40 Weeks

A mother's seventh (and final) journey through the wonders of pregnancy.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

6 Weeks

Baby at 6 weeks.

At the end of the sixth week, the embryo looks like a small prehistoric creature (or something out of 'Alien'). Little buds that will become the arms appeared on Monday. Today, buds appear that will become the legs. On average, the baby is about 3mm from coccyx to the tip of the head (the size of a large grain of rice). In fact, at the beginning of the sixth week the embryo was 1.5mm and by today it will be 5mm.

The cells that will make up all of the baby's body parts and systems are dividing furiously as the body begins to take shape. The baby has dark spots where the eyes and nostrils are beginning to take shape. Shallow pits on the sides of the head mark the developing ears. The baby's hands and feet look like paddles, with thick webbing between the developing digits, but the fingers and toes will soon become more distinct. Below the opening that will later be the baby's mouth, there are small folds where the neck and lower jaw will eventually develop. (Inside, the tongue and vocal cords are just beginning to form.) The baby's heart (which is starting to divide into the right and left chambers) is beating about 100 to 130 beats per minute almost twice as fast as an adult's — and blood is beginning to circulate through the body. The intestines are developing and tiny breathing passages are beginning to appear where the lungs will be. Baby is also starting to build muscle fibers and, halfway through this week, will likely start moving its tiny limbs.

There's something new circulating in the medical field regarding prenatal vitamins. Suddenly it's not just folic acid that is so important, but Omega-3 fatty acids, as well. K won't let me take the pretty little pink prenatal vitamins that I like so much, but instead keeps bringing home samples of vitamins with Omega-3, which usually have two separate pills, the prenatal vitamin and a fish oil capsule or something like that. I do not like them, Sam I am! I've tried promising to eat more salmon, more eggs with Omega-3, more olive oil ... all to no avail. It's very hard to argue successfully with a doctor about medical things. I'm trying now to remember all the great methods I had of tricking my mom into thinking I had taken my vitamins when I was small, but on the other hand, I remember when I was finally caught, and that was no fun. There's a part of me that says, "I've been having babies for 17 years (wow!), never took folic acid with the first one, never took Omega-3 with the last four, and they've all been fine." On the other hand, now that I am considered "of advanced maternal age," I suppose I'll do whatever I can to ensure a
happy, healthy baby. Omega-3 it is.

Still no morning sickness to speak of. For those who like to speculate, I've had sweet cravings with each girl and savory cravings with each boy. My cravings so far seem to be sweet. It's still early though, so we'll see!

Monday, September 26, 2005

5 Weeks, 5 Days

I had a couple of twinges of nausea today, once when brushing my teeth and once on the way to Layth's swimming class. They passed quickly, but were just enough to remind me that I hope not to have as much morning sickness with this baby as I did with Maya. I'm exhausted, and fully aware that I need to stop the late nights and start getting some sleep.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

5 Weeks, 4 Days

Baby at 5 weeks.

At the end of the fifth week, the embryo is well fixed in the wall of the uterus. The future baby is no longer a fertilised egg, it has become an embryo.

The brain and the backbone begin to form.

The external covering changes also and begins to start the process of creating the placenta and the amniotic cavity (which will surround the placenta).

The heart is still being formed, but it already beats!

Baby's Profile: Size: - 0.2 - 0.5 mm

We finished spreading the word to various family members yesterday, and aside from my dad making the "glutton for punishment" comment, everyone seemed very happy. Even my dad said that he was at least happy that I was happy.

K's parents called with their congratulations today. They both sounded very happy, though K's mother pointed out several of the things that could go wrong at my age, noting that this should definitely be our last one. I'll concede that it's probably going to be our last one, but I'm not making any promises.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Having suspected for days that we might be expecting again, last night I finally persuaded K to go buy a pregnancy test by refusing to empty my bladder until I had a test in hand. Uncomfortable, but effective. Just as with every test I've taken before, I tried to avert my eyes and not watch the color slowly creeping through the test window. I tried to wait the full three minutes and I tried to brace myself for there being nothing to see in the result window. As with every test I've taken before, my eyes were drawn back to the test every 20 seconds at most. I'm a pro at this by now, so when I saw even a faint pink line in the result window, my heart leaped in my chest, my adrenalin surged, the familiar giddiness coursed through my body, and I couldn't stop smiling even as I kept averting my eyes while waiting for the full three minutes to pass. My eyes would shift from the test to my watch, back and forth, until three minutes on the nose had passed. At this point, I was free to stare without so much as blinking at this wonderful test, at these beautiful pink lines, and to bask in the joyous feeling that I had only experienced five times before and may very well never experience again.

I've always wanted to break the news to K in a spectacular manner, but since he knew exactly what I was doing, the element of surprise just wasn't there. I walked into the kitchen holding the test proudly in front of me, though I'm sure he knew by the smile that I had no control over what the result was. This being our fifth child together, there was no screaming or jumping up and down or dancing wildly through the house. Just a very subdued hug and two uncontrollable smiles.

I debated telling my mom and Justin over dinner in some grand fashion, but after your second child, you never know when you're going to get those reactions that make it clear that someone thinks you must be crazy. I've gotten it from my dad and my stepdad before, and with Maya being only 7 months old, I felt almost certain I was going to get it again. So ... I e-mailed my mom. That sounds shameful, I know, but I did at least make it fun. Throughout my pregnancy with Maya, I sent Mom weekly updates on what the baby looked like at this stage, and how she was growing, so I just sent Mom a 5th week update. Within a minute after sending the e-mail, my phone rang, and I knew it was her. She sounded truly happy and excited, which made me happy. I thought I'd let her tell my stepdad, though, so I wouldn't have to face the negative reaction, and I have yet to hear from him, so I suppose it's just as well.

I'm just going to go stare at the test a while longer.