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22 Weeks

29 May 2007

22 WeeksThis week, Blueberry is the size of a slice of pizza?!? I think that’s a really random and totally relative comparison. Ah well. Let’s pretend like it’s a giant New York-style slice. The kind you have to fold in half to even hold.

Blueberry weighs close to a pound at this point and he is almost 11 inches in total length. He’s getting bigger every day and continuing to practice for extrauterine life.

Baby develops two kinds of hair in utero — the soft, downy body hair called lanugo, which generally falls off before or shortly after birth, and the hair on her head. Many parents are surprised (to say the least) to see their baby’s hair at birth — blond couples often have black-haired offspring, dark ones are just as likely to deliver a little blond or redhead, and parents who have tight, wiry curls often produce babies with soft, loose ones. The bottom line seems to be that birth hair — or lack thereof — bears little resemblance to your child’s “real” hair. The birth hair generally falls out by the time the baby is six months old, to be replaced by a more logical set of tresses.

This week your baby has developed eyebrows and eyelashes. These two latest developments will be a key method of communicating his happiness, frustration, confusion, or interest until he can talk. Your baby also now has eyelids and has developed fat, which helps to keeps it warm. In boys, the testes descend, primitive sperm have formed and he is producing testosterone. Fingernails have grown to the the ends of the fingers. With some help from mom, baby’s liver is starting to break down bilirubin, a substance produced by red blood cells.

Baby’s brain has entered a stage of rapid growth, especially in what’s called the germinal matrix. This structure deep in the middle of the brain serves as a kind of factory for brain cells and disappears shortly before birth. But the brain’s amazing expansion program continues until around the fifth birthday.

Your baby can now hear your conversations more clearly than before! When you talk, read, or sing, expect her to hear you. Studies have found that newborns will suck more vigorously when read to from a book they heard frequently in utero. Also, babies whose fathers talk or sing to them in the womb have been shown to respond to his voice within hours after birth.

In mommy news… after being mostly recovered from a nasty bout of allergies last week (I don’t usually get them, so this is compliments of my newly dysfunctional immune system), I am feeling much better. Minus the few rough spots I’ve had, I really enjoy being pregnant. Although, I must admit, in my typical impatience, I’m ready to get on with it and see Blueberry already.

My appetite is increasing a little bit, which is good because Blueberry needs lots of protein now. I’m right on target for weight gain — I’ve put on 12 pounds since pre-pregnancy. I’ve got another 10 – 15 to go, depending on what source you read. I feel fine and I do whatever my body tells me: eat, don’t eat. Eat, but don’t eat that. Tim is still surprised by my lack of crazy pregnancy cravings… or rather, my lack of cravings for chocolate and ice cream. I probably eat less sweets than ever in my life. Occasionally, I’ll have a treat but I’ve found that a lot of things are too sugary for me now.

I have been having Braxton-Hicks contractions a few times a week. Sometimes they are uncomfortable but they go away quickly. I find that I am having to sit down more frequently and my legs get swollen (which they do when I’m not pregnant) a lot more now. I need to go swimsuit shopping sometime soon and find a pool to hang out by this summer — after this weekend’s heat, I am well aware of how much easier it is to get overheated. Five minutes in Virginia humidity and 90 degrees and I am done.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Marge permalink
    29 May 2007 19:50

    Ooooo- Daddy can sing to him everynight: lullabyes, classic melodies, his own poems set to Mozart, a few rousing musical show numbers; that’ll get him kicking! Should we borrow Alex’s pool for your deck?

  2. .Bittersweet. permalink
    31 May 2007 09:05

    Had a couple of “her” oopsies in there, eh? ;o) It’s okay, love, I’m sure he doesn’t mind one bit. xoxo

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