24 Week Update (a little late)

24 weeks

So I was at camp last week and was unable to post my 24 week update.  Here it is today:

How your baby’s growing:

Your baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts her at just over a pound. Since she’s almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), she cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but her body is filling out proportionally and she’ll soon start to plump up. Her brain is also growing quickly now, and her taste buds are continuing to develop. Her lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help her air sacs inflate once she hits the outside world. Her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

 24 weeks 24a-corn-open

How your life’s changing:

In the past few weeks, the top of your uterus has risen above your belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball.
No Wonder I look so large!

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23 weeks down…17 to go!

FSCN2896

How your baby’s growing:

Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she’s more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes.
23-mango 23 weeks

Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby’s increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won’t faze her when she hears them outside the womb.

How your life’s changing:

You may notice that your ankles and feet start to swell a bit in the coming weeks or months, especially at the end of the day or during the heat of summer. Sluggish circulation in your legs — coupled with changes in your blood chemistry that may cause some water retention — may result in swelling, also known as edema. Your body will get rid of the extra fluid after you have your baby, which is why you’ll pee frequently (thank you for the card – too funny – and the lotion, Rachel!!!) and sweat a lot for a few days after delivery. In the meantime, lie on your left side or put your feet up when you can, stretch out your legs when you sit, and avoid sitting — or standing — in one place for long periods. Also, try to exercise regularly to increase circulation, and wear support stockings (put them on first thing in the morning) and roomy, comfortable shoes. You may be tempted to skimp on liquids to combat swelling, but you need to drink plenty of water because staying hydrated actually helps prevent fluid retention.

from another mother’s blog I faithfully read…

Unworthy…

July 10, 2008 at 10:00 pm · Written by Amber Stoffer on http://sprinkles.wordpress.com/

So some people have recently commented on some posts telling me I’m a good mom. That pretty much blows me away because most of the time I feel like I’m standing in the middle of the house in my sweats with snot and spit-up on them (not mine, mind you), no makeup and hair in a messy ponytail, looking around at dirty dishes, fingerprinted windows, a stack of bills, dusty endtables, and crumb-y carpet thinking, “Huh?”
What happened?
Who am I?
Where did these kids come from?
What do I do with them?
Whose house is this?
What do I do now?
Do you ever feel like that? Like, wasn’t I just 18 and living on my own, making my own money, spending it as I pleased, with a TON of free time?? Wasn’t that just yesterday? Really- WHERE does the time go? Will I ever FEEL my age? Will I ever FEEL like a wife? Will I ever FEEL like a mom?
I L-O-V-E my life, my husband, and my kids. Please know that. I love them more than ANYTHING. It just feels like so often I find myself thinking- how did I get here!?! You know? When I was younger I always thought there would be some magical age that I would begin to feel like an adult. I’m beginning to think that age doesn’t exist!
I was talking with a lady at church a few weeks ago about this very topic and she said something that hit me. She said, “Often I look around and think- who is responsible for all of these children? And then I realize it’s ME! Who thought I was responsible enough to have my OWN children?”
When I think about that, the only possible answer is God. He thinks she’s worthy. He thinks I’M worthy. So even when I don’t feel that way inside I know HE thinks that of me. And I thank Him for the opportunity to raise up some little people to know Him.
So thanks for the comments even though I don’t feel that way all the time. It makes me want to try a little harder. And makes me want to go in the other room and turn off the video I put on for my son…

Well – the parts in bold absolutely sum up how I a feeling this week about being pregnant!  Standing in Babies R Us registering for the crib, the stroller travel system, picking a diaper bag, and nursery “stuff” I thought to myself, “Oh, God – you’re giving me a kid and I think I’m going to freak out!”  It’s funny.  I’ve wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember.  I started supervised babysitting at 10-years-old and by 12 I was Infant/Child First-Aid and CPR certified.  I had gotten certification from the Red Cross for babysitting.  I was preparing for the day I would have one of those little squirmy things for myself.  And now the day is quickly approaching – 17 weeks to go.  I am utterly nervous that this dream of mine is going to come crashing down and I’m not going to be the mother I always planned on being.
I worked in a private pre-school/daycare for three years starting off as an assistant in the toddler room then moving to toddler teacher, toddler supervisor, center supervisor, and eventually assistant manger.  I loved every day of my work with those little ones of all ages.  Now I am petrified because I’m going to have one that is all mine.
Seriously, I have planned and dreamed for so long that I am overwhelmed at the thought of it all coming to be.

Dear God, please let me be the mother I want to be.  Let me love my children the way you love your children.  Let me be the example that my own mother was to me.  Be with Jeff and me as we become parents together.  Let us work together and never against each other.  Let us respect each other in our parenting.  Let this child, this little girl, grow up in You.  Let her not be as boy crazy as I was (I’m wanting a Katie Quinn here).  Let us find strength in Your Word and in Your teachings so that we may be the parents you designed us to be.  Now that this dream, this wish, is coming true, God, I am so scared.  Thank you for this blessing.  Please help me deserve it.  Amen.

Early Update: 22 Weeks

So I got a little impatient waiting for tomorrow to roll around (my 22 week mark) so I went ahead and looked up all my info and decided to share it.
Our little girl is moving around like a champ a couple of times a day and I enjoy feeling her squirmies.  Matter fact, she moving around right now!  For those who have been asking, we’ll be working on our baby registry soon.  Please don’t go crazy shopping yet, we’ve yet to make some big decisions!

How your baby’s growing:

At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) [or a pound of coffee beans, not ground] and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. Her lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and she’s even developing tiny tooth buds beneath her gums. Her eyes have formed, but her irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you’d be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers her body and the deep wrinkles on her skin, which she’ll sport until she adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside her belly, her pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.

22 weeks 22-spaghetti-squash

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

How your life’s changing:

At this point, you may find your belly becoming a hand magnet. It’s perfectly okay to tell folks who touch your tummy that you’d rather they didn’t. And if people are telling you that you look smaller or bigger than you should at this point, remember that each woman grows — and shows — at her own rate. What’s important is that you see your practitioner for regular visits so she can make sure your baby’s growth is on track.

You may start to notice stretch marks on your abdomen as it expands to accommodate your growing baby. At least half of all pregnant women will develop
stretch marks by the time they give birth. These small streaks of differently textured skin can range from pink to dark brown (depending on your skin color). Although they most commonly appear on your tummy, stretch marks may also show up on your buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts [amen, sister – this is one disturbing effect I’ve gotten to experience!]. There’s no proof that lotion helps prevent stretch marks, but keeping your skin moisturized may help with any itching.  [Cocoa butter and I are best friends!]

21 Week Update

How your baby’s growing:

Your baby now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. You may soon feel like she’s practicing martial arts [AMEN – I’M FEELING SOME MIGHTY MOVEMENT] as her initial fluttering movements turn into full-fledged kicks and nudges. You may also discover a pattern to her activity as you get to know her better [she moves alot after meals and especially when I eat cheese]. In other developments, your baby’s eyebrows and lids are present now.

21 weeks21-carrot

How your life’s changing:

You’re probably feeling pretty comfortable these days. You’re not too big yet, and the usual discomforts associated with early pregnancy are, for the most part, gone. If you’re feeling good, relax and enjoy it while you can — the third trimester may bring with it a new crop of complaints.

That’s not to say you won’t have some minor glitches to deal with now. For example, increased oil production may contribute to the development (or worsening) of
acne. If that’s the case, be diligent about washing well with a gentle soap or cleanser twice a day, and make sure that any moisturizer or make-up you use is oil-free. Don’t take any oral acne medications — some are very hazardous during pregnancy — or use any topical acne products without first checking with your practitioner.

You’re also more prone to
varicose veins now. As your pregnancy progresses, there’s increasing pressure on the veins in your legs; higher progesterone levels, which may cause the walls of your veins to relax, can make the problem worse. You’re more likely to get varicose veins if other family members have them. Also, they tend to get worse with each successive pregnancy and as you age. To help prevent or minimize varicose veins, exercise daily, prop up your feet and legs whenever possible, sleep on your left side, and wear maternity support hose.

You may also notice so-called spider veins (a group of tiny blood vessels near the surface of your skin), particularly on your ankles, legs, or face. They may have a spider- or sunburst-like pattern with little branches radiating out from the center, they may look like the branches of a tree, or they may be a group of separate thin lines with no particular pattern. Though they may be a bit unsightly, spider veins don’t cause discomfort and usually disappear after delivery.

I am having to sleep on my left side all the time – nothing else is comfortable, though I do sometimes wake up on my back (again, though, I wake up because I am uncomfortable).  I can feel her move a lot more often and they are strong enough for Jeff (or who ever is close) to feel them too.  We are still talking about her name, so no news on that to share.

I’ll post a picture from tomorrow (Dogwood Dell!!!) as my 21 week picture.  Miss Bean Cronin will have her first exposure to fireworks.  I can’t wait to see if she reacts.  According to everything I’ve read, she can hear loud noises that are around me.