An ultrasound this week could show your baby sucking her thumb or maybe stroking her face, actions that have become more frequent by now. His developing swallowing reflex is one reason for the thumb-sucking, but the brain of a 21 week old fetus has matured enough for him to sense touch, as well. Between the taste buds that are sprouting on his tongue and the nerve endings that are springing to life all over his body, your baby’s awareness and understanding of his environment is expanding quickly and he may want to test her relationship with the things around him. Don’t be surprised if you feel some stronger kicks and punches in your belly and ribs these days!
How far along? 21 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: + 8 lbs. No loss (which keeps my husband happy) but I didn’t gain any either (which keeps me happy)
Maternity clothes? Let me just tell you something about denying yourself maternity clothes when they are absolutely necessary. When you finally get your chubby, swollen hands on some elastic that will fit over your fat ass, it is possibly the most glorious thing ever. Last Friday? I had to wear a dress and flip-flops to a football game (in the rain) because NONE of my non-maternity pants (other than sweat pants and scrubs) fit me. I got Greg to bring my maternity clothes out of storage this weekend. I literally heard the angels sing when I opened that tote of clothes.
Stretch marks? Back with a vengeance.
Sleep: Much better than last week.
Best moment this week: Lots of movement and Greg got to feel little man move this week! That has got to be one of my favorite parts of being pregnant. We found the box with our kitchen utensils! So we have more than 4 forks!
Worst moment this week: Just the joys of moving and unpacking! But baby wise? Everything is peachy.
Movement: Getting more and more frequent and especially at night. Homeboy likes to hold 9pm raves. BYOB.
Food cravings/aversions: Not too many aversions but I did eat a salami sandwich (I know. Blech.) last weekend and nearly threw up. But that was a thing I wasn’t too thrilled about before pregnancy.
Labor Signs: Nada.
Belly Button in or out? Most definitely in.
What I miss: Energy. And wine.
What I am thankful for: That I made it another week successfully through this pregnancy! That we are (mostly) moved into the new place and can start to make it our own. That this baby is healthy. That the weird dreams have stopped.
What I am looking forward to: Watching the kids’ reaction to the baby’s kicks.
Milestones: Crossing the halfway point which is equally scary and exciting. Just a few more weeks until we hit the point of viability!
Symptoms: shedding hair, exhaustion, sore boobs, heartburn, burgeoning belly.
Technical baby news: A fetus at 21 weeks weighs about 10 ½ ounces and is 7 ¼ inches from crown to rump (which is 18cm, or the size of a banana). While baby has been breathing the amniotic fluidinto his lungs for a little while, he now begins to work on his swallowing ability. By the ninth month, babies may swallow as much as 18 ounces of amniotic fluid in the span of 24 hours! All of this swallowing helps your baby to develop his digestive system, and the amniotic fluid may also provide some extra calories and nutrition to help her grow.When he swallows the amniotic fluid, your baby’s digestive tract will absorb the water and pass most waste through his intestines, to the placenta and into your blood stream so your kidneys can filter it out. But not all of the waste will make it through to your body: some amniotic fluid debris, lanugo and epithelial cells will build up in your baby’s bowel, forming a substance called meconium. This sticky dark material will be your baby’s first bowel movement, but since it doesn’t contain any bacteria, it’s completely sterile.