Wednesday, April 1, 2009

18 weeks

We've had an exciting week around here.....mostly due to weather. We had the tornado sirens go off 3 times in 3 days. Once at 6 am (what a GREAT way to wake up!). Allan got to fly over our house, but I didn't find out until later that afternoon when he got home. He's supposed to be flying that route more, so I'll try to get pics/ video when he does.

Here's a picture from "Mustache March" (tradition in the Air Force)...

Now...on to the update.....
You might start to feel your baby moving around anytime now, which is a great way to take your mind off your bothersome back.
Oh, my aching back! If you've uttered those words more than once this week, here's why: Your uterus, now about the size of a cantaloupe, is causing your body's center of gravity to shift, pulling the lower back forward and pushing the abdomen out. On top of all that, joint-loosening pregnancy hormones are wreaking havoc on your muscles and ligaments, adding up to one big ouch! But while your pregnancy back pain has got you tied up in knots, your baby's getting ready to bust a move. At five and a half inches long and five ounces in weight, he now may be large enough for you to feel him twisting, rolling, kicking, and punching his way around the womb. Plus, he's developing yawning and hiccupping skills (you may feel those soon, too!) and his very own unique set of toe and fingerprints.
At 18 weeks pregnant, your baby is hitting the height chart at five and a half inches long (remember, that's crown to rump) and weighs about five ounces (the weight of that boneless chicken breast you're making for dinner). And now for the skill of the week (drum roll please…): The art of the yawn has been mastered by your baby (someone's sleepy!). In fact, you might catch a glimpse of that adorable yawn if you're getting an ultrasound this month. You'll also catch a glimpse of all the fetal movement your baby's doing — twists, rolls, kicks, and punches. And would you believe your baby is finally big enough for you to start feeling those movements now (or anytime in the next few weeks). So get ready!

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).

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