Thursday, October 14, 2010

20 Weeks

Yes, Ma-Hue will still need surgery for tubes in his ears: the rock was an unrelated event we may never have discovered had we not been already signed up for surgery! Good timing!!
Speaking of having boys (which I fully acknowledge is actually KID behavior, and that having a girl will save me from NONE OF IT--I do recall my cousin Kathleen jumping off the roof of our house onto our trampoline, double bouncing into the rock garden, knocking herself out and breaking a collarbone!!!!!), today Riley was flinging a stick around and hit himself in the face, scratching his cornea! He wasn't even running with said stick: standing still and flinging it with all his might...
Our optometrist happens to be a GOOD friend of ours, so Brent called him at work and we described the injury. He recommended antibiotic drops, and scheduled us to come in tomorrow. Apparently the eye replenishes cells within 6 to 8 HOURS?!!?!! So it should be okay. Already it looks much better, less scratched and more like a white bump. Scary, though. The optometrist said it's a very painful injury.

I'm at 20 weeks now!

Your Pregnancy: Week 20
Hooray! You're halfway there! And in case you don't believe 20 weeks is a milestone worth celebrating, consider that it's longer than a semester at college—or any relationship you had in high school. Congrats! This is also the week your bambino is able to flash you on the sonogram, revealing what exactly he or she is packing. Why not celebrate with a bottle of sparkling grapefruit juice? It's not as sexy as champagne, but it's got bubbles, and that counts for something, right?

Wondering what's up with your body, your baby and your life this week? Read on ...

What You're Thinking
"Twenty down, 20 to go!!"

Your Body
Stretch marks are the battle scars of pregnancy. Think of those tiny lines on your belly, breasts and butt with pride, not embarrassment. They're caused by your skin stretching to accommodate your growing belly—a necessary evil!

The truth is stretch marks are difficult if not impossible to avoid. But, hey, even if cocoa butter isn't a wonder cure, it sure does feel good going on ... especially if your partner does it for you! And it makes you smell like a freshly baked chocolate cake! And the good news? A dermatologist can help lessen the appearance of stretch marks after your pregnancy.

And it doesn't stop there. Other skin changes like acne and rashes are also common while pregnant. So if you're breaking out all over, you're not alone and it will go away.

Your Baby

Your baby has established sleep patterns akin to a newborn now. Many babies even have a favorite sleep position already. Some snooze with their chins resting on their chests, while others nap with their head flung back. Many babies at this age fall into noticeable cycles of sleep and activity, so you may know before she arrives whether you have a night owl or an early bird.

If your baby is a boy, the testes have begun descending from the pelvis into the scrotum. If it's a girl, her uterus is completely formed and the rest of her "parts" are in development.

From this point forward, your baby will put most of her energy into gaining weight and, not coincidentally, so will you! Right now your baby weighs approximately 10½ ounces and is about 6½ inches long.

It's true, that I'm thinking "20 weeks down, 20 to go..." At first this pregnancy seemed to fly by without much thought, but now I'm bogged down in the middle, feeling like it is taking forever. I think because I was rounding up in my mind from about 17 weeks onwards (rounding up to 20!), so I feel like I've been at 20 weeks forever.
The baby's movements are getting stronger, and I can generally tell what position it's in based on those movements, though not definitively yet. Having had one breech baby, I tend to be verrry sensitive about the position of the baby (I was with Riley, too), to be on the lookout for breech again, so I can encourage a head down position as early as possible. So far, this baby likes to lie transverse.
The boys were talking to the baby after supper. Ayden was all, "Hey baby, you're so sweet, you're a girl aren't you? I love you!" And Matthew was, *POKE* *SQUISH* *JIGGLE* "What does that feel like to the baby, mommy?" *SLAPSLAPSLAP*! And Riley lay on my legs and yelled at my bellybutton, "HI BABY! HI BABY!" I won't be surprised if this baby comes out with bruises on its head and hearing damage!!! It's a zoo around here.

I have gotten TWO comments in the past week about how SMALL I am for 20 weeks pregnant: hallelujah, hallelujah! Someone is looking down on me with mercy because I hate being told I'm BIG. Those of you who have been reading my blog for years will remember that with clarity. I feel like my belly hasn't expanded much out front, but just filled in (not so jiggly, more firm than before), and filled up, so my belly starts below my breasts instead of my ribcage. So I'm really not that much bigger. Though from now on I'm supposed to gain weight pretty steadily. Yahoo. Not.

The itchiness is settled down--I didn't get a call back from my midwife's office regarding my lab work to check for Cholestasis, which in Canada means your labs are normal. I hate that: you go to the lab, get this test done, and never hear back so you have to assume you're healthy. Go, Canada. It's more efficient, but it kind of sucks as a consumer. BUT I'm very grateful I don't have Cholestasis, because homebirth would be OFF the table and I would have a very tough decision to make regarding induction of labour: induction at 37 weeks (!!!!!!) is strongly recommended to avoid stillbirths, because the elevated liver enzymes that make the mom itchy are toxic to the baby.
The thing is, as a woman who has had a cesarean, induction is more dangerous for me. It increases my chances of uterine rupture by 400%!! The risk is still low (1.6% for first VBAC, and 0.8% for second VBACs), but I don't like to increase that risk at all. And induction that early would likely require some pretty high doses of pitocin...
Anyways, I DON'T have Cholestasis, so I can rest easy. I guess I'm just freaking itchy, which just makes me a freak. A grouchy one.
I just found out today that the rate of uterine rupture with a second VBAC is HALF that of a first VBAC, isn't that cool? I found that here if anyone's curious about the research behind that info: excellent resource, btw. I love this website. Tons of well researched info, links to studies, critiques of specific cases, etc. Awesome.

So we have a realtor coming to our house tomorrow, and the house still looks like a bomb went off in it. I'm tired. Brent's tired. The kids are disastrous. Sigh. I hope she understands.

Brent's birthday is tomorrow. 35! I'm married to an old man now.

We also started attending a marriage course at our church last Monday, which goes for 7 weeks. It's funny, when they advertised I thought, well that could be good. It never hurts to get a tune up, right? Fine tune some things? Tweak? And then once we were signed up but before we went to the first class, I freaked out. What if it's a Focus on the Family program? Or some other uber conservative organization that wants me to obey my husband so my kids won't turn out gay? Pshhhhhhhtttt, why pay to be tortured like that? Yick. But I am glad we gave it a try because it's totally NOT FotF or anything like it. It was created by the same organization that created the Alpha program, which is supposed to be good. And so far I really like it! It's clear to see what we're doing well and where we could improve, right off the bat. The improvements are mainly preventative/maintenance things, like spending focused time together where we give each other undivided attention (who doesn't divide much of their attention with 3 small kids underfoot?), and building each other up spiritually a bit more. I'm not a big advocate of Date Night every week per se, because I believe that working together to raise a family has brought Brent and I closer together rather than further apart, and that we don't need time AWAY necessarily. Well, we do, but for shorter periods and less often than society likes to tell us we need to. But it IS good to try and spend focused time together, because the logistics of life right now capture so much of our attention. Feeling known and truly knowing your partner takes some focused time and attention.
So that was good! I'm glad we signed up. I'm glad Brent never protests when I have ideas like this. I'm glad he's open and honest and loving and very selfless. And patient. I'm very fortunate ♥


Asheya said...

Very fortunate indeed! Never hurts to get an extra boost in your relationship before a baby is born.

I've been rounding you up to 20 weeks too! Well, now you've finally hit it, so you'll be over the halfway hump soon.

I hope Riley is okay--crazy the things kids can do to themselves.

I'm VERY glad you don't have cholestasis. Induction=no fun, and as a VBAC especially.


Louise Chapman said...

You always write about so much, I never know what to respond to:) So:
1. I was just thinking last night that Gary and I should do some sort of marriage course. WE're good but could always be way better!
2. My good friend scratched her cornea playing football with me and it is very painful. Also, almost a year later, she had recurring pain because the scab was removed? I forget if that's it. Lots of lubricant/artificial tears for the eye though!
3. Glad the lab results were good!
4. You do look perfect for 20 weeks.
5. Happy birthday Brent!

Tonya said...

Glad you don't have cholestasis! VERY glad!!

We took a marriage class last year - Love and Respect. GREAT. VERY great.

And, hey, some of us LIKE FOTF. Believe it or not. As a matter of fact, someone you know worked there at one point in her life.

SANDRA said...

Our babies almost have the same due date! =0) Congratulations!