Monday, June 30, 2014

Half-Baked and It's a Girl!

"Pregnancy is a process that invites you to surrender to the unseen force behind all life."
(Judy Ford)

Yes, we're having a girl! According to some of the old wives tales and methods of determining the sex of the baby -- e.g. the Chinese gender predictor charts on TheBump and BabyCenter, and's "Am I Having A Boy or Girl? Fun Ways to Tell!" or's "Girl or Boy: 9 Fun Ways to Predict Your Baby's Gender" (little to no morning sickness) -- we were supposed to have a boy, but we're both overjoyed and had a feeling we were having a little girl.

At 21 weeks, I'm now in the 2nd half of my pregnancy and more than halfway through my 2nd trimester, but as you'll see further below, I don't have many "bump watch"-type photos to share at the moment (but you can take a look at my last post for more photos of me during this time). Going forward, as my belly grows more, I'll do my best to keep up!

At this point, I feel like I've "popped" enough for strangers to at least notice that I have something going on in my midsection, but it still varies depending on what I'm wearing. I haven't dipped into my maternity wardrobe yet. I have some BellaBands, t-shirts, tanks, jeans, pants, and maxi dresses, but fortunately, my usual wardrobe consists of many stretchy clothes or long, loose cardigans, and most of my more casual warm-weather dresses can probably accommodate a 9-months-pregnant belly, so I should be good for the rest of the pregnancy with a mix of regular and maternity clothing.

I also haven't really had any significant cravings lately. I pretty much eat all the food, all the time. I admit that with all of my good intentions, I have not been very active yet, and now being out in the suburbs in Michigan while working from home it's even more challenging, but it's a goal of mine to get moving and eat healthier. At least I've gotten good at drinking plenty of water.

I would also love to get some prenatal pampering while I can! I know it's a luxury, but I wonder why for many of us, often the only times in our lives that we allow ourselves that luxury of massages, facials, or other spa services are when we are getting ready to get married or getting ready to have a baby. I've had the rare opportunity in the last couple of months to have a facial at Asanda Aveda Spa Lounge in Soho (using a Yelp coupon that Sam bought), a prenatal massage at Exhale Atlantic City (during our 2nd anniversary trip), and a mani/pedi at Bliss 49 at the W New York on Lexington Avenue (for my friend Jeannie's baby sprinkle).

But I'm not a stickler for fancy or expensive skincare products. I still use most of the same items as I did pre-pregnancy, and Sam and I continue to share our simple Neutrogena face wash and moisturizer. I'm not using a special stretch mark cream, but just my usual Shea Body Butter (mentioned in a previous post from last winter) -- ultimately, if I'm going to get stretch marks, there's not much I can do to prevent them -- and to spot-treat blemishes, I use tea tree oil products, also from The Body Shop.

14 Weeks, 2nd Trimester
  • 2nd trimester officially began, though there are various ways to calculate trimesters (as mentioned in my "Bye-Bye, 1st Tri" post). It was at this time that I shared the pregnancy news more widely, and started drinking 1 cup of half-caff coffee from my Keurig machine each morning.
  • Baby is the size of a lemon.
  • Sucking thumb and wiggling toes, breathing amniotic fluid, while kidneys are making urine, and liver and spleen are doing their jobs.
  • After a visit to the Brooklyn Museum (mentioned along with a photo in my "Spring Things..." post), Sam and I went to the New York Baby Show with Angela, my mama-to-be friend, at the end of this week, just to take a look at various vendors, see what was out there, and get some free samples and tote bags.

Outside the Brooklyn Museum at 14w6d
Some nice products spotted at the New York Baby Show on May 18, 2014

15 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a navel orange.
  • Squirming, wiggling, and hiccuping inside, and joints and limbs can all move.

16 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of an avocado.
  • Is listening to our voices, and growing hair, lashes, and eyebrows; tiny bones are forming in the ears and eyebrows. 

17 Weeks
  • 2nd trimester screen at 17w0d: 1 tube of blood drawn to test for neural tube defects; blood pressure taken, weight, heartbeat check. Referral to get Level 2 ultrasound/anatomy scan right before moving out of NYC, to check that baby is growing and developing properly, and to assess brain, face, heart, spine, and other major organs, and the placenta and umbilical cord.
  • Baby is the size of an onion.
  • Skeleton is hardening as cartilage turns to bone, umbilical cord is getting stronger and thicker, baby is putting on fat, and fingers and toes are now defined with one-of-a-kind prints.
  • Symptoms: Starting to feel more uncomfortable when trying to sleep at night, leg cramp (left calf), mild headaches.

18 Weeks
  • Level 2 ultrasound/anatomy scan at 18w4d: Took so many different measurements, too much to catch and remember. All I recall from memory is that everything looked good, baby had a heart rate of 147 bpm, and she is a girl!
  • I was given a copy of the results and a report -- as well as all records from this pregnancy, since I have to see a new doctor in Michigan -- and according to the report, "The contour of the fetal calvarium appeared normal in shape without identifiable defects. Intracranial structures were evaluated including a normal appearing choroid plexus and lateral ventricles. Normal size and shape of the cerebellum and cisterna magna, normal thalami and no deviation of the midline falx were noted. There was no evidence of excess nuchal fold thickness, cleft lip, or facial anomalies. Normal intra-abdominal anatomy was noted including stomach, diaphragm, umbilical cord insertion and an intact abdominal wall. Both kidneys and bladder were seen and appeared normal. Three vessels were documented in the umbilical cord. The anatomy of the fetal thorax appeared appropriate. Four symmetric cardiac chambers, LVOT, RVOT and Aortic Arch were identified. Cardiac rhythm was regular." EFW (estimated fetal weight) of 234 g or 0' 8".
  • Baby is the size of a sweet potato.
  • Yawns, hiccups, rolls, kicks, punches, sucks, twists, and swallows.
  • Symptoms: Minor leg cramp (left calf), feeling bigger.

Hands up by the face, like I sometimes sleep, at 18w4d
Here's a little foot

19 Weeks
  • Baby is the size of a mango.
  • Vernix caseosa coats baby's skin, shielding it from amniotic fluid.
  • Symptoms: Minor leg cramp (left calf).
  • Cravings: Ice cream, candy.
  • We moved from Brooklyn to Michigan this week, just 3 days after my anatomy scan. I'm glad I was able to have it done before leaving NYC.

20 Weeks, 50% There!
  • Baby is the size of a banana.
  • Gulping down amniotic fluid for nutrition and to practice swallowing and digesting; taste buds are working.
  • Symptoms: Foot cramp (right foot).
  • At the end of this week, we went to Ann Arbor to visit the University of Michigan, Sam's alma mater. We bought 2 maize-colored yellow onesies -- one with a little Hello Kitty on it, and one that looks like a football -- and a pair of polka-dotted baby socks.

My bun in the oven is half-baked at 20w1d
Visiting U of M in Ann Arbor at 20w5d

It's halfway through my pregnancy, as well as halfway through the year. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly a human being can be created when things go right. 3 weeks from now will be 24 weeks, the point at which a fetus is officially considered viable outside the womb, and that is also when I have my first appointment with an OB in Michigan. Praying for our baby girl's continued health and well-being!


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