40 Weeks

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

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Warning: The following post may contain more information than sensitive readers want to know.

K did another dating scan last Sunday, and while according to my calculations, I was 9 weeks and 4 days, the scan showed that according to the baby's size, I was 8 weeks and 6 days. In the long run, this difference of 5 days isn't going to matter much. However, I know my body, I know when I ovulated, and I know when we attempted to conceive. I can accept a 2-3 day margin of error, because I know how these things work, but 5 days seems impossible to me. K's argument is that we should go by the scan, because it's technology and must be right. My argument is that I know my body, and if there's a problem causing the baby to be small for its age, I'd rather know it than make up different dates that would make everything seem fine. Even as I argue this, though, I know 5 days isn't really worth arguing about. We just do it so well.

My first appointment with Dr Powers is tomorrow, so I'll ask him which due date he wants to go with, and I'll just go with that. My next post here will show how far along I'm thought to be by my physician, with an update on the expected due date.

Friday, October 21, 2005

9 Weeks, 2 Days

Baby at 9 weeks.

Baby is nearly an inch long — barely the size of a grape — and weighs just a fraction of an ounce, but is poised for rapid weight gain now that the basic physical structure is in place. Baby is also starting to look more and more human. The embryonic "tail" is now completely gone and the body parts — including organs, muscles, and nerves — are kicking into gear. The eyelids are fused shut and won't open until 27 weeks. Baby has earlobes, and by week's end, the inner workings of the ears will be complete. The upper lip is fully formed, too, and the mouth, nose, and nostrils are more distinct. The mouth can now be opened. The tips of the fingers are slightly enlarged where the touch pads are developing. All major joints — the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles — are working, enabling the baby to move its limbs. As for the heart, it has divided into four chambers now, and the valves have started to develop. It beats strongly already. External sex organs are there, but won't be distinguishable as male or female for another few weeks.

I've started experiencing the sinus congestion that I had throughout my entire pregnancy with Maya. At this point, I can still smell and taste about 75% of the time, though that percentage may decrease if my last pregnancy was any indication. No physical discomfort at this point, and the ravenous appetite that usually accompanies early pregnancy for me has started to diminish (thank goodness!) Baby dreams have started already. In the last one, the doctor examined me and told me that he was sorry, but there was no baby there. I wasn't terribly surprised, but I was a little sad. I think that dream spawned from the fact that I don't really feel pregnant yet. K took me in to his office for a dating scan a week and a half ago, and I was half afraid he would tell me there was no baby there. There was though, and the heart was happily beating away. According to K, though, judging by the baby's size, our due date may be off by a week. My argument is that I'm certain of the date of ovulation, so he pointed out that it might be a little early for an accurate scan. I suspect he'll be taking me back for another scan within the next few days.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

7 Weeks

Baby at 7 weeks.

Baby still appears to have a small tail (actually, it's an extension of the tailbone), which will disappear in the next few weeks. But that's the only thing getting smaller. Now almost half an inch long — roughly the size of a raspberry — there are elbow joints and distinct, slightly webbed fingers and toes. The basis for the baby's brain, bone marrow and nervous system are in place. In fact, both hemispheres of the brain are developing, brain cells develop at the rate of 250,000 per minute, and brain waves can now be detected. The teeth and the inside of the mouth are forming, and the ears continue to develop. Eyelid folds partially cover the tiny eyes, which already have some color, and the tip of the nose is emerging. The skin is paper-thin and the veins are clearly visible. The baby also has an appendix and a pancreas, which will eventually produce the hormone insulin to aid in digestion. The liver is busy producing red blood cells, and a loop of the baby's growing intestines is bulging into the umbilical cord, which now has distinct blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to and from the tiny body. Tissue is beginning to develop that will form the backbone and the abdominal muscles. The heart is beating regularly, but so far, it is at the surface of the body and not yet in the chest cavity. The baby is like a little jumping bean, moving in fits and starts around its watery home.

I'm still feeling fine. There was a bit of a scare when I wasn't feeling too well Sunday morning, but then Layth was sick all night Monday night, and K didn't feel well tonight, so maybe something is going around. I'm starting to think about scheduling my first appointment with Dr. Powers and getting flu shots for me and for Maya, since we're considered high risk.

Worry of the day: I colored my hair today on a whim. Not a lot of color, just a slight change. This is the first time in over three years that I've done it, I think. Hours after doing it, I read that it is best to wait until after the first trimester to color your hair because of the chemicals that can be absorbed through the scalp and could potentially affect the baby. There is no hard evidence that the baby is at risk. It's more a protective measure than anything else, but given the fact that this is a higher-risk pregnancy anyway because of my age, I've been determined to do everything right, just to be safe. Here's to looking things up before I do them in the future.