When last I wrote, I was in the process of taking out the belly button ring. Well, it's officially gone now. I was very sad after the fact. I had to actually have it taken out by a professional at a tattoo place because I couldn't get the blasted thing out. The piercer thought I was the cutest thing I guess, and he kept saying, "I can't believe you are already 5 months, you look so small...my wife was huge!" I wonder, does J say these kinds of things to his friends?! So they came at me with these plier looking things and literally gave the ring a little pressure in the right places and the bead fell into the cavern that is now my belly button. Fished it out, cleaned it up and put it in a little baggie for me, gave me tips on how to clean the hole that once held the ring and told me to come back after the baby and they'd re-pierce it. I'm sorry, REPIERCE?! I do not thing so! I remember getting over that in my 20s and now with a new baby, I won't be repiercing the thing! However for the next few days my belly button looked awfully naked to me! I'm officially over it now, but I was rather sad for a few days.
Okay, next big thing. I'm not the only one feeling baby girl kick these days! We were laying in bed about a week and a half ago and she was really doing a tumbling act and I could finally feel it from the outside. So I asked J for his hand and put it on my belly where she was kicking. She would do little movements and I would look at J and ask if he felt it and he would shake his head now. About kick number 4, baby girl was evidently getting sick of Daddy not feeling her because she packed a real punch (I think if his hand hadn't been there, we would have seen this karate chop). J's eyes got all big and I took his hand away saying, "that's weird!" But it was very special and somehow I had a couple little tears slip out of my eyes. This morning it happened again. I swear we either have a gymnast or a soccer player on our hands here. She was going crazy this morning as we laid in bed watching TV. Again, his hand on my belly and a few little kicks, and then a H-U-G-E kickboxing jump-kick it felt like. Freaked him out a bit, but at least he knew what it was. It was really funny! It's almost like she knows that it is his hand there and she puts more effort into it to say, "I'm right here DADDY! Believe that!"
A final little note and then I'll try to sum up the last 2 weeks of baby updates. After my last blog, I got an email from BFF in Phoenix's Mom (who reads the blog) and she thought it was so funny that I mentioned her. Well, unbenounced to me on December 4th, 2011, she was cancer-free for 3 years! What an incredible feat! She's an incredible lady and I'm so happy to call her one of my "other-mothers". Love you Mom Ryan! And congrats again!
So here's the 22 week update, and 23 will come tomorrow so I'll post that hopefully Tuesday.
How your baby's growing:At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some
How your life's changing:At this point, you may find your belly becoming a hand magnet. It's perfectly okay to tell folks who touch your tummy that you'd rather they didn't. And if people are telling you that you look smaller or bigger than you should at this point, remember that each woman grows — and shows — at her own rate. What's important is that you see your practitioner for regular visits so she can make sure your baby's growth is on track.
You may start to notice stretch marks on your abdomen as it expands to accommodate your growing baby. At least half of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks by the time they give birth. These small streaks of differently textured skin can range from pink to dark brown (depending on your skin color). Although they most commonly appear on your tummy, stretch marks may also show up on your buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts. There's no proof that lotion helps prevent stretch marks, but keeping your skin moisturized may help with any itching.
Surprising Facts: Body changes beyond your bellyYou expected your belly to grow — and perhaps your breasts, too — but the following physical changes may take you by surprise. As with many pregnancy changes, hormones play a role in most of these alterations in your looks.
- Thicker, more lustrous hair You're not actually growing more hair, just losing less than normal. During pregnancy, your body sheds hair much more slowly than it did before. What to do: If thicker hair is a boon for you, enjoy it. If it's making your mane more unruly than ever, ask your stylist to do some thinning at your next cut. These changes won't last forever. After your baby's born, you'll start to lose this excess hair, sometimes in clumps.
- Increased body hair Sex hormones known as androgens can cause new hair to sprout on your chin, upper lip, jaw, and cheeks. Stray hairs can also pop up on your belly, arms, legs, and back. What to do: Tweezing, waxing, and shaving are all safe ways to manage these temporary changes.
- Faster-growing fingernails Your fingernails may grow more quickly than usual, and you may notice changes in texture. Some women's nails get harder, while others' get softer or more brittle. What to do: Protect your nails by wearing rubber gloves when you're cleaning, and using moisturizer on them if they're brittle.
- Skin changes Some pregnant women report that their skin has never looked better. If that's you, enjoy the proverbial "glow." Others find the hormones of pregnancy aggravate skin conditions such as acne. What to do: Wash twice a day with a gentle soap or cleanser, and make sure that any moisturizer or makeup you use is oil-free.
- Stretch marks As your belly expands to accommodate your growing baby, you may get tiny tears in the supportive tissue that lies just beneath your skin, resulting in striations of varying color. These marks will begin to fade and become considerably less noticeable about six to 12 months after you give birth. There's not much you can do besides trying not to gain more than the recommended amount of weight. Heredity is responsible for the natural elasticity of your skin and plays a role in determining who will end up with stretch marks.
- Skin discolorations Increased melanin can cause splotchy patches of darkened skin on your face. These pigment changes may become intensified if you spend time in the sun. What to do: Protect your face by using a sunblock that offers both UVA and UVB protection with an SPF of 30 or higher, wearing a hat with a brim, and avoiding the sun during peak hours of the day (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).
- Larger and darker nipples and areolas You may find that your nipples and the pigmented area around them (the areolas) are getting bigger and darker. The little bumps on your areolas, known as Montgomery's tubercles, may also be more pronounced. These bumps are oil-producing glands that help fight off bacteria and lubricate the skin. Some women also notice more pronounced veins in their breasts. What to do: Nothing!
- Larger feet Your feet may go up half a shoe size or more. Lax ligaments may make your feet spread a bit — permanently. Swelling can make your shoes feel tight as well, although it will go away after delivery. What to do: Buy comfortable shoes to accommodate your growing feet.