Some of you saw my Facebook status update this week that I have started to feel the baby moving. To be honest, I think I've been feeling it for a while. About two weeks ago, I was writing a short e-mail to Chrissy when I felt a funny little poke in my lower abdomen. I immediately stopped typing to consider what it was. I hadn't been thinking about feeling the baby or anything, and I had this completely new feeling, like a bubble bursting inside. I have been feeling very gassy, too, though, so I thought maybe it wasn't really the baby, and I should wait to get excited about it. But the feelings continued, at least a few times each day. Now that they've gone on for about two weeks, when I feel gassy and when I don't, I feel more confident in saying that I'm feeling the baby. According to my pregnancy books and more experienced moms, it's a bit early but also within the realm of possibility. I read somewhere that thin women can sometimes feel movements earlier, so maybe that's why.
The doctor's office was really crowded this morning! All while we were waiting, I could feel the baby moving around, but by the time we made it into the exam room, she had settled down and wasn't dancing around as much. The ultrasound was amazing - the baby has grown so much! Her head now measures almost 4 cm (around 1.5 inches) in diameter, which dates her, according to the ultrasound at 18 weeks, plus or minus 12 days. The doctor said the baby is 18 centimeters long, which is about 7 inches! That seems a bit on the long side to me - guess we're having a tall baby.
Baby's patented death ray stare. I think it's hilarious, but Keegan thinks we shouldn't make fun of our little girl.
A little bony (Dr. Lee says the skin is very, very thin now) but pretty cute, if I do say so myself. Also, less scary than the 2D version!
After the ultrasound, I gave some blood for prenatal testing (the quad test, if you're interested). They'll be screening the blood for hormone levels that might reveal genetic abnormalities. As I understand it, if there are any red flags, further testing can be done to confirm (or disprove) what was found in the blood test. I'll get the results next week. Our next visit is in four weeks, and they're going to do a "super" ultrasound that will look for any abnormalities in the baby's heart and facial structure.
I guess the extra-long baby explains why my weight has been increasing quite steadily this week. I gained almost a full kilogram (2.2 pounds) from week 16 to week 17. I am happy to be growing, though, since I got off to a slow start in the first trimester. So far, I'm up two kilograms total.
The belly at 17 weeks
This week was very, very quiet for me. Keegan has been very busy with work, driving back and forth to Yeosu, about two hours away, to work on a small cruise ship. I've been puttering around the house and watching "Grey's Anatomy" on DVD. Thank goodness there are at least a couple of my students still around for lessons. With my relaxed schedule, I had a chance to talk to Laura for about two hours on Monday morning. It was wonderful to catch up with my best friend and to hear that she is still considering coming to Korea to visit one of these days. I also had time to (finally!) buy our plane tickets for our trip back to the U.S. in March. I'll be home from March 10 until April 12, with a visit to Costa Rica from March 24 to April 2. Keegan will be in the U.S. from April 2 to April 12. I hope we'll get to see as many of you as possible, dear readers. It's so wonderful to have concrete plans for our trip.