Saturday, July 31, 2010

The truth about Angelcare monitors

In the past couple of weeks, we've been asked several times if we're going to use the angelcare monitor with Samantha.

The answer is a simple no, and we really do not recommend it for a multitude of reasons.

SIDS is a very scary disease.  It is one that claims 3,500 innocent lives of babies and children as old as 3 in the United States every year.  Even if you do everything right, put baby on their back, keep their crib clear of anything that could be a suffocation risk, breast feed, have an overhead fan in their room, keep them from being overheated, do not smoke, keep them away from smoke, safely co-sleep and deliver them full term, they can still die.  No amount of love, hope, desire or doing everything right can prevent this unpreventable disease.

The way the Angelcare baby monitors work is by alerting you if your baby goes without movement for more than 20 seconds.  Sounds great right?  God forbid the alarm sounds, you find your baby is not breathing, you call 911, give CPR and your baby is saved.

The theory sounds great.  However, it isn't true.  In true SIDS cases babies cannot be revived.  It is so much more than them just not breathing, everyone of their systems seems to shut down simultaneously for reasons the medical community cannot seem to figure out.  This is why there are still cases of infant mortality taking place in hospitals where the infants were patients and they could not be saved.

I feel that most of these products are preying on the fear of parents and that is just plain wrong.  If your baby is in a high risk category for SIDS, please contact your pediatrician for a real monitor.  More than likely Samantha will be on a "real" monitor which will also monitor her heart rate and oxygen levels so we are alerted to problems before they occur, and hopefully it will turn out to be the biggest waste of time, energy and money :)

A party for Samantha

Being that this is our third baby in 6 years, a baby shower didn't seem entirely appropriate.  We have already acquired nearly everything we need for this little girl, and have really enjoyed buying the things we didn't already have.

After some gentle coaxing by family and great friends, we thought that a Welcome Baby party would be a lot of fun.  My sister is hosting and family and friends are helping with it.  It is going to be a family style BBQ and in no way should anyone feel obligated or as though they need to bring something.  Just having the opportunity to share in our happiness with those who have been there for us through our struggles and sadness is all that we ask :)

A few people have asked about a registry.  To be honest, I started registries at Babies R Us, Target and Walmart.  I really wanted those cool freebies for signing up and want the coupons :P  But, then I went and started buying a lot of it off of there before anyone ever saw it.  :P  What can I say, I like to shop and I love to shop for baby stuff.  I have had to make a promise though not to by anymore baby stuff.  At least not until we're closer to the due date and realize there are things we need and forgot about it.  And remind myself that she is due the month before Christmas and I'm sure I'm going to want to fill half the tree with stuff for Kaitlyn and half the tree with stuff for Samantha and sneak in spaces for stuff for Dusty ;)

With that being said, I found this cool website where I can make a wishlist thing of everything I want.  I started it as a place for me to keep my list together of everything I want to buy, the finishing touches and what not and thought I would share it :) Samantha's wish list Again, all we ask is to spend time with everyone :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Samantha's Nursery

It's one thing to have all the pieces setting around for a nursery.  It's another thing to put it all together:

Samantha's crib and wall decal:

I was really scared of doing the wall decal.  I had planned on setting aside 5 hours tomorrow morning to do it.  I had read so many horror stories of how hard it was, how you need two people to do it and so on.  I LOVE the quality and easy design of this decal!  It was so easy to do, the pieces were all separate and pieced together so easily.  It did take about 2 hours, but I was trying to do it perfect and place all the branches, twigs and leaves as perfectly as possible.

Samantha's name decal.  This, I'm not loving as much.  I'm debating on what I want to do about it though...

Samantha's changing table with plush cover:

And finally, the closet.  The curtains are a pretty green and crushed sheer material.  I think I am going to keep them drawn back:

I've also washed 3 loads of all the clothes, onesies, jammies, towels and blankets we've gotten her so far.  They are sorted by sized and as soon as I'm done eating I'm going to be putting them in her drawers :)

This time 3 years ago

I was 32 weeks pregnant.  I had beaten all the doctor's predictions by 8 weeks and had spent 9 weeks confined to a hospital bed.  I had finally been told that I could safely go into labor and nothing would be done to prevent it if Matthew decided to be born.  This was a big day.

He decided to hang out in there for another week before he was born and beat even more of the goals set by the medical staff.  He cried when he was born.  He had a fighting spirit.  A week from today, Matthew will celebrate his third birthday in Heaven while we remember him here on Earth.

Three years.  It doesn't feel like that much time has passed.  Some days it still feels like yesterday.  Some days it feels like an eternity has passed. 

Next Saturday, August 7, Matthew would have turned 3 years and 1 day old.  To celebrate his life we will be having our annual balloon release.  It means so much to us to have our family and friends surround us and keep his spirit alive.  There are two days a year that we ask for friends and family to celebrate his life with us, for the yearly March for Babies event and for his birthday.  In every 365 days, we ask for 5 hours of your time to remember such a special little boy.

There isn't anything I wouldn't give for the opportunity to have spent the last 3 years with him, to have watched him grow, discover ice cream, enjoy feeding giraffes, learn how to ride a tricycle, ride the ferris wheel, fly on an airplane and enjoy life.  He is in our hearts and thoughts each and every moment of every day.  He is missed to the point of physical pain and loved to the ends of the Earth. 

Regardless of whether or not we can physically share his birthday with him, or tuck him into bed each night, he is our son.  He is our baby, he's our second child, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin and we love him.  We celebrate his birthday to honor his life, and this year, it feels fitting that we celebrate the anniversary of our marriage on the same day that we honor his place in our family and all that he has brought into our lives.

If you can make it, that would be wonderful.  His balloon release is Saturday, August 7 at 11:00 AM at St. Mary's cemetery.  If distance is an issue, please release your own blue balloons at the same time and we can fill the sky with wishes sent to Heaven above.

I really, honestly do not care how you raise your kids

I was watching a repeat of one of my favorite families on TV.  The Duggars.  They were being asked questions about how they view the response of the public in regards to how they raise their family.  Their answers were all done in a way to defend the decisions they had made and would make in the future.  All I could think was "who cares."  Seriously, who really cares?

I guess it stems from the point that I don't care how people chose to raise their kids.  At the end of the day, what matters is that you love them, care for them and do what you feel is best.  And really, each child and each household is so incredibly different that there is no universal right answer on anything.  Years and decades from now, the only parenting decisions I have to answer to are the ones made in regards to my own children. 

In the land of message boards there are always the same debates, you'll find them on face book, myspace (is that even still up?) and anywhere you get together 3 or more moms.  In the end of it all I really don't care if you chose to formula feed, breastfeed, nurse in public, nurse in a bathroom, put huge hair bows on your daughter's head, put your boy in pink polos, spank to discipline, let them watch TV, ban all high fructose corn syrup, never discipline, give your kids soda, only allow organic foods, do pageants, ban make-up forever, put your kid in dance, enroll your kid in chicken roping lessons, let them sleep until noon every day, give them a chore list at 3, only buy clothes from Walmart, insist your kid wear designer labels, always let them walk around filthy or never let them get dirty and on and on and on.  None of those decisions are going to anyway affect me or my family, and if they did, then there is a whole different story going on lol.

One of the biggest lessons I learned through Kaitlyn was never say never.  Dusty still teases me because I said Kaitlyn would be a vegetarian and not know what McDonald's was until she was 10.  HAHA, that is so not how it happened.  But, you know what, she's fine.  She's healthy, she's active, she's in great shape!  The next was to be flexible.  What worked great 6 months ago may not work so great now and the decisions I make today might be totally different than what I chose to do next year.  And I feel absolutely no need to defend the decisions I make to anyone.  If someone wants to try and decide that their way is better, please go out have a kid and take a whack at it ;)  You might be right and you might not be. 

So people, leave the Duggars alone, ignore the parenting decisions of your neighbors just because you don't agree with it or wouldn't do it that way and enjoy your kids.  Before you know it, they'll be parents and we'll be questioning every single parenting decision they make ;)

But, there's nothing to do...

This is what Kaitlyn said to me this morning.  Seriously.  She had nothing to do.  We were only going to have lunch with Dusty today, there were no grand plans and so she was bored.  I told her to rest :P

Kaitlyn has less than 2 weeks before school starts back and 9 days until she has her tonsils and adenoids out, effectively ending her summer vacation. 

In the last 8 weeks, we've been able to cram in a TON of stuff.  Let's see, we went camping for Father's Day weekend, went to NY for a week where she got to go to Niagra Falls, spent a week in Alabama, made 2 trips to Discovery Kingdom, a trip to the water park, 3 trips to the Fair and throw in movies, play dates, fairy tale town, and countless summer related parties and events.  That's a lot of stuff in just 8 weeks!

After I thought about it, no wonder she's bored.  But, of course, I found her something to do: clean her room, funny I haven't heard a word about being bored since...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Agitated Cow

So, let's pretend your a cow.  A 1400 lb heifer to be exact.  Let's say you are currently pregnant and your due date has come and gone.  Instead of being in a calm, serene field of beautiful green grass where you can rest lazily under a tree until your little one decides to be born, you're at a hot, dirty state fair where the temps are reaching high 90s and low hundreds surrounded by too many people with sticky fingers, stinky smells and nothing better to do than to poke at you.  All this while an 80-100 lbs calf kicks and punches at you with it's hooves.  What kind of mood would you be in?

I can tell you that 111 days away from my due date, with a baby that weighs under 2 lbs growing inside of me that kicks and punches, the fair isn't exactly the most fun place in the world for me to be at.  And if people were constantly petting me, I would probably want to kick them in the face.  I can relate to that poor, uncomfortable cow.

Yesterday morning, the UC Davis vets were transporting a very pregnant heifer into her pen at the CA State Fair so that farm goers everywhere can watch her be stuck in a contraption and give birth amidst hoots, hollers and gasps.  They created a tunnel that lead from her truck into the pen.  Somehow, she got out.

Of course, this happened 2 hours or so before the vet was about to open.  She was miserable and had no desire to get in the pen, can you blame her?  She just plain and simply wouldn't cooperate.  So, the vet went and grabbed a tranquilizer gun.  Evidently, the only one the fair had despite the fact that they had dozens of wild animals at the fair, in the Farm where kids like to go.  The gun didn't work.  Oh no.  Whatever could they do?  I mean, we can't keep people waiting to get into the fair with a hugely pregnant cow on the loose in the farm area!

And then a light bulb went off and they had a solution: Let's ask the police officer to unload his weapon into the stomach of the cow several times to stop and kill it and the unborn calf.

Yes, that's a good plan.

And that's just what they did.  They had no desire to wait it out, to allow the cow to calm down and get into a position where she would be safe as would the farm goers.  They shot it.  They shot an innocent cow and her unborn calf because she wasn't ready for her birth to be a source of entertainment. 

Isn't that just lovely.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hello V-day!

In the world of pregnancy and the medical field, something magical happened at 12:01 this morning.  Our baby became viable.  Our baby became a person whose life doctors will fight for.  As of today we have finished 6 months of pregnancy without a hiccup, which is great!

Week 24 of Pregnancy

Your baby's facial features are really filling out…and your belly button may be really popping out!
Your Baby in Week 24 of Pregnancy
Your baby is about eight and a half inches long and weighs one and a half pounds, gaining steadily at a rate of six ounces per week. Much of that weight comes from accumulating baby fat, as well as from growing organs, bones, and muscle. Those little ears of hers are getting sharper and can hear very loud sounds, from a yapping dog to a jackhammer. Also by now, that fabulous face is almost fully formed, complete with eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair. Is your baby a brunette, a blonde, or a redhead? Actually, right now her locks are white since there's no pigment yet.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Milestone number 2: Check

Milestone number one was to get through the first trimester.  It feels like forever ago that we passed that 12 week mark with a healthy little baby that had a strong beating heart.

Somehow, I woke up one day and was half way through this pregnancy!!  It seems insane.

My perinatologists first goal (aside from not miscarrying) was to get this pregnancy further than my pregnancy with Matthew without my water breaking.  I was 23 weeks, 5 days and 30 minutes pregnant when my water broke (approximately since I was sleeping), right now, I am 23 weeks, 5 days, 10 hours and 52 minutes pregnant with my water still in tact!  On Monday I hit viability, the point where if baby is born doctors will take heroic measures to save it's life without parents insisting.  The point where baby has a chance of survival (according to a study last June, 67% of babies born at 24 weeks survive) and a chance at life.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How many doctors does it take to find 1 cervix...

Give up?  Evidently today it took 3.  I guess my cervix was hiding and just didn't want to come and join the party.  Eventually it was found (after 25 minutes of poking and prodding, ouch!) and it was looking good.  No considerable change from 2 weeks ago and all was well.  After "bearing down" 3 times for 30 seconds each time, the change wasn't much.  So, we're good to go.

The tech was great!  When she saw how much Samantha had grown, she switched to the 3D/4D scan.  Of course, little stinker kept her hands in front of her face and would punch the tech every time she tried to get her to move.  We didn't get any pictures of her face, but I did get to see 5 perfectly chubby little fingers on her hand.  She said next appointment (2 weeks from now) we will try again and see how she does.

I was given the goal of 26 weeks today!  If we can get to 26 weeks without any cervical changes, the odds of pprom in this pregnancy drops to 3%.  So, that's less than 3 weeks away.  :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

23 weeks!!

Hello 23 weeks!

The end of this week marks a huge milestone for us.  Saturday I will be 23 weeks and 5 days.  That is how far along I was when I ruptured with Matthew.  I felt great leading up to that exact moment.  So, I just have to get through this week and then I hit viability!

Tomorrow I have my weekly shot and then Wednesday is my bi-weekly ultrasound.  Hopefully she'll be friendly this time and cooperate!

Week 23

How Big is the Baby at 23 Weeks Pregnant?

Your baby is positively HUGE, a whopping 1.1 pound (or almost at least!). That is quite an accomplishment for someone that used to weigh less than one ounce. Your baby at 23 weeks is the size of a small baby doll you might purchase for a little girl.Your little one is now about 11 inches long!

Your Baby's Growth and Development

Your baby is still making remarkable changes at 23 weeks pregnant. Her skin is still quite red and heavily wrinkled. Your baby can hear loud noises in the womb from now and as you continue your pregnancy week by week, so don't be surprised if your baby seems to move around a bit when you are vacuuming or are in an environment where loud noises are quite common.

The bones located in your baby's middle ear are starting to form by pregnancy week 23, and your baby is continuing to fill out and look more and more proportional.

If your baby were born this week, there is a small chance your baby would survive outside the womb, however it is best that your baby stay put! Many women start to wonder what might happen if their baby is born prematurely. A baby born between 23 and 24 weeks would have a 10 to 70 percent chance of survival. It truly depends on a number of factors that have to be taken into consideration.

There are babies that are born at one pound that beat the odds and go on to live a fairly normal life, while others unfortunately die due to unexpected complications. The smallest babies may survive but grow up with some mental or motor disabilities as a result of their extreme prematurity.

Every day your baby stays in the womb increases their survival rate by approximately 3 percent during weeks 23 and 26.

Generally after 26 weeks the survival rate jumps to 80-90 percent.

Many things can affect your baby's chances of survival if she is born prematurely. If your membranes rupture (your water breaks) prior to 24 weeks, your baby has less of a chance than if your membranes stay intact. Other factors such as diabetes or high blood pressure can place added stress on the baby during delivery, increasing the chances of complication.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oh the progress we have made!

This week we have made a ton of progress when it comes to being ready for little Samantha's arrival!

Her bedding set will be here on Monday!  The only parts we still need to get to complete it is the mobile and the valance.  We may or may not use the ones that match the bedding set.  It's so hard to decide when I can't see and feel it in person.

And really, I don't know how much I love the valance.  I almost think I want to make one.  I bought these great cookie cutters:

I was thinking about using them as a template to cut out birds in material that matches the bedding, doing a blue valance, and then making it look like there are birds on a branch or something like that.  Or just keeping it simple.

We picked out our paint colors and hopefully with Grandma's help we will have it all painted next weekend.  We are doing a sky like blue color on the walls.  Then, behind the crib we will be using our wall vinyl.  I ordered this one off of etsy and asked that they make it without the owls :)

I am still looking for a name decal that I love.  While I was at Target the other day, I found the perfect green rug to put in front of the crib.

We also just ordered the name vinyl for the nursery :)  I am doing carnation pink birds with a tan banner, then her name will come through in the same color as the wall.  I think it'll turn out cute :)

We also bought our car seat and stroller combo set and I am so excited.  I absolutely love it.

It is the Chicco Cortina Travel System in sahara.  The main reason we chose it is it is not only the top rated infant car seat, but it also holds and cradles babies as little as 4 pounds.  So, even if Samantha makes an early appearance, she'll have a comfy way to get home!

Today, we ordered Samantha's swing.  We found an awesome deal and ordered it immediately!

And lastly, in case she arrives before Halloween, or just for some cute fall/newborn pictures, we bought her this super cute outfit.  I cannot wait to get it:

It's an owl ;)

So, we are nearly done!  Thanks to Dorin and Nicole lending us their co-sleeper, the only things left on my must go get list is the nap nanny and the playard that we are going to use as our living/play room changing table and bassinet and we'll get those as soon as I get a decent babies r us coupon lol!  All we need to do is put it all together and then wait!

I think I'm going to be really excited to see the mailman the next couple of weeks ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

22 weeks!

And we're only 2 weeks away from "V-day", the day of viability.  The day when if you deliver you do not have to fight with medical staff to fight for your baby's life. 

Tomorrow I have my monthly OB appointment.  I have a feeling I am going to go to every 2 weeks starting tomorrow, but who knows.  Considering that I go in every week for my shot and every 2 weeks for an u/s, I don't think it's really necessary, but I'm not the one in charge :P.  I do have a feeling I'm going to get into a bit of trouble.  I'm sure that when my doctor said not to worry too much about the weight gain, he didn't mean to gain 22 pounds in the first 22 weeks when the baby is only measuring around 15 ounces.  Ouch.  Even if I were to go by the "gain 40 pounds chart," I'm already up about 5 pounds higher than I should be.  Oh well lol.

Baby's Growth and Development at 22 Weeks Pregnant

During your 22nd week of pregnancy, your baby is starting to discover a world around him as his senses continue to develop.
  • When you’re 22 weeks pregnant, your baby is about 7 1/2 to 8 inches long head to rump, around the length of a head of cabbage, and weighs about 1 pound.
  • Your baby's sense of touch and taste progress significantly this week.
    • Taste buds begin forming.
    • Your baby's brain and nerve endings mature enough to process the sensation of touch.
  • Your baby's reproductive system continues to develop. In a boy, his testes begin to descend. In a girl, her ovaries and uterus now are in place and her vagina develops. She already has all of the eggs she'll need for her own reproductive life.
  • When you're 22 weeks pregnant, the surface of your baby's brain, which has previously been smooth, begins to develop folds. This creation of hills and valleys in the brain will continue until the 34th week of pregnancy, when your baby's brain will have enough surface area for a full complement of brain cells.
  • Your baby continues to hear sounds from the outside world. Although these sounds are muffled behind the amniotic fluid and the protective covering of vernix, your baby soon recognizes your voice.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My fun weekend...

Friday night, I wasn't feeling that great.  My stomach was upset, I was tired and just done.  I went to bed around 10:30 and at 11:45 I woke up to use the bathroom.  Totally normal for me to have to pee every 2-3 hours at night.  I mean, how could it not be normal when a 1 lb papaya is pushing on your bladder around the clock?

I used the bathroom, went to bed and then 15 minutes later, I had to go again.  Literally, as soon as I stood up from peeing to go to bed, I would feel as though I had to go again, urgently, right then.  Which led to frustration, cramping and pain.

It went through this until about 4:40 AM, when I finally said "enough is enough" and called my doctor's office.  Who then transferred me to the on-call doctor's office.  The nurse wasn't too friendly and said that unless I thought it was a big deal I should wait until 7:00 AM to call him.  I kindly informed her that if I didn't think it was a big deal, I wouldn't be up at 4:40 in the morning calling in.  I think I may have gotten my point across.  The doctor's office called back around 5:15 and said to to go the ER.  I got to the ER around 5:30 and they wheeled me up to Labor and Delivery.

I got to hang out in the recovery/triage room in L&D, get a catheter, have blood drawn and all that good stuff.  Turned out I had a yeast infection and I also had a bladder infection that spread to my kidneys.  Around noon, I got my prescription called in and got to go home!  Yay!!

When I told Dusty I was going into the hospital, he insisted on going.  I told him no, it would be better if Kaitlyn didn't have to wake up quite yet and there was no point in us both missing sleep and being exposed to all the yucky germs. 

The woman next to me, didn't have that same experience.

She was scheduled to have her third child by repeat cesarean on Monday.  Saturday at 2:00 AM, her water broke.  She waited for the bus and got to the hospital a bit after 6:00 AM, nearly ready to push.  They didn't have a chance to even do her triage before she was rushed to her cesarean and then at 7:00 AM wheeled next to me to recover.

She was by herself.  Her boyfriend was at home with her mom and 2 other kids.  He had a car, but thought it was too early for her to be calling him with this drama and wanting him out of bed to drive all the way to the hospital.  (Word to the wise, please don't use speaker phone when you don't have your own room) 

Her son was born 7lb 6 oz and she did not get to hold him after delivery.  When they took him into the nursery, he was laboring to breath.  The NICU team came to examine him and discovered he had fluid in his lungs and because he was having such a hard time breathing, he couldn't eat.  He was then admitted to the NICU.

She was understandably upset.  She was by herself and upset that her son was now by himself.  Her blood pressure was through the roof and by the time I got to go home, she had been in recovery for 4 hours without a single visitor, without anyone there to help welcome her son into the world.  It was truly sad.

During this same time, there was a couple in the hallway surrounded by their parents.  They stood in the hallway about to become parents.  My door and curtain were wide open and the excitement surrounding their upcoming adoption wasn't hard to hear.  Their biggest complaint was the baby had to be out of their site for a few minutes while baby and "birth mom" cleaned up.

Those nurses sure were busy this weekend...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Things have been hectic!

Let's see, after our camping trip we headed to the airport bright and early to make our 7 AM flight to Buffalo, NY!

While we were there, Kaitlyn had a blast meeting her Aunt Wende and cousins Kimberly and Lauren.  They played and played and played.  We were able to go to Niagra Falls and into Canada thanks to our spiffy new passports!  It was really beautiful.

After we spent a week in Buffalo, we headed to Alabama to visit family.  Kaitlyn met her new BFF she says in her cousin Jake.  She had a blast with everyone that we saw, loved the water park, fireworks, and most of all the family we saw.  We weren't even on the plane yet when she began asking when we could go back!

We got back in time for Kaitlyn to have 2 doctor's appointments.  Both the ENT and the Allergist agreed that the best course of action for her is to have her tonsils and adenoids removed.  The allergist also started some blood work to see if we could find out what is causing the sinuses to become so inflamed so that we can try and prevent further inflammation once the tonsils are out and hopefully avoid sinus surgery in the future.  She was so brave during her blood test and didn't even cry one tear.  The earliest they can do the surgery is August 9.  There is a 2 week recovery time and she starts school August 12.  So, we are indecisive on what we are going to do.  We don't want her to miss the first 2 weeks of school, meeting new friends, getting used to a new school and all of that, but we also don't want to have her suffer longer than she needs to. 

Yesterday morning I had my bi-weekly ultrasound for Samantha.  She was measuring at 15 ounces, which is great!  She is moving around all of the time.  We didn't get any pictures this time because she has her spine lined up to my belly and her fists in her eye balls and made it pretty hard to get a good one.

It looks like we won't be able to do a Dr. Seuss nursery like how I wanted.  The bedding is no longer available and I don't want to pay an exorbitant amount just because I waited too long.  So, this is what I'm looking at now :)

But, since it is so much pink, I want to do light blue walls I think and incorporate a lot of the other colors in the bedding.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

21 weeks and we're home!!

Yesterday marked 21 weeks pregnant!

This is how baby is doing:

Your Pregnancy: Week 21
Twenty-one is a magic number. It means independence. It means you just won a hand of blackjack. In pregnancy terms, it means you have gotten over the hump and you only have 19 weeks left!

Your Baby
Chances are good you're feeling someone performing a round-off back handspring in your uterus by now. Is there any other feeling this cool? Other highlights this week:

By now your baby looks like a mini-version of what she'll look like when she's born. All her facial features are formed and hair is growing on her head. She's even acting like a baby and will occasionally suck her thumb or yawn. Aww ...

Baby's heartbeat is getting stronger and can be heard using a good old-fashioned stethoscope. Ask for a listen at your next prenatal visit! By 21 weeks, fetal bone marrow starts making blood cells—previously done by the liver and spleen. This may not sound that exciting, but it's good news.

The amniotic fluid that has been cushioning your little bean now serves another purpose: Your baby uses it to "practice" chowing down. Yes, it sounds gross (as many aspects of pregnancy do), but it's an important step for your baby toward being able to chow down in the real world. Your baby has been swallowing amniotic fluid for a while now, but now the intestines are finally developed enough that she's absorbing small amounts of sugars from it. And let's face it, being able to effectively digest sugar is important at every stage of life.

Your baby now weighs between 10 and 11 ounces and is approximately 7 inches long—the size of a delicious, cold, frothy bottle of root beer. Float anyone?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

20 weeks and halfway there!!!

I know this is a bit late, being as it's Thursday and I'm now 20w3d, but we've been having so much fun in Alabama, and I sent my laptop back to CA, I haven't had a chance to use Dusty's.  Will update more on our amazing vacation later.

But, as for little Samantha:

There is a cantaloupe (or a banana, since she has been measuring a week big) in my belly area!

How your baby's growing:

Your baby weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now. He's also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. (For the first 20 weeks, when a baby's legs are curled up against his torso and hard to measure, measurements are taken from the top of his head to his bottom — the "crown to rump" measurement. After 20 weeks, he's measured from head to toe.)

He's swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He's also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you'll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).