Week 17

We’re now in week 17 of the pregnancy.  This post is a couple days late, though.  Anyway, things are really changing now.  What’s happening to the baby?  Its bones are now changing from cartilage to solid bone.  All the joints are moving, too.  The baby is about 13cm long from head to bottom.  Also, the baby’s hearing is starting to develop now, and reacting to sounds.  The brain is also developing the senses.

What’s happening with my fiancee this week?  She’s been feeling abdominal pains.  That’s the round ligament pain because of the growing baby and expanding uterus.  Also, the baby is now growing up to around the belly button area, so there’s a baby bump!  She’s also feeling a bit dizzy at times and has an irregular sleeping schedule (wide awake at night, sleepy during the day).  The morning sickness is mostly gone.

2 more weeks until the next checkup and ultrasound!

A visit to Daigyoji Temple

In Japan, there are many temples that are dedicated to different things.  Daigyoji Temple in Kamakura is dedicated to childbirth.  Yesterday, my fiancee went there with her mom and sister to get an omamori (charm) for a safe birth.  Unfortunately, I was unable to go with them because I had to work, but my fiancee was able to send me a picture of the temple.

Was that baby movement?

I’ve read that it’s really difficult to tell when the baby moves at this stage.  It’s still quite small, and its movements may not be felt at all, but my fiancee said she felt something.  She may have felt the baby move, or maybe she was just hungry.

Her body is still adjusting to the growing baby.  There’s been some cramping lately as the ligaments around the uterus expand.  Morning sickness is mostly gone.  Also, she’s been having trouble going to sleep at night.  The second trimester is supposed to be easier.  I’m wondering when that easier period starts.

Week 16

This is the first of the weekly baby development updates.  This week, we don’t have a check-up with the hospital about the baby, so this information is what the baby should be like at the moment.  We are now at week 16!

At this moment, the baby is still quite small, possibly around 11cm long from head to bottom.  The head is developing quite nicely, more erect, the ears are in the correct position.  The scalp pattern is developing now, too.  No hair yet, though.  Toenails are starting to grow and the heart is pumping lots of blood through its body.

The womb is now half way between the pelvic bone and the bellybutton, so a baby bump starts to appear at this time.  From what I can tell, morning sickness is mostly gone, but still comes back sometimes.  Also, lots of itchiness due to hormones.

What can we expect soon?  Well, we should be able to feel the baby moving and kicking within the next couple of weeks.  Also, the baby is about to start a growth spurt, doubling in weight and growing in size a lot faster over the next few weeks.

Weekly baby development updates

Starting this week, I’m going to be making weekly updates on how the baby should be developing.  I’ll be using information from BabyCenter to help.  It’s often hard to imagine what’s going on in the baby’s life right now, but this website really does help give a picture.  My previous post already talks about week 15, so you can check that out.  I will try updating on Tuesdays each week with the new information.

The past 8 weeks in ultrasound

Ever since the first visit to the doctor, we’ve received an ultrasound picture of the baby.  I thought I’d share the pictures with you.  We’ve been to 2 different clinics, and they have slightly different ages.  The new clinic shows that the age of the baby is 3 days older than the first clinic said, so there is a slight discrepancy in the ages with these pictures.  Please click on the pictures for the full sized versions.  I’ve blacked out a couple of things, like clinic name and my fiancee’s name for privacy concerns.

6 weeks, 5 days: Looks like a bean.

Not so much to say about this picture.  The baby is very tiny, about the size of a bean, and even looks like a bean.  You can’t really see any details at all.  But this confirmed that we are having a baby.  At this stage, there was no movement, no heart beat.  It’s not developed enough.  There are leg and arm buds, a heart bulge, a lower and upper jaw and an eye spot.

8 weeks, 5 days: You can see a head now.

At 8 weeks and 5 days, it now looks a bit like a baby.  You can see the baby’s head, and there is movement.  And best of all, a heart beat!  We were anxious to hear about this news, as at this stage, it’s very important to see a heart beating.  There are hands and tiny legs now, and even eyelids are developing.

10 weeks, 5 days: It's grown a lot! It looks like a tiny baby with tiny arms and legs.

At 10 weeks and 5 days, it definitely looks like a baby.  There are fingernails on its hands, which you can see in the picture.  This picture was very exciting, because it looked like a tiny baby.  Absolutely incredible to see the baby looking like this now.  At this point, we were told that the baby was very active, and very strong.  The doctor said it was powerful.  So far in its development, it seems very healthy, which we are very happy about.

At this point, we switched to a new clinic.  The one we were going to was fine, but it was a women’s clinic, not a place for the baby to be born.  We found a clinic near where we live that is very new (even smells like a new house) and has hospital rooms where new mothers can stay.  The staff is very kind and the doctor is quite talkative.  From the reviews on the internet, this clinic is very good.  We chose a good place to have the baby.  And of course, it’s nearby!

11 weeks, 2 days: New clinic, slightly revised age.

11 weeks, 2 days: On the right is the head. On the left is the body. You can see a face!

11 weeks, 2 days: 4D system, it's actually a real-time 3D model.

These three pictures are all from the same day at the new clinic.  The baby’s age was revised to 11 weeks and 2 days.  In the second picture, you can clearly see the face on the left-hand frame.  At this stage, the bones are starting to harden and tooth buds are starting to grow.  The baby’s body is only 4.73cm long from head to bottom, about the size of a lemon.  But looks very much human.  The legs and arms still look small, but it has all the parts.  We were very excited to get so many pictures this time.  Also, the 4D picture, which is actually a real-time 3D image of the baby doesn’t look so clear, in my opinion.  But you can see the parts of the baby, head, arms, body.  The face isn’t so clear.

15 weeks, 2 days: On the left is the body from the back. On the right is the head. Great detail!

In my previous post, I described what it was like to see the ultrasound and watch the baby moving.  It was incredible being able to actually see the heart, bones, fingers, legs, stomach, head, eye sockets, jaw, hips, ribs, spine, and more!  Best of all, we got to see our baby twisting and turning, kicking and even rubbing its face at one point.  At this time, we learned of the baby’s gender, though it’s not certain yet.  We’ll be keeping it a secret from most people until we’re more sure about the gender. At 15 weeks and 2 days, the baby can move all joints in its arms and legs.  Its eyelids are fused shut, but can see light already.  The baby is also breathing the amniotic fluid, which helps develop the lungs.  The right-hand frame in the image on the right shows the baby’s face.  Well, it’s more like the bones in the head, as ultrasound can see through the baby’s body and see organs.  But the detail in the latest pictures are great!

We’re getting very excited, and I’m looking forward to our next visit to the clinic next month.  We’re supposed to go every 4 weeks now, and hopefully we’ll have a more concrete answer about the baby’s gender.  And maybe by then, the baby’s kicks can be felt.

I was grinning like an idiot

Today, we had the now monthly checkup for the pregnancy and baby.  It’s now at 15 weeks and 2 days, well into the second trimester.  It was nice to sit in the air conditioned clinic while it was 35 degrees outside.  The wait was around 1 1/2 hours.  When my fiancee’s name was finally called, we went in.  I went in with her this time, as I wanted to see the ultrasound in person.  Let me tell you, that experience left me grinning like an idiot.

It was incredible to see the baby moving.  So active!  Now at 8.31cm from head to butt, the baby is getting big enough to start showing a bit.  I could see everything, from the face, the tiny fingers, hands, arms, legs, feet, the beating heart, and even the bones and stomach.  Everything is there, looking very much like a little baby should through ultrasound.  It was amazing seeing the arm and leg bones, the spine, the ribs, the hips.  It was surreal.  The baby was moving everything.  Its head was turning, the arms were moving around, the legs were kicking, the entire body was twisting and turning.  We even got to see the baby rubbing its face with its arms.

What I won’t say is the baby’s gender.  Not yet.  We know what it most likely is, but at this stage, it’s not completely certain.  So, until we have a more confident answer, the baby is going to still be referred to as “it” instead of “he/she.”  It feels strange to call the baby “it,” though.  Hopefully, we’ll have a much clearer picture about the gender next month!