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Week 16

May06

by

Weekly Pregnancy Calendar on Alphamom.com

Your Baby:

  • Is a little over four inches long and weighs a little over 2.5 ounces. The chocolate bunny that I swiped from my toddler’s Easter basket weighed 3.5 ounces. But considering I shared it with my fetus, I am a good mom AND a responsible eater.
  • Has fingernails and toenails, all of which will be flesh-tearing talons by the time the baby is born. For serious, pack a teensy nail file in your hospital bag if you’d rather your baby’s first pictures NOT include giant face scratches.
  • Is covered with fine, downy hair called lanugo. THIS will mostly fall out by birth, so rest assured you will not deliver a giant razor-taloned gorilla baby, or something.

You:

  • Are leaving the more miserable symptoms behind in the dust, more or less. My gag reflex and appetite remained extremely sensitive until about week 16 last time, and the same held true this time around.
  • Can feel your rock-hard uterus about three inches below your belly button (especially when you lie on your back). As your baby grows your uterus will continue to inch upwards out of your pelvis. Translation: YOU WON’T HAVE TO PEE SO DAMN MUCH.
  • May be having very vivid but bizarre dreams. Some will be obviously pregnancy-related (the usual ones involve breastfeeding something other than a human baby or putting an animal or your baby in the oven or microwave to “cook” awhile longer), and others will be just plain weird or upsetting, like your childhood nightmares. They should be interpreted as nothing more than dreams stemming from nerves, hormones and your constant thoughts about the future. (In other words, you aren’t really going to give birth to a turtle with a full set of human teeth.)

Okay, so the Big Thing with this week is that you MIGHT feel your baby move. The range for feeling those first delicate, pitter-pattery movements is something between week 16 and week 20. And it’s different for everybody. Thin women feel it before heavier women. Women who have been pregnant before feel it before women who haven’t.

Except for this thin woman who has been pregnant before and did not feel a blessed THING this week, even though I felt Noah move for the first time (clear as day!) when I was exactly 16 weeks along.

Well, let me sort-of take that back. Two weeks ago, during week 14, I swore I felt some quickening movements. It was in the right spot, over to the left a little, and felt like a few tiny soda bubbles had just popped against my insides. By the time my brain caught on to the sensation, it was long past. A couple days later, while lying quietly on the couch, I felt it again.

I spent a loooong time Googling and checking the books to see if it was AT ALL possible that I really felt what I thought I felt — I mean, quickening is both really easy to miss and yet impossible to forget, once you’ve experienced it — but came up dry. Just the same vague old language about “women who have been pregnant before feel it earlier” but no real examples of how MUCH earlier.

Whatever, I never felt it again and am still waiting for my first pregnancy-book-and-calendar sanctioned movements.

For the first-timers among us, I’m sure you’ve read the descriptions a million times. Little bubbles or flutters or pops or tickles. I guess these words describe it as well as it CAN be described. I used to tap the tips of my fingernails against the underside of Jason’s forearm to try to give him an idea of what I was feeling (bum deal for the partner — being able to feel the kicks from the outside is still a long way off), but it’s more like an impossibly gentle and faint THUMP than a tap. Which is why, I guess, the “bubbles popping” metaphor works the best. The sensations are delicate, like a soap bubble, but there’s just enough force to suggest the dramatic explosion of that little bubble.

With Noah, I found I could feel him move best while lying on my back at first, and then while sitting very quietly at my desk and focusing on my stomach. Drinking a carbonated beverage always seemed to perk him up — I always imagined he could hear it fizzing away in my stomach and would decide to make it a rhythmic duet.

Be patient — you’ll DEFINITELY feel something in the weeks to come, depending on how active your baby is, and

Oh!

There’s MY baby! I totally just felt it! And there it is again! HOLY CRAP! HI SWEET THING! Thanks for being so totally on cue there.

Oh Yeah, THIS: Uh. I completely forget what thing I was going to complain about this week now. Clogged sinuses? The misery of an unmedicated allergy season? WhatEVER. Baby just kicked! Whee!

New This Time Around: Last time I had the AWESOME side effect of not shedding any hair while pregnant. It was weird. My brushes and black sweaters remained hairball free. Of course, it all fell out a few months postpartum but during pregnancy my hair was awesome. Thick and full and I didn’t have to do a THING to it. Ah. So nice. And no such luck this time. I am still shedding full chunks everyday and my hair is limp and hangy and blah no matter what I do.

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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37 Responses to “Week 16”

  1. Zoot May 07 at 4:51 pm Reply Reply

    Okay. This kid I’m pregnant with here? Did not finally kick me until about 21 weeks. I mean, NOTHING. I think maybe once or twice I thought MAYBE something. But nothing real until week 21. And even then it was kinda wimpy. I spent the next 8 weeks or so telling everyone, “This kid is just not as active as his brother and sister were.” Because he wasn’t and I wanted people to reassure me that their kid was kinda lazy in the womb as well so I would feel better.
    BUT NO ONE TOLD ME THAT. Everyone got that sort concerned attitude that upset me more.
    Then, at like 32 weeks? He started training for a marathon and he has NOT STOPPED. He punches me in places and ways I never knew a child could reach while residing in a woman’s uterus. Did he just kick my SHINS? What the hell? He climbs my ribs and pummels my spinal column.
    I have no idea what my point was. Just wanted to chime in on that whole second-time expectation thing and how it can get you EVERY TIME.

  2. Colleen May 07 at 5:22 pm Reply Reply

    Felt my second kid earlier than the first (about 15 weeks), but like Zoot, he was lazy and didn’t move much until the end. Then I swore he was scratching out the insides of my uterus with his tiny baby claws. Honestly…it felt exactly like when they tried to “rough up my membranes” with the first kid. Each time he did it, I nearly clawed my way to the ceiling. Kid came out with gigantic claw-like fingernails, and when he got riled-up, his hands went straight for his face in a way I never have seen any other baby do. I’d have to fight, with a NEWBORN, to hold his arms away from his face. Crazy! He also found his hands at the illustrious age of 2 weeks…way earlier than baby #1 or any of my nephews.
    It’s crazy how some of their movements while in utero still occur once they’re out (I’m not sure why that amazes me, but it does).

  3. heels May 07 at 5:33 pm Reply Reply

    I SWEAR that I felt my son for the first time at 14 weeks. Perhaps I just have an abnormally sensitive uterus…? I can’t wait to get pregnant with our second so that I can feel that again. It was so much fun!

    • Darcy Aug 07 at 10:16 am Reply Reply

      I had an ultrasound at 12 weeks. Baby was moving like CRAZY during the ultrasound (it didn’t like being pushed on). Later that week, I was pushing where he was and I put my husbands hand over the spot and he swears he felt the baby move. Since then every now and then I feel something and I am only 14 weeks.

  4. cnanavati May 07 at 7:10 pm Reply Reply

    Just wanted to chime in and say there is NO reason any woman should go through allergy season unmedicated, especially if she’s pregnant and is already dealing with the rhninits of the nose thing. My allergist green-lighted Zyrtec with his blessing, along with nasalcrom and albuterol with a pulmacort back-up on especially bad days.
    Let me repeat…we are pregnant…we deserve to breathe!

  5. Audrey May 08 at 11:12 am Reply Reply

    For the allergies: try taking about 1 tablespoon of LOCAL honey a day. I used to be a Zyrtec/Claritin girl, but I have been doing this for the past three spring/summer allergy seasons and I am amazed! I have rarely had to take allergy medication. It’s something about exposing yourself to the local pollen through the honey and yes, honey is safe for pregnant – and nursing – women. Good luck!

  6. Sar May 08 at 12:31 pm Reply Reply

    I’m pregnant with my first and SWEAR I felt him moving for the first time at 15 weeks. But everyone, including my own mother and family-practitioner-I-have-birthed-hundreds-of-babies father-in-law, insisted that it was gas and I could not possibly be feeling what I knew I was. Hello? I have been on this planet for a quarter century, I did not suddenly get pregnant and forget what gas feels like, thank you. Now at 27 weeks, the baby is starting to be able to reach my ribs and damn! Not as much fun as the cute little kicks to the belly button.

  7. Jessica (aka Rose) May 08 at 2:25 pm Reply Reply

    Just a quick aside about the cutting of the nails while at the hospital.
    I was about to whip out my trusty file and clippers because my baby was born with unbelievably long nails and all the nurses jumped down my throat.
    There are way too many germs and too much bacteria floating around hospitals to risk any unnecessary cuts on your baby. They told me to keep my baby’s face protected with socks as mittens and wait to clip until I got home.

  8. Stephanie May 08 at 2:50 pm Reply Reply

    I am 16 weeks right now with my second (first child is also 2 and I live in the DC area as well). I swear I’ve been feeling kicking and moving for maybe 2-3 weeks now. My daughter was so active and kicky that at the 20 week sonogram the doctor actually called out “Wow! Look at her go!”. Maybe my husband’s and my genes combine perfectly to produce champion kickboxers.
    Can I tell you how much fun it is to be at the stage of people looking at you and wondering “have you been getting fat, or are you pregnant?”

  9. Sara May 08 at 3:54 pm Reply Reply

    So I heard an old wives tale that a baby is born EXACLTY 5 months to the day that you feel them move.. How do you feel about that?? any truth to that????? Just wondering if anyone can match up their days with it..

  10. Deborah Svoboda May 08 at 7:43 pm Reply Reply

    omg…what great timing! I got the warm fuzzies from “Holy crap! Hi Sweet thing!”. So now my clothes are fuzzy and I need to go to Ann Taylor. Yeah, that’s it.
    Congratulations on the fizzing tummy =) Are you starting to feel any better?

  11. Amy Corbett Storch May 09 at 11:20 am Reply Reply

    Jessica – yes, I can definitely understand the no clippers (I was always too scared to use them)…although I brought a file specifically for baby’s nails and there was no risk of scratching with that dull thing. (That, and few things pissed Noah off more than newborn mittens.)
    Either way, though, I honestly found that biting the nails off myself worked best. Heh. Gross, but I swear it works and is totally easiest.

  12. psumommy May 14 at 11:16 am Reply Reply

    I felt my first 3 kick at 14 weeks (I KNOW that’s insane, but there was no doubt) so with this one, when I didn’t feel a darn thing until 19 weeks or so, well, I was a little worried. Although I think my midwives thought it was funny because 14 weeks? Really? That’s a little weird. Just wait until I hit my due date and I haven’t gone into labor and I freak…because ALL 3 of my previous children went ON their due dates. ON.
    A big huge congrats on that perfect little bit of timing! See, your baby was just waiting for that ‘just right’ moment.
    Oh, and because this isn’t long enough already (what do you mean, I should get out and talk to other adults every once in a while?) I’m having the same hair-thing you are. And this is something totally different this time around. My hair grew like CRAZY with the first 3- absolutely no shedding, it was fabulous! But now I swear I’m going to be bald, because the normal shedding got much, much worse. Yay.

  13. Michelle Jun 16 at 8:08 pm Reply Reply

    I can’t remember exactly, but I believe I felt my first move around 15 weeks, really moving by the 18th and 20th week. I am pregnant with my second and certain that I began feeling those “pops” at 10 weeks. I don’t recall feeling that with my first, but probably because I didn’t know what I was feeling. At 16 weeks, this one is starting to roll around a lot and feels differently than I remember from my first.

  14. aminah Jun 26 at 11:57 am Reply Reply

    I’m 16 weeks+1 and this week I started noticing my uterus popping out on the right side. I had woken up and there was this lump sticking out and I was like, “huh”? I found it is indeed the uterus and now it pops out all the time, always on the right side only. AND when I’m laying or even sitting down like right now and it’s popped out, I can feel the baby kicking or elbowing or flipping….from the outside! I’m very thin so that may be the reason, but yeah, I can feel it from the outside down there. I’m really hyper now, I have to tell everyone!

  15. Veronica Jul 19 at 8:50 am Reply Reply

    I started to feel the baby move a little before I hit 13 weeks and thought I was imagining it. Then I had a scan and got to see and feel the baby kick simutaneously.
    It probably helps that I am quite thin (and have lost more weight than I want to think about, needless to say I want my BUM BACK!) and that this is pregnancy #2.

  16. Diana Aug 19 at 8:58 pm Reply Reply

    Well, I had a psychotically active child with legs of steel. I felt his first movements at – get this – 13 weeks 2 days! He is 17 months old now and he still has a soccer kick that could break a bone. He was trying to stand up when he was only a few weeks old and he actually broke my water a month early with a well-aimed kick. I’m now 4.5 weeks pregnant with another little one and it will be interesting to see how early I feel this kiddo’s movement. One thing I have to say is that I can feel almost ANYTHING that happens in my body. I can feel when I ovulate and on what side. I can tell you which side I was ovulating on when I got pregnant with my kids: right, left, left. The doctor said that is probably why I was able to feel my son moving so early.

  17. Lorna Sep 16 at 1:53 pm Reply Reply

    when i had an ultrasound at 13 weeks my doctor actually said ‘i would not be surprised if you start feeling this baby in the next couple of weeks’. it kept using its legs to launch off from one side of the uterus so its head would bang the other side and then slide back down and do it all over again. i felt the baby at 16 weeks… not every day, but every couple of days i would feel it – especially when i had cream of tomato soup. now at 18.5 weeks i feel the baby every day… i was told it was gas at 16 weeks too – but it was a new feeling, like a little thump from the inside… crazy!

  18. Kelly Nov 03 at 11:47 am Reply Reply

    YAY! So I’m not crazy to think that I felt him/her move last week (at 15 weeks exactly!) A tiny little bubble-pop twack! Was totally cool, can’t wait for more!

  19. violist83 Nov 08 at 1:16 pm Reply Reply

    I am pregnant with my first and I completely swear I felt my baby move at exactly 15 weeks. The feeling had been described to me previously and I had been waiting for it. It happened in the middle of symphony rehearsal, but I swear that’s what it was cause I feel it all the time now. Definately an awesome feeling for a first time preggo.

  20. Lauren Dec 01 at 10:08 am Reply Reply

    I’m sure everyone has their share of crazy prego dreams, but I just had to share this one. In my dream, we were finding out the sex of the baby. The ultrasound tech said “Ok, here is the penis…” Oh, yay, we’re having a boy, awesome. Then she continued “…and here is an ovary.” And then she just walked out of the room like it was perfectly normal for my baby to have a penis and an ovary!

  21. Della Jan 20 at 12:27 pm Reply Reply

    Yeah, well, I’m posting this way after you (author) will ever read it, but I suppose perhaps someone like me who is enjoying the 0-to-40 much later might appreciate it:
    Whenever my little guy decided to get active, I thought it felt similar to when you’re holding a plastic baggy with a goldfish in it, and the goldfish decides to wobble around in the baggy.

  22. Rachael Feb 16 at 6:09 pm Reply Reply

    I’m 16 weeks with my first and am overweight – I swear I felt the first movements right around 14 weeks – but only if I laid there and really concentrated on my uterus, and only right before I fell asleep. Lately I’ve felt it during the night when I’m sleeping in a position that apparently the baby doesn’t like – half on my side, half on my tummy – I get these little jabs and wake me up and I realize baby is not happy! I’m excited to feel more than just “bubbles” though I’m sure I’ll regret saying that later!
    I like the goldfish bouncing off the bag description.

  23. Brittany Apr 10 at 12:18 pm Reply Reply

    This is my first and I swore I felt it move at 14 weeks EVERYONE told me it was impossible being my first pregnancy you never feel it until late in the 19th week or the the 20th week well now being 16 and a half weeks last night when i was laying down quietly i started poking lightly at my belly and then shined a light on my belly once i did that i felt a very light but distinguished thump in the right spot, it only happened once but it was the same feeling i had a few weeks ago that evryone kept telling me was gas…..

  24. Sharon Apr 28 at 3:02 pm Reply Reply

    Okay, I totally used the goldfish-in-a-bag analogy with my first pregnancy, and everyone I said it to was like “oh.. ew… really? you’re comparing your baby to a fish?” But it really does feel like that. And I’m so glad to hear it from someone else too!
    I’m 16 weeks with my second, and have felt it a few times *I think*, but it may be wishful thinking — I’m, er, significantly heavier than I was with my first, so I guess I might have to wait a while longer to be sure.

  25. steph May 21 at 7:41 pm Reply Reply

    I am 16 weeks. love going to bed–it’s me and baby time! (hubby hates when I say that) If I lay on my side, I can feel a pinging popping feeling like a goldfish against its bag (I like that one!). I am sooo excited! Especially if this one works after my three miscarriage and one tubal preg disasters.

  26. JennyRaz May 27 at 2:51 pm Reply Reply

    My doctor told me that most women insist they feel their baby move long before the books tell them its possible… so why aren’t the books catching up. This is my third pregnancy and I know I felt my baby move in what I thought was week 14, it turns out it was week 15, though, as they just changed my due date. Either way, I felt it and my doctor agreed I most likely knew what I was feeling better than the books did. :)

  27. Dawn Aug 03 at 11:59 am Reply Reply

    I felt a fluttering feeling in my upper stomach at Week 14. I told my husband that I thought I felt the baby move but he told me it was just gas. But like someone else commented, I’ve experienced that before and knew this was NOT the same feeling. I mostly feel it at night when I’m on the couch watching TV. So, I think Week 14 is totally plausible!

  28. Danielle Dec 19 at 4:26 pm Reply Reply

    Glad to read that someone besides me has lost hair during pregnancy – I was so excited to not have to clean hair off of the bathroom floor for over a year (1at pregnancy and couple of months after) last time, that when my hair continued to fall out this time, I actually called the doc and told him that something was wrong ’cause I was still shedding like a dog! :)

  29. Gaby Jan 05 at 12:53 pm Reply Reply

    I just had my luchal fold scan done last week, and the sonogram tech told me that I had an anterior placenta, so I have another layer between my baby and my muscles and skin. She said it isn’t anything to worry about as long as it isn’t a placenta previa, but she did let me know that it could cause me to not feel any movement until later in the pregnancy. I just wanted to put that out there for any women who might be stressing out as to why they hadn’t felt their little one moving yet.

  30. Cara Jan 17 at 8:53 am Reply Reply

    Just in case some other thin woman reads these comments and starts getting nervous – I’m really small and at 16 weeks I haven’t felt the baby at all. But, my body is sure trying to adapt to this growing baby. I have been so uncomfortable the last few days with the cramps and twinges. And, when I eat even a small meal, my tummy feels so tight I really understand the “I’ve eaten so much I could burst” metaphor.

  31. Megan Mar 08 at 2:33 pm Reply Reply

    Is there any difference between baby nail files and regular old adult ones? We got a baby grooming kit that came with fantastic tiny clippers, but no file. And now I’m due in two weeks and must have a file! What to do?

  32. Ariel Feb 17 at 2:03 pm Reply Reply

    With my first, I didn’t feel anything until about 19-20wks. The second, I felt at about 16. Number 3, I actually started feeling at 12 1/2 weeks! When I told my midwife about it, she said it wasn’t unheard of, but uncommon, and to keep an eye on it to see if it’s regular. I’m now 16 weeks, and it’s every day or two AT LEAST. This kid completely skipped the “fluttery/bubbles” stage, and went straight to the “kickboxing champ” stage. Thankfully, it’s small enough still that it doesn’t hurt yet, but I’m definitely not looking forward to the last few months of kickboxing practice!

  33. Jay Jul 09 at 9:55 am Reply Reply

    This is my first pregnancy and I felt the baby move at 16 weeks and one day. I just felt a sudden pop and I yelled to my husband OMG the baby kicked. And then I started crying lol It kicked a few more times after that. Now I feel it about every other day. Most amazing feeling in the world! 

  34. Llama Jul 14 at 6:16 am Reply Reply

    I felt my baby (number one) move towards the end of week 14, and then at the beginning of week 15. Funnily enough, it moves only when I subject it to something alarming or discomfort (first time was while sitting on the stands during the German GP and the race cars started, the noise was unbearable without earplugs; the second was while I was lugging a heavy suitcase up a flight of stairs – yes, I know I’m not supposed to, but I was going to miss my train and there was nobody around to help and I’ve never been one to stop and think before I do something stupid). Since then things have been pretty serene and relaxed, and baby is quiet – it even slept through an ultrascan a couple of days ago! Now I’m impatiently waiting to start showing – as a very tall and wide-hipped girl the baby has plenty of room to stretch sideways, so it’s in no rush to go forward and I’m still as flat as a pancake…

  35. Rosastef Jan 19 at 6:13 pm Reply Reply

    I fellt first baby move during salsa classes in week 14. Didn’t tell midwife because I wasn’t sure she’d believe me. Currently in week 15 with #2 and have ben feeling movements for 1-2 weeks (without salsa). Maybe I’ll tell midwife this time around as I am more confident in this whole scenario.

  36. Carpe Librarium Mar 11 at 10:57 pm Reply Reply

    So, would it kind of feel like pop-rocks do in your mouth, only in the belly area?

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