Our little bug, growing away furiously in the womb, is going to be named Avery May. She is our daughter. We are elated.
We decided not to do a big sex/name reveal on social media. We didn’t want to make too big a deal of the sex, and we reserve the right to change the name when we meet her (although it’s unlikely we would because we are already referring to her by name).
Also, we got the more “medical” results from last week’s ultrasound. Everything looks great, and MY PLACENTA HAS MOVED! Yay!! This means the pregnancy is completely low-risk once again. I still have one more follow-up ultrasound at 28 weeks to make sure it keeps migrating upward.
I had an intake appointment with our new family doctor this week (she is really awesome), and when the nurse weighed me she said “perfect weight”. Then I said I was surprised I had only gained 8 pounds in 6 months of pregnancy, and she exclaimed, “you’re pregnant?!” My last uterine measurement by the midwife measured 2 weeks behind, but the ultrasound showed baby is right on track. I guess I just have a small abdomen to fit her in (especially in the mornings – it pops out in the evenings). That must be why the movement has been so visible on the outside already. I also got a tetanus booster this week because they are now including a pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine in with it. The whooping cough antibodies will pass on to the fetus so she will be born with a little bit of immunity to it. Great for baby, but my arm has been seriously sore for 3 days, and I was feverish, exhausted, and cranky from the vaccine. They want my wife to get one too so she doesn’t bring whooping cough home to the baby.
Preparations for Baby
- Hypnobirthing. I have gotten noticeably better at the deep relaxation exercise and at retreating into my mind. When I have a particularly stressful day, the half hour relaxation exercise really does wonders at dissolving the stress. I either fall asleep during it and get a nice nap, or I follow up with listening to positive birth affirmations while I watch my baby moving around, kicking and poking and turning.
- Completed baby shower registry. Eventually I might make a blog entry on what we registered for in case anyone wants to cross check with their own registry. It is quite exhaustive, especially for two people who did not want a lot of baby crap in their house….
- Little bug has reached the age of viability. If she were born today, she would be more likely than not to survive.
- This was a week of Firsts in terms of classic pregnancy experiences: first heart burn, first Braxton Hicks.
- Little bug got an official first and middle name!
Bodily Experiences This Week
- Heartburn. I’d never had heart burn before, and had to Google it to see what I was feeling. Eating super rich butter chicken and then bending over seemed to trigger it. Every time I bent over it got worse. Another new interesting pregnancy sensation!
- Braxton Hicks Contractions. Again, I wasn’t sure at first what I was experiencing, but upon googling it, I became pretty certain that I had my first Braxton Hicks! It felt like my vertical uterine muscles were tightening, running from the very top to the very bottom of my uterus. It stayed tight for a few hours and was actually less rhythmic and wave-like than I expected. My belly was so hard that it felt like it was going to crack open. It wasn’t painful, but was uncomfortable enough to keep me awake at night. I used relaxation breathing and eventually fell asleep while still experiencing it. It was pretty cool!
- Foot/Leg Cramps. I had a classic pregnant lady moment while walking to hypnobirthing class. I was wearing shoes that apparently no longer fit, and my foot started cramping. I found that the only way to get some relief was to take my shoes off. So I walked all the way there in my bare feet, which gave me calf cramps in both legs. It was an uncomfortable, sweaty walk. I think I got some knowing stares from women my age as I crossed intersections with my belly popping and my shoes in my hand and a pained expression on my face.
- Movement. Little bug is moving around like a fiend. She kicks and punches and turns so much that my wife and I are able to watch the movements under my skin. You can sometimes see what looks like an arm or other long body part pushing out. I can’t believe that we are already seeing so much of her poking through the belly! It is so cool.
Baby This Week
- Still about a foot long, 1 and 1/3 pound. About the size of an ear of corn (but good luck to me in finding corn on the cob for the bump photo this week…May isn’t exactly corn’s season). Also, my uterus is now about the size of a soccer ball.
- Skin is thickening, taking on a healthy pink hue
- Face is fully formed, complete with eyelashes, eyebrows and hair. Hair is white, though, with no pigment yet.
- Lungs are producing surfactant, a substance that will help air sacs in the lungs inflate when the first breath is taken.
- Little bug’s brain is developed enough for conscious thought and memory, so I have started reading to her. Since I have a lot of reading of my own to do, I am hitting two birds with one stone and reading my qualifying exam materials to her. She is going to be an expert on critical pedagogy.
*I stole the nature-themed frame around the name in the top image. I found it on Pinterest but the link to the creator was broken. I imagine it’s something you can buy customized on Etsy.