April 20, 2009
How your baby's growing:
Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds. Finally, if you have an ultrasound this week, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or a girl! (Don't be too disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down your baby's sex depends on the clarity of the picture and on your baby's position. He or she may be modestly curled up or turned in such a way as to "hide the goods.")
How your life's changing:
You've probably gained about 5 pounds by now (a little more or less is fine, too) and are well into the swing of your pregnancy, but you may still be surprised by an unexpected symptom now and then. If your nose is stuffed up, for instance, you can probably chalk it up to the combined effect of hormonal changes and increased blood flow to your mucous membranes. This condition is so common, there's even a name for it: "rhinitis of pregnancy." Some pregnant women also suffer nosebleeds as a result of increased blood volume and blood vessel expansion in the nose.
If you're having amniocentesis, it'll most likely happen between now and 18 weeks. This test can identify hundreds of genetic and chromosomal disorders. If you're getting very anxious while waiting for the results, it may help to know that most women who undergo amniocentesis get good news about their babies — bringing welcome relief from their worries.
Don't be surprised if you and your partner are feeling a little stressed out these days. Many pregnant couples worry about their baby's health and how they'll handle the changes ahead. But with physical discomforts on the wane and energy on the rise, this is also a wonderful trimester for most women.