I’m still growing like crazy. In the last week, I’ve expanded to about the size of an apple or an orange (two healthy fruits you should be munching on, by the way). I’ve started working on my respiratory system by moving amniotic fluid through my nose and lungs, to help in the development of what will eventually become my air sacs. My legs are finally getting longer than my arms, and I’m still busy moving my limbs and joints around. Although my eyelids are fused shut, I can also sense light – if you put a flashlight up to your belly, I’d probably turn away from it.
I know last week I was really positive with the news that your first trimester symptoms were leveling off. But this week, I’ve got to warn you – all that progesterone in your body might be causing inflammation in your mouth and your nose. Many pregnant women get sore or bleeding gums, and have more plaque build-up on their teeth. Brush often and visit your dentist for extra help and advice. Your nasal cavity might also be suffering. If you’ve got a stuffed-up nose or nosebleeds, you’re not alone. The increased blood flow to your mucous membranes and blood vessel expansion in your nose are the culprits. Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do to relieve these symptoms, but talk to your doctor about safe medications if things are really uncomfortable.
Finally, you should be able to possibly find out if I’m a boy or a girl, marking yet another decision for parents-to-be. A word of caution: many times it can be difficult to determine my sex – don’t be surprised if I’m curled up and hide my genitals during your ultrasound. Keep in mind that some healthcare facilities may refuse to tell you the gender because they don’t want to be liable for an inaccurate result. Of course, if your ultrasound technician gives you the opportunity to find out, make sure you’re prepared with an answer. There are advantages to both finding out and leaving it as a surprise. Some moms report that knowing if they’re having a boy or girl gives them an extra bond with their baby, while others simply find peace-of-mind in being able to plan décor and clothing purchases. Of course, ultrasounds aren’t always 100% accurate, so keep that in mind when you’re splurging on a frilly dress or sports jersey. If you decide to leave it a surprise, there’s nothing wrong with that either. You won’t be ‘disappointed’ if the ultrasound turns out to be incorrect, and excitement about finding out the sex of your baby can be motivation during the hardest moments of giving birth.
I know you’ve got a lot on your mind and maybe a few more aches and pains than usual, but think of the reward at the end; “I begin to love this creature, and to anticipate her birth as a fresh twist to a knot, which I do not wish to untie.” – Mary Wollstonecraft (Writer & Philosopher)