The baby is now about 28cm long (crown to heel) and weighs about 340grams. The eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed, and the fingernails cover the fingertips. Sounds from a conversation are loud enough to be heard by the baby in the uterus. If you talk, read, or sing to your baby, it's reasonable to expect her to be able to hear you.
I am finding this pregnancy has been a very different experience for me than any of the other four. There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, I am older. My body doesn't seem to be coping as well with some things, like having extra weight sitting on my pelvis, somewhat squished up, for long periods of sitting through lectures and essay writing. My generally low level of fitness has also been enhanced lately. Climbing the stairs to bed some evenings is already a problem, leaving me feeling breathless. I will really have to work on the fitness levels after this baby is born.
I am also finding myself frustrated by the gestational diabetes. Whilst I know it is causing me to eat more healthily, and I have already seen that my extra handles around the waist are disappearing (not due to tummy expansion, but actually disappearing) I am longing to get back to my normal diet. This involves lots of bread and pasta, mashed potatoes, chocolate when I want, and the ability to eat when I want instead of eating to a time schedule. Also, my poor fingers are getting callused from being stabbed four times a day to check my blood sugar levels. I had a dream last night that I ate some chocolate and 2 jelly snakes, and then I panicked because of what it would do to my blood sugar levels and was about to go for a run around the block to work it off, when the alarm woke me up. I was almost afraid to check my sugar levels this morning, just in case my dream had affected them.
I am noticing things this pregnancy that I don't remember ever noticing before. When I was pregnant with Abby I was the first of my friends to have a baby and I didn't really have anyone to talk things over with, or discuss different symptoms. Also, I was working full-time and was quite busy generally. When I was pregnant with each of the boys I was so busy with the older children, that most pregnancy symptoms went unnoticed. I just didn't have time to stop and think about how I was feeling, or what was happening in my body. This time, I have had many, many conversations with others who have been through pregnancy and there are a whole range of symptoms that I have paid more attention to.
I have never had a great sense of smell (I think partly caused by intentionally ignoring it when working in a childcare centre), but this time, my increased sense of smell was one of the first things I noticed, even before I knew I was pregnant. Some smells are good, and some I would rather avoid. I told my kids to clean their teeth a lot more in the early weeks than I normally do as their breath was one thing I REALLY noticed.
I still lead a busy life, but I do have times when I can just sit in the middle of the day and pay attention to what is going on. I have never really felt baby movements before 19-20 weeks before and I was somewhat skeptical of people who claimed they could, but this pregnancy I've had time to pay attention to different feelings in my tummy and notice what was digestive and what was different. I felt this baby moving around 14 or 15 weeks. A tiny fluttering 'something', that definitely wasn't normal, digestive process. Simon has been able to feel her in the last week also, which is earlier than with any others and very exciting.
I am loving the 'pregnant' look in a way I have never done before. My little basketball tummy sticking out brings me a little buzz every time I look down at it, although it also makes me wonder just how huge I will be in another 18 weeks considering how big I am already.
Another major difference with this pregnancy is knowing that it is a girl already. I feel almost like I have a different bonding experience with this baby than I had with the others because I was still waiting to find out 'what' they were right up to the last minute. Now that I know this is a girl (and I would have felt the same way about a boy... it's just having some more idea about who the baby is) I can hardly wait to meet her properly.
I'm also enjoying the kids excitement. Abby asks me several times a day if the baby is awake or moving. She is desperate to feel movements as well, but I expect it will be a few weeks yet before she can.