Although I didn’t do an update post for week 24, we did remember to take our weekly progress shots. The belly is officially here [I feel like I say that every week]! But we’ll get to that in a moment…
Baby’s brain is “growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world…
Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His weight — a pound and a half — isn’t much more than an average rutabaga, but he’s beginning to exchange his long, lean look for some baby fat. As he does, his wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he’ll start to look more and more like a newborn. He’s also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you’d now be able to discern its color and texture.” (Source.)
I still find it hard to believe that I’m already into my sixth month of pregnancy [the trickiest thing is that pregnancy actually lasts ten months], but I’ve definitely started to feel like there really is a baby in there with all the kicking and squirming I feel on a regular basis.
I hear lots of Mamas talk about how it took seeing their baby via ultrasound to really feel like there was a real baby in there, and since Ben and I have opted out of ultrasounds, it’s taken me a bit longer to really understand exactly what they meant. For me, pregnancy has brought with it a lot of anxiety about whether the baby’s doing alright and progressing normally, but now that he/she is so active, I’m constantly assured that everything is perfect and that the baby is happy and healthy in there.
I am – of course – obsessed with my belly and feeling the baby move. In the early stages of pregnancy, I wasn’t sure how it’d make me feel to have something squirming inside me all day, but it is the coolest thing ever! Ben and I can now press down on my belly and get a response from the baby… and we’re getting better at guessing how he/she is positioned [we can usually feel the baby’s bum].
The baby’s still most active around noon and in the evenings [and I feel him/her move a lot when I wake up in the night too] and seems to do flips after I drink coconut water or have a piece of dark chocolate.
Perhaps the most exciting thing to happen for our little one in the past couple weeks, though, has been our trip to see the midwife last week. We got to bring along the grandparents [my Mom and Ben’s Mom + Pop] to talk story about our birth plan, which I think was immensely reassuring for everyone involved. Neither of our parents had home births, so it was nice for everyone to be able to ask questions openly. In the end, I think everyone knows a little more about what to expect come July.
Obviously I’ve been emotional. Between the hormones, my changing body, and saying goodbye to Ben’s family, I’ve been a complete wreck the past few days. But it’s evening out now, I think. I suppose you’d have to ask Ben for the honest truth…
The biggest emotional scare of the pregnancy so far happened last week for me. While we were at our midwife Tina’s house, I asked about what feels to be a ball of cartilage a few inches to the right of my belly button. I’d felt it there for weeks – it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t move, and it hasn’t gotten any bigger – so I thought I’d bring it up. She said she wasn’t sure and suggested going to Kaiser as soon as possible to get it checked, just in case it’s a fibroid or something.
She also said they may need to do an ultrasound, which freaked me out and made me feel like I had somehow failed at doing this whole pregnancy thing naturally [silly, I know…]. The whole idea of something being wrong with the baby freaked me out even more than the ultrasound, though, and all kinds of horrendous scenarios began to plague my thoughts [What if it is a fibroid and I die during child birth? Or the baby dies? What if it’s a cancerous tumor?…].
To make a long story short, after a few minutes of waiting to see an OB doc, she felt my belly and could tell that it wasn’t a fibroid [because it was movable], nor anything to worry about. It’s simply a lipoma.
“A lipoma is a growth of fat cells in a thin, fibrous capsule usually found just below the skin. Lipomas… can occur almost anywhere in the body. One or more lipomas may be present at the same time. Lipomas are the most common noncancerous soft tissue growth.” (Source.)
[side note: do not google images of lipomas. ]
She said I’ve probably had it for a while but couldn’t feel it; now that my uterus is pushing up against it, it’s more obvious. It seems quite common and there’s nothing to worry about [phew!]. And in the end, an ultrasound wasn’t necessary anyway. It’s times like those where I’m really grateful for Western medicine and being able to utilize both modes during our pregnancy journey.
[Nine  Weeks / Nineteen  Weeks / Twenty-Five  Weeks]
Aside from that scare and the emotions, here’s a little recap for 25 Weeks:
- A few of my favorite things: almonds, papaya, chia seed pudding, pancakes, buckwheat/coconut/oat bakes, Coconut Bliss. I wouldn’t necessary call them cravings because literally everything tastes a.ma.zing right now to me.
- Aversions: nothing, unless it gives me heartburn [gluten!] or candida issues [sugar!]. Other than that, put it in front of me and I’ll devour it.
- Interesting new developments: My lower back continues to express itself, I now have a line of dark hair between my belly button and pubic bone [eww…], and my issues with dandruff [which I’ve had for years] have cleared up! I know, random…
- So In LOVE: I adore anything and everything having to do with BEN [it’s ridiculous how happy he makes me], but especially the times where he interacts with the baby… talking, reading, singing, dancing. My favorite thing right now is when he places his hand on my belly and gets to feel firsthand just how active the little one is.
- Weight gained so far: 10-11 lbs. or so since conception.
- Things I miss: wearing my wedding rings [I think I’m gonna start wearing them on a necklace] and sleeping on my back.
- Gestational diabetes testing update: They tested my blood sugar and took blood for an A1C test at Kaiser last week. Because they both looked good, they said it shouldn’t be necessary to come in for the gestational diabetes test. Yay!
- Exercise: I sort of slacked on working out while Ben’s parents were visiting, but I think my body needed the break. Working out still feels really good and rejuvenating, so I’m still teaching my TurboKick classes three days a week and doing at-home weight sessions at least once a week, but I’m thinking that soon I’ll slow it down a bit and spend more of my time in the ocean and at the pool [especially since I’ve been getting really hot lately]. This belly support band has been invaluable for my lower back while teaching and walking the hills around our house:
[I’ve been using it without that thin top strap, as I don’t feel I need it just yet… but soon…]
I’ll stop there for now, suffice to say that this experience continues to inspire, humble, and enlighten me. As always, I am filled with gratitude…
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