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Week 6

Feb26

by

Weekly Pregnancy Calendar on Alphamom.com

Your baby:

  • Has tripled or even quadrupled in size and is now three or four entire millimeters long! Godzilla baby!
  • Is working on growing a nose, some ears and a mouth.
  • Is also growing flappy little leg and arm buds.
  • Has a heartbeat that can be seen on an ultrasound — 100 to 160 beats per minute.

You:

  • Are maybe moody as hell.
  • Are getting up in the middle of the night to pee.
  • Food cravings and/or aversions can be pretty strong at this point. If salad with a prenatal vitamin chaser makes your stomach flip and your esophagus burn, then for God’s sake skip the salad and eat something that sounds appealing, be it chicken nuggets or black olives straight out of the can. There’s no need to be the Healthy Salad Martyr Pregnant Woman, nobody likes her anyway.
  • Depending on the state of your digestive system and appetite, you may have gained a couple pounds already — or you may have lost weight. Don’t stress either way right now. It’ll probably all even out in the end.

If you are “lucky” enough to score an ultrasound this week, you’ll probably be able to see your baby’s heartbeat. It’s ridiculously exciting, considering it mostly looks like some flickering pixels on a TV with really crappy reception. After seeing the heartbeat, your risk of miscarriage shoots down to 10 to 15%. It’s not as great as getting out of the double-digits (at 10 weeks your risk is only 3%), but still. In the crapshoot of fertility, take the sighs of relief whenever you can get them.

I saw my own little Quasimobryo’s heartbeat on Monday, and pumped my fists in the air and told my husband to get my toddler’s giant melon head out of the way of the screen. My doctor attempted to get a better idea of the baby’s gestational age by measuring the head-to-rump length (which in these early days is more like “head-like-bulge-to-tail-like-tadpole-bottom), but came up with a measurement of only 5 weeks, 6 days.

I’ve decided to go ahead and ignore this age, because 1) it would be very, VERY unlikely to see a strong, obvious heartbeat at that age, 2) ultrasound measurements are very, VERY unreliable, particularly early on, and 3) I don’t want to believe I am going to be pregnant for that many more weeks.

So I’m sticking with my earlier hunch that I am six full weeks along and closing in on week seven. Take THAT, science! You can’t make me believe things I don’t want to believe!

And for those of you who are not me, and therefore probably aren’t nearly as interested in my Gestational Age of Mystery, may I just encourage y’all to take it easy? During my first pregnancy, I actually tried to fight my symptoms. No naps! Naps are for the weak! No junk food even though oh my God it would taste so good and be the edible equivalent to getting someone to scratch that one itch right in the middle of your back where you can’t reach…oh…ahhh. No! You eat salad and healthy grilled chicken! (Even though: chicken! Ew! Puke!) No Tylenol no matter how much your head hurts! Sack up, little camper!

Try to rest. You aren’t lazy or out of shape — you’re pregnant and there’s just no fighting this fatigue. Try to eat what will stay down with the least amount of discomfort. Pay attention to your fiber intake (trust me, you don’t want to add hemorrhoids to your first-trimester woes) and don’t freak out if you had a tad less Folic Acid today than yesterday. Extra orange juice is a noble idea, but not if it’s causing you fetal-position-type heartburn. I remember trying to act specifically NOT pregnant at work during the first trimester, but there definitely comes a time to cry uncle, eat the box of powdered donuts and then ask your boss if you can leave an hour early so you can go home and take a nap.

Oh Yeah, THIS: I miss pooping. That is all.

New This Time Around: I’m freaking itchy. All the time. My skin doesn’t look or feel particularly dry, but MY GOD IT ITCHES. And when I scratch, I give myself welts and hives. And yet, I scratch. I sat in a friend’s living room this weekend and scratched and scratched and scratched at my upper arms because it was driving me out of my mind and finally she asked if I had a rash or a bug bite or just some wicked cocaine withdrawal symptoms because MY GOD STOP SCRATCHING.

Surprise! It’s yet another common symptom of pregnancy. Pruritus gravidarum, if you want to be all technical about it. Nearly 20% of pregnant women suffer from it — most often in the third trimester, but it can occur at any time. I’m proof! Cooling lotions with menthol and camphor are the best treatment, although antihistamines can be brought in for really severe, going-to-lose-my-mind-or-claw-my-skin-off cases.

About the author

Amalah

http://www.amalah.com
Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy's daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it's pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to amyadvice@gmail.com.

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.


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45 Responses to “Week 6”

  1. psumommy Feb 27 at 12:49 pm Reply Reply

    Yay! Now even more of an excuse to ignore my existing children and sit in front of the computer! :)
    Also…colace. And from what I understand, carrots and peanut butter. You know what I’m talking about.

  2. obabe Feb 27 at 2:36 pm Reply Reply

    when my OB warned me about the side effect of zofran (constipation) i didnt even pay attention. (concentrated more on not wanting to puke all the dam time)
    three weeks into taking it and i would PAY MONEY to take a normal crap again.
    refried beans seemed to help though.
    this blog/calendar ROCKS.

  3. MamaB Feb 27 at 3:22 pm Reply Reply

    When I was pregnant with #1, I was also SO, SO itchy. I couldn’t sleep at night. My solution was to get some Vitamin E oil from Trader Joe’s and pour it into a bath and just soak. It helped immensely.

  4. Tricia Theis Rogalski Feb 27 at 3:52 pm Reply Reply

    I ditto psumommy’s advice. COLACE COLACE COLACE. EVERY SINGLE DAY.
    Ahhhhhh.

  5. Ophiothela Feb 27 at 4:18 pm Reply Reply

    Oooh the itches! I could sit and scratch all day. I scratched so much the other day my husband freaked out because I was bleeding out of my ear. sheesh.

  6. Elizabeth Feb 27 at 4:25 pm Reply Reply

    How is it that reading about the unfortunate symptoms of pregnancy makes me miss being pregnant and wonder if it’s time to start trying again? What is WRONG with me?
    One of my friends had a lot of first-trimester itching. She found that a lotion with calendula in it was helpful.

  7. gaffentine Feb 27 at 5:09 pm Reply Reply

    Thank you THANK YOU thank you for this! I’m newly pregnant after trying for TWO. YEARS. and my stupid doctor won’t see me until MARCH. I am freaking out over here, and since I am exactly as far along as you (due Oct. 17, best uneducated guess, see above re: haven’t seen the damn doctor yet), this calendar is PRICE. LESS.
    (And, Colace: duly noted!)
    THANK YOU.

  8. Tracey B. Feb 27 at 5:23 pm Reply Reply

    Congratulations, again! Your entry almost makes me want to be pregnant again. Well, almost. It’s well written, but I am not THAT far removed from pregnancy to remember that all of that crappy stuff you’re writing about isn’t so funny when you’re living it!
    Take care!

  9. MrsHaley Feb 27 at 5:25 pm Reply Reply

    @obabe — Ask your OB if you might switch to Phenergan. The constipation isn’t nearly as bad for me as it was on Zofran. I’m 10w2d and have been taking it (and still pooping) since 6w.

  10. Muirnait Feb 27 at 5:49 pm Reply Reply

    Ah, Amy, I am not remotely pregnant nor likely to be any time soon (seeing how I’m single and all not active…) but I still love your writing and your take on things, so this oughta be fun :-D

  11. Ida Feb 27 at 10:16 pm Reply Reply

    I am so excited about this site. I too am in the early stages of pregnancy, due Oct. 28. I can’t wait to keep up with all of your research. It will keep me from having to do it.

  12. Wallydraigle Feb 28 at 1:10 am Reply Reply

    The itching! I thought I was crazy! Or just not exfoliating enough or drinking enough water (in retrospect, this is impossible, as I drink about a gallon a day). This, along with the excessive ear wax is such a wonderful revelation to me. No one I know has ever had this condition during pregnancy, so I was a little befuddled.

  13. Stacitee Feb 28 at 3:00 am Reply Reply

    Did the doctor tell you how fast the heartbeat was? I know it is an old wives tale that you can tell the sex of the baby by how fast the heartbeat is… but still… fun to try to figure it out, yes?

  14. Amy Corbett Storch Feb 28 at 9:22 am Reply Reply

    Stacitee – no, he didn’t! Pout. We didn’t get a print-out, either.
    Although Noah’s heartbeat was always firmly in the “it’s a girl!” range of that old wives’ tale. AND the Chinese lunar calendar said he was going to be a girl. (This time it says I’m having a boy.) The only old wives’ tales that turned out to be “true” were the way I carried (high and all in front) and my salt/meat/cheese cravings.
    Oh, and Aveeno makes a lotion with menthol, and it has made a WORLD of difference with the itching. Although I smell kind of medicine-y. But at least I’m not clawing my skin off anymore.

  15. LGraves65 Feb 28 at 11:02 am Reply Reply

    Every OB nurse I’ve known (50+) says the heartbeat/sex connection isn’t accurate until the end of the pregnancy, when boy babies’ heart rates tend to slow down and girls’ remain the same (in the 150s).
    It was accurate for me. Both my boys were in the 150s until the last couple of visits, when they dropped down to 120 or so, IIRC.

  16. selzach Feb 28 at 12:43 pm Reply Reply

    I had the crazy itchies with my first. Aloe vera gel worked wonders.

  17. acumomma Feb 28 at 1:56 pm Reply Reply

    Also preggo – 3rd one! Our second is 17 months (obviously this one wasn’t planned) – excited to find your blog. Am itching like there is no tomarrow – definitely believe there is an emotional component to it though (thoughts of – omg – we’re going to be outnumbered…etc). But the poo thing – anyone tried adding a flaxseed oil supplement. I’ve never even heard of all these Dr. RX’s! Have to say I have the opposite problem in all my pregancies – loose, loose stools. Good Luck ladies!

  18. shaunnam Feb 28 at 11:35 pm Reply Reply

    This blog is such a great discovery! I, too, am 6 weeks pregnant with our first, due October 24th. And it’s so great to read the stories of others! I’ve only known I’m pregnant for about 10 days and I think the Mr. is already getting sick of the blow-by-blow description of symptoms (although I must give him credit for trying hard to be very supportive). I’ll be checking back regularly!

  19. bessa Feb 29 at 4:09 pm Reply Reply

    OMG the itchies. They were awful during my 3rd Trimester with my first. I was told it was just stretching skin, but this was different. My doc told me to put cortisone cream on my belly.
    Nine weeks preggo with number 2, here. Get to hear heartbeat on Monday! And number 1 is going to be ONE in April. Yes, it was planned. Yes, we’re crazy. But our little girl is the easiest baby ever. I hope that repeats itself!

  20. Corie Feb 29 at 5:19 pm Reply Reply

    I love your blog and have already bookmarked this site for future reference. And I love the picture at the top. One thought (that you may have already thought of and deemed completely impractical)…did you think about using the pregnancy test to indicate how far along you currently are and then move it every week? It may be a lot of work, but I thought it might be kind of cool…

  21. akanejones Feb 29 at 8:55 pm Reply Reply

    6 weeks and some change with #1 here (due 10/21/08). No doctors for me until the first week of April so all of my knowledge so far is through the internet. Thanks for starting this–it’ll be great to have a handful of people going through this at the same time! Although I’m 33, I’m the first among my social circle to bite the bullet and have kids so I’m a bit of a loner in this department. I haven’t had any itching yet (thank God) but I did just drink a big honking glass of prune juice for the first time ever so know that I’m there with you on some of the symptoms.

  22. thatgirlkelly Mar 01 at 10:56 pm Reply Reply

    OMG, pooping, I soooo miss pooping. I don’t think I ever thought I would write those words.

  23. Stacitee Mar 05 at 11:15 am Reply Reply

    Thanks for saying maybe/maybe not about caffeine causing miscarriages. As someone who had 2 miscarriages before learning about the caffeine thing it has been hard to not wonder if my one espresso a day habit was responsible.

    • Erin Mar 30 at 9:30 pm Reply Reply

      As someone who’s been through the same thing and wondered the same thing—and talked to doctors and read up on the studies–I think you’re safe. One expresso is about 64 mg of caffeine. The risk only increases if you have over 200 mg of caffeine in a day. My doctor confirmed this. 

  24. E. May 08 at 9:13 pm Reply Reply

    This is probably late, but maybe this will help those viewing the archives:
    Dear Constipateds,
    4 organic pears per day. It works for chemo patients, maybe it will work for pregnant ladies.
    That is all.

  25. MrsC Jun 26 at 5:19 pm Reply Reply

    I feel a bit better after reading this because I was all confused as to why I have food cravings now… in my first pregnancy I didn’t have cravings until the second trimester. And today I had to go to Taco Bell or my head would explode.
    At least this pregnancy I am not working so I can rest and take it easy. I mean, at least I’m not having to nap in my cubicle. Napping on the couch is so much more comfortable, with the dulcet tones of Dora and Diego in the background.

  26. Anonymous Jul 21 at 11:35 am Reply Reply

    Prune jiuce has become my best friend…but be causious only drink it when you no you’ll be at home…I made the mistake of drinking it at work! It was horrible!

  27. E Oct 20 at 3:40 am Reply Reply

    Actually you’re wrong!
    It is VERY likely you can see a fetal heart beat at 5+6… and also, ultrasounds measuring CRL (crown rump length) before 7 weeks ARE THE MOST ACCURATE!!!
    Trust me, I did 6 months as an Ob/Gyn resident this year…. I promise you!! Those things are the bomb!

  28. Kim Apr 28 at 4:11 pm Reply Reply

    My boobs itch like crazy. Is it just me? I figure it’s either from them growing (they have to be growing, right? they can’t be this painful and itchy and not be growing, i swear.) or from that scientific scratchy phenomena that amalah mentioned in the post. But am I the only one? Any sistas with itchy boobs in the hizzy?

  29. Niki Oct 05 at 11:22 pm Reply Reply

    Oh, god, the itchy boobs! (This is a bit late for the original poster, but maybe it will help future women.) The other day I had to ask my pilates instructor to forgive me as I scratched frantically at my nipples. So scratchy. And they’re pretty much always erect. What the hell?

  30. Kristin Oct 26 at 9:29 am Reply Reply

    I want to poop. I am up sometimes all night long with cramps from constipation. UGH! and I thought having Irritable bowel syndrome would make me OK. NOPE! my belly ithces all the time. not much morning (all day) sickness yet only a few times. My boobs are killing me. i can’t sleep without a sports bra!

  31. Karen Oct 27 at 2:42 pm Reply Reply

    I’m feeling a little left out here. I’m now at 6 weeks and I’ve had no symptoms of any kind other than a small amount of breast tenderness. I know I should be happy that I don’t have nausea-constipation-itchy boobs, but it just seems like I’m not allowed to hang out with the cool kids yet.
    Amy your blog is fantastic! I’ve shared it with all the expecting and TTC ladies I know.

  32. Catherine Nov 19 at 11:29 am Reply Reply

    The nausea just really started this week. I thought I wasn’t going to have any (just insane Taco Bell cravings) but here it comes. Nothing sits well in my tummy but I am STARVING. I am loving the smell of garlic but I really can’t keep anything down with garlic in it, and forget about eggs, chicken, pork, beef (eewwww)…I am surviving on bagels. When do I start feeling normal again?!!!!! Uggg.

  33. LShip Mar 13 at 12:07 pm Reply Reply

    On constipation:
    I find that eating chocolate, especially dark chocolate, works for me! Sometimes even after just 2 or 3 pieces! Plus… another great excuse for eating chocolate… yum!

  34. S Mar 17 at 10:52 pm Reply Reply

    Thank  Goodness for this humor filled take pregnancy… makes me look forward to my first and long 8 more months…:)

  35. Becca Apr 17 at 10:25 pm Reply Reply

    Oh thank god, someone else who was itchy. I now have SCARS, yes scars from my pregnancy and itching to the point of broken skin.. I feel for you. Itchy sucks.

  36. Kaitlin Apr 30 at 12:00 pm Reply Reply

    I just recently stumbled upon your site and am thanking the pregnancy gods for it! You have no idea how entertaining yet reassuring and informative it is! Thank you so so much! :) 6 wks along and can’t wait to read more!

  37. Leah Jul 11 at 1:48 pm Reply Reply

    I just came across your site through Pinterest! Thank you so much for posting it! Everything is so informative and funny. It is so nice to have a different spin on all the lame, boring pregnancy articles. I am towards the end of my 5th week and I look forward to reading more :) 

  38. Nikkie Jul 19 at 12:11 pm Reply Reply

    My sister (who is the only one beside my husband and me that knows about my first pregnancy), sent this to me on Pinterest. I can’t tell you how much I love this! None of the other week by week’s tell you about the cramping! Or the itching! This is not only funny but it makes me feel better about what I’m going through as I read it! Thank you so much for this, it will be my Bible for the next 8.5 months!!

  39. N Aug 27 at 12:38 pm Reply Reply

    Ok, so I’m pregnant with baby #2 and this would have been EXACTLY what I was going through the first time, but this time not so much. I’ve always been regular with the BMs (jealous???? hahaha), no itchy skin, some mild nausea, but the fatigue!!!! OMGGGG…. I could sleep all day every day!! And with a toddler, a husband who works 60+ hrs a week, and me working 40 hrs a week, there really is no time for naps. Oh and I’m bloated like cray. I may have to get the belly bands and maternity clothes down from the attic sooner than I thought. So yayy to pooping regular and boo to feeling fat and tired. :)

  40. Lindsey Sep 13 at 8:40 pm Reply Reply

    Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. Currently 6 weeks pregnant and reading your blog is my treat every new week of my pregnancy. I look forward to Friday’s b/c I get to read the new week. 2 more weeks until our first appointment. Can’t wait to see that heartbeat…

  41. Kiley Sep 24 at 11:59 am Reply Reply

    Just discovered your site. Love it! Especially the differences between a first and second pregnancy.

  42. Lesley Oct 25 at 12:00 pm Reply Reply

    Thank you so much for this blog! I am at the end of 6 weeks. I find your posts very helpful and entertainting at times! :-) Exhausted all the time…wake up and just want to take a nap and been in bed by 9pm every night this week!

  43. jingelbells Jan 20 at 7:43 am Reply Reply

    Still going to wait until feb 10 to see the ob so probably thats the time when we check the heartbeat… but i really want to know how many weeks along am i? I mean my period should have come on jan 4 and it’s already jan 20 today..

    Been feeling quesy and gagging and i throw up around 4-5 times a day but most of the time i threw up liquid only. I barely could function in the classroom (i’m a teacher) and i am very moody and almost snap on my students. :( i wish i could be one of that 15-20% who doesnt feel these nausea/ morning sickness.

  44. Maggs Feb 17 at 2:34 pm Reply Reply

    I’m 6 wk3d with my first and this is the best blog I’ve seen yet!!
    Thank you for being informative but LOL funny.. Apparently I am one of the rare ones that notice things from week 1. My boobs hurt so bad even my t-shirts are my enemy.. I haven’t been nauseous (maybe once or twice early on) but OMG the cramping and the no pooping.. Seriously.. WTF?!?!

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