Week 18 – Starting the Baby Fashion Show!
It’s a boy! I just had an ultrasound the other day, and I found out the sex of my baby. My mother instinct was right – which means that I can now officially go hunting after baby clothes. Not that I didn’t buy him a lot of things already (I just couldn’t help it).
My baby is growing healthier with each week – and my last week 18 ultrasound assured me that there aren’t any genetic or congenital diseases. The risk of a miscarriage is also very low at this point – only 1%. As long as I take care of myself, the risk of losing the baby is close to zero.
The 18-Week Baby
At this point, my baby is as big as a bell pepper – which is much bigger compared to last week. The phrase “they grow up so fast!” works here like a charm. He still has enough wiggling room in my uterus – which is why I have yet to feel the boxer kicks. He’ll grow even more in the following weeks, and I’m convinced that by the middle of the second trimester, I’ll be able to feel and even see his kicks.
At this point, his skin is not yet fully formed. You can still see his veins under his skin, which is now protected by vernix. The myelin has now also begun protecting his brain, turning him into mamma’s smart boy.
At this point, he can hear sounds. Granted, he probably won’t be able to hear too much from the outside. However, he’ll be able to hear his own beating heart, or even your voice if you speak close enough to the belly.
The baby is growing bigger and bigger by the day – which is why the week 18 belly size is also pretty impressive. Maternity clothes are a must now, since none of your blouses, nor your pants can probably fit you. The bulge is there, looking like half of a football, and screaming “I’m almost halfway through my pregnancy!”
The 18-Week Pregnant Mother
My life at 18 weeks pregnant still boils down to this: “I’m hungry, give me food!” I try to go for healthy foods instead of junk with empty calories; my son needs good nutrients after all.
My cardiovascular system is also very interesting right now – and by interesting, I mean it keeps pulling pranks on me. Compared to before, when my blood pressure was very high, it has now become very low. Sometimes, when I get up from lying on my back, I get very dizzy. Ideally, I should sleep on my side – but tell that to a back sleeper.
Also, the pain is back in town. You’ll see what I mean very soon. Here are the week 18 pregnancy symptoms that you might feel:
- Backaches: The bump is not only growing, but the baby is also putting a fair amount of pressure on my insides. Add that to the breasts that have also grown, and your back is likely to suffer the consequences. Precisely for that reason, I try to do some mild exercising at least two times a week. Yoga seems to work for me, but I also try to walk as much as I can.
- Swelling: For the past few weeks, my hands and feet have become pretty swollen. Some shoes barely fit me anymore, and at this point, I’m not even sure if I can take my rings off. I’ve been told that this kind of swelling is normal, though, and you should only be concerned if the swelling occurs suddenly.
- Leg Cramps: I still have moments when I wake up suddenly in the dead of the night, clutching my leg and wishing I had a saw to cut it off. The pain starts suddenly, but it lingers even after the “episode” is over – so I’m left there with a slight pain in my leg, unable to use it if my life depended on it. From what I heard, this is a sign of dehydration. As a result, I drink a lot of water every day to ensure I have as few of these episodes as possible.
- Trouble Sleeping: Let me just tell you that my mind is working overtime, giving me endless weird dreams or nightmares when an alien steals my baby from my womb; this is a very good reason to lose sleep. However, my week 18 belly size is also increasing. This makes me toss and turn around a lot, looking for a position that is good for both me and the baby. This is why I don’t get much sleep lately.
- Varicose Veins: I have blue or purple lines that are very visible on my skin – which I’m told are caused by the extra pressure that has been placed on my circulatory system. Propping my legs up seems to work, just as changing positions very often does. I also try to get as much exercise as possible to ensure healthy blood circulation.
- Nosebleeds: Well, this is embarrassing – but apparently, there’s a reason behind this. This happened in the past weeks as well, but my blood pressure is constantly going haywire, which is why I tend to have rather frequent nosebleeds. I try to keep them under control by pinching my nose for a few minutes or applying an ice pack whenever I have an “episode.”
- Baby Kicks: This is perhaps the best symptom. These baby kicks no longer feel like gas – but actual kicks that are getting stronger.
There are indeed some annoying symptoms, but the baby kicks make up for that and transform me into a very happy mommy-to-be.
Overall, this week hasn’t been half bad. Sure, I had some annoying week 18 pregnancy symptoms such as cramps, swelling, nosebleeds, and trouble sleeping – but they weren’t bad enough to put a dent in my lifestyle. Wherever I go right now, I’d only feel a slight discomfort every now and again. I really hope that my week 18 pregnancy guide came of use to you.
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