Your Pregnancy Fetal Development: Week 9
If you've never kept a journal, do yourself a favor and start one today! Because despite the fact that your pregnancy is literally all you can think about right now, as soon as the delivery is over, you'll barely remember what it was like being pregnant (except maybe those weeks you spent with your head in the toilet). Plus, keeping a diary will help you appreciate all that amazing work your bod is doing. If you're going to spend nine months performing a miracle, you might as well document it.
What You're Thinking: "I don't look pregnant but I do look like I just had ... ahem ... enhancement surgery!"
Big news! You may be able to hear the heartbeat this week with the help of a Doppler, an ultrasound device that captures the chug-a-chug sound of baby's heart. The first time you hear baby's heart, your own heart may skip a beat—it's the first real evidence that there's someone growing inside you! If you can't hear the heartbeat, no worries, your doc will just check again in a few weeks. Other amazing developments this week:
- Baby is beginning to move, but you won't be able to feel anything for some time.
- Baby is growing nipples and hair follicles (although there's still a chance you'll be giving birth to a baldy!) His pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and anus are all in place, ready to poop and pee a dozen times a day when he's born. Your baby's head is half the size of his body and his little chin is tucked into his chest. His tiny tail is beginning to shrink away, giving Junior a more human and less amphibious look.
- Until now, all pre-babies look the same "down there." This week, however, your baby will begin to develop either male or female genitalia. In layman terms, your baby is beginning to develop her hoo-ha or his wee-wee. While you won't be able to find out the gender of your baby for several more weeks, the version you'll give birth to is being developed right now.
- At this stage, your developing fetus is 1-inch in length, about the size of a martini olive (you remember martinis, don't you?) and weighs a mere 2 grams—a little less than a penny.
- At about this time, you may look more like a Victoria's Secret model than a pregnant woman. One of the perks, or downsides, depending on the letter bra you started with, is a new, more voluptuous chest. Get used to it. Chances are your boobs will grow even more—and that's even before your milk has come in!
- Your partner may be fired up about your new curvy shape, but along with an increase in size, you're probably experiencing breast soreness and tenderness. That means it's lookie but no touchie, partner.
- Don't worry if you notice lumpy breasts or changes in your areola. These are normal changes (even if you think they look abnormal).
- Enjoy your new chest while it lasts (or don't worry ... it isn't permanent). After pregnancy and nursing, your breast size will most likely return to its pre-pregnancy proportions.
- It takes a rocket scientist to understand health care in America, so unless you are one, ask your health insurance provider to explain your coverage to you as if you were a small child.
- Don't currently have health insurance? Ask your employer (or your partner's) if they offer a COBRA plan, a government program that mandates coverage during your maternity leave.
- Since dealing with insurance agents can break you like a horse, write your questions down ahead of time and study up on choosing a health plan. Be sure to check on coverage for both you and your baby.
- You know that little black dress you love, love, love, but don't get to wear very often? Make a hot date with your partner and plan to wear it now, before your body morphs and it's another year before you're able to slip into it again.