I have finally arrived. Today is the first official day of the second trimester, and all I can think is WHEW, and thank you, Jesus! The second trimester is known as the "honeymoon" trimester, because morning sickness and fatigue seem to dissipate for most women, and hormones start to cool a bit, so you don't cry every time the stupid Kleenex commercial comes on. Not only is this milestone a relief for those reasons, but also because the rate for miscarriage drops dramatically once you make it to the second trimester. Since I have suffered a miscarriage in the past, it's a fear of mine that it is going to happen again. So, reaching this day puts me at ease and makes me want to buy margaritas for everyone. Except myself, of course.
The email from the pregnancy folks for this week was just as I suspected. I now have a lemon sized baby in my belly. As you may recall, I was really hoping for the lemon last week and was thrown completely off with the news of a shrimp sized fetus. It was hard to take, but I've moved on. Here's the size of the little sour puss this week. Get it? Lemon...sour puss? I really crack myself up.
And here is the email from the pregnancy folks. Again this week, they refer to the baby as "he," and I thought for sure they would switch it back up this week and use "she." Those crazy pregnancy gurus like to keep you guessing though.
How Your Baby is Growing:
This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb! Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him — a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.
In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches — about the size of a lemon — and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces. His body's growing faster than his head, which now sits upon a more distinct neck. By the end of this week, his arms will have grown to a length that's in proportion to the rest of his body. (His legs still have some lengthening to do.) He's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair, called lanugo, all over his body. Your baby's liver starts making bile this week — a sign that it's doing its job right — and his spleen starts helping in the production of red blood cells. Though you can't feel his tiny punches and kicks yet, your little pugilist's hands and feet (which now measure about 1/2 inch long) are more flexible and active.
I read this a couple of times trying to figure out what on Earth the baby could have to frown or grimace about in there. They have no bills to pay, no rush hour traffic to fight, no time card to punch. They're just swimming around all warm and cozy in a dark little haven. So, why the grimace? Then I remembered something very important. At this point in a pregnancy, the baby starts to urinate. That urine is passed into the amniotic fluid, which they later swallow. This process goes on until delivery. They pee, it goes into the amniotic fluid, they swallow it. Lather, rinse, repeat. So, in all my medical wisdom, I've determined that this is the sole explanation for why they feel the need to frown or grimace. Because I don't care how old you are or what kind of warm, dark haven you may be in, swallowing your own pee cannot be cool.
Oh happy day,