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My Pregnancy: 18 Weeks

Pop!  Goes the belly.

Getting bigger every single day.  Most baby websites compare the size of the baby to a fruit, which can be fun but also a bit silly baby is currently a sweet potato but sweet potatoes can be small or big!  So I like to look at this fetal weight and length chart and then find a common object the baby is the same size as… This week, he/she is about the length of a dollar bill, if you include the legs.  Crazy!

Here’s what’s going on with the baby this week.  “He weighs almost 7 ounces. He’s busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you’ll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead… Plus, he’s developing yawning and hiccupping skills (you may feel those soon, too!) and his own unique set of toe and fingerprints…  The baby can hear sounds and may be startled by loud noises.” (SourceSource,Source)

I’ve been able to feel movements for about three weeks, and I try to ‘make’ the baby move by pushing on my stomach or talking to him/her, but no dice.  Baby just moves when she/he feels like it.

I continue to feel pretty good… I’m realizing that I am getting off really easy as far as pregnancy goes.  Sometimes I have aches and pains, sometimes I feel short of breath (the bump is definitely compressing my lungs in certain positions)… but generally, I feel normal.  And trust me, I am grateful!

This week, I thought I’d share three fun pregnancy gadgets, gizmos, and websites that I’ve been using:

Kegel Camp: I downloaded the Sex with Emily Kegel Camp app, and I love it!  Kegel exercises help you ‘prevent or control urinary incontinence’ by ‘strengthening the uterus, bladder, and bowel.’  The exercises aid in childbirth (and recovery) and result in stronger orgasms (Sourcesource).  Um, win-win!  I always try to remember do do kegels but fall off the wagon after a few days.  I like the app because, if you turn off the sound, it vibrates for every tense and release.  I just sit on the couch while watching TV and do my kegels… no one will ever know!  Well, now you all do.  You know what I mean.

Mama Bee Belly Balm:  I understand that stretch marks are most hereditary, but you can definitely minimize them by eating right, gaining an appropriate amount of weight, and staying hydrated (Source).  The jury is still out on whether balms or creams can prevent them from occurring, but I figure that it can’t hurt.  I like the Mama Bee balm because it’s SUPER oily and greasy… I know some people wouldn’t like that but I feel like it’s actually working as a result.  Hah.  I rub it into the bump at night, kind of like a bump massage.  Actually, now that I think about it, I like the Belly Balm more because I use it as an excuse to feel the baby moving around (he/she is most active at night).  I can feel the movements better when my skin is slippery.

However, if I do end up with stretch marks, I will be okay with it, because I’ve been reading….

Shape of a Mother: Pregnancy is awesome, but it’s a big change in terms of body image. On one hand, my evolving self-image is mostly positive I can’t believe my body is doing something so awesome, and I love to feel the baby move, etc.  But it’s hard in some ways, too.  Being very active is a huge part of my identity, and I love to participate in sports, and I just can’t do that right now.  My clothes and underwear don’t fit very well, and that is always a bit frustrating no matter what the reason.  I’ve been reading entries from Shape of a Mother (warning: lots of nudity so not safe for work) every night before bed.  It reminds me that moms come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and no matter what my naked stomach or breasts or butt ends up looking like, it’s okay.  When I look at images of moms and read their stories, I can’t help but think how awesome, inspiring, beautiful, and BRAVE they all are.  I really love this site; it’s so positive and affirming.  I think all women not just mommas should check it out!

Here’s Week 18, neatly summarized:

  • Total Weight Gain: Unknown, no weigh-in
  • Workouts: 1000 yard swim, 3 mile walk, 1000 yard swim + 1 mile walk
  • Baby Items Purchased:  None.  Saving $$ this week!
  • Current Worry:  Our anatomy scan is coming up next week, and I am very nervous.  I’m trying not to think negative thoughts but since we opted out of all genetic testing, this feels very important.
  • Gender Suspicions:  I’ve decided that I have no idea and won’t ever feel positive about whether it’s a boy or girl until I have a screaming infant on my chest in the delivery room.
  • Cravings: None… just eating normally.
  • Nursery Ideas: Wouldn’t a gray and yellow nursery be cute?
  • Laziness:  Moderate.  I am definitely turning a corner.
  • Name Battles: One.  We are still undecided on a boy name (well, we have a contender but we are only 90% sure, so we’re thinking of alternatives).  I really like the name Elliot but the Husband has shot it down.  He just looks at me and says, “Elllliiiooot” like E.T.  Hah.

This post originally appeared on Healthy Tipping Point.

Caitlin blogs at HealthyTippingPoint.com and OperationBeautiful.com.  You can also find her on Twitter.

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