14 Weeks: Physical Changes

A few changes I’ve noticed this week:

1) I think my blood volume is definitely increasing. I can feel my heartbeat in all kinds of strange places – in my back, in my head, in my uterus, in my toes – at random times. And not to be totally gross, but I’ve heard that the inside of your nose often reacts to an increase in blood in the form of…blood. And I’ve noticed that too.

2) I can definitely feel my uterus! It’s hard to feel standing up because the core muscles are hard and on top. But if I sit down or bend over and make my abdomen mush, I can wiggle my fingers deep in there and feel a huge, hard melon in there. Like a big coconut in size. No wonder my organs are pushing out! I’ve heard if you push on the uterus the baby reacts with movement, and I’ve tried pushing a few times [very gently!] and sat verrrrrrrrry still but I don’t think I felt it.

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3) My stomach volume seems to have gone down….just a little. For the first 3 months of pregnancy, my appetite was raging and I also felt the need to eat all the time to keep the nausea down. Now it seems this week that I get full fast and don’t have any desire to even finish my meal. Thus, ice cream after dinner is no longer appealing (although popsicles are!)

 Popsicle

4) I think I’ve felt the baby move a few times this week. Once it was like vibrations inside of me. Like something battery operated. While I have no idea if these ticklings, vibrations or bubbles are actually the baby, they are new enough that my body is like “I haven’t felt anything like that before.” It will be interesting once I am definitely feeling it move if the types of movements will vary and if they will feel similar. Will a roll be a tickle? A kick a vibration? Or will they feel totally different!?

5) It’s getting more uncomfortable to bend in half. It almost feels like my uterus is a blown-up whoopee cushion and I’m bending it in half over my pubic bone.

Like so:

Uterus

It doesn’t really hurt, but it’s an odd feeling and has made me more aware of my bending positions. Maybe the uterus is still growing up and once it passes the pubic bone completely I won’t feel any of this pressure. I’ve also noticed a small amount of cramping this week. Not anything painful or long-lasting, but maybe that means it’s growing?

6) The idea of vegetables is becoming more and more appealing. More so at lunch than dinner though. It seems my nausea gets progressively worse all day long, bit by bit. The opposite of morning sickness for sure! This could be because I’m taking the Unisom + B6 in the morning and it wears off by the evening. But green smoothies for lunch and lots of avocado are at the top of my food favorites list right now!

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7) Gone are the days of sleeping soundly. I’m having all these little physical things that are keeping me from sleeping well. It’s like my body is full of nerves firing all night – like those restless leg syndrome commercials. I want to stretch all my limbs every 5 minutes and can’t seem to get comfortable despite the lovely layers of bedding and memory foam on our bed. I finally banished the Snoogle pillow from the bed and the past 2 nights have been better. Last night I even slept through Matt’s 6:30am alarm. I’ve never had trouble sleeping, so I hope this isn’t going to be a symptom for the next 6 months (thereafter I’m prepared for!) I wonder if these tingles and stretches are related to the blood volume increase?

8) You know how the camera adds 10 pounds? I think in my case the camera actually subtracts weight! I feel like I am so pregnant and when I look in the mirror in our bedroom as I pass by, my stomach is sticking right out – a nice little bump. But when I take my weekly photos, I am actually surprised by how flat my stomach actually is when I stand up straight!

This:

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Compared to how I often find myself standing:

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Posture is everything!!

9) This morning I got out the fetal heart detector and took a listen. I found Baby KERF right away, and the heartbeat was strong! But more than ever, the baby seemed to be moving around, back and forth, because I could not get the heartbeat to stay strong. It kept going in and out, loud and soft. Guess it was an active morning! I can’t wait until I can start playing music or eating food and seeing how it reacts. The thought that you can interact with a baby in utero is quite incredible!

10) BERF is now supposed to be 3.5 inches long (it was 7 cm at my ultrasound 2 weeks ago) and is the size of a LEMON. So amazing.

Previous 14 week posts

The Middle Part

PREVIOUS WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 weeks

13 weeks

12 Weeks: A Second Peek Inside

After what felt like an eternity of waiting, our first official ultrasound finally arrived! This was Matt’s first time seeing the baby in person since he wasn’t able to go with me to my emergency one a month prior. I was excited to see how the baby had grown, but also very excited to see his reaction.

This ultrasound was both vaginal and stomach-ical. The technician had me undress and started with the probe. Inside we found a tiny little baby! One by one, she went through the body parts – stomach, bladder, ribs, spine, hands, feet, heart, brain. They were all there in full!

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Matt and I couldn’t believe how much the baby was moving. We both expected it to move, but I thought it would be more like tiny little jerks or hand movements. But no, the baby was moving like you’d expect a full-term baby to move. Arms up and down, legs kicking and crossing, flips, turns. During my first ultrasound when all you could see was a kidney bean with a flickering heart, I thought “That’s cool.” But this time it was like “THAT IS MY CHILD!” I still can’t believe it grew from a sperm and egg without some scientist telling the cells what to do.

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For the down syndrome test, which we elected to have to get all the knowledge we could, the baby had to be in a specific position: lying on its back in a profile. However, our baby decided to entertain us for a while and went into every position but the desired one! The technician tried all methods of jiggling and shaking me to try to get the baby to settle down on the bottom of my uterus. It was actually quite violent! My grandmother is always telling me “Don’t exercise too much – you’ll jiggle the baby.” She would have been horrified at all the jiggling going on during this appointment : ) But I guess with all the fluid in there, they don’t feel too as much as we do on the outside. Finally, after about 30 minutes of jiggling, the baby spent about 30 seconds in the right position and she quickly snapped the photos she needed, although they were less than ideal.

Check out this crazy photo from above!

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Next came a blood test. Oh how I loathe needles!! I have heightened senses of taste and smell, so maybe my sense of touch is also extra sensitive. Because man that hurt! Matt knows how much I hate needles and reached for my hand to hold. Can I take him to all of my doctor’s appointments from now on?

The last bit of our appointment was meeting with the doctor. He said everything in the ultrasound photos looked great and that I looked great (thanks doc!). My blood pressure was 108/70, which is about 10 points higher on the top and bottom than normal! However, he said it was perfectly low. I asked him about weight gain too – was I on track? He said yes, that he recommends 2 pounds a month on average (which if you multiply that by 10 months, is about 20 pounds : ) ) I’m at about 5 pounds gained, so I’m right on track.

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I felt a little silly bringing this up, but they say women should discuss their birth plans with their doctors early in case there is incompatibility. You definitely want to know sooner rather than later your doctor’s views on childbirth.

So I told him I hoped to have a natural birth and asked “….was he… cool with that?” "[How else are you supposed to ask this question?!]

He told me that about 45% of women in their practice go without epidurals referenced against other hospitals having rates of epidurals closer to 95%. And he said about 20% labor without any meds what-so-ever. (I’m guessing the other 20% have some kind of IV or oral drug?) He also explained that he job was to act on an emergency and deliver a healthy baby rather than dictate how I labor. I felt really good about his responses. He’s very laid back and cool for a doctor, and I like that a lot!

We ended the appointment with a listen to the heartbeat, loud and clear!

OTHER 12 WEEK POSTS

Transitions To Two

Meds + Beds

Kerthump, Part II

Husband Aversions

Diaper Dance

PREVIOUS WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks

12 Weeks: Kerthump, Part II

One of the most exciting things that happened this week was attending Sarah’s baby shower!

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I can see how motherhood is such a bond – even before babies are born. Sarah’s family threw her a beautiful shower, and I enjoyed watching her open her gifts very much.

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After the guests had gone home, Sarah invited me to use her Angel Sounds fetal heart detector to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.

BERF Live

She was able to find the beat immediately, and of course I felt the same joy I had 2 weeks prior. Little, cute, whooshas filled the room. We were able to capture this video to share!

Sarah borrowed the detector from Jessica, who said I was welcome to borrow it for a month so I could let my family and friends listen. I unfortunately don’t know where she bought it. It comes with headphones and a few packs of gel. You can also plug it into computer speakers like we did in the video above. The sound is pretty clear!

Angelsounds

When I got home, I had much more trouble finding the heartbeat on my own! Clearly I am not a doctor!! Luckily I had just listened, so I wasn’t concerned, but if it had been my first time using it I probably would have been scared. I found that using a lot of gel and lying flat on my back was the best. [And trying to do this with family in the room is even harder].

It’s a bit of a process to do (with the gel and all) so I haven’t done it too much since, but I’ve enjoyed knowing I have the option. And it certainly made me less nervous for our 12.6 week ultrasound. The last time I listened, the heartbeat would go from loud to quiet and loud again and I’m pretty sure that’s the baby swimming to and fro inside!

OTHER 12 WEEK POSTS

Transitions To Two

Meds + Beds

PREVIOUS WEEKS

4 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

7 weeks

8 weeks

9 weeks

10 weeks

11 weeks