TWENTY-THREE.

23 weeks – just one week from viability! 24 weeks is when the medical community recognizes a baby’s likelihood of surviving on the outside, so it’s a pretty big milestone. And while those odds are still only 50-70 percent, that’s a lot higher than they are at 23 weeks (20-35 percent). In fact, between this week and next, baby’s chance of survival increases by 3-4 percent every day. Obviously I’d prefer to keep him baking until 40 weeks, but there’s something about reaching viability that makes this nervous mama breathe a huge sigh of relief. Just one more week!

At 23 weeks…

Baby: is still somewhere around a foot(ish) long and between 13-21 oz. I think this is the stage of pregnancy where babies start to really vary in their measurements, so the pregnancy websites start backing off a bit on those stats. Though one site told me this week he was the size of a grapefruit, which I’m trying to wrap my head around since I’ve never seen a footlong grapefruit. Maybe they mean by weight? Anyway, he’s getting bigger. And he’s now forming nipples (what’s the evolutionary reason for those on males?). His face is now fully formed and just needs a little more fat to fill it out. His pancreas is kicking into gear around this time, and lungs are also undergoing some major developments, which plays a huge role in viability.  I also suspect he may have flipped to be head-down (more on that in a minute), but we won’t be able to confirm until our next appointment, and doesn’t really mean anything at this point since he can still move around quite a bit. I do wonder if last week‘s inner ear developments have given him the sense of balance to figure out which way is down and to start getting into position.

Mama: is feeling a ton of movement, and the kicks are getting stronger. In fact, yesterday I felt him stretch and push his foot out so hard, that I could actually feel a hard lump on my upper right side (at least I’m pretty sure it was his foot, hence why I think he’s head-down now). I pushed back on it and he kicked my hand a few times and stretched out again. I pushed him in again and he did the same thing. It was like a fun little game (I was probably annoying him).

In addition to movement, I’m just feeling a lot more of everything these days. I’ve started having the occasional Braxton-Hicks contractions (normal and painless, if just a bit uncomfortable – I started having these with T around this time too). Heartburn started up this week too. The sciatica comes and goes, mostly when I overexert myself, but overall still isn’t as bad as it was when I was pregnant with T. New this week are these weird side stitches, like you get when you run, only they’re not quite in my side — they’re about halfway between my side and my belly button. Then again, maybe that’s where my “side” would be if the belly wasn’t stretching everything out. Similar to side stitches, they seem brought on by exercise (or in my case, walking), and when I stop, they stop. I’m trying to drink more water to see if that helps. Could also be round ligament pain, though I thought that was usually lower. Pregnancy is weird.

On the emotional front, I’m feeling pretty good and just realized I haven’t used my doppler in about 2 weeks. I definitely think the constant movement helps.

Weight: No gain this week. Still holding out at 12 lbs.

Cravings: Starburst jelly beans. And oranges.

A coworker told me I don't look pregnant from the front. Clearly from the side it's a whole 'nother story!

A coworker told me I don’t look pregnant from the front. Clearly from the side it’s a whole ‘nother story!

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