Your Pregnancy Fetal Development: Week 16
Funny how everyone who's never been pregnant assumes all the changes you're going through are just located in your uterus. Nobody mentions the stuffy nose, the itchy skin, the sciatica, the outbursts of emotion. But just remember that all the funky things your body is doing are leading up to the big payoff of snuggling up with that little muffin in just a few months.
What You're Thinking: "I. Only. Have. Five. More. Months. Until. Everything. Changes."
Your baby is already mugging for the camera as she practices all sorts of facial expressions, such as squinting, yawning and grimacing, which will come in handy when you introduce her to pureed spinach. Check out what else is happening in utero:
- You're just getting comfortable with being a new mom, but you're actually on the road to being a grandma. If your baby is a girl, her uterus is fully developed and the ovaries already hold primitive egg cells. Did that just make you feel a thousand years old, or what?
- Your baby's skin is still translucent and wrinkly, not unlike an old man's, but more fat will soon accumulate under the dermas to plump her out. If you could peer inside right now, you'd be able to see all of her veins under her skin. And speaking of veins, your baby's heart now pumps about 25 quarts of blood per day, and she hasn't even seen Orlando Bloom yet! Also, her eyes are now locked and loaded at their final destination, facing forward rather than to the sides. (Whew!)
- This is the week women get an amniocentesis, if their doc recommends it. In addition to supplying doctors with a boatload of info about the baby's health, amnios are also more than 99 percent accurate in determining what version of baby you'll be having. So if you want to know and you're getting an amnio, now's a great time to find out for sure.
- Your baby weighs about 3 ounces this week and measures between 4 and 5 inches, about the length of your mascara.
- No, you don't have a new superpower, although it'll feel like it because you're able to smell pizza, burnt toast or a pulled-pork sandwich from miles away. Your heightened sense of smell is just one of the weird pregnancy symptoms you might be experiencing. You're probably also noticing some extra nasal congestion and maybe even some nosebleeds to go along with it.
- Clearly your sense of smell is in overdrive, so try to avoid walking past the BBQ Pit or Curry Emporium.
- While pregnancy-related nasal congestion is annoying, it shouldn't cause any problems and will go away after the baby is born. If you're getting a lot of nosebleeds, it could be because your partner keeps cheaping out on theater tickets, buying seats located in the top row of the balcony. Either that or it could be an indication of high blood pressure, so check with your medical provider.
- But enough about your nose. Let's talk about your ever-enlarging ta-tas. Your boobs might still be tender, especially your nipples, and they're continuing to grow, grow, grow. You may even be able to squeeze a little colostrum (nutrient rich pre-milk milk) out of your boobs at this point. (If you can even touch your nipples without writhing in pain, that is.)
- You've already figured out that after the baby arrives, there are going to be lots of adjustments ... and they're not all about you, Mama. Your family, friends and older children (if you have any) will all be dealing as well.
- Afraid your non-pregnant friends are going to phase you out now that you're on the path to mommyhood? You may not be the party girl they once knew (let's face it, it's really not safe to dance on a bar in your underwear when you're pregnant), but you can keep the love alive by making a standing lunch date every week.
- If you have other rug rats, talk with your partner about how to prepare them for a new addition to the family.
- Establish a regular activity that involves just the two of you and make time for it when the new babe arrives.
- Take a special trip somewhere with your older kid to remind him that he is and always will be special.
- Shop for a present for big sib to welcome the new baby with and a present for the baby to "give" to big sib.