Thursday, December 07, 2006

16 Weeks

Well, I have now officially completed 16 weeks of pregnancy. I have 24 more to go. Which seems like a really long time, especially since I don't particularly like being pregnant. I'm not anxious to have it over with and have the baby in-hand (that award goes to Max, who would like to have his wee babelet arrive...oh, some time last week), I just don't like being pregnant. It's not fun. But more on that later.

The fetus: is about 4.5 inches long (crown to rump) and weighs approximately 3.5 ounces. It's about the size of an avocado right now, which should give me something more interesting to think about than "why the fuck are they charging that much for carrots?" next time I go to the grocery store. Anyway, the lower limbs are much more developed now. The head is more erect than it has been previously, and the eyes have moved toward the front of the head. The ears are close to their final position. Some of the body systems are working, including the circulatory system (the heart is pumping roughly 25 quarts of blood per day) and urinary tract. Yep, the baby is swallowing aminotic fluid and peeing it out, right inside me. Which does not gross me out as much as you'd think, since it's basically going straight through. There's nothing in there for it to collect on its way, so it's not like actual pee. The patterning of the scalp has started, although the hair is not recognizable yet. The eyes are still fused shut, but they are moving (though slowly). It's even started growing fingernails and toenails, which will continue to grow while it gestates.

I am feeling better, although I'm starting to get the "fuzzy-brain" feeling the books and other mothers have warned me about. I'm getting more forgetful and spacy (I know, scary, right?) and my ability to multitask has gone to shit. Formerly, I wasn't happy unless I was doing two or three things at once, like watching a movie while knitting and surfing the internet. Now it's very hard for me to even surf and watch a movie at the same time, much less do anything else too. Writing, even silly blog posts, has become harder. Sometimes I have to sit for a few minutes and search for the words I want before I can even start. I leave out letters and words when I type, or type nonsense words and it takes me two or three passes to catch them.

The cats are loving this new twist, because when we're watching something I have to pay attention to, I stop doing everything else and just watch, which means my lap and my hands are free for Kitty Comfort Time. I read something in a magazine that said the baby needs a lot of the nutrient Choline right now, a nutrient that's essential for memory and brain development. If it's not getting enough from the placenta, it steals mine. And I end up feeling like a first-class space cadet.

Other things: I can feel my joints loosening, and it feels like my tailbone is shifting around when I lay on the floor. Sometimes I feel like you could take my arms and legs and pull me like a Stretch Armstrong doll. I know that my whole body loosening up is necessary if the kid is going to make it out in one piece, but I thought I'd have a little more time. That whole thing comes off like a cruel joke anway - "Ha ha ha! Not only are you going to gain weight and have your center of gravity fucked with, just for fun we'll make you as loosely-jointed as a marionette! You'll have no choice but to flail wildly, lose your balance, and fall on your ass more times than you can count!"

I can feel my stomach muscles rearranging themselves too. When I turn over in bed or when we're engaged in activities of an intimate nature, I definitely notice that things are NOT where I left them. It's bizzarre, going to move and use a muscle but finding in in a different spot. It is definitely much weirder than losing your keys or finding that missing sock in the fridge.

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