Is that a banana in your belly, or are you just happy to be growing a baby? That’s right, I’ve started lengthening out this week – I’m about 10 inches long now. Developments are still happening fast and furious; my genitalia are basically fully formed, meaning it should be even easier to track down whether I’m a boy or girl at your ultrasound appointment (if you want to know, that is). This week I’ve also started producing meconium: a gooey, black substance that’s the result of getting my digestive system going when I swallow amniotic fluid (along with digestive secretions and dead cells). You’ll eventually see the meconium when use my diaper for the first time, although some babies also get rid of it while passing through the womb during delivery.
20 weeks in means you’re halfway through 40 weeks of pregnancy. At this point you’ve probably gained about 10 pounds, and you can expect to gain another pound each week. That healthy pregnancy glow is probably in full swing at this point as well – many women report thicker, lusher hair and stronger nails thanks to all those baby hormones floating around your body. If however, you’re spotting hair in unwanted places, feel free to pluck away – those hairs are temporary, but there’s no need to rock a chin goatee when you’re pregnant.
Because I’m getting bigger, you should start to feel that water ballet I’m doing in your belly…but if you can’t, don’t panic! Many women report feeling those first flutters and punches around weeks 18 to 22, but there are many reasons why you might not be able to. If you’re on the thinner side of things or if you’ve already had a child, you’ll be more likely to sense those kicks and jabs. If I’m positioned in a way that has me facing inwards, it’s simply harder to detect when I’m practicing my future soccer goal scoring techniques. Finally, you might simply have an inaccurate due date, meaning you’re actually behind the times and not quite there in terms of feeling me move around. No matter what, you will feel me in due time, so don’t worry.
Now that we’re at the halfway point, I’m sure you’re starting to count down to my arrival already. Keep in mind, “Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall. A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes (Physician)