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Week 12

Apr09

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pregnancy calendar
Your Baby:

  • Is about two-and-a-half inches long. So still in the lemon/lime range. Comparison reruns! Sorry about that.
  • Already has pretty much every structure, organ and system needed for life by this point. Everything will continue to develop and mature, but your baby really is a perfect little miniature human being.
  • Reproductive organs are distinctly male or female. A 3D ultrasound could possibly make a pretty good guess at the sex now.
  • Can officially be Bugged By You. Reflexes have developed, so if you push on your uterus, your baby will squirm and move in response. You can’t feel it, but it sure is fun to imagine getting flipped off by your fetus.

You:

  • Are you feeling better? I hope you’re feeling better. I keep thinking I’m feeling better and then I’m not. And then I am again! And then I smell whatever it is that you’re eating over there and BLEH.
  • Have a big-ass uterus now — too big to remain all low in your pelvis. It’ll sort of grow and migrate upwards during the second trimester. Pros: you won’t have to pee so much. Cons: your baby will better be able to land many, many karate chops to your internal organs.
  • Are probably in some maternity clothes now, especially if this isn’t your first pregnancy and/or haven’t lost weight due to morning sickness. The whole waist-butt-thigh region is spreading, and it’s best to just go with it and be comfortable.

I had to go and double-check the list of published entries (repeatedly) because I cannot believe I am here writing Week 12. The last week of the first trimester. The time for big sighs of relief and even bigger announcements.

Some women wait until they’re safely past the 12-week mark to tell ANYONE besides their partners, while others may tell friends and family but hold off on any workplace announcements. And then there’s me, who ended up spilling the beans to my boss around six weeks last time due to a sudden spike in sick days and half days and panicked green-faced dashes out of important meetings. And this time I’ve been so compulsively blabby I’m pretty sure even the mailman knows my due date already.

This weekend, however, I became thoroughly and utterly convinced that my baby had died. I know I’m not alone in this flavor of pregnancy paranoia and I KNOW this will probably not be the last time I assume the worst has happened, but oh my goodness, what a STATE I worked myself into. Tears and moping and obsessive web-searching (BACK AWAY FROM GOOGLE, CRAZY LADY) and pacing pacing pacing.

Why? Well, I bought a stupid fetal doppler. For fun. And reassurance that everything was all right. (You can rent them too, but please. Think long and hard before welcoming this instrument of insanity into your home.) My first-trimester symptoms have decreased dramatically over the past week and I decided that the doppler would help keep me calm until I could feel the baby move in a few weeks or so.

HA HA! I FORSEE MUCH FAIL!

Long story short: fading pregnancy symptoms combined with hours and hours of nothing but static and my own pulse on the doppler led to a self-diagnosis of Dead Baby and Much Woe. I thought about all the people I’d have to break the news to — all the people who I would probably run into in a few months who would stare at me in confusion — the millions of little repercussions that would now follow my incredible cockiness for assuming that IT wouldn’t happen to MEEEE — not to mention just what in sam hill I was going to do with a first-person PREGNANCY COLUMN now.

Ahem. The baby is fine. Heartbeat going strong at 165 beats per minute. Ultrasound and nuchal scan scheduled for first thing tomorrow morning. And today’s pre-breakfast gagfest into the kitchen sink reminds me that I’m not quite out of the first trimester yet, so hold onto your butts, there’s plenty of crazy left for the next six months.

Oh Yeah, THIS: What, you mean BESIDES the raging emotions and soul-crushing paranoia? Well, fine. My nails (which are pretty much the worst and ugliest nails known to man, although I do have naturally well-behaved cuticles) are growing nice and long and strong, just like last time. They promptly all broke off within a week of giving birth, killing my theory that it was just the prenatal vitamins, so this time I plan to enjoy my lovely nails as much as possible. With as many manicures as possible.

New This Time Around: I am sort of shocked at the depths of my indifference towards baby-related purchases. Last time I couldn’t WAIT to start filling my house with small, pastel-colored crap and gifts! and things! and the nursery! This time, the only desire to set up the crib and move changing table and buy a few packs of onesies stems from the bigger desire to just GET IT OVER WITH.

Noah’s nursery was designed down to the smallest detail and included approximately 14,293,390 hand-stenciled leaves. The spare bedroom’s walls are already a light green. Eh. Seems close enough. The room is full of furniture I have to find another place for and bin after bin of maternity clothes that have been slooooowly migrating to my closet piece by piece, because I don’t feel like dealing with a full-on closet switchover.

My mom mentioned looking at little baby clothes and I mostly just moaned oh god, don’t buy me anything yet, I have nowhere to put it! The whole shopping and prepping for baby experience has been completely tainted by the realization that no matter what you do ahead of time, you’re still going to make 25 trips to Babies ‘R Us with a tiny newborn in tow, and that same tiny newborn is going to pee and poop and spit up all over the coordinated crib bedding and decorative pillows and every adorable little outfit, so you might as well just put a lot of newspaper down at first.

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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24 Responses to “Week 12”

  1. Adele Apr 09 at 6:35 pm Reply Reply

    That is so horrible about the whole Doppler incident. I had a midwife check this week at nigh on 14 weeks and she couldn’t find the heartbeat either. Which she said was perfectly normal cos the baby is so small and could be lying in an awkward position. However I nearly had a heart attack….so she tried again a bit later and found the heartbeat! Phew! I thought about getting a Doppler as I love hearing the heartbeat…but then thought that it might become tyrannical – would I need to check the heartbeat every day for peace of mind? Every hour? Every half hour? With my natural tendency to panic I decided the Doppler would take over my life! :-)
    Meanwhile, with the usual anxiety about the wellbeing of the new babe…I am also finding I am more anxious about my 18month’s old safety…and am checking on her more during the night and worrying about her. Are you finding this with Noah?
    Could this comment be any longer?
    Also, I am anticipating that the 14wk foetus is now a small kitchen appliance size. Like perhaps the worlds’ smallest whisk.

  2. Wallydraigle Apr 10 at 12:30 am Reply Reply

    I hate those dopplers. I am the most ridiculously ticklish person ever in the whole entire world. At my 8-week appointment (or was it 10? I don’t remember.), she spent five minutes rolling the thing around on my stomach while I twitched and writhed and created all sorts of problems with my periodic guffaws. At this past one, my 14-week, she found the heartbeat right away, but then the wee one decided to do some gymnastics. He’d (She’d? Who knows?) swim from one corner to another, landing in one place just long enough to find him but not get a heart rate, and then he’d zoom off on his merry way. He thinks he’s hilarious. And I hate being tickled.

  3. Karen Lee Apr 10 at 7:09 am Reply Reply

    Amalah, this isn’t related to this week’s entry but I wanted to let you know that I just had an US at 6w3d yesterday and, like you, the machine said it was somewhat earlier – 5w5d.
    I have the luxury of knowing exactly when my little grain of rice was conceived (IUI) so I know for sure I had a normal length cycle, LMP 6w3ds ago, ovulation 14 days later.
    The doctor at the fertility clinic guessed exactly 6w3d based on his experience, despite what the machine said, so I’m guessing that early ultrasounds may habitually underestimate CRL?
    And, by the way, ohmygod wow I saw and heard a little heartbeat and it’s AMAZING! There’s a real baby growing in there!

  4. Wallydraigle Apr 10 at 1:59 pm Reply Reply

    Karen, that’s really interesting.
    (long, rambling comment to follow; sorry)
    I wasn’t too sure when my last cycle had started, but I know it was well before New Year’s–at least a week. December 29th is when they judged the start of pregnancy to be. They measured me at 6w3d when I went in the first time, which would would put me a week or two earlier than I swear I am.
    It’s my first baby, so I don’t really know how this whole thing goes, but for some reason all of my instincts are telling me I’m further along.
    I’m showing super early, for one thing, and I “felt” pregnant for a few weeks before a positive test came up. According to their measurements, I would have taken that test at exactly 4 weeks, which means a week after conception I was feeling pregnant. And finally, all of my symptoms have been a week or two ahead of schedule. I realize every pregnancy is different, but everything has been shifted by that time period. I started feeling really awful as six weeks. It went away at ten. I started showing around 11. I’m fourteen weeks now, and I look four months pregnant.
    I don’t care that much, except that my husband was a monster baby, and my much-stockier mother in law had an awful delivery with him. If this baby is on time, and they think it’s early, I don’t want them to try to stop delivery of a possibly already-enormous baby that they think is underdeveloped. Any ideas?

  5. Karen Lee Apr 11 at 7:59 am Reply Reply

    Wally (can I call you wally?),
    I’d just tell your doctor your concerns and feelings…. and if they aren’t able to put your mind at ease and at least admit that MAYBE you’re a week or two ahead of where they think you are, then… find a new one?
    Another interesting thing I found was a simple formula for dating based on fetal heart rate.
    .3*FHR + 6 = days gestational age
    It worked perfectly for me, as the wee bean’s heart rate was 130 – which works out to exactly 6 weeks and 3 days.
    Link to where I found it:
    http://www.obgyn.net/medical.asp?page=/english/pubs/features/dubose/ehr-age

  6. Wallydraigle Apr 11 at 7:00 pm Reply Reply

    Wally! Oh my. Yes, that’s fine. Although I always say it with a faux-Scottish brogue (given the level of talent I have for accents, it probably comes out more like I just have a lot of phlegm in my throat), and shortening to “Draigle” mig
    I was planning on talking this over with my doctor at my next visit. I just wanted to know if I was totally and completely crazy to think I was further along based almost solely on my first-time pregnancy instincts.
    At first I thought that formula you gave me applied to the whole pregnancy, and then I realized that meant my baby’s heart should be thumping at 330 beats per minute. But I plugged the heart rate we got into the formula, and it actually put it at 5w5d, just under a week earlier than the size measurement put it. So I don’t know. Maybe I’m just growing King Kong here.

  7. Wallydraigle Apr 11 at 7:10 pm Reply Reply

    I don’t know what happened there. The end of that first paragraph was supposed to say something like, “and shortening to ‘Draigle’ instead of ‘Wally’ might facilitate that. But either way, it’s not a big deal to me.”

  8. Amy Corbett Storch Apr 14 at 4:21 pm Reply Reply

    Last time I knew my doctor had my due date wrong (I have 30-day cycles, not 28), and no matter how many times I told him I knew when I conceived, he kept giving me the same due date. It was just by a couple days so it wasn’t that big of a deal…although by his math I was four or five days OVERDUE when I really wasn’t.
    I think the only problems you could encounter with an incorrect due date would be if you’ve got a doctor pushing for a scheduled c-section or induction when you’re actually not as far along as they think…otherwise it’s probably not a big deal to just silently disagree with them and wait for a later, more detailed ultrasound to confirm one of the dates.
    But really, ultrasound measurements are SO NOT AN EXACT SCIENCE, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in them regardless. They never predicted Noah was as big as he was, and several friends have been scared shitless over predictions of GIANT BABIES OF DOOM and then gone on to give birth to perfectly reasonably sized babies.
    If you ask me about my due date this time I will shrug and say Octoberish. Probably sometime between the 14th and the 22nd. Meh.

  9. Karen Lee Apr 16 at 12:21 pm Reply Reply

    Oh, heh, yeah, the formula only works for, like, the first 9 weeks until the heart rate starts declining again! Should have mentioned that :-)

  10. cnanavati Apr 29 at 11:03 am Reply Reply

    When I read in my stupid book that I should be feeling better this week, I just flipped it off and began swearing. I’ve lost 10lbs from morning sickness (and that’s WITH anti-nausea meds) in the past 12 weeks (5 of in the last 3) and my nausea is getting WORSE.
    Grin–it’s good that I can annoy the baby–he’s (she’s?) annoying me right now.
    (Disclaimer-love the baby to pieces, so wanted, blah blah blah)

  11. Jennyth May 05 at 12:22 pm Reply Reply

    I had the killer morning sickness too, and lost a good bit of weight the first 10 weeks. I realized that my body was rejecting animal protiens. Salads and raw foods I could eat….grilled chicken breast…no way. So now I am the queen of tofu, and I am morning sickness free. I have read in some places that morning sickness can be your body’s way of trying to protect the baby from your diet (no judgement here). Just something to consider…

  12. Angie Jun 05 at 1:11 pm Reply Reply

    I, for one, am hoping that the US dating is fairly accurate. Last week, at what I thought was my 10 wk apt they listened via dopler for the heartbeat and decided it was too early, but just to be on the safe side they asked me back this week for an US to determine dating. The US showed 12 wks, 1 day. They moved up my DD a week and 2 days!! Excellent news since I am due and December and looking forward to the tax deduction.

  13. Paranoid Jul 17 at 8:59 am Reply Reply

    If MS is the body’s way of protecting the fetus from a bad diet, I’m screwed. With my first pregnancy, I was a paragon of healthy eating — salads, eggs, spinach, etc. This time around, if it’s not some white-flour-white-sugar concoction, my body tries to reject it. Veggies? Ugh. Chicken? No, thank you. The mere idea of tofu or a veggie burger makes my stomach flip. And even the most innocuous of healthy breakfast cereals are inedible. But hand me a glazed doughnut, some rice crispies or a huge bowl of rice pudding, and my stomach immediately calms down.
    It’s gotten to the point where I’m actively worried about the fetus’s health. I’ve been eating horribly for over a month now, and that can’t be a good thing.

  14. Heaven Jul 28 at 3:48 pm Reply Reply

    this was so entertaining… i didnt read the other comments.. just got straight to it. I needed to find a source of info that wasnt so… uhh… boring.. i guess. Site after site with well mannered and written advice and info that was soo blan.. this was real.

  15. Jennie Aug 11 at 5:00 pm Reply Reply

    About u/s dating … I read somewhere that earlier measurements are usually more accurate than later ones. However, I think the differences in measurements depend on the kind of equipment they’re using, how old it is, etc. I have an u/s at each appointment, and they’ve been pretty accurate. My first u/s was at 6w3d (I was praying that I was further along so I could big farewell to the morning sickness sooner!), and that’s exactly where I measured. This time around, I went in at 10w3d, and I measured exactly 11 weeks …
    It seems like the bigger the baby gets, the less COMPLETELY accurate the reading. With my first baby, they predicted I’d need a c-section and that the baby was enormous … NOPE. He wasn’t even quite 8 pounds!
    It was really just me who’d gotten HUGE …

  16. Lindsay Aug 27 at 5:26 pm Reply Reply

    Thanks so much for this post about the doppler! I’m 12 weeks tomorrow and like you, thought a doppler would be a perfect idea to calm my fears! Ha–massive fail! I freaked when I could only find my own heartbeat and nothing else. I thought for sure my baby had died. I’ve put the evil-devil-of-a doppler away until my next appt. in a week and a half. Now if the nurse can’t find the heartbeat….hmm. Why didn’t anyone warn me that pregnancy was just weeks and weeks and months and months of worry? I suppose this is what being a parent is like. Hmph.

  17. mayang Dec 06 at 12:44 pm Reply Reply

    I can definitely relate to the paranoia you went through about the baby being dead! I’m now 12 weeks just 2 days short of 13. But back when I was in the mid of my 10th week I had a very bad episode of paranoia convinced that my baby had died bec. I suddenly lost the only littlest pregnancy symptoms I had(I only had very mild nausea no puking even, slight aversion to smells & mild headaches that’s all it was!). so I immediately called my family doctor crying about my fears and about ‘not feeling pregnant anymore’. he asked me to come in right away, he checked the size of my uterus by prodding for it and tried to get the heartbeat through a doppler couldn’t hear anything! the look on his face was so grim but all he told me was he wants me to have an ultrasound right away to make sure, so they booked me for one and I’ve never been a wreck that way my whole life!
    let me give you a short history of myself to make you understand why I was in such terror and paranoia, this is my 3rd pregnancy this year and this is the farthest I’ve gone so far since I lost the first two through miscarriage.
    So during the ultrasound, we found out that I was still very much pregnant at 10 weeks 4 days and we could actually see the baby doing his acrobatics flailing his hands and feet all around w/ a very nice heartbeat of 158 bpm.
    Now, I’m actually feeling good for somebody at 12 weeks no pregnancy symptoms except for frequent urination but even that I noticed had waned down a bit. And I admit, I’m getting a little more paranoid again each day I’m realizing I’m feeling better than a pregnant woman shld. I’m glad I read your article on this as it has truly eased my mind a bit that everything’s ok with my baby and that being paranoid than ever is actually common among us! :D

  18. Sarah Jul 06 at 1:08 pm Reply Reply

    I love reading the comments almost as much as the post! I gain a week each Wednesday but I can usually only make it to Monday before reading the next week’s entry. Boy do I understand the paranoia! I had been feeling better and better and starting to freak out that something was wrong and then this morning I puked for only the second time my whole pregnancy. My body’s way of saying relax, I guess.

  19. Kim Jul 15 at 1:08 pm Reply Reply

    I lost a good 15-20 lbs during the first trimester of my first pregnancy (had to exchange the first round of maternity clothes for a smaller size.) I was sick all the way through. I’m not nearly as bad this time, but I’m back eating stuff I never eat regularly – bagels and cream cheese chief among them.
    So, Paranoid, don’t worry too much. Last time, I stopped the prenatals (because of instant puking) as well as ate the white diet, and 2yo’s perfectly healthy. THis time I’m just rolling with whatever stays down.

  20. Karen Dec 08 at 1:05 pm Reply Reply

    I have a similar situation where I have a longer cycle (38 days) but the doctor’s office didn’t belive me that I said I was likely 1.5 weeks behind their predictions which are based on the “ideal” 28-day cycle. Sure enough, after having my ultrasound they moved out the due date to within a day of what I had predicted for myself based on my ovulation date. Also like Jennie said, my doctor told me that due date predictions based on earlier U/S are more accurate than those measured later.
    Thank you for the wonderful blog Amy! Getting to read a new post is the highlight of my week!

  21. Isabel Feb 05 at 8:49 am Reply Reply

    Thanks for loaning me your doppler. I’m official past the 12 week mark (again!) and am holding out using it for a few more days…just so I don’t freak out if I don’t hear one. AHHH!

  22. eva Mar 11 at 3:35 pm Reply Reply

    Glad you mentioned that we may need maternity clothes already. I’ve just been feeling fat and squeezing into size 2 stuff when my second-pregnancy 12 week belly just isn’t interested in all that constriction! I feel slightly better, although totally irrationally jealous of those “I lost 10 lbs in the first trimester” women!

  23. Emily Mar 15 at 10:04 am Reply Reply

    oh yeah… eating well? I try! I really do! but honestly, my body responds better to sugary things when I’m not feeling well. Always has. Upset stomach? Eat some candy! mmm.. much better!
    I have decided to pick up some V8 when I go grocery shopping today as it’s become apparant that vegetables are the limiting factor in my diet. Protein comes easy even if we’re talking chicken nuggets which aren’t the healthiest form.
    The dr did prescribe potato chips, which I think means “french fries will work just as well”. And the doctor said lemonade.. but that hasn’t actually appealed to me as much as plain ol’ cold (needs to be cold!) water.
    I’ve lost a few pounds, but I think it’s actually just fat since muscle weighs more and the nausea and cold weather have kept me out of my running shoes over the last month. I have resolved to start today! running again! (but close to home since I have to pee so much) Long comment, but funny story: went walking the other day with hubby and had had HAD to turn around NOW and walk crossleggedy in order to make it to the closest restroom. I am ready for that part to get easier. Kick me in the ribs, little baby, but please stop sitting on my bladder!

  24. Emily May 22 at 9:53 pm Reply Reply

    Amalah, 
    I had to share that I had a similar “omg something really bad has happened and I just know I’m not pregnant anymore” moment last week. I was super sick for weeks and then one morning I woke up and nothing…no nausea, no sore boobs, nothing. I flipped out! I called my dr and made an appointment to come in for an ultrasound. Moments later I was crying tears of joy as I heard the heart beat and saw the most perfect baby ever. This happened at almost 11 weeks so after that I was comfortable telling the girls at work. I work in an elementary school so all I had to do was tell 3 people and the next day I was getting “congratulations” from the cafeteria ladies!  So glad I went in to see my dr and so glad I can finally tell the girls at work that “no I didn’t get a boob job they are that size because I’m pregnant!” 

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