It is officially week 16 today. That means that Baby Agnew has been in the womb for four out of the nine months! We are getting there. We are about sixteen days away from finding out the sex of our baby and we are pretty stoked. I’ve got some great baby names picked out, but if you have any suggestions, please feel free to comment and tell me your ideas.
How your baby’s growing:
At 4 1/2 inches long (head to bottom) and 3 1/2 ounces, your baby is about the size of an avocado. In the next three weeks, she’ll go through a tremendous growth spurt, though, doubling her weight and adding inches to her length. Her lower limbs are much more developed now. Her head is more erect than it has been, and her eyes have moved toward the front of her head. Your baby’s ears are close to their final position, too. Some of her more advanced body systems are working, including her circulatory system and urinary tract. Her heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, circulating her total blood volume through her body many times. (By the end of your pregnancy, this will increase to about 190 quarts.) The patterning of her scalp has begun, though her hair isn’t recognizable yet. Although closed, her eyes are moving (slowly), and she’s even started growing toenails.
How your life’s changing: (This is for the mom, not for me. No one has told me that I am looking wonderful lately). Have people been telling you how wonderful you look? The “glow of pregnancy” is real, thanks to increased blood flow to the skin. You may be enjoying yourself more, too, now that your hormones have stabilized and nausea has eased up.
Soon you’ll experience one of the most wonderful moments of pregnancy — feeling your baby move. While some women notice “quickening” as early as 16 weeks, most don’t until about 18 weeks or more. If this is your first baby, don’t be too anxious — you may not be aware of your baby’s movements until 20 weeks or so. The earliest movements may feel like little flutters, gas bubbles, or even like popcorn popping. Over the following weeks they’ll start to feel unmistakably like kicks.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.