When the clock strikes midnight a new year will be upon us and we will say goodbye to this year forever. For some that is a blessing, as they may have had a rough year, while for others it will be a sad occasion, since 2008 was so wonderful for them. For me, I am at an impass...2008 wasn't the greatest year ever for me, but it did give me the 1st birthday of my daughter, as well as the news of being pregnant again. It also was the year I dropped 35lbs before I had to put weightloss on the back burner. So when midnight comes I will kiss my husband and say goodbye to 2008 and hello to 2009. Something else happening at midnight is, I will be 22 weeks along, so as of now, this blog is where I am at in the pregnancy.
Your baby is now just over 7¼ inches long from crown to rump (18cm); the size of a banana. Baby weighs just over 10½ oz (300g), still a featherweight. Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. He now measures 7 inches long and can weigh up to 10 ounces. In the coming weeks your baby will continue to grow and mature at a fast rate and will focus on gaining weight rather than growing in length. Baby will double in length but weight-wise there will be about a 12-fold increase. There is a slowdown in growth but different organ systems within the baby are maturing. By this time the fetal digestive system is able to swallow amniotic fluid; after swallowing, the fetus absorbs much of the water and the rest of the fluid is passed into the large bowel. Researchers believe swallowing amniotic fluid may help in growth and development of the digestive system; it also helps the digestive system to function after birth. Evidence indicates babies at full term may swallow large amounts of fluid as much as 17 oz or 500ml in a 24-hour period. Essential nutrients are passed to the baby from the amniotic fluid.
The hair on his scalp is more visible, and by week 21 he has probably developed eyelashes and eyebrows!
He is waking and sleeping in regular intervals, which you might be able to tell from his movements. He is also swallowing amniotic fluid to help his digestive system mature for life in the "outside world". His intestines also start slowly relaxing and contracting this week.
Notice any small, repetitive movements in your abdomen? Those might be his first case of the hiccups! Usually, these movements occur for a few minutes at a time. As your baby grows larger, these movements will feel stronger. And remember, all babies are different, some hiccup multiple times a day, and others, only once in awhile.
Your baby is still pretty active and continues to move all over in the amniotic fluid. However, towards the end of this trimester the baby will begin to settle, usually in a head down position. Your baby is beginning to show evidence of eyebrows and eyelashes and the hair on his scalp is much more visible. He wakes and sleeps in regular intervals, similar to what a newborn would do. This may be apparent to you by his movement patterns. He regularly ingests and absorbs large quantities of the amniotic fluid and excretes urine.
Next week: Week 22