September 07 2004 18:37 (+ 6 - 7 )
posted by (gen_here)


How your baby's growing: Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces, and he measures 6 inches, head to bottom about the length of a small zucchini. His arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of his body now.

His kidneys continue to make urine, and the hair on his scalp is sprouting. This is a crucial time for sensory development: Your baby's brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. If your baby is a girl, she has an astonishing six million eggs in her ovaries. They'll dwindle to fewer than two million by the time she's born.

How your life's changing: Think you're big now? You'll start growing even more rapidly in the weeks to come. This added weight may make it hard for you to keep up your regular pace without taking a catnap during the day. You're just a week shy of the halfway mark. You may notice some achiness in your lower abdomen (perhaps extending to your groin) or even a quick, sharp, stabbing pain on one or both sides, especially when you change position or at the end of an active day. This is round ligament pain, and it's caused by the stretching of the muscles and ligaments that support your growing uterus. It's nothing to be alarmed about, but if the pain continues even when you're resting or becomes persistent and severe, call your practitioner.

You may also have noticed some skin changes lately. Are the palms of your hands red? Nothing to worry about it's from increased estrogen. Patches of darkened skin are also common during pregnancy. When they show up around your upper lip, upper cheeks and forehead, they're called chloasma, or the "mask of pregnancy." You may see these splotches on your arms or other areas that have been exposed to the sun. Your nipples, freckles, scars, underarms, inner thighs, and vulva may also darken during pregnancy. That darkened line running from your belly button to your pubic bone is called the linea nigra, or "dark line." All of this darkening is due to a temporary increase in melanin, the substance that colors your hair, skin, and eyes. For most women, these darkened spots will fade shortly after delivery. In the meantime, protect yourself from the sun, which intensifies the pigment changes. Cover up, wear a brimmed hat, and use sunscreen when you're outdoors. And if you're self-conscious about your "mask," a little concealing makeup can work wonders.


Well, I don't have to contend with any of the skin color changes. Geof and I have a joke that even though I'm just a step up from albino, I actually have the same amount of melanin that everyone else does - it's just all concentrated in my 10,000 moles and freckles =) But I think that part of the joy of being so light skinned is that I'm not having a lot of darkening... my "linea" is still "blanca" (white).

But boy has the tiredness hit this week! One day, between over-night and naps, I slept 15+ hours. I'm so tired all the time, but I know it's normal. I just need a good burst of energy to get my stuff done in Chicago while we're there.


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