12 weeks pregnant

12 weeks

Dearest mom,

Check out my reflexes in action! Well, actually – you won’t be able to feel anything, but I definitely can. If you poke your belly, I’ll move in response. In the meantime, I’m also busy flexing my fingers and toes, clenching my eye muscles, and even practicing for breastfeeding by making sucking movements with my mouth. If you could see me, you’d also see that despite being about the size of a plum, my face is looking more and more like yours (and dad’s) by the day. My eyes have moved closer together and my ears are in the right spot. More of my organs are also starting to function – my bone marrow is making white blood cells, my kidneys have started filtering urine into my bladder, and my liver is creating bile. Not the most pleasant-sounding developments, but every step counts toward making your fully-grown, healthy baby.

As we come to the end of the first trimester, you should be feeling less nauseated. Morning sickness should be tapering off around now, as well as some of the other early signs of pregnancy. That being said, some new symptoms may have popped up. If you’re feeling a little dizzy or lightheaded, that’s my fault (sort of). See, right now I need some extra blood flow from you to help my growth. Your body releases a hormone called progesterone to help me out, but it also restricts your blood flow a bit. Combined with typically lower blood sugar levels during pregnancy, don’t be surprised if you get a little loopy here and there. Just take it easy – get plenty of rest, eat well, and stand up slowly.

Remember, once you’re into your second trimester, the chances of miscarrying go down substantially. With about 28 weeks to go, it might be time to sit down and start planning for my arrival. If you’re going on maternity leave, your household budgets will likely have to change. Consider making a post-baby budget to outline your regular expenses, plus all the new ones that come along with having a little one in your home. Don’t forget about how my arrival will impact your regular bills – an extra person means extra water, light, and heat, plus you can expect your grocery bills to go up as you stock up on diapers, food, and other baby essentials.

As we round the corner toward the third trimester, here’s a lovely thought for you from another mom: “Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the miracle of Mother’s Love.” – Maureen Hawkins (Author)