Your baby’s the size of a head of lettuce!
The network of nerves in your baby’s ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner’s as you chat with each other. He’s inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he’s born and takes that first gulp of air. And he’s continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (a head of lettuce) from head to heel. If you’re having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.
The reason why I’ve been behind on posts is because last week, our dog Henry (aka our first born, aka Big Baby Henry) dislocated his right hind leg and needed to have an emergency FHO surgery. FHO is a surgical procedure that removes the head section of the femur bone and the joint is allowed to heal and develop its own fibrous scar tissue so that the joint is no longer bone−to-bone, which is supposed to relieve future bone rubbing and continued pain.
It has been an exhausting and scary week for all of us. We were first notified of his hip dislocation by his groomer – apparently Henry’s leg slid out from underneath him during grooming and he had been howling in pain. J and I immediately went to pick him up and tried to keep him immobilized at home, hoping that it was a temporary sprain that would go away on its own.
This was the look on Henry’s face when we picked him up. He was so sad!
But it was clear to us by the following morning that he was still in a lot of pain, and even the smallest movements sent him into a whining frenzy. We frantically hailed a cab (not an easy feat during morning rush hour) and hurried him to our vet, where our vet had to sedate him in order to take x-rays and examine his hip.
24 hours later, an orthopedic surgeon performed the FHO surgery. Our vet said that Henry’s hip was unfortunately already prone to dislocations, and this would have happened eventually – it was good that we caught his condition fairly early because he is still young, and he should make a full recovery from the surgery in several weeks (possibly several months), although there is a chance that he may have a permanent limp in his gait.
I won’t lie, I probably took the news of the surgery – and the surgery itself – a lot harder than our dog did. When we were able to finally pick him up two days after we first dropped him off at our vet’s office, I burst into tears as soon as I saw him hobble towards me. We rushed toward each other like the scene in Forrest Gump when Forrest and Jenny ran through the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool facing the Washington Monument.
Maybe I was being a tad over dramatic…but I literally could not stop crying. Blame it on the damn pregnancy hormones. I probably scared the shit out of our vet (who offered me a box of tissues and then rushed the hell out of there). I’m surprised that J didn’t ask the vet to spay me.
Whatever – I’m not ashamed to admit that I love my dog like he’s my child. (Sorry Baby Z, your big brother Henry will always be Mommy’s first born!) Seeing animals in pain is the worst because they don’t understand what’s happening to them. Seeing my own dog in pain? Forgeddit. The vet may as well have taken my femur instead.
We couldn’t find a cab on the way home, so my poor husband had to carry our 30 lb dog nearly 20 blocks back to our apartment. I don’t know who looked more exhausted afterwards – Henry or J. At least Henry had the benefit of being high on morphine pills and antibiotics.
This was the look on his face the entire way home. Now I know what a doped up puppy looks like.
I worked from home for the next couple of days to make sure that Henry didn’t tear his stitches and didn’t need, like, I dunno, me to donate my femur to him or something. Thankfully, he’s been recuperating fairly well – he’s still limping quite a bit but he’s starting to put some weight on his injured leg. His appetite was nonexistent at first, but after mixing in some of his favorites (boiled chicken, cheese, wet food), he’s been doing much better and is now eating more regularly. He’s still a bit sluggish and is more subdued than usual, but our vet said that it’s to be expected since he’s still taking pain killers and antibiotics twice daily. J and I are optimistic that he will make a full recovery. He still loves snuggling with us in bed, following us from room-to-room, and plopping down onto our laps as soon as we sit down. The surgery may have taken away part of his femur, but definitely not his sweet, loving, and slightly stalkerish nature.
Feel better soon Henners! Daddy and I can’t wait until you have your joie de vivre back. We love you!