- Is just about a foot long now. I believe it is a tradition to consume a foot-long sub sandwich or hot dog in your baby’s honor at this point. I also believe I just made that up.
- Is still very skinny looking, with translucent skin, but this will all start changing soon.
- Is officially at the edge of viability, and most hospitals would automatically attempt every possible life-saving option if your baby were to be born now.
- Will undergo the glucose screening test at some point between now and 30 weeks to check for gestational diabetes. It’s done at a routine prenatal visit and involves chugging down an incredibly sickly-sweet beverage. Then you wait an hour and give a blood sample. And then you get someone else to drive your ass home, because you will be 1) passed out cold from a sugar crash or 2) howling in pain from a headache or 3) both. I brought a book to pass the time but fell asleep 20 minutes after the shot of sugar and woke up drooling on my husband, and I felt like crap for hours afterwards. But I passed! (A positive screen does not necessarily mean you have GD; it just means you have to get a whole OTHER, more-monitored test.)
- Oh! But then I had a huge baby anyway, and this one nurse in the recovery area at the hospital was all, “DIDN’T YOU HAVE THE GLUCOSE SCREEN? WE NEED TO TEST YOUR BABY’S BLOOD SUGAR BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY YOU HAD GD BECAUSE BABIES AREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THAT BIG.”
- I did not have undiagnosed gestational diabetes, and Noah’s blood sugar was FINE, THANK YOU.
- Oh, I’m sorry, were these bullet points supposed to be about you, or something?
- Are probably noticing more aches and pains as we come to the final couple weeks of the second trimester, particularly in your lower back, hips and other joints.
- Sciatica! Eeeeeeeeeee! Stopit!
Two or three weeks ago, after listening to me complain about yet another crappy night of sleep, my husband asked if I wanted one of those big full-body pregnancy pillows. I said no. They’re too hot, our bed is too small, I had one before and didn’t really think it did anything a regular old pillow shoved between my legs couldn’t have done just as well. They’re a scam! Slap “maternity” onto anything and instantly charge $49.99 for it! *shakes frugal fist in direction of baby store*
My husband is away on business this week, and in equal parts celebration of having the entire bed to myself and total sleep-deprived desperation, I went out and bought a Snoogle. (GEDDIT? It’s a noodle that you snuggle with. Oh, barf.) Unlike the pillow I had last time (which was promptly claimed as a bed by my dog while I was off giving birth), which WAS hot and way too easy to kick away in my sleep, this one actually stays put and is pretty darn satisfying to cuddle up to. I still woke up quite a few times during the night due to baby kicks and bladder calls, but I found it was MUCH easier to re-curl myself around the pillow and fall instantly back to sleep than with a regular pillow (which involved blindly digging around the covers for it, shoving it back into place, changing my mind and rolling over, then fluffing the pillows under my head and readjusting everything one last time — right before realizing that I was already wide awake.).
The other persistent Husband Question I’ve been getting is the viability one. “When can the baby make it? If you were to go into labor right now, would the baby survive?” I don’t know where this flavor of paranoia comes from, but it’s clearly at the forefront of his mind — pregnancy is all me, all mine. He gets to stand by helplessly and supply the ice cream and scoop the litter box while I’m a ticking time bomb of mystery. I think he’s looking forward to the birth just to get the baby away from my incompetent, coffee-chugging hands. (The fact that his brother’s wife went into premature labor at 33 weeks earlier this year probably doesn’t help much either, even though our niece was ultimately just fine.)
So he was happy to hear that we’ve sailed past 24 weeks and that with every week that ticks by, our baby’s chances improve in case something goes wrong. That said, I’m still gonna make y’all listen to the signs of early labor and symptoms you should absolutely NOT ignore at this point:
1: An increase or change in your vaginal discharge, especially if it becomes watery or tinged with blood (even just the slightest bit of pink or brown).
2: Abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramps.
3: More than four uterine contractions in an hour, even if they don’t hurt or aren’t timed regularly.
4: Sudden pressure in your pelvic area — like your baby is bearing down on your cervix — or intense pain in your lower back (especially if you haven’t had any pain there).
5: Decrease in fetal movement. I’m not a fan of the set kick counts — I know MY babies don’t preform on cue or on any sort of set schedule, but at this point, if your baby does have established patterns (active at night, or after meals) that it suddenly deviates from OR you go about 24 hours without feeling any kicks, call your doctor or midwife immediately.
6: A high fever of 100 degrees or higher, or sudden vomiting that is also accompanied by pain or fever.
7: Blurred vision, severe headaches and dizziness.
8: Sudden swelling of your face, hands, legs or ankles, or suddenly gaining more than four pounds in a week.
These are annoying, I know, since so many of them can actually be completely normal. (I get headaches. I still have to occasionally bolt to the toilet to puke. And let’s not even DISCUSS the many shades and textures of weirdness that is Normal Pregnancy Vaginal Discharge.) But even if everything ultimately turns out to be perfectly okay, no one is going to think you’re an idiot for calling the doctor or getting checked out at Labor & Delivery. (I ended up there last time over Suspicious Watery Fluids and Decreased Fetal Movement. We spent the night listening to our suddenly wide-awake child kick the hell out of me over the monitors while the Ph testing strips consistently came up negative for amniotic fluid. But I’m still glad we went.)
Baby Registry checklist time!
BABY GROOMING & SAFETY
- Baby bath tub. Something small enough to be used in your kitchen sink and your bathtub, and preferably one that folds up or stores easily. Don’t go berserk on this — you won’t be using it that long.
- Towels and washcloths. Listen, people looooooove the baby towels. They will buy them for you by the truckload — itty bitty squares of pink and blue cloth and tiny hooded towels embroidered with ducks and ridiculous little infant bathrobes. We owned them all too, and while they were fun for photos, their practicality soon wore off. The towels are suddenly too small to cover your baby’s legs, the washcloths start disappearing in the wash, and seriously. A bathrobe. For an infant. At some point we figured out that you are, in fact, allowed to use regular towels and washcloths on a baby (provided you’ve switched to an allergen-free laundry detergent for everything, which is just a good idea, really).
- Gentle tear-free shampoo and body wash. (Oh God, this stuff too. We had 34 bottles of varying brands and scents and purposes by the time Noah was born. Those little baby bodies are SMALL, people. You need one bottle! I’m sure you’ll make it back to the store at some point before you run out.)
- Baby grooming kit (brush, comb, nail clippers, nail file, etc.)
- Ear and rectal thermometers. (Get niiiice digital ones. You’ll cherish them for years of illnesses.)
- Nasal bulb sucky thing. (Yeah, they’ll give you one at the hospital, but having two is nice, since at some point you’ll get thoroughly grossed out by it and toss it, OR your baby will only allow you to clean his or her nose if he or she is allowed to suck on the spare one. Yeah.)
- Petroleum jelly (UNSCENTED), baby oil, lotion, cotton balls and swabs.
- Teething rings
- Diapers! Yeah, you’ll need a slew of these. A couple small packages of the newborn size and a giant box of the size ones should cover you for a couple weeks. Maybe.*
- Wipes! Some newborn skin cannot tolerate wipes of any kind at first, while other babies are fine. Get fragrance and alcohol-free wipes, and also a giant bottle of Cetaphil to use instead in case of a bad rash or skin irritation. Travel-sized wipes for the diaper bag are a good idea too.
- Diaper rash cream. Lots of it. Different brands too.
- First aid kit
- Baby monitor
- Any type of baby-proofing product. Seriously. They aren’t born mobile and lack the hand-eye coordination required to stick forks into the outlets.
- Bath toys. Newborns? Not big toy fans, no matter how precious that teeny rubber duck may seem.
- Potty seats and step stools.
*Or cloth diapers.
Here’s a complete online version of our Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist and here’s the downloadable & printable version of our Baby Registry Checklist in case you’re going to the store or want to download it for later or share it with loved ones.
If you’re considering an online baby registry, we recommend our affiliate Amazon’s Baby Registry, which offers free 90-day returns on baby store purchases. You can even add items from other websites onto to your baby registry.