Holy cow, we are 23 weeks! This pregnancy is flying by!!! We had an appointment last week with the Perinatologist to check on growth as well as the mild echogenic bowel (this is where a brighter white spot is noticed on the bowel) that he saw at our appointment 5 weeks ago. I was hoping and praying that the echogenic bowel would go away on it’s own (as he often said it does), but unfortunately it is still there. Dr. M said that this is nothing to worry about and he sees it quite frequently, especially with the ultra-sensitive ultrasound equipment they have now-a-days. He said that the cause is probably because of the spotting I was having early in pregnancy. If some of this blood gets into the uterus/amniotic fluid and the baby swallows some of this fluid, it will often show up as a brighter white spot in the bowel. He said he is 99.5% sure this is what has happened and they will just keep an eye on it. He will also be watching closely at growth as an echogenic bowel can cause growth restrictions or plumbing issues for the baby later in pregnancy.
Dr. M also noticed at this appointment as he was looking for where the umbilical cord inserted into the placenta, that I have what is called a Marginal Umbilical Cord Insertion. This is where the umbilical cord is attached to the side of the placenta as opposed to the center. Here is a picture so that you can get an idea of what it looks like. The cord is typically attached to the center of the placenta (the meatiest part).
Again, Dr. M said that this was nothing to worry about and he sees it every so often in pregnancies (in about 10% of patients he sees) . He told me not to consult Dr. Google (which I am trying really hard to follow doctors orders, which is sooo hard for me because I am an avid reader/researcher) because there is a lot of false and scary information out there, and again, 99.5% of the time, it is never even an issue with the pregnancy or delivery. I am so tired of being worried about every little thing this pregnancy and am finally at a place where I am just enjoying it…and it feels SO good!!! The flips and turns, the strong kicks, the belly growing, actually looking and feeling pregnant…it has been amazing…and I am choosing to do everything in my power to stay in this happy, blissful, and worry free place. I trust Dr. M a lot (I actually adore him!) and he said that if there was something to worry about, he would tell me. I believe him. So I’m choosing not to worry unless he tells me there is something to worry about. According to him, the only thing we are concerned about at this time is the growth of the baby, since a marginal umbilical cord can sometimes cause IUGR (intra uterine growth restriction) if proper nutrients aren’t reaching the baby. He did check blood flow/oxygen flow though, and even though it is on the side of my placenta, he said that it looks as though it is functioning perfectly! It also made me feel better that baby girl looked great, was moving and squirming all around, and was measuring right on track (only one day behind actually, which is totally within normal range) and came in weighing 1 lb and 2 ounces. We scheduled a follow up appointment for 4 weeks out so he can keep an eye on the mild echogenic bowel as well as the marginal cord insertion (which he said often moves more towards the center as the placenta and uterus grow/shift) as well as the proper growth of baby girl. Yay for another chance to see our sweet little girl in another 4 weeks!
Here she is at the scan last week (23 weeks exactly). I love how her left arm is resting above her head and you can see all 5 of her precious little fingers. Can’t wait to kiss each and every one of them!!!
And finally, here is what is going on this week according to Baby Center:
Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she’s more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby’s increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won’t faze her when she hears them outside the womb.
How your life’s changing:
You may notice that your ankles and feet start to swell a bit in the coming weeks or months, especially at the end of the day or during the heat of summer. Sluggish circulation in your legs — coupled with changes in your blood chemistry that may cause some water retention — may result in swelling, also known as edema. Your body will get rid of the extra fluid after you have your baby, which is why you’ll pee frequently and sweat a lot for a few days after delivery. In the meantime, lie on your left side or put your feet up when you can, stretch out your legs when you sit, and avoid sitting — or standing — in one place for long periods.
Also, try to exercise regularly to increase circulation, and wear support stockings (put them on first thing in the morning) and roomy, comfortable shoes. You may be tempted to skimp on liquids to combat swelling, but you need to drink plenty of water because staying hydrated actually helps prevent fluid retention. While a certain amount of edema in your lower extremities is normal during pregnancy, excessive swelling may be a sign of a serious condition called preeclampsia. Be sure to call your midwife or doctor if you have severe or sudden swelling of your feet or ankles, more than slight swelling of your hands, swelling in your face, or puffiness around your eyes.
How far along? 23 weeks
Total weight gain: 12 lbs
Maternity clothes? loving them, but still wearing a lot of regular clothes too. Maxi skirts and dresses have suddenly become my new best wardrobe pieces!
Stretch marks? No.
Sleep: Had more energy this week than last. I am sleeping great at night besides getting up 2-3 x to use the restroom. I am also continuing to have crazy vivid dreams at night.
Best moment this week: Celebrating Mother’s Day this week and having the kids and hubby surprise me with a pack and play (something that we still needed for baby) all set up in the nursery filled with my homemade Mother’s Day cards and a gift card for a mani/pedi. It was a wonderful surprise to wake up to. And yes, I was crying like a baby at the sweetness of it all. Hormones, much?!
Miss Anything? Nope!
Movement: Feeling LOTS of movement and flips and her little kicks are getting stronger.
Food cravings: Fruit, popsicles and chocolate milk (OMG-yum!!!). I am usually not a chocolate milk fan…but we got this organic chocolate milk the other day, and I seriously have to ration out how much I can drink each day. Otherwise, I am sure I would drink the entire half gallon in one sitting. It is amazing!!!
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Gender prediction: It’s a girl!
Labor Signs: Nope. Hopefully not for at least 15 more weeks!!!
Symptoms: Round ligament pain, spider veins, varicose veins, super itchy belly
Belly Button in or out? In.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Incredibly happy!!!
Looking forward to: I ordered 2 things off of etsy and can’t wait until they arrive. One is a changing pad cover and the other is an adorable coral pant and bonnet set (comes with a head band too) that I am going to have her newborn photos taken in. I’ll post a pic once it gets here. It was a splurge, but is pretty much the cutest thing I have ever seen!!!