Congratulations! This week marks the halfway point in your pregnancy. Baby weighs about 10 ounces and is about 9-1/2 inches long. She’s covered in vernix caseosa, a cheesy substance that protects your baby’s skin while in utero, keeping it soft and smooth. She’s just learning to breath, and a sonogram will show her chest moving up and down.
This week I had a doctor’s appointment! Jerry and I decided to wait a bit before finding out what we were having. The anticipation is fun and we still have 20 weeks left to find out and prepare. After the routines, which included checking my weight (I gained 3 lbs!), blood pressure and temperature, I lay down on the cot and the nurse applied the gel to my growing belly. My doctor came in and started running the wand up and down my stomach to find the baby. As he found the baby I felt my heart quicken. There was my baby, fully formed and squirming about! After asking whether we wanted to find out what we’re having or not (we said not), my doctor started showing us each body part. We saw the little heart blinking on the screen. We saw eyes, nose, mouth, ears, toes, fingers and legs. I was in heaven. I begged my doctor to show me everything twice. The doctor measured the baby’s head, legs and stomach. Everything looked perfect! He printed out a precious picture for us to keep with us.
After the sonogram, my doctor sat with me and went over certain things I should look out for.
1. Severe cramping or spotting can be signs of early labor. Any cramps or pains that are consistent should be brought to the attention of your doctor.
2. Severe nausea can be a sign of complications or can lead to dehydration. Your doctor may want to put you on I.V.
3. Blurred vision or dizziness can be a sign of an underlying problem. Consult with your doctor if you have any of these issues.
4. You should be feeling your baby move a few times a day, and as the months go on, a few times an hour. If you don’t, lie down on your left side, drink orange juice, and eat a few bars of chocolate. If you still don’t feel the baby, it’s time to call your doctor.
5. Strong pressure on your pelvis can be a sign of early labor or fetal distress. Have your doctor check you out if you experience any strong pressure.
6. Any swelling more than the usual minor swelling, or extremely rapid weight gain should be checked out.
7. Persistent itching should be checked out.
In response to the question, “What can I do to relieve varicose vein pains?” – Heidi M. from Georgia
Varicose veins occur from pressure on the veins in the legs. It is mostly hereditary and is more common in older women. Varicose veins can be quite painful. Temporary relief includes leg elevation, support stockings, staying off your feet as much as possible, applying heating pads (consult with your doctor), and taking pain relievers (consult with your doctor). There are certain procedures that involve cutting and tying the vein to relieve the pressure, but you should not do it during pregnancy.
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