Your baby still appears to have a small tail (actually, it's an extension of his tailbone), which will disappear in the next few weeks. But that's the only thing getting smaller. Now about half an inch long — roughly the size of a raspberry — he has elbow joints and distinct, slightly webbed fingers and toes. In his oversized head, both hemispheres of his brain are developing. His teeth and the inside of his mouth are forming, and his ears continue to develop. Eyelid folds partially cover his tiny peepers, which already have some color, and the tip of that nose you'll be tweaking someday is emerging. His skin is paper-thin and his veins are clearly visible.
Your little one also has an appendix and a pancreas, which will eventually produce the hormone insulin to aid in digestion. His liver is busy producing red blood cells, and a loop of your baby's growing intestines is bulging into his umbilical cord, which now has distinct blood vessels to carry oxygen and nutrients to and from his tiny body. You can't feel his gyrations yet, but your baby is like a little jumping bean, moving in fits and starts around his watery home.
2004.09.27. too late, but i have to share
I am so, so happy that I'm not working right now. Why? Not because I get to spend so much time with my adorable son. Not because I always wanted to hang out in the morning at coffee shops, reading newspapers and scoping the groovy Portland scene (actually, that's not happening at all).
It's because I don't know how I could possibly get anything done - or go anywhere - when I'm feeling so generally awful. I woke up around 9:30 this morning, and was begging Jonathan to take over by noon. At 1 p.m. I sunk into bed for a "short" nap that ended around 4. And the rest of the afternoon my head was so foggy, and my stomach so angry, that I wished I could have spent it in bed, too.
I alternate between feeling rotten with what I've been doing with my life (lost my job under murky circumstances, laziness getting the best of me, neglecting my husband, bouncing checks, etc.) and feeling wonderful. My articles have been ranking in the top few in Google News, a brilliant achievement I can't quite grasp (25,000 page views in an hour or two on Friday - amazing!). I'm being released on the new My Yahoo!. I got the sweetest note from a local blogger today, thanking me for what I'm doing here. Well - you're welcome. And, thank you for saying that - it makes it all worth while.
Maybe I will get my lazy nauseous self together and pitch my writing ideas to someone who can really pay me. Maybe I will find some way to make lots of money with my hugely cool resume without compromising my fun time with Everett. Maybe I will be supermom and share it all with you.
In the meantime, you will find me here, up to all hours of the night and sleeping off my pregnant blogging hangover the next day. I may not be "always on" but I'm always here for you, my blogorific public.
2004.09.28. what, oh what, should i do?
I can't do it. I can't make a commitment. I can't decide when to see a doctor.
While at this time, last pregnancy, my first appointment was fast approaching, I'm paralyzed this time around by fear, inability to face my fear, and general lack of funds. I want to go see the doctor - really I do (and it would be nice to select a doctor, or midwife, while I'm at it) - but I don't want to know if knowing is bad.
So maybe I'll go at 10 weeks. Or 12. Jonathan thinks I shouldn't go at all (I'm not, entirely, sure if he's serious about this). Why don't we just show up at the hospital when the contractions start?
No, I won't do that, but it has its attractions. I certainly know plenty to be able to navigate most of the pregnancy without paying for assistance. I know better than just about anyone what to eat, drink and how to exercise - I have a nutrionist, personal trainer-turned-labor and delivery nurse, two doulas, and a midwife-to-be on my mama "staff." Then there's my own study, and my mom, and plenty of successful pregnancies all around me.
Whenever I do go to see an obstetrician, midwife, or witch doctor, I will just be gritting my teeth through the stupid "history," the weighing, measuring and peeing, the nice conversation, and the endless signing of my name, waiting until they find that elusive perfect heartbeat. I hope you're there, little one, I hope your heart is beat-beat-beating and you grow to be that sweet froggy baby I'm longing for. However long I wait to face reality, I'll be waiting and thinking of you.
2004.09.29. cranky, bitchy, mean
I'm a living terror. I'm too awful to be around. I'm such a bitchy pregnant mama!
My dear husband made the mistake of disappearing for a few hours tonight with his brother. I knew where they were - out at a bar living it up in cigarette smoke clouds and pool tables while I suffered away at home, putting a sweet child to bed, blogging 'til my head hurt.
When they got home I lit into them. Nothing would solve my rage. I slammed, I swore, I stomped, I shouted at them every time their voices rose about whispers.
I had a valid point. They came home stinky and I'm nauseous without having to smell eau d'ashtray. They were talking too loud and giggling right under my bed. They were watching TV shows I didn't care to. I had to stay up later because it was entirely my responsibility to get Everett to sleep.
But I probably didn't have to go off like I did. I put a hand to my stomach at one point, tremulously, wishing the baby didn't have to 'see' me like this. I'm sorry, little one, I thought. I'm not usually this bad. But I'm MAD!
Ahh, pregnant lady, be gentle with your hormones. Take your naps and drink your chamomile tea (never fear! it's entirely safe during pregnancy). Talk sweetly to your poor husband who is struggling under the pressure to get a job with benefits to take me and the baby through this pregnancy and provide for our family that will be five (counting the brother who seems destined to live with us for a long, long time).
And don't let the baby - its 1/2-inch long self ever-expanding - see you so angry. It's not worth it, it's not. Deep cleansing breaths, sweetie.
2004.09.30. ideas and dreams
Today the mama think tank met, and we're so wonderful, so many ideas, our heads are spinning. I blogged about our adopt-a-mama idea, which accomplishes that most elusive of all goals: building community.
How much do we mamas need community? It is our life blood, our only requirement for survival. We can live without exclusive preschools and "upscale" children's clothing and oh, the $30,000 playhouse from FAO Schwarz, as long as we have a supportive community. The community of mamas is our career, our emergency child care, our birthing class, our pregnancy bible, our therapist, our village. The community of mamas is what every mama needs.
Communities would keep moms from leaving their kids in hot cars and drinking themselves into oblivion. Communities would help save marriages and keep mamas centered enough to work and still love their kids when they got home. Communities would keep kids in school and off drugs. Communities would decrease jail populations and dissolve gangs. It all starts during pregnancy.
We have such a huge responsibility, we bearers of future generations. Brain development starts now, at conception, really, and is critical between 24 weeks' gestation and two years of age. That's when children learn to deal with stress and solve problems.
Support the pregnant mama, support the struggling new mom, and suddenly you've changed a key ingredient in brain development. You've changed the world.
I believe this so fiercely that I've made an offer on Blogging Baby that I'll repeat here: I'm adopting a pregnant woman. Email me at reagan @ spamama.com if you're pregnant and in need of community. And the rest of you? Please, forge your community wherever you are. Make it real, make it honest, make it count. All our futures depend on it.
2004.10.01. eat some cheese!
Oh, I can't suggest that you pregnant ladies eat soft cheeses (that's Brie, Camembert, feta, Gorgonzola, Danish Blue, goat cheese, all my favorites). They've been banned by the FDA, at least those made from raw milk.
But what I'd much rather give up is hot dogs and deli meats. These are way more dangerous than soft cheeses - I've heard of way more listeria outbreaks from luncheon meat than from brie. In fact, despite my extensive research, I could only find one brie-related listeria outbreak, in France. Mexican queso fresca or queso blanco, however, has been attributed to dozens of deaths in the U.S., and hot dogs and deli meats are responsible for the majority of listeriosis problems.
My favorite thing to eat is blue cheese, straight up or with fruit. How about some brie with nuts? Yum. How will I give it up? Will I be able to find reputable sources of pasteurized-milk blue cheese? And if not, can I stand to only eat my favorite cheeses after they've been cooked to the boiling point (which kills the bacteria)?
For now, I'm just barely scared enough to give it up when I can't verify the source. It doesn't really matter, anyway, as I'm not exactly going around with my mouth watering. I've been sitting down to restaurant menus where absolutely nothing sounds good. I've started to wonder things that have never entered my mind before these past two weeks...things like, "I wonder if they'll make me a plain grilled chicken breast with some lettuce? or a plate of just apple slices?" Not exactly your garden-variety cheese connoisseur.I'm there all the way.
2004.10.03. my belly and me
I love my belly, my belly and me!
My belly is growing, popping out with a sudden roundness that both surprises and pleases me. I think that it wasn't as popping and lovely last time. I think that I will get big, fast, if this is any indication.
It is, after all, my third pregnancy. As I walk up and down stairs I stare at my belly. As I sit in my blogging chair I can feel it pressing against my legs. It's so big! So round! I am sure that everyone can see its fullness.
Of course, most everyone is clueless, but Everett and Jonathan give it its due. Everett asks if the baby can ride on his trike (come again, sweetie? no, the baby's too little). Jonathan says sagely, "see? everything's ok, just like I said before. You're nauseous, you're growing, everything's o.k."
I wear tight-fitting pants and short t-shirts so I can admire it. I constantly check myself out in the mirror. I am bidding on digital cameras again (even though I swore off digital cameras just months ago) so I can take photos of my cute belly for instant blogratification.
Yep, I'm in love with my belly. How could anyone help being in love with such a cute little round baby-to-be?