You know how when you sit in a bath or the ocean for too long, and your skin gets all pruney? Imagine spending nine months in amniotic fluid! That’s why your body is busy producing a waxy white substance called vernix caseosa to coat my skin and protect it from all that liquid. Don’t worry, I shed it before I’m born – although a few babies, especially premature ones, might have a bit left on their skin when they make their debut. This week, I’m starting to shape up as well – my legs and arms are finally the right proportion to my body, they’ve just got to keep on getting bigger. I’ve grown to the size of a mango, but we’ve still got a ways to go, you and me.
Remember way back in Week 11, when I mentioned linea nigra, a dark line that may have appeared below your belly button? Don’t be surprised if more dark spots pop up around different parts of your body, thanks to a temporary increase in pigment. If you’re self-conscious about your marks, they can usually be covered up with makeup and they will fade over time. If you’re pregnant during the sunny summer months, cover up! Exposure to the sun will increase the likelihood and prevalence of your spots. In addition, a boost in estrogen production may mean your palms are a darker shade of red. And if you’re feeling some tingling and numbness in your fingers and toes, that’s the result of expanding tissues pressing up against your nerve endings.
We’re almost at the halfway point! Whether you know my sex or not, it might be a good time to start jotting down names and discussing them with my dad to see what you love (and disagree on). There are so many things to consider – from meanings and family history to the way it sounds with my last name and famous namesakes. Start early so you don’t feel rushed or uncertain when I finally arrive in the world, but don’t feel pressured to name me what you picked out before. A lot of parents meet their baby and realize their first choice of name doesn’t quite fit – it’s always good to have back-ups just in case.
If you’re thinking about your family’s heritage when considering my name, check out this fun quote, “Life is a flame that is always burning itself out, but it catches fire again every time a child is born.” – George Bernard Shaw (Playwright)