18w6d Please, please kick me while I’m down.

I think by now, you all know that I’m hardly the type of pregnant woman who thinks that pregnancy is all sunshine and daisies and fun and giggles.  In fact, I feel quite the opposite!  Don’t get me wrong, I love Baby Z with all of my heart, but I’d much rather J carry him to term instead.  I wouldn’t wish pregnancy (or at least the symptoms) upon my worst enemy.

For the past few days, I’ve been getting these horrible headaches – which prior to becoming pregnant, I never got except for very occasionally when I’ve been sick.  In fact, I’m not even sure if I knew what headaches felt like until recently.  Well, the joke is on me.  These days I look and feel like something out of 24 Days Later.

I looked it up and guess what?  According to the American Pregnancy Association:  Experiencing headaches during pregnancy is one of the most common discomforts and complaints.  An increase in headaches is believed to be caused by the surge of hormones along with an increase in the blood volume circulating throughout your body. 

Lovely.

Now on top of the waddling, bloating, frequent trips to the bathroom, food restrictions, dry skin, boob tenderness, and back pain – I’ll have to add pounding headaches to the bag of pregnancy fun.

Isn’t there an old saying that goes something like, “The worse off your pregnancy is, the easier your childbirth will be?”  Or did I just make that up out of wishful thinking?

Baby Z, won’t you take pity on Mommy’s suffering and at least kick a little so that I know that at least one of us is healthy and happy?  This is a case in which I don’t mind if you kick me (literally) while I’m down…

18w5d Lazy Baby or Paranoid Mommy?

I’ve been feeling a little paranoid lately because according to many friends and online sources, I should be able to feel Baby Z kicking or moving by now.  But for the life of me, I can’t tell if Baby Z is moving or not!

According to this article from Baby Center:

You should feel your baby’s first movements, called “quickening,” between weeks 16 and 22 of your pregnancy, even though he started moving at 7 or 8 weeks. Women have described the sensation as being like popcorn popping, a goldfish swimming around, or butterflies fluttering. You’ll probably chalk up those first gentle taps or swishes in your belly to gas or hunger pains, but once you start feeling them more regularly, you’ll recognize the difference. You’re more likely to feel these early movements when you’re sitting or lying quietly.

So I THINK I’ve been experiencing movement – but certainly nothing as cute and nice as “butterflies fluttering” or “gentle taps.”  More like a ball sloshing around in my belly once in a while – and it feels a little uncomfortable.  Honestly, sometimes I can’t tell if he’s moving or if I’m just constipated.   Does that make me a bad mother already?

Help!  Am I being too paranoid that Baby Z is not growing and moving at a normal pace?  Maybe he just takes after his old man and is always sleepy?  It’s dark and cozy and there’s a cord that brings food directly into your belly – why move if you don’t have to, right?

Sigh.  I can’t wait until our next OB visit in a week.

18w4d Yummy San Francisco

J and I (and Baby Z) had an amazing weekend in San Francisco!

Even though we had to forgo the wine and the vineyards, Baby Z and I still had quite the yummy weekend!   I was so hungry during our entire trip that I think all of the major landmarks we visited can be better captured by what I ate….

1. San Francisco Ferry Building – crispy porchetta sandwich and grilled summer corn with avocado from the RoliRoti food truck.  I’m still salivating.

2. Chinatown – Lobster sauteed with scallions, ginger and garlic.  I also devoured a side helping of congee with preserved duck egg and pork.

3. Downtown San Francisco – sushi lover’s platter from Sanraku, J’s all-time favorite sushi restaurant.  Our waitress knew him by name!  Sadly, I could only eat the cooked stuff (*sob*), but everything was delicious.

4. On our way to visiting our friends who live in Stanford with their two ADORABLE little boys, I devoured this cup of deliciousness from Cow Girl Creamery.  Cheese grits with poached egg and panchetta bacon.

5.  On our way back to our hotel from Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park, we had the most amazing Thai food EVER.  Pad see ew with beef and red curry with duck from Marnee Thai.  Hands down, the best Thai food we’ve ever had – a huge compliment considering that J and I are serial Thai food junkies.

6.  Oh, and we also spent a lovely afternoon at Muir Woods!  They didn’t allow any food in there, but the majestic redwood trees were breathtaking 🙂

All in all, Baby Z and I have decided that Daddy Z is correct – we also heart San Francisco.  Good food, good weather, good friends – what’s not to love?

The only downside to our trip is that I had to fly back home by myself last night because J is on his way to London for work 😦  Have a safe business trip Dad!

18w0d Chromosome Chart

your baby’s the size of a mango! 

Your baby’s sensory development is exploding! Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. Some research suggests that she may be able to hear your voice now, so don’t be shy about reading aloud, talking to her, or singing a happy tune if the mood strikes you.

Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces and measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the size of a large mango. Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now. Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting. A waxy protective coating called the vernix caseosa is forming on her skin to prevent it from pickling in the amniotic fluid.

(Source: The Bump and Baby Center)

Following the good news of our amnio results, I requested for our genetic counselor to send us Baby Z’s chromosome chart (or more accurately, his karyotype chart) so that we may have it as a keepsake.  It arrived today and it is so cool! (See pic below)

The normal human karyotypes contain 22 pairs of chromosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes.  Chromosomes are numbered from largest to smallest, 1 through 22, plus X and Y (which determines gender).  Normal karyotypes for females contain two X chromosomes and are denoted XX; males have both an X and a Y chromosome denoted XY.

As you can see below in the very last pair of chromosomes, Baby Z clearly has a X and a Y chromosome pair, which makes him a very definitive BOY!

I’m no karyotype chart expert, but according to our genetic counselor, here are some other important observations to make from Baby Z’s chart:  Baby Z is negative for Klinefelter’s Syndrome, Down’s Syndrome and Trisomy 13 Syndrome – three of the most common chromosomal disorders.

This is what you would see on his chart if he had any of the above:

i.      Klinefelter’s Syndrome– one or more extra sex chromosomes (i.e., XXY).

ii.    Down’s Syndrome– Trisomy 21, extra chromosome 21.

iii.   Trisomy 13 Syndrome– extra chromosome 13.

Awesome, right?!  The nerd in me is now obsessed with reading up on human genetics…I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Baby Z will inherit my eyes and nose but J’s hair and brains 🙂