Want to know what I’m thinking? My brain activity is skyrocketing right about now as I take my time sleeping, listening, and practicing those essential tasks I’ll need to perform when I’m born – like breathing and sucking. Although my lungs still aren’t quite working, if I were to be born right this moment they’d actually function with the help of plenty of doctors and equipment. I weigh a whopping two pounds, and I’m about the size of a large rutabaga. I’ve also started growing in length. While in the early stages of pregnancy I’m typically measured by ‘crown to rump’ (owing to the fact my legs aren’t quite developed), by this point you can start measuring me from ‘crown to feet’ – and I’m over 14 inches long!
When you were a kid, did you ever compare belly buttons with your friends? You know, how some kids have ‘innies’ and others have ‘outies’? Well this week your innie might be looking more like an outie as I push against your abdomen. The good news is, once I’m born your belly button will snap back to its former ‘innie self’, although it might be a little wider than before. While some things are expanding on your body, other parts might be cramping. All that extra pressure on your legs from carrying weight around your mid-section may cause your limbs to seize up, particularly at night. Try gently massaging them, flexing your feet, or taking a walk to help ease tension.
Whether or not you’ve had a baby shower, chances are you’ve started collecting some things to help me get settled into my life outside your womb – like clothing and blankets. Whatever you buy, make sure you wash it before swaddling or dressing me. Many items contain irritants or harsh detergents that can bother my sensitive baby skin. Look for a special detergent that’s either specifically formulated for babies or fragrance-free. As a hint, washing things early might be a good idea – you never know what complications (including just plain old exhaustion) might come up as your due date draws nearer.
And with that – some exciting news! You are officially done with your second trimester mom. I couldn’t be more proud of you. “In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.” – Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn (Authors)