The picture above shows how much the internal organs are already being pushed upwards at 20 weeks. I'm now 23 weeks and 3 days and I can really feel my uterus pushing against my skin and above my belly button. The lifting upwards of the uterus has certainly relieved pressure on my bladder and lower pelvic cavity so I feel relatively more comfortable than I've felt before. But I am more breathless and have heartburn. It's extraordinary how hard my belly is - like a round football, but larger, thrusting outwards from my body like an alien growth. M and I keep marvelling at it.
Apparently, Little Planethalder now weighs about one pound and is approximately 11.5 inches head to heel - the weight of a large mango and the length of a banana. Her facial features are beginning to develop and she's likely to be able to open and close her eyes now, hear things on the outside and suck her thumb. She's certainly enjoying herself inside of me - kicking and punching and twisting and turning. M can now feel her kick from the outside which has made the whole experience something we can finally and concretely share.
Yet, like adults, she has her active days when she enjoys her acrobatics and her inactive days when she prefers to chill out and take it easy - either that or she's kicking towards my back, which I can't feel, or against my colon which feels like internal popping wind. On Tuesday, I had a routine checkup in the hospital and asked them to check for her heartbeat with a Doppler. Only that morning both M and I had felt her kick but the anxiety over her well-being never diminishes. My heart leapt into my throat when the obstetrician couldn't find a heartbeat and yet she could hear the swishing of the amniotic fluid inside suggesting the baby was moving around. So they did an ultrasound and there she was, heart beating strongly away, kicking her legs and punching out her fists and squirming every which way. The relief was immeasurable.
Today, I am at home sick with a sore throat and a mild fever - sleeping, reading magazines, watching property programmes on daytime TV, periodically checking and responding to work emails, sleeping again. The time at home has afforded me this luxury of writing a rare weekday blog post, which is a lovely change as this was beginning to read like a weekend activity blog only.
And I'm beginning to think about my newborn baby shopping list. I'll post it here soon and seek the advice of any interested readers (mummies or not) on what to buy and not to buy for the first few weeks.