Monday, April 13, 2009

7 Weeks Pregnant

How my baby's growing:  The big news this week: Hands and feet are emerging from developing arms and legs - although they look more like paddles at this point than the tiny, pudgy extremities I'm daydreaming about holding and tickling.  Technically, my baby is still considered an embryo and has something of a small tail, which is an extension of the tailbone.  The tail will disappear within a few weeks, but that's the only thing getting smaller.  My baby has doubled in size since last week and now measures an inch long, about the size of a blueberry.

If you could see inside my womb, you'd spot eyelid folds partially covering the peepers, which already have some color, as well as the tip of the nose and tiny veins beneath parchment-thin skin.  Both hemispheres of my baby's brain are growing, and the liver is churning out red blood cells until the bone marrow forms and takes over this role.  The baby also has an appendix and a pancreas, which will eventually produce the hormone insulin to aid in digestion.  A loop in my baby's growing intestines is bulging into the umbilical cord, which now has distinct blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to and from it's tiny body.

How my life's changing: Well my uterus has doubled in size in the past five weeks and although I haven't gained any weight, I can already feel a difference in the way my clothes are fitting. Getting ready is the biggest event of my day!  I can only imagine what the months to come will be like.  I've had to pee more than usual, thanks to the increasing blood volume and extra fluid being processed through my kidneys. (By now, I already have about 10 percent more blood than I did before I was pregnant.  And by the end of my pregnancy, I'll have 40 to 45 percent more blood running through my veins to meet the demands of my full-term baby.)  As my uterus grows, pressure on my bladder will send me to the bathroom more often. (And I thought I went to the bathroom a lot before I was pregnant!)

So far things have been good.  I have randomly felt nauseated but it usually passes after a short time, no vomiting yet - thank God!  A little more tired than normal but with my schedule it's not hard to squeeze in a quick power nap which usually does the job.

We have an orientation meeting set up tomorrow with the Holy Family Birth Center.  This will be an informational meeting to talk through everything with us, explain how it all works, meet the midwife and set up our first prenatal visit for next Monday or Tuesday.  

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