Week 20 — Halfway Point!

Total weight gain: 15 pounds. Survey says I should be at 10. This is a bit of a bummer because I ellipticaled every day this week and watched what I ate. I keep looking at pictures of myself and thinking, “Who is that chubby girl?!” I’m only six pounds away from the heaviest I’ve ever been!! I know, I know, I’m pregnant, it’s different, but I’ve spent six years keeping slim. You can’t just wipe all of those feelings away.

Percentage through pregnancy: 50.7%

Weeks until due date:
20

Food of the week (a.k.a. size of baby): A banana. (BabyCenter says: For the first 20 weeks, when a baby’s legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the “crown to rump” measurement. After 20 weeks, he’s measured from head to toe.)

Pregnancy symptoms: I can sense that my abdomen is slowly getting more round. It no longer just looks like I’ve had too many Thanksgiving dinners. There’s definitely a shape forming in the middle of my body. Also, this acne won’t quit.

Movement: Charlie continues to kick. I feel him mostly in the morning or at night when it’s quiet, and so am I. I’ve read in several places that it can feel like popcorn popping. That’s not the sensation I have at all; for me, it’s like little nudges from the inside. I love it. Charles still can’t feel, although I grab his hand every time I think I can feel Charlie from the outside. Then Baby promptly stops kicking.

Another Scary Call: On Wednesday, I see that I’ve missed a call and check the message:

“Hi Jessica. This is Amy Thomas from the hospital, calling to discuss some observations from your ultrasound. Don’t worry, nothing is wrong; but there is something we need to discuss. Please call me back.”

Um, who are you? And why are you calling?

I call back:

“Genetics Department, how can I help you?”

GENETICSWTF?!?

Amy is “with patients” for another hour while I stew and freak out. When she finally calls back, she apologizes for needing to leave a message, acknowledging how worrisome it can be for moms-to-be to receive a call from the Genetics Department. UM, YOU THINK?!

Turns out the ultrasound revealed a white spot on a certain ventricle within Charlie’s heart. This is commonly seen on all babies (she estimated they see it once a day at 20-week ultrasounds), but it is always seen in babies with Down Syndrome. When this spot shows up, the ultrasound gets sent to Genetics for analysis.

She said our genetic testing through bloodwork indicated that we have a super low chance of having a baby with DS (1 in 100,000), but the presence of the white spot doubles our chances. Still, that’s only 1 in 50,000, a number that she said didn’t concern her at all. At that low rate, she doesn’t ‘t recommend having an amnio to find out for sure, especially since there is a risk of miscarriage. But the hospital is obligated by law to tell us what they see. Phew?

Then she mentioned my terrible family history of colon cancer and said that my brother and I should probably get genetic testing. She’s sending me a packet of info in the mail.

Weekly sins: I am constantly waking up on my back even though I stuff myself with pillows before going to bed. My body somehow always finds a way to get there. (Pregnant women post-16-weeks are not supposed to lie on their backs because there is a danger of cutting off blood flow to the baby)

Pregnancy moments of the week:

— One of my favorite parts of this vacation has been our lunches out. We find somewhere to eat, prop open our books and read for a good hour. During one of those lunches, I envisioned Charlie sitting next to me in the booth with his own book, reading with Charles and I. Then I got all teary and hormonal.

— Walked into a fabulous sale at this uber-chic maternity store in our hood. They had a rack with clothes 75% off IN MY SIZE! My receipt says I “saved” $156!! I bought my mother a book there called “The Granny Diaries,” which is supposed to me funny.

— When New Year’s struck, Maggie’s boyfriend Justin leaned over, touched my stomach, and said, “Happy New Year, buddy” to Charlie.

Best pregnancy gifts:

— Charlie got tons of great gifts for Christmas. I know this is belated, but these are my favorites:

Charles made the Baby several onesies with funny sayings.

I bought “Where the Wild Things Are,” which has become a bit of an inside joke since I balled at a commercial for the movie earlier in my pregnancy. We read the inscription together on Christmas morning and cried (although I still can’t decide the grammar of calling both of them Charles).

My in-laws created Baby’s first “Facebook.”

And we bought Baby the cutest onesie at Target! MONSTERS!!!

— Special shout out to Julia, who gave us a ginormous bag of baby clothes on NY Eve!

Baby Milestones: Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He’s also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel. He’s swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He’s also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you’ll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).

Quotes of the Week:

— Charles greeting me: “Hey, incubator!”

— “When are you due?” Bank teller, becoming the first person to ask without me making it overtly obvious that I’m pregnant.

Pregnancy-related Tweets:

— I am officially 1.5 today!!
— Charlie just kicked so hard that I gasped in surprise. I LOVE that I can feel him.
— Just got out of Avatar 3D. Charlie was kicking like mad! Hope he likes sci-fi fantasy just like mama!!

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