Good news – we’re in the home stretch of your first trimester, meaning the odds of a miscarriage are about to drop significantly. I’m about 2 inches big now, or about the size of a small lime. This week, I’ve taken to wiggling my newly separated fingers and toes around, almost like I’m doing ballet in your belly. Some of my other features are looking more and more defined as well – I’ve got nostrils, ears, nipples, and even a tongue. At this point, all of that essential development has hopefully gone to plan and from here on out, my job is to just keep on getting bigger and stronger until I’m ready to say hello to the world.
During this week, if you spot a dark line on your abdomen – don’t panic! It’s something called linea nigra, and about 75% of women get it during their pregnancy. Some studies have indicated it’s a sign of not getting enough folic acid, in which case, make sure you’re gobbling up dark, leafy vegetables and taking supplements if you haven’t been already. And if you’re not a fan of the stripe, no worries; it typically disappears within a few months of my arrival.
Speaking of diet, hopefully you’ve been eating well. You already know to cut back on caffeine and skip alcohol altogether, but what about those other foods people say you should avoid during pregnancy? A lot of people will tell you to avoid fish. The reason? Some seafood contains high levels of methylmercury, which can hurt my developing brain. That being said, fish also contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are great for my eyesight and nervous system. The trick is to avoid certain types of fish – like tuna, shark and swordfish – and always make sure it’s cooked. Raw fish can contain harmful parasites and bacteria that could make both you and me sick. For the same reasons, you’ll want to avoid soft (unpasteurized) cheeses, raw or undercooked meats, and foods with raw eggs (like Caesar salad or cookie batter).
After all that water ballet, I’m feeling kind of poetic this week. So with that, “All the time we wondered and wondered, who is this person coming / growing / turning / floating / swimming deep, deep inside me.” – Crescent Dragonwagon (Poet)