Nineteen Weeks Along

Week 19  (September 16 – 23)

Esitmated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: Not a whole lot has changed here, though I am feeling lots more movement!

Body Changes: Nothing too drastic has changed here.  

Cravings: Sour, salty, carbs. And cheese. You can never have enough cheese.

High Point: So two really huge and exciting things happened this week: First, we had our anatomy scan down in the Big City. Everything check out great. I had to have a fetal echocardiogram as my OB thought it would be the prudent thing to do as I have a heart murmur, something that was passed down to me from my mum and I’ve likely passed it down to E. Just being prudent. Anyhow, the baby’s heart and everything else looked really great. The only thing I wasn’t thrilled about is that they want me back in December to check growth progress. I don’t really want to make the trip ALL the way back down there again and am sort of wishing I could just do it locally, but such is life. 

The other great part about this week? We had our gender reveal party! Now, we had originally hoped to find out the gender with everyone else, but because our appointment for the anatomy scan was on a Tuesday and the party wasn’t until the following Saturday, I was considering just finding out on Tuesday. I couldn’t wait all that time! Well, it didn’t really end up mattering what I was planning, because when the ultrasound tech went to go look at “the goods” it was really obvious that we were having…

A BOY!!!!

I was so pleased! While I am hoping we’re not going to be officially done with babies after this little guy (I’m pushing for three, but I’m not sure how the hubs feels on that front), it’s nice to know we’re going to at least have one of each. I was genuinely torn on whether or not I wanted a boy or a girl this time around (where as with E., I knew I was going to have and desperately wanted a little girl). Part of me would have loved another little girl (I also loved the name we had picked, Sofia Rose). There is something really special and fun about little girls that I’ve really cherished with E. I’d love to have that again. 

Plus, I would have loved to not buy any clothes. 

That said, I will admit that some of my favorite kiddos to work with at work are the boys. I know we’re not supposed to have favorites, and I guess I really don’t, but…there is something really fun and just extremely funny about boys at all ages, and I’ve had the benefit of working with boys ranging from kindergarten all they way up to seniors in high school. I almost always just like them. And while I totally don’t want to raise a mama’s boy, I think there is something really special in the bond between a mother and her son, or at least that’s what the books and movies tell me. 

Also, as old fashioned and sort of silly as this sounds, I was really happy to give my husband a son. He would have been happy with a girl, but you couldn’t deny that big grin on his face when we saw that we were having a little boy. 

Low Point: This week was about a thousand times better than last week. Everything went really well. 

What I did to prepare this week: As soon as I found out we were having a boy I started go through the bags and bags and bags and bags of clothes we had from E. to see if I had anything that would be boy appropriate. While we did have some stuff, I only ended up being able to fill a tub with clothes for 0-6 months and then a filled half a trash bag with clothes 9 months and up (maybe topping out at 24 months). Maybe my view of what’s normal to have for clothes is skewed because I literally have about ten bags of clothes for E. that only go up to 2T (and she’s in 4-5T now), but I feel like we don’t have quite enough in terms of clothes. As I mentioned in my registry post yesterday, this is freaking me out a bit.  

Paranoid Moment: The folks at the doctor’s office where I had my ultrasound had to say something that I would pick out amongst all the, “The baby looks great!” comments. They said he was low in my pelvis, making it a wee bit difficult to get certain pictures. I, briefly, took this to mean that there was something wrong, but was reassured by several sources that everything is just fine.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “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).”

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The Dangers of Creating a Registry

First of all, first time moms, in my opinion, are at a distinct disadvantage when creating a registry…Or at least I was. I registered for, you know, the usual stuff: a playpen, a swing, a bouncy seat, diaper bag, stroller, first aid stuff, etc. Great. I sort of feel like I should have just registered for wine and earplugs (Kidding! I mean, I was only 20 when E. was born. 😉 ).

I didn’t think very much about allllllll the other stuff I would need desperately once E. was here. Like lanolin. Holy nipples of fire, did I need lanolin. Or wipes. Everyone will give you lots of diapers (or at least they did me), but no one buys you wipes. And you need them. Another good registry add-on: extra burp clothes or pre-fold cloth diapers, the catch-alls of babyhood. Also, if you choose to use pacifiers, perhaps stock in Nuk or Mam, because those suckers (ha) disappear like socks out of the drier. You swear you put it down on the dresser, but now, literally five seconds later, the dang paci has evaporated into thin air.

See, these are the less cute or fancy things I did not think about (or even really know about) registering as a first time mom. Hindsight is 20/20, right? Well, I’m registering again for this baby, mostly because I wanted one place to keep a running tally of I wanted/needed AND take advantage of the Target (with whom I registered) discount I would get later on for anything that was on my registry that hadn’t been purchased (totally brilliant, right?). I’m not expecting or particularly wanting a second baby shower, so there really isn’t a real reason to make a registry (though, I did send it to my mom, because, you know, she’s my mom). Anyway, the problem does not lie within why I’m creating the registry. It’s the registry itself.

With the memory of all the additional little, less fun things I realized I needed once I brought E. home, I’ve suddenly become overwhelmed with tracking down breast milk bags, lanolin, wipes, and cloth diapers (though I haven’t registered for these at Target, because, just so you’re aware, they have a crummy cloth diaper selection). I’m running through my registry, then running through the baby section of the Target website to see something I might have missed. Aaah! How will I store pureed baby food?! Double aaah!! How will I puree the pureed baby food!! (By the way, I have a blender, so really, I’m not sure why this came up as an issue for me…)

Okay, so maybe I’m getting a little ridiculous. Maybe. But this is what happens when you get to week 21 of your pregnancy, you and your husband realize you have, like 19 weeks TOPS left, and other than those big items you received nearly five years ago, which are awesome and so nice to have, but aren’t, like, essential. Clothes, which we don’t have any of, at this point, are essential. A car seat is essential. A place for the baby to sleep is essential…and we really don’t have an ideal sleeping arrangement just yet. Diapers are essential. Food storage stuff. Someplace to put poopy diapers!

I know that, in time, things will come together. We’ve lined up certain items and are just waiting for the opportunities to grab ahold of them. I know that I will be gifted some stuff. I know that, in the end, the most important thing to bring home is that baby, and babies don’t really care much about what’s around them except for boobies and a soft place to lie down.

Both of which I could currently provide.

Eighteen Weeks and Counting

Week 18  (September 8 – 15)

Esitmated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: Not a whole lot has changed here.

Body Changes: I’ve got a pregnant belly. The kids at school (even my lovely, though slightly clueless, kindergarteners) are starting suspect something’s going on. BUT I’m still able to fit into non-maternity clothes (helpful, as I don’t currently have any). 

Cravings: Sour, salty, carbs. And cheese. You can never have enough cheese.

High Point: A good week, but fairly unexciting, with a pretty huge low. 

Low Point: So….Got my maternity leave paperwork in the mail this week. Guess who doesn’t qualify for the Family Medical Leave Act benefits (you know, the act that guarantees  families a certain amount of time off for things like, oh, having a baby). IF I did qualify, I would be able to take a maximum of 12 weeks away from my job, unpaid, and still be able to have a job when I got back. So, 12 weeks unpaid sort of blows, but at least it was 12 weeks I felt I would be able to take. 

Well, come to find out, due to my contract, the number of hours I work, and the nature of how my work is scheduled (I’m in education, I don’t work for my district during the summer), I don’t work enough hours in a 12 month period to qualify. When I realized this I pretty much broke down and sobbed because it meant would get HALF the time I had initially expected. Six weeks. That seems like an implausibly short amount of time to recover from a HUGE life changing experience. 

I could go on and on and on about the unfairness of the situation, the insanity and, honestly, lack of morality in the idea that somehow American women don’t deserve extended periods of leave to bond with their babies and adjust to the new structure of their families (and I’m not even talking about PAID leave, just the ability to be away from work for longer than six weeks). But I’m not going to get into all of this right now, because it’s actually been a few weeks since this happened (I’m a few weeks behind in updates – I’m currently 21 weeks pregnant) and I’ve started to adjust to the idea. Which leads me to…

What I did to prepare this week: I mentally prepared myself for the fact that I am not going to have the amount of time I had hoped for at home. I’ll be back to work by late March/early April, depending on when the baby arrives, so, I’ve told myself, there really isn’t THAT much school left before summer vacation arrives. Plus, there is April break and a couple of long weekends in between. Also, the baby will be going not to a big, impersonal daycare center, but to a person who I’ve known for a long, long time and trust implicitly. She’s amazing and I feel totally at ease bringing my wee little baby her home. Plus, daycare of any kind is only necessary 2-3 days a week due to the hub’s rocking work schedule. While I’m not excited about leaving my baby, I at least can feel comfortable doing it. 

Also, I looked into pumping at work. As it stands now, it doesn’t seem like it will be a problem, which is a huge relief. I’m really not sure what the pumping situation is going to be like until I actually experience it, but I’m trying to arm myself with as much information and tools as I can, because I want (and, in some ways, need) this to work for me. 

Paranoid Moment: I’m feeling pretty good this week. Not too many worries!

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and 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. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they’re still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he’s born. If you’re having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you’re having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound.”

Literacy

If you ever once in a while take a peek at my 2012 Books list you might have noticed a serious lack of updates. I’d love to say this is because I haven’t had time to update, but, in reality…it’s because I haven’t been reading. Well, at least I haven’t been finishing any books.

This, my friends, is a serious problem. Why? Well, one because I wanted to read 100 books by the end of the year (which, though it’s sort of hard to think of) is fast, fast approaching. And I’m not even close to that goal. And two, I love to read, believe it or not, and it kills me when I’ve been super lazy about actually taking the time to sit and read.

Admittedly, part of my problem is the fact that I am a huge internet addict and I spend way too much time online (though, sadly, not enough time blogging, in my opinion, which is at least a bit constructive). This problem was exacerbated by the fact that I currently have access to a fun little MacBook through work this year. How I’ve missed the feeling of overly warm piece of technology spending hours on my lap causing me to go to bed waaaaay too late!

And because I’m going to bed way to late (or am just plain tired from being, you know, pregnant), I’m finding yet another reason to not read. Which is stupid, because reading is fun. It’s a great way to escape your own life, see another part of the world (or universe… or another universe entirely), and learn.

So, here’s my new goal: Read four more books before the end of the year. Not a lot, I know, but I think it’s doable, and that’s what I’m shooting for: doable.

Fair Weather

While it was only officially Autumn yesterday, we kicked off my most favorite season of all with a trip to the fair last weekend (and we’ll probably hit up another fair this coming weekend!). It was sort of the most perfect fair weekend you could ask for. Not hot, a nice breeze, and gloriously sunny. The only disappointment? There honestly weren’t many animals! I’m sort of a farm animal junky and have been since I was a little girl, tramping behind my grandpa whenever I was at his house and he was going out to feed his cows. I love cows, pigs, chickens (and other farm fowl), sheep…and the list goes on! So, it was a bit disappointing for me, the hubs, and E. that there were so few animals, but we still made the best of it!

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We also HAD to hit up some rides, of course. Thankfully, E. (and the hubs) are easy to please, so we only did a couple of rides, the carousel and a pretty rockin’ bouncy house. My absolute favorite moment? This:

 

Daddy and E. Yes, that is the hubs riding the carousel right along side E. It’s been a whole week and this picture STILL cracks me up! At least he wasn’t as bad as the other dad we saw on there who would yell, “Wooo!” every time he and his kiddo went by his wife.

The last, but most important thing about going to the fair (for me anyway) is the food. Hands down the best thing to eat at the fair?

I love fried dough. I also love that I can only get it a couple of times a year (if that!), otherwise I’d be as big as a house. Or I wouldn’t love it as much, which would be sad.

Well, now that we’ve had our fair trip I’m looking forward to a few more fall adventures. Maybe apple picking next?

Seventeen!!

Week 17  (September 1 – 7)

Esitmated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: Still feeling pretty great, if occasionally a bit tired. Not a whole lot has changed here.

Body Changes: My eggo is pretty much preggo. I’m starting to show a bit more and I’m hoping that I’m maybe looking more pregnant than just extra chubby around the middle. I haven’t gained a ton of weight, at least in comparison to my pregnancy with E. (7 lbs. now vs. 20 lbs. then). But I’m still no skinny mini, so it’s hard to say, objectively, if I really look all that pregnant. Also, my skin is starting to get uncomfortably itchy at times on my tummy. I haven’t bothered with cocoa butter this time around because, frankly, it’s a lost cause – I’ve got enough stripes to put a tiger to shame – but, I bet that stuff would help with the itchies.

Cravings: Sour, salty, carbs. And cheese. You can never have enough cheese.

High Point: Primarily, I went to see my OB (well, I intended to see my OB, but instead saw a CNM, because my OB was called to do a delivery) and got to hear the baby’s heart beat (a solid and consistent 150 bpm). I got a concern cleared up (more on that in a minute) and left feeling pretty good about everything. In addition to that, I made my first solo trip (and actually my first trip driving period) into the “city” (it’s really, in comparison to most cities, just a very large town). This was a huge deal, because I get tons and tons of anxiety from driving to and through unfamiliar places, so the fact that I accomplished this without trying my damnedest to get someone else to take me first is a pretty huge deal.

Low Point: This was actually a pretty awesome week all around…Wait until you hear about week 18…Slightly less awesome 😦

What I did to prepare this week: Not a whole lot got done. I continued on my laundry/cleaning schedule and it’s worked out really well so far. I’ve also been getting into the habit of giving E. a bath every other night, which is perfect and I’m hoping I’ll be able to do double bath duty with the kids once the baby comes, or maybe have them switch off nights…not sure yet, but having this habit ingrained by the time February rolls around will be good.

Paranoid Moment: So, as my good friend Bobbi put it, I’m in a pretty fertile household. Why, might you ask? Oh, because my cat had kittens behind our living room chair on September 2nd. I seriously went upstairs to take a shower and when I got out E. was shouting, “Mama!! Rosie had kittens!!” Now, we pretty much new Rosie was pregnant (and subsequently kicked ourselves for not getting her fixed sooner – we were waiting for me to get paid again before we did it…bad idea), but hadn’t figured she would deliver so soon, as we had only realized it a couple of weeks ago (and, keep in mind, she was barely a year old, had never seemed like she was in heat, AND we never saw any other cats around).

Anyway, what’s my point in all this? Well, the big pregnancy no-no is cats…or, more specifically, cat feces. And the hubs has been on cat poop duty all along, but I failed to consider until my mom exasperatedly pointed it out, was that kittens are like human babies – they poop and pee at will…all over themselves. And here I was holding those pwecious widdle kittens. Stupid, I know, but I will also point out that I wore gloves *most* of the time AND basically bathed myself and E. in hand sanitizer after spending any time with the cats, but still…I was really, really worried.

When I finally got in to see the doctor (or CNM in this case) I explained the situation. Her response is best summed up with an, “Eh…” Since I’ve had continual exposure to cats for the last four years or so, I’ve likely has exposure and built up an immunity to toxoplasmosis, which is the icky stuff cat feces can infect you and your fetus with and cause some serious problems. She said considering that and the fact that I had been washing my hands, wearing clothes, etc., I really didn’t have anything to worry about…so I stopped worrying. Well, you know, within what’s reasonable for a pregnant lady to “stop” worrying.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at BabyCenter say: “Your baby’s skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she’s around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop.

Fall Back

While E. and I were coming home after long days at the babysitter’s and work, respectively, E. posed this question to me: “Mama, what’s your favorite season?” (E.’s, in case you’re wondering, is winter, because you “get to do snowballs and sled down things.”)

I thought for a minute, because I wasn’t quite sure how to answer. I don’t really have a favorite season, but a favorite time of year. It’s that magical space between those first days of school and Christmas (well, really, Christmas Eve). And that space carries the ending of summer, the entirety of fall, and the first couple of weeks of winter (which is about all I need of that extra snowy, chilly time of year). In the end, I just said fall, because a bulk of that most beloved time is that particular season and fall weather is my absolute favorite.

I know a lot of people look to spring as a time of rebirth and new beginnings, but for me, the fall and that magical little corridor of time that’s bookended by the start of a new school year and the end of a calendar year is full of a fresh newness.

Whether it’s the crisp white whiteness of a stack of college ruled loose-leaf or the hearty crunch of recently fallen leaves, there is a fresh feeling that rolls in about this time of year. Things are starting to hint at the cool weather to come, which is refreshing unto it self after brutally hot summer. The smell of the air changes ever so slightly, a bit  sweeter with an undertone of smoke, those first fires being lit in yards that are being cleared of debris or even coming from quaint brick chimneys when that cool bite arrives in the rare evening.

And as the summer really begins to close up shop, leaves starting to change, the sky a bit more blue in contrast to the fading treeline, the geese vacating their routine posts along the lakeshore, fall comes into full effect. Fairs crop up. Apple picking comes and goes, making way for pumpkins. Mums, haystacks, and glowing orange and yellow gourds outline front steps. The selection of Halloween candy and costumes at Wal-Mart and Hannaford briefly swells before completely disappearing under a display of Thanksgiving and even the start of Christmas paraphanalia.

It’s about now when the countdown to a most magical time of year begins. Somewhere after Halloween, a strange fervor takes a hold of me where everything is sweet, magical, important. I want to squeeze my family a bit tighter. That constant mantra of, “Remeber this” gets louder. It’s all a build up to a night where anything seems possible and it is easy to remember and feel that despite all we and our world endures throughout the year and our lives, there is still a source of peace and goodness.

I am so happy finally have reentered this best time of year. I feel comfortable, like I’m home after a long journey. I wish I could capture all that I love about this time to save for the depths of winter or the muddy spring or the hellish heat of summer. But that’s not possible, and perhaps this sweet feeling of return and rebirth would to be so good if it did not come but once a year.

Sweet, Sweet Sixteen

Week 16 (August 24 – 31)

Esitmated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: Still feeling pretty great, if occasionally a bit tired. Not a whole lot has changed here.

Body Changes: I’m starting feel a bit achey, getting round ligament pains, and pain in my lower back. Not cool, but I’m dealing. Those pregnancy aches and pains are definitely settling in a bit earlier than they did with E., but possibly because I’m doing a LOT more than I was when pregnant with her.

Cravings: Sour, salty, carbs.

High Point: The high point for this week is actually kind of unrelated to pregnancy. I started my new job at a new school, which is closer to home, filled with some really nice folks, and is really fun and keeps me up and about and busy. I’m so excited to be starting this new adventure!

Also, I think being back to work has helped me settle into life at home a little better. I enjoy working and feeling useful outside of the home. Being a mom is the most important job an woman can have, I feel, but when you work with kids with special needs, you mom skills come in handy, and you are better at both of your jobs – being a teacher and being a mom.

Low Point: I started my new job, at a new school, away from my friends, :-(. Yes, I am really excited, and by the end of this week, I felt really great about my new job, but at first, I was so scared. Like, really. I cried. I whined. I wished I could somehow go back to my old school, curl up in a ball, and tell them they can never make me leave. I don’t particularly like change once I’m comfortable somewhere, and those feelings are that much stronger now that I’m pregnant. Thankfully, I’m coping fine and have really started to enjoy my new school and coworkers (though I still miss my “old” school friends).

What I did to prepare this week: This week I started to make up a cleaning and laundry schedule that I hope will stick for the most part once the baby arrives. I’ll need to be doing laundry regularly once the baby is born if I’m going to cloth diaper, so this whole once a week (if that…) laundry deal needs to stop. My goal is to at least throw a load in the wash every other day. I also started a budget, including an envelop system, for the family to use. We really need to be more careful about our finances, new baby or not! And I through all these schedules (cleaning, money, and otherwise) up on my calendar at my desk. It sort of looks like a little pink fairy threw up all over it, but it is what it is, haha.

Also, I finally got a BIG appointment scheduled. I have an anatomy scan and fetal echocardiogram scheduled for later in September. Because I  have a heart murmur (the result of there being a small whole in the wall between the bottom to chambers of my heart), my OB wants the baby’s heart to be checked as well. So, in addition to doing all the usual measurments of the baby, the ultrasound tech. will be taking an extra close look at the baby’s heart. I don’t think there will be anything too exciting to see in that regard (E. didn’t even have one done until after she was born), but I’m more than happy to have the extra peace of mind that my babe’s just fine. I forgot to mention that earlier in the August I had my own echo done. Yeah, those are NOT fun. They press down on your chest way too hard and it HURTS!

Paranoid Moment: I feel like in the week before my next doctor’s appointment I start to get extra nervous and anxious. I know I’ve been feeling the baby move, but then I’ll start to question it or worry if I think I haven’t felt the baby in the while. But I’ve learned I need to chill out. Baby’s there and doing fine. That kiddo’s presence is so strong, I can feel it even when the baby’s not moving around.

That said, I did freak out a bit after I ate some lunch meat (turkey) out of sheer desperation at a welcome back lunch at work. I was hungry, had no other food, and that’s what they were serving. I sort of wish I had known ahead of time that it was what we’d be eating, but such is life. That was this past Tuesday, however, and I’ve felt great, so I think I’m in the clear.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at Baby Center say: “Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he’s about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren’t recognizable yet. He’s even started growing toenails. And there’s a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.”

Finally at Fifteen!

Week 15 (August 17 – 24)

Esitmated Due Date: February 8th, 2013

Symptoms: Still feeling pretty great, if occasionally a bit tired. Not a whole lot has changed here.

Body Changes: I’m starting feel a bit achey, getting round ligament pains, and pain in my lower back. Not cool, but I’m dealing. Those pregnancy aches and pains are definitely settling in a bit earlier than they did with E., but possibly because I’m doing a LOT more than I was when pregnant with her.

Cravings: Sour, salty, carbs.

High Point: Our appointment at CMMC went super great. The hubs was able to with me this time (he previously hadn’t made it to an appointment with this OB, not that we’d had many. Not only did we get to hear the baby’s heartbeat (my second time that week), but Dr. Shannahan said, “Oh, your husband wasn’t here last time for the ultrasound! Let’s do another!” So, we took a quick peak at the little bean, which the hubs and I both loved. This also made me realize just how much I adore my OB. She is genuinely enthusiastic about my pregnancy, about keeping me and the baby healthy, and about letting me have the pregnancy and birth experiences I’d like. She’s great about explaining why she is doing certain things, taking her time (I mean, what other OB takes upwards of 45 minutes to sit and talk with you?!), and making you feel good. I realized how lucky I am this week to have scored Dr. Shannahan as my doctor throughout this pregnancy. Now, if only there was some way to garuntee she’ll be able to be there for the birth…

Low Point: I’ve been feeling good this week, not too worried or worked up.

What I did to prepare this week: A few weeks ago I posted about my baby wants and needs that I’d like to purchase over the next few months. Well, my gaurdian angel of baby gear appeared to me a couple of days later in the form of my cousin Kate. She had some cloth diapers, a pump, and Moby wrap she was willing to pass on to me for a fraction of the price that they would have cost me all together, saving me, like, hundreds of dollars. I nearly died. I wanted to fly out to her house and bow down in thankfulness at her feet. I felt lightheaded with the joy of savings and the thrill that I would getting some good, if gently used (which I’m totally fine with, since Kate, and I say this with loads of love, is kind of a neat freak).

Paranoid Moment: I’ve been feeling surprisingly calm, cool, and collected this week.

What’s going on “in there”: The folks at Baby Center say: “Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She’s busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she’s likely to move away from the beam. There’s not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby’s a boy or a girl! (Don’t be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby’s sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby’s position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to “hide the goods.”)”