Wednesday, April 15, 2009

20 weeks most everyone knows, we're having a girl! Yay!!! We're very excited about it. Everything looked perfect and as it should be during the ultrasound. We're halfway through this amazing journey!

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.

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