Pregnancy Update: 2nd Trimester – Week 21

I usually start with my photo and the stats of the babies, but I decided to begin more with the “personal” or “fun” stuff at the beginning of this Pregnancy Update.

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Fun Exciting, & Weird Stuff From the Week?
This past weekend, my hubby and I were quite busy. In 2.5 days, we moved from our previous 1 bd/1ba apartment into the same complex, but upgraded to a 2 bd/2ba unit. Fortunately, the move was very smooth. Mike did a majority of the lifting, carrying and hauling, while I did the majority of the packing for it all. We also had help from Mike’s friend, Tailor (shout out)! They were both stars moving from point A to point B those ginormous items such as our dresser, bed, huge couch, and dining room table. We LOVE our new place! It has so much more room! We’re all settled in now which feels lovely.

movingSource

Any Baby/Pregnancy-Related Purchases?
Yes! A TON (I won’t mention the Grand Total from all the orders!) But let’s say…more than we can afford. Sometime down the road, I’ll take some photos of both our nursery and the babies/kid’s bathroom (such a cute theme we chose!) and post them here.

buying baby stuffSource

Rewinding a bit though, after our move over the July 1st weekend, this past week, I quickly went to work starting to purchase things (mostly online) for the babies nursery. Boy, am I having a blast (maybe a little too much?) While our pocketbook is taking a SERIOUS hit, I can’t help but splurge on our babies! I just want them to have the best start in life, with resources, with love, with the goods. All these items shall be arriving soon. Mike asked me to make him a “Honey-Do” list, which I gleefully did (complete with a little clip-art of Winnie-the-Pooh eating a jar of honey…get the connection?!) Also, I know myself, as soon as Amazon starts dropping off packages, I’ll dive into putting it together. I love our babies already and I’m just like a kid-in-a-candy-shop ready to create their new bedroom!

Looking Forward To…
Well, being all finishing with the nursery and having all the essential items for the babies. Everything from car seats down to the “littles” ready such as baby nail clippers. But beyond the “externals,” I just still feel so blessed and grateful to God for these babies growing in my womb. I pray everyday that they continue to grow strong, thrive and grow on (or beyond) target for their gestational age.

baby in wombSource

I don’t take for granted these gifts within me. I’m very aware of how hard it is for many women (including how it was for Mike and I) to become pregnant, then to keep the pregnancies. I pray all will continue to go well and I’ll give birth relatively drama-free and with joy and health and smoothness…that babies come out well and happy to greet the world when I’m 37-38 weeks or beyond.

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Now for the usual Pregnancy Update…

It’s time for my weekly pregnancy update! At 21 weeks, I am 4 months and about 3 weeks. Now that I’m a little less than halfway done with month 5, I’m a majority of the way through my pregnancy!

Week 21 Main

Week 21 Profile

At 21 weeks pregnant, our babies are as big as a head of endive. At 10.5 inches and about 12.7 ounces, babies big enough now that I’ve been feeling their fetal movements more and more lately.

EndiveSource

HERE’S WHAT ELSE BABIES HAVE BEEN UP TO THIS WEEK:
•  Babies Grew Much More. How big are our babies? Switching from crown-to-rump to crown-to-heel length, they ares 10 1/2 inches long and weighs 11 – 12 1/2 ounces, about the length of a large carrot, but the width of an eggplant. Our developing babies still have a great deal of room in my womb, though like any roommates who live in one space together for a long time, these babies will soon begin to feel cramped.

•  Babies Moving and Sleeping. As noted above, until my uterine walls start closing in, there’s plenty of space for the twins to twist, turn and even occasionally do somersaults. I don’t yet feel them kicking, but I believe they are really active in my womb. Yet, I’ve also learned that they sleep as much as a newborn.

•  Babies Taste Buds Develop. If I eat a carrot or a pickle, if I eat one this week, there’s a good chance my baby will taste it too. That’s because at 21 weeks pregnant, our babies swallows a bit of amniotic fluid each day. They not only do this for nutrition and hydration, but also to practice swallowing and digesting, skills they’ll need as soon as they arrive in my arms. Also, apparently the taste of the amniotic fluid differs from day to day depending on what I’ve eaten (spicy enchilada one day, sweet banana the next). That smorgasbord of flavors won’t be lost on our babies since my little ones have very developed taste buds already. In fact, researchers have noted that babies who were exposed to certain tastes in utero via the amniotic fluid were more eager to eat foods with those same tastes after birth.

•  Babies Are Getting Coordinated. Our little ones are able to choreograph Matrix-like moves now. Their arms and legs are finally in proportion, neurons are now connected between the brain and muscles and cartilage throughout the body is turning to bone. All these upgrades combine to give our twins more control over limb movements.

•  Sucking Thumb and Eye Movement. Our babies pass their time by sucking their thumb and even open and close their eyes.

•  Babies Are Kicking. Our babies kicks, stretches and pokes are movements that I not only feel internally, but we can see them from the outside, too. Sometimes I lie on my back and watch the weird ripples and dips of baby limbs.

•  Sex Development. Our babies reproductive systems are developing, too. Our Baby Girl A already has a lifetime supply of eggs in her womb—about six million of them! Our Baby Boy B’s testes are still located in his abdomen but will drop in the coming weeks once the scrotum finishes developing.

•  Detailing. The little capillaries (small veins) are forming under our babies skin. Their eyebrows are getting thicker, and their lips are now distinct.

Week 21 FetusSource

AND HERE’S WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING WITH ME THIS PAST WEEK:
 Stretching Skin/Tummy Marks. My tummy and breasts just keep on growing. My skin gets pulled thinner as baby grows, the supporting tissues under my skin gets torn. I can now feel this “tightening” a lot. It’s an interesting sort of “pressure.” I’m okay with it though. I’ll endure whatever I need to in order for the babies to grow well.

•  More Emotional. Now that I’m starting to look pregnant and those kicks can no longer be mistaken for gas, the reality of pregnancy is beginning to sink in. I’ve heard it’s not only completely normal to feel anxious, it’s especially healthy to acknowledge it. I’ve talked my feelings over with my MOPS & Busy Bees friends who’ve had babies. They’ve reassured me that they experienced the same kind of thoughts. I’ve also talked to Mike about these feelings too…and the heart-to-hearts have brought us closer together.

•  Worry. Speaking of anxiety, I have been doing this thing. I’ve been struggling with thinking about “the worst-case scenario stories.” Ever since my 6th week of pregnancy, I’ve been consistently reading good books, blogs and articles all about pregnancy, birth, post-partum…the whole she-bang. At this point, I’m MORE THAN AWARE of the incredible risks I face. I’m fully aware that anything bad can happen to the babies. I hope and pray with all my heart that both twins grow super well in my womb, I nourish them plenty, that they are healthy, and that I have a fairly smooth labor and delivery. I pray that I don’t deliver before 38 weeks. I pray they’ll be born in the maternity ward and not the NICU. Yet, I’m fully aware of my risks. I’m in my late 30’s, I’m underweight (currently), although I’m really trying to gain weight, and I’m having twins. For the past 8 weeks, I’ve been wracked with anxiety about the pre-eclampsia stories, the micro-preemies, the babies born with terrible, deadly birth defects. Stillbirths. Placental abruptions. Incompetent cervixes. High-risk multiples. Cord accidents. Waters breaking before viability. And the ever-terrifying “we just don’t even know what happened, but we are sorry for my loss nonetheless.” I can now recite a morbid anecdote for just about any horror story you’d like to discuss. Sigh…

I absolutely cannot explain this worry. I am normally a very optimistic and faithful person (and I still believe God can/is going to protect the babies and they will be born well). Yet, I have no excuse for what, on the surface, probably seems like a lot of negative energy and lack of belief.

I don’t want to sound cheesy here. Nor do I have a neat-tied-up-in-a-bow conclusion here. However, one of the biggest surprises about pregnancy is that you really do start to feel it all, in a way you’ve never experienced before. That happiness and sadness and fear and doubt and worry and joy and love are so unbelievably mixed and jumbled up together that you can’t separate them out anymore, and to ignore the bad is to do a disservice to the good.

OTHER SYMPTOMS:
• Heartburn and Indigestion.
• Braxton Hicks Contractions.
• Leaky Boobs.
• Dry, Itchy Skin.

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Food Aversions:
Certain protein bars, coffee, Many Herbs, green bell pepper and jalapenos, anything bitter.

Food Cravings:
Still loving: PB & J and banana slices, Starburst Jelly Beans, Pickles, Ice-Cream, Greek Yogurt, Sweet Potato Fries, Eggs with buttered toast, Oatmeal with fixings, Bagels with cream cheese, Burgers, Frozen Burritos, watermelon.

New: (Fresh fruit is hugely on sale this Summer. Fortunately, I’m craving it big-time right now…especially…) Pineapple and Mangos. Additionally, I’m loving grilled salmon and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. Also, I’ve been eating a bowl of cottage cheese (which has returned from 1st Trimester’s cravings) topped with granola. Yumm!

Source, Source, Source, Source & Source

Sleep:
Honestly, I’ve been having troubles sleeping lately. I do crash, so falling asleep is not a problem. Yet, I wake up a couple times at night. I think it’s a combination of feeling so hot overnight. After all, the temperatures here in Phoenix have been 110+ for the past 3 weeks. We keep the air conditioning on, but still. Also, my tummy is getting “tighter” feeling, as my baby belly grows. It’s not pain, but rather, more like “pressure” or rather, a constant “full” feeling. But my Snoogle helps and I am still taking an afternoon nap, too.

Stretch Marks?
Yes, but they are still light and minimal.

Movement/Exercise:
I’ve been still going hiking every morning in the desert. I may hike slower pre-pregnancy, but I love this good movement for my body and babies, time to listen to podcasts and music, and talk/pray with God. I also still go swimming 5+ days every afternoon for awhile. It’s so refreshing in these 104+ degree days of Phoenix!

Belly Button In Or Out?
I have an outie now…ever since around my 13th week. I actually love how it “popped out” along with my baby bump!

Happy or Moody Most Of The Time?
Very, very happy still! Sometimes I get emotional now. I think it’s just the hormones. Overall, though, I’m still just so grateful that God blessed us with me getting pregnant.

Any Movement?
Still just flutters, taps, and bubble feelings. I have an Anterior Placenta, according to my doctor. This means both twins’ placentas are in front of them (toward the belly side). As a result, their kicks are “muted.” However, the doctor said that around 22-23 weeks, I should start to feel their kicks much more! I can’t wait and am eager for hubby to feel them!

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