24 weeks pregnant

24 weeks

Dear mom,

I’m still growing steady as ever – this week I’m as long as an ear of corn, and about the size of a cantaloupe overall. It’s so funny that while I’m developing, I’ve got many of the features of an older person. Aside from filling in my deep-set wrinkles with baby fat, that hair I’m growing is without pigmentation. That’s right, if you could see me right now, I’d have white hair! My lungs are still busy forming so my respiratory system will be primed to let me send out those big screams when I want your attention after I’m born. Altogether it’s just about getting stronger; so don’t be surprised if you feel those kicks and pokes a little more often as I wiggle around.

As for you, I know those pregnancy pain points are piling up: a sore back, swollen legs and ankles, and surprising cramps are all part and parcel of having a baby. A prenatal massage can do wonders for relieving stress and muscle tension. Meanwhile, between weeks 24 and 28, your doctor will likely give you a Glucose Challenge Test to ensure you don’t have gestational diabetes while carrying me. The test is pretty simple: you’ll be asked to drink a sugary beverage. An hour later, the doctor will draw some blood and see how your body is handling your sugar intake. If you’ve got high blood sugar, it can make me grow way too fast – complicating delivery and potentially causing you to have a caesarean section.

I know your belly is feeling a little plugged up, but what about your intestines? Lots of women report constipation while they’re pregnant. The reason is a good one: those pesky pregnancy hormones have relaxed the muscles in your intestines so you hang onto food longer, giving your body as much time as possible to absorb the nutrients from all that vitamin-rich food you’ve been eating. Drinking plenty of water and fruit juices, and upping your fiber intake by eating whole grains, fruits, veggies, and legumes can all help ease any discomfort.

No matter what you’re grappling with, remember: carrying a child is a serious blessing, even when it feels like a curse. “Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I’d have cherished every moment of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.” – Erma Bombeck (Humorist & Columnist)