This past Friday we had our 20 week (which is the midway point) check up and everything seems on track for a healthy baby. I've gained 5 pounds in the last 4 weeks, which brings my total weight gain to a whopping 6 pounds. I have a feeling this number is going to rise sharply fairly soon as my appetite is back and I've begun my ravenous-all-the-time portion of this pregnancy.
The next good news we received was that the blood tests I took around 16 weeks all game back with good results. This was my AFP screening which tells us if the baby is at increased risk of being born with open neural tube defects (such as spina bifida), down syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities (such as trisomy 18) or abdominal wall defects. Had the test results caused any alarm I would have had to have an amniocentesis to gather more information. I'm very happy to not have to have an amnio as the procedure requires me to be poked in the stomach with a VERY long and fairly large needle and carries a few scary risks.
We had the opportunity to hear Squirtle's little heartbeat again, which took some time to find as s/he was moving around quite a bit. Once the heartbeat was located I was once again overwhelmed by the fact that I love this little baby inside of me so much I can't even stand it. It's also such a proud mama moment for me. It's like, "WE made that. Furthermore, MY body is doing all it needs to to sustain that little life. Wow." It's just incredible.
Our next appointment is 2 weeks from today, October 20. That afternoon we'll go in for another ultrasound and as long as Squirtle cooperates we'll get to find out the gender! This is the day we've all been anticipating for months now and it's hard to not get too excited about it. Besides potentially finding out the gender, I'm really just excited to get another little sneak peek at this little being inside of me. Squirtle has grown so much since our last ultrasound and this will be our first opportunity to see him/her look like an actual baby. Like I said, it's really hard not to get too excited; I can't wait!
Another little update is that I'm feeling the baby move a lot now. It's an incredible sensation that I first felt almost a month ago, but it was subtle and infrequent. The movements are growing stronger and I feel Squirtle daily with some chunks of time where s/he's moving constantly for a prolonged period. The movements aren't quite strong enough for anyone other than me to feel, but I think that's getting close. Sometimes I like to have a little fun with it and I'll poke my belly and wait for the response. Other times I'll lay down and switch from side to side because each time I switch I can feel Squirtle move around to get resettled. After about my 6th time tossing around Geoff usually tells me to knock it off and let the baby be already. I can't help it. Plus, I figure I'm in for plenty of sleepless nights and it's the least Squirtle can do.
Pretty much, I just adore this tiny baby.