Week 26

Week 26 has been quite exciting, actually.  The visit to the clinic resulted in the best picture we have of our baby, as well as some very good news.

So, how is the baby doing?  She’s healthy, normal size, and not one problem at all.  We were able to see her mouth moving, like chewing.  At this point in her development, her ears are improving a lot, allowing her to possibly listen to our conversations.  Her lungs are also practicing breathing.  Amniotic fluid is going in and out of her lungs as they get ready for birth.  Best of all, her position inside the uterus is head down.  She’s in the correct position for birth.  She’s now 873 grams, quickly approaching 1 kg.  We got some pictures of her face, including an amazing 4D ultrasound picture.

These regular ultrasound pictures show her face. On the left is her full face, while on the right is her chin, lips and nose.

 

This is the clearest picture we have of her face so far. Incredibly clear!

Mom is going through some discomfort as the second trimester nears the end.  She can’t seem to eat as much, since the baby is pushing against her stomach.  She’s feeling a bit sick at times, too.  The baby is very active still, punching and kicking a lot.

The final 3 months are going to seem long, I think.  Discomfort is increasing, as well as boredom from being home all the time.  But that’ll all change after birth.  From this week, there will be clinic visits every 2 weeks, but ultrasound only once a month.

Week 25

It’s the final day of week 25 today, and we’re getting to the final two weeks of the second trimester.  Only 3 months away from birth!

The baby should be around 34cm long now and about 680 grams.  She’s growing hair on her head, and her wrinkly skin is starting to smooth out, as she is now gaining body fat.  As always, she’s been kicking and punching a lot.

Mom is having a hard week.  She spent one day extremely dizzy, having a difficult time walking anywhere in the apartment.  But that happens when lying on her back for too long.  Too much pressure on her veins in her back.  She’s also been experiencing some pain due to the growing baby.  Sleeping at night has been difficult, but this isn’t a problem with the pregnancy.  Our dog has been pacing back and forth all night for the past 2 nights, and only sleeping during the day.  We’re concerned about his health, as this could be a sign of dementia, or it may be pain (he does have a bad back).

Later this week, mom starts her bimonthly checkups.  We’re getting into a more critical period where the baby’s development and mom’s health have to be watched carefully.  The baby is at a stage at which she can be born and survive at any time, but we certainly don’t want a premature birth.  It’ll get harder over the next 3 months.

Week 23

On Thursday last week, we went to the clinic to have the regular checkup on the baby.  The focus was a bit different this time.  While we got to see the regular ultrasound, there was something extra this time.  The doctor showed us the blood flow through her heart.  He was doing this to check that her blood is flowing in the correct direction through her heart.  Everything is normal!  Also, he was checking her lips to make sure they’ve formed correctly.

Through the ultrasound, the doctor determined that our baby is slightly smaller than average and her legs are slightly longer than average, but well within normal.  4 weeks before, we were told she was average weight and her legs were slightly shorter than average.  Things sure can change quickly in only 4 weeks!  She is now 565 grams.  The blood vessels in her lungs are developing, getting ready to be able to breathe.  She can hear quite a bit now, as well.

In the ultrasound pictures, we got just head images, but one of them is amazing.  Take a look for yourself:

This is the 4D picture. You can see her eye, nose and mouth, and her left arm is covering the left side of her face. This isn't the best picture I thought they could have given us, though.

On the left is the full face picture. You can clearly see the eye, though the nose and mouth are a bit difficult to make out. Her left arm at the bottom is clear. The right-hand picture is the amazing one. You can very clearly see her chin, lips and nose, including her nostrils!

How’s mom doing?  She’s been doing a lot of exercising lately to keep in shape, both for her health and to prepare for the birth.  The baby is kicking and punching hard, which is sometimes painful.  To prevent dryness, she’s using lotion on her belly.  This won’t prevent stretch marks, though.

The next clinic visit is after only 3 weeks.  That’s the start of the third trimester.  After that, it’s every 2 weeks.

Week 18

It’s now week 18 and almost half way through the pregnancy.  We’ll have a visit to the doctor next week.

So, how’s the baby doing?  Of course, it’s still growing.  The legs and arms are moving around quite a bit now.  The ears are in their correct position now, but standing out a bit.  The blood vessels are also visible through the skin.

How’s the mother doing?  Still occasionally feeling sick and sometimes feeling dizzy due to low blood pressure.  Her right leg is experiencing pain quite regularly.  The baby and uterus is pressing against the vena cava, a large vein in the back, and this is causing a build up of blood in the leg, lower blood pressure and varicose veins in the right leg.  She’s trying to sleep on her left side to reduce this.  Also, a much more exciting thing is happening.  She’s definitely feeling the baby moving!

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.