19…20…KICK OFF!

It happened! Last night I felt Little Champ kick—no doubt about it! I’ll share the fun story in a minute.

19 Weeks
This week BabyCenter and ParentsConnect are all about vernix and lanugo. Basically, lanugo is a layer of fuzz that keeps the baby warm, but is usually shed before birth. Vernix looks like yogurt and keeps the baby’s skin from pickling in the amniotic fluid. Mmmmm, feeling hungry? Yeah, kind of gross. Of course, now it is pretty difficult to get me to lose my appetite…so I am indeed still hungry…

Me, two nights ago, eating my fifth (yes, fifth) dessert of the night

Even more appetizing, Little Champ’s kidneys are fully functioning and Baby can urinate. Very exciting. I am not going to go into more details about that.

Baby is 8.5 oz and 6 inches from crown to rump (head to bottom), the size of a 6-inch Subway sub!

20 weeks

Hooray! You’re halfway there! And in case you don’t believe 20 weeks is a milestone worth celebrating, consider that it’s longer than a semester at college—or any relationship you had in high school. Congrats! This is also the week your bambino is able to flash you on the sonogram, revealing what exactly he or she is packing. Why not celebrate with a bottle of sparkling grapefruit juice? It’s not as sexy as champagne, but it’s got bubbles, and that counts for something, right?
ParentsConnect.com

Of course, I have only actually been pregnant for 18 of those weeks, so I don’t particularly consider myself halfway, especially when I was told that it is likely I could have my baby at 42 weeks! Still, I found the above quote pretty amusing :D The below quote, however…

He’s swallowing more these days, which is good practice for his digestive system. He’s also producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. This gooey substance will accumulate in his bowels, and you’ll see it in his first soiled diaper (some babies pass meconium in the womb or during delivery).
BabyCenter.com

In other news, the top of my uterus is about level to my belly button, and I should have put on about 10 pounds or so, and will gain about a pound a week from now on. I haven’t weighed myself recently, so I have no idea how much I have gained, but it is at least 7! Yeah!

I hadn’t been gaining enough weight, the nurse midwife said at my 14 week appointment, so I am glad that I am starting to pack on the pounds. Considering that I had been trying to lose weight for my whole adult life, it figures that I have difficulty gaining it all back when I am actually supposed to…bah.

Right now your baby weighs approximately 10½ ounces and is about 6½ inches long, about the size of a can of Red Bull (which has way too much caffeine for a pregnant woman to be drinking).
BabyCenter.com

After 20 weeks, the baby is measured head to toe. Right now, baby is about 10 inches head to toe, the length of a banana. Of course, our baby might be on the short side…

Your baby has established sleep patterns akin to a newborn now. Many babies even have a favorite sleep position already. Some snooze with their chins resting on their chests, while others nap with their head flung back. Many babies at this age fall into noticeable cycles of sleep and activity, so you may know before she arrives whether you have a night owl or an early bird.
BabyCenter.com

Considering Little Champ was kicking me last night way after mommy and daddy’s usual bedtime, we might just have a night owl on our hands. That will be fun, since LT and I are both night owls, yet because of LT’s schedule have to go to sleep around 10 and get up at 5 every morning…

Anyway, about the kicking episode!

I am so excited. I had been worried about Little Champ, since I am a worrier anyway, but since a few women I know had lost their babies in the past few weeks, I was terrified that I would have a miscarriage. It has always been my greatest fear, and I know full well that 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in a miscarriage. I didn’t know if I would ever have the strength to deal with losing a child, and I still know that it would be the hardest thing I would ever have to deal with in this life. After I reached the second trimester and had the first ultrasound, I was relieved. But then I found out I wasn’t gaining enough weight, and when I hadn’t felt any baby movements for weeks, I wondered if the baby was okay (I had read that you can feel kicks at 16 weeks, so I had been waiting for a month. Usually for first pregnancies, however, the mother will not feel distinguished kicks until 18-22 weeks, so we are right on target). Add that uncertainty to the extreme amounts of stress I had been feeling in the last 4 weeks due to school, and, well, I am surprised I wasn’t more of an emotional wreck.

Anyway, last night I was talking to LT on the phone, saying good night, since I am in MN and he is in NC. After I hung up, I felt a little thump on my left side. I had felt little jabs before, but I could never discredit them to my imagination, and any sort of the usual “flutter kick” I would feel would always be accompanied by indigestion.

I put my hand on my baby bump and waited—waited for some bubbles in my stomach to come or another bump. No bubbles, this wasn’t indigestion. I rubbed my bump (I really don’t like the word “belly,” so I am not going to use it!), and then drummed my fingers on top.
thump
Ah! That’s my baby! I drummed a little more, rubbed a little more, poked…
thump
a little later…
thump
At this point, I am beaming and my eyes are glistening. LT was supposed to text me soon, when he was leaving his buddy’s house. I texted him, “Call me when you leave!! :D”
I remembered that Little Champ could hear me, so I decided to read aloud.
I read Jeremiah chapter 1:

The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”

And I read Psalm 139:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (verses 13-16)

The entire psalm was so assuring to me, especially the last couple verses:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (verses 23-24)

What a blessing it is to know that God knew my anxiety, and that he holds my child in His hands and cares for my baby. What a blessing it is that we mothers can feel our children inside us, reassuring us and reminding us that there is new life inside us.

I was bursting with happiness, joy, and relief. I was also incredibly impatient, so I called LT and told him what just happened. I put him on speaker so Baby could hear him, too.

I already love our baby so much more than I could have ever imagined. I can’t wait to meet our little one!

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