Tuesday, August 21, 2007

18 weeks

today we go in for the anatomy scan (ultrasound). it's a big day and I'm super excited. I guess - if you wanted to be a dick about it - that you could say that there are no big days until baby mcg is here. but it doesn't feel like that to me. it feels like each week there's a different milestone and a different thing to do.

it's funny, we're a little (only a little) wound up about having the baby's room ready "in time for baby".. as if the kid is going to pop out speaking english and say "you know, I really would have appreciated it if you went with a different color scheme in here" or "wtf? why is there a keyboard in here? this is my bedroom, yo! get it out!" I don't know. we're both pretty driven and we're still ahead of the game so i'm trying not to stress about things like that. don't stress, but don't waste time either.

anyway, I wanted to share an excerpt of "what's happening at 18 weeks" (though in reality we're at 18 1/2 weeks) ...

How baby's growing:
Head to bottom, your baby is approximately 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a large sweet potato) and she weighs almost 7 ounces. She's busy flexing her arms and legs — movements that you'll likely start noticing more and more [correct! even dad can feel from the outside]. Her blood vessels are visible through her thin skin and her ears are now in position and stand out from her head. Myelin (a protective covering) is beginning to form around her nerves, a process that will continue for a year after she's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and Fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If your baby is a boy, his genitals are noticeable, though he may hide them from you during an ultrasound. At this point of your pregnancy, your uterus is approximately the size of a cantaloupe.

Around this time, your baby becomes more sensitive to the outside world and shows her presence through powerful kicks and prods. [Try drinking a coke - that will wake baby up!] The bones through which sound is passed to the inner ear have hardened and the part of the brain that receives and processes nerve signals from the ears are developing. This means that your baby can hear now. Your baby will get used to familiar sounds, such as your heart beating, familiar voices, blood rushing through the umbilical cord and other daily routine sounds. Your baby will become startled if he hears a loud sound.

If you have a stethoscope at home, you can now hear the baby's heartbeat yourself.

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Information is designed to give you a general idea of baby's development.

How life's changing:
Bigger, more comfortable clothes are a must now as your appetite and waistline increase. Look for specially designed maternity clothes that can accommodate the expanding belly. [duh]

You may have heard that you should avoid lying on your back during your last two trimesters. Here's why: When you lie flat on your back, your uterus can compress a major vein (called the inferior vena cava) that returns blood from the lower half of your body back to your heart. Lying on your side (or even partially tilted to the side), particularly your left side, prevents this compression and improves your blood flow. Try placing a pillow behind you, or under your hip or leg for comfort. [or perhaps just laying down all the time and not walking around at all. ok? ok.]

Your cardiovascular system is undergoing dramatic changes, and during your second trimester your blood pressure is probably lower than usual. Don't spring up too fast from a lying or sitting position or you might feel a little dizzy. [right. or walk around too much. or stay awake too long.]

If you haven't already, you'll probably have an ultrasound done sometime this trimester [today!]. This painless procedure helps your practitioner check how your baby's growing, screen for certain birth defects, check the placenta and umbilical cord, determine whether the due date you're working with is accurate, and see how many babies you're carrying [one confirmed]. During the exam, you might see your baby moving around or sucking her thumb. Bring your partner along, and be sure to ask for a printout for your baby's first photo album! [if baby is asleep they have you drink half a coke to wake it up. almost seems cruel.]

1 comment:

seralata said...

This is why hammocks are THE accessory for pregnant women in much of south america. not only can you easily tilt to the side for sleeping, you can string em low and give birth in them. Seriously. Or maybe they just normally sleep in hammocks anyway and the pregnancy thing is a convenient fringe benefit.