Monday, May 16, 2011

Week 24

This week was a fun one :) We got to see Ryder again at the Arlington Perinatal Associates and my mom got to come with us this time! He was being a little shy and hid his face for most of the sonogram. We got one little frontal view and then he crossed his arms in front of his face and would only let us get a look at his mouth and nose. But we caught him holding onto his feet at one point and that was pretty darn cute :) He was totally healthy and his heartbeat was about 144. We don't have anymore sonograms scheduled at this point, but I think we are going to go get a 3D/4D sono sometime soon.

Here is the video from our most recent appointment:

Our little boy is growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. The doctor told us that he is right at a pound and a half, which is right where he should be at this stage in the game. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

Here are some pictures from our last sonogram:

And as for me, in the past few weeks, the top of my uterus has risen above my belly button and is now about the size of a soccer ball. That's kind of a lot to take in haha. It's weird seeing my belly button getting less deep too. Pretty soon it will be popping out! haha

Most women have a glucose screening test (also called a glucose challenge test or GCT) between now and 28 weeks. I actually have this scheduled for May 31. This test checks for gestational diabetes, a pregnancy-related high-blood-sugar condition. It's not going to be a fun appointment from what I hear (lots of time spent just sitting there for hours and drinking some yucky orange-soda-without-the-carbonation-like stuff and then getting poked with needles). Yay! Not.

Here is what Ryder might look like this week:

And here I am:

Week 23

Hey there :)

As of this week, they say to "turn on the radio and sway to the music." With his sense of movement well developed by now, Ryder can feel me dance. I actually put on some music and danced around the house one day while I held onto my tummy. Our first mommy/son dance :)

And now that he's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), I have been able to see him squirm underneath my clothes. I laid on the couch one day and felt some kicks, so I got out my phone and took a little video :) It's hard to see the kicks since they aren't really close together and you kind of have to know where on my stomach to watch, but it's fun to see my tummy twitch when he kicks :)

In other news, blood vessels in Ryder's lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that his increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing him for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as the dogs barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze him when he hears them outside the womb.

Here is what Ryder might be looking like these days:

And here I am at 23 weeks:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Week 22

Hello :)

Ryder has been quite the wiggle worm lately. He is kicking me a whole lot more and he's kind of getting on a schedule too. I feel him in the morning around 11:00am and then he's pretty quiet until about 3:00pm and sometimes starts moving around more in the evening. I hope he's a good baby and will get on a schedule for me when he's actually here!

Russell and I got to enjoy a massage together earlier this week since our 2 year wedding anniversary was on Monday the 25th (our 10 year dating anniversary was the next day - I'm so glad I've had him by my side for so long!). That was so awesome haha. The first prenatal massage I got wasn't really that enjoyable since I had to lay on my side, but the lady had a pillow with a cutout for my belly so I was able to lay on my stomach. It was so nice!

As for baby developments, at around 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and probably somewhere at around 1 pound, Ryder is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside my womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.

Here is what Ryder might look like this week. Starting to look like a real little person:

And here is me this week:

Week 21

Wow, so I'm 21 weeks now! I can't believe that my whole pregnancy is already over half-way done. It is really flying by. I thought it would never end at the beginning when I was feeling so sick all the time. During week 21 we finally gave our little guy a name and started feeling some pretty powerful kicks!

As you may already know, the boys on Russell's side of the family have RCA initials, so keeping with that tradition, we are naming our boy Ryder Cole :) I love it! He certainly is growing a lot now, and I'm getting bigger at a really fast rate. No stretch marks yet tho, so that's good! Keep your fingers crossed for me that I don't get any!

One night after Ryder finally started going by his real name instead of Tiddle (bitter-sweet lol), I was lying on the couch and started to feel him kicking away. I told Russell and he put his hand on my lower belly and Ryder kicked him hard three times! It was so cool! I had felt little flutters and slightly distinguishable movements up until now, but he really gave us a good kick that time! I was so glad that Russell got to feel him! We were both so happy. It was like our first thing that we did as a whole family hehe :)

Right about now on average, Ryder should be about 10 1/2 inches long — the length of a carrot. I can definitely start to feel like he's going to be a soccer player like his daddy with all the kicking and nudging he's been doing. In other developments, his eyebrows and lids are present now.

As for me, I'm feeling pretty comfortable these days with the exception of the occasional leg cramp. Funny story about that...I woke up in the middle of the night with a KILLER charlie horse in my left calf and it hurt so bad that I was kind of yelling for help from Russell to rub it out for me. Well, he instantly woke up and attempted to help, but he had been lying on his arm and it had fallen asleep. He could barely move it, and was trying so hard to help and I was laughing and crying out in pain at the same time haha. Leg cramps are pretty normal about now too, and they are pretty annoying to wake up to in the middle of the night. At least Russell provides some comic relief for me when I'm in distress :)

Here is a picture of what Ryder might look like about now:

And I feel totally huge in this picture: