womb.
Curious why your body is finally looking like it's pregnant? That's because your baby is growing bigger each week — he or she is as long as four and a half inches right now. Need a better visual (and a snack)? Hold a large navel orange in your hand — that's how big your little darlin' is at 15 weeks pregnant. (Now that you're done looking, peel that orange and eat it for a delicious two servings of vitamin C!).
So what keeps your baby busy all day? Mostly, your fetus is in rehearsals — practice, practice, practicing, and getting ready for that big debut. Babies practice breathing, sucking, and swallowing so that when they leave your comfy womb and move into your comfy house, they'll have the skills necessary to survive. Fetal body movements continue to get practice this week, too. But because your baby weighs so little (a bit over two ounces), you won't feel the calisthenics going on inside your abdominal gym. But don't let that fool you. Your fetus is holding daily aerobics classes — kicking, curling toes, and moving those little arms and legs.
And with each passing week, your fetus is looking more and more like the baby you're picturing in your dreams. By now, the ears are positioned properly on the sides of the head (they used to be in the neck) and the eyes are moving from the side of the head to the front of the face — where they'll soon meet your loving gaze.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Now for week 14 update:
Week 14 of Pregnancy
It's all about hair now as your baby sprouts some on his head, eyebrows, and body. As for Mom, those first-trimester symptoms should be easing up a bit. Welcome to the second trimester!
With any luck, your energy level is making a comeback. More good news on the horizon: less morning sickness and fewer trips to the potty to pee. You might find yourself feeling pregnancy aches on the lower sides of your abdomen about now as the muscles and ligaments that support your growing uterus stretch. And though it might be a pain in the — well, lower abdomen, it's pain with a gain — and a sign that it won't be long now until your body finally starts to show that you're expecting. Meanwhile, your baby is about the size of a clenched fist and he's sporting a downy coating of hair (lanugo) that keeps him nice and warm. Not to worry — you won't give birth to a monkey; baby fat will accumulate over the next few months, keeping your baby warm and toasty — and allowing most of that hair to shed.
If you could peek inside yourself now, you'd see a baby the size of your clenched fist (and come to think of it, at 14 weeks of fetal development, your little one can clench his or her own fist!). As fetal development continues, your baby also has the coordination, strength, and smarts to wiggle his or her fingers and toes and even suck a thumb (how cute is that?).
At 14 Weeks Pregnant, Your Baby is a Mover (But Not a Shaker Yet)
Growing by leaps and bounds, by week 14 of pregnancy, your baby is leaping and bounding. He or she is on the move almost constantly — and those movements are a far cry from those jerky twitches of last trimester (though you won't feel any of them for weeks to come). They are now ballet-like, smooth and fluid.
Developing Perfect Posture (or Better Posture, at Least)
Speaking of ballet, it'll be years before you'll start nagging your offspring to stand up straight — but unbelievably, he or she is doing it right now, without any prodding! No slouch anymore, your baby's neck is getting longer, helping his or her head stand more erect. This gives your 14-week-old fetus a more straightened-out appearance.
Your Little Bigfoot — A Hairy Baby at 14 Weeks
Growth is happening on top of the head as well — by 14 weeks pregnant, your baby could be sprouting some hair (though the final color may not be determined until birth) and the eyebrows are filling in, too.
Hair growth isn't limited to the baby's head, though. He or she is also covered with a downy coating of hair called lanugo, largely there for warmth. As fat accumulates later on in your pregnancy (the baby's fat, not yours — though that will accumulate, too), most of the lanugo will shed — though some babies, especially those born early, still have a fuzzy coating at delivery (it sheds soon afterward).
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Your fetus is now about three inches long, the size of a peach — and half of that length is head. By the time your baby is ready to make his or her entrance into the world, the head will be only one-fourth as large as the body.
Your fetus is about three inches long and the size of a peach at 13 weeks pregnant. But don't compare your fetus with the fetus next door. Starting about now, babies begin growing at different paces, some faster than others, some more slowly, though they all follow the same developmental path. Growing at a universally breakneck speed now is your baby's body as it tries to catch up to the head in terms of size. Though your baby's head is about half the size of its body now, by the time your baby is ready to make his or her entrance into the world, the head will be only one-fourth as large as the body. Your baby's intestines are also in for some big changes right now. Up till this point, they've been growing in a cavity inside the umbilical cord; but now they're moving to their permanent (and more conveniently located) address, in your baby's abdomen. And to serve your growing baby's needs, the placenta is also growing. It weighs about an ounce now and will weigh one to two pounds at birth (something else you'll soon be able to blame your weight gain on!).
Also developing this week: your baby's vocal chords. Because sound can't travel through your uterus (your baby's current habitat), you won't be able to hear any sounds or cries just yet, but oh boy (or girl) — those vocal chords will get a good workout once that baby is born.
Hope you enjoyed the biology lesson!! Come by for next weeks update!
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!