I am relieved to be getting through the second trimester far more easily than the first, although, the tiredness can really be a nuisance as it slows me down as does the extra weight I am carrying. Little Squishy is now almost 9-10 inches long and weighs almost a pound in weight so not much but then don’t forget everything else that is in there too (placenta & fluid). He is about the length of a whole corn on the cob.
The baby’s skin is still transparent and wrinkled. The tooth buds are beginning to form below the gum line. If you are having a girl then by the end of this week its uterus will be fully formed and if its a boy then its testes will begin moving into the scrotum. It will begin to develop an awareness of itself and start trying to grab other parts of its body with its hands. The pancreas will begin to produce its own hormones.
I have begun my baby preparations by going through all the clothes that I had saved from my little girls and arranging them into Squishy friendly (neutral) and blatantly girls clothes. The girls clothes are now all packed up and waiting to be rehoused. I noticed that I my tummy was looking quite big (as if I had a watermelon under by clothing!) and wasn’t sure whether this was due to the fact that I had been stretched during the other pregnancies and having heard too many horror stories I was concerned that the baby might be large but apparently not, yaaaaaaayyyyyyyy.
Normally during this period women will feel quite a bit better and in many instances will be complimented on their healthy glow (although you may feel like a zombie extra from the walking dead)! Symptoms that may be experienced at this stage include: constipation, tiredness, heartburn, weight gain, vaginal discharge, an increase in appetite, dizziness, leg cramps (I have and leg cramps in each pregnancy). My first pregnancy leg cramp struck this week and I woke in agony. The only thing that I find that helps ease it at the time is stretching back the toes towards your leg and wait for it to subside (it seems to improve faster this way). I did feel tightness and discomfort in that legs muscles for a few days after. I have and these in each pregnancy no matter what supplements I take.
Make sure you keep hydrated and keep your salt intake down. Where possible sit down and elevate your legs to help reduce swelling. Swelling is normal but there is a pregnancy induced condition called pre-eclamspia which can occur from the second trimester. This is characterised by high blood pressure, sudden swelling and as a result weight gain due to the fluid. Pre-eclampsia can range from mild to severe and once identified can be managed.
(Photographs thanks to wikimedia)