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Pregnancy Calendar

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Week 17

Your Baby:

  • Is about five inches long from head to rump, which is the EXACT height of the jar of salsa I am currently quadruple dipping into. Bowls are for suckers.
  • Has begun to develop the all-important adipose tissue — more affectionately known as baby fat.
  • Is hard at working transforming its skeleton from soft cartilage into solid bone. Get this baby a part on Heroes.


  • Possibly feel immensely huge and very pregnant, but your bump probably isn’t as noticeable as you think it is. People may hesitate to comment or miss it completely, like the woman last night who came up and handed me an alcoholic cocktail and seemed genuinely shocked when I politely refused it, despite the fact that I feel like my belly eclipses my shoes at this point.
  • “Normal” weight gain at this point can be anything between five and 13 pounds, although y’all know how I feel about the word “normal.” One book I read this week advised any woman who has gained more than 13 pounds to see a nutritionist and “be more careful”, while my doctor COMPLIMENTED me last Wednesday on not managing to gain a single blessed pound yet. I want to stab the world in the eyeballs with a fork right now, a little bit.

Ah, the double-edged sword of baby movement. On the one hand, it’s been a downright fabulous week, what with the regular sensations and acrobatics I’m feeling in my uterus. There really is nothing like it in the world — both wonderful and WEIRD because my lands, there’s a teeny little moving person living inside your body. Biology! Whatever will it think of next.

On the other hand, I’ve just replaced one neurosis with another. Whereas before I would worry that without regular every-other-day-or-so heartbeat checks, my child would simply cease to exist and I would never know. You might think that I would chill out a little once I could feel the baby move, but now I just work myself into a state if I can go an hour without feeling a kick or tickle. It’s all a very efficient system, I think.

We made our first baby purchases this weekend — I waffle wildly between feeling extremely well-prepared thanks to everything we held on to from Noah’s babyhood and feeling OH MY GOD WE STILL NEED SO MUCH DARN CRAP. We don’t, really, and neither do you, but without a baby shower or registry to look forward to I figured it was high time we got to the store for some onesies and burp rags already.

If this is your first pregnancy, it’s probably a little early to start your registry, although it certainly can’t hurt to think about what store you’ll use (TIP! choose one that offers online registry management and ordering, but also has an actual local store for easier exchanges and hands-on inspections of the bazillion-and-one options) and to start getting advice from friends and online about product recommendations and reviews. Don’t worry, I will have SO MUCH TO SAY about registries and baby gear in the coming weeks, as registry assvice remains my biggest weakness.

(I have a very hard time keeping my mouth shut at baby stores whenever I see a pregnant woman contemplating something either useless or totally fabulous, and I’m always vaguely disappointed that no one just comes up and asks me to help them register. Don’t I look knowledgeable and experienced? Don’t you want my knowledge and experience? Wait, where are you going? Oh hi, store security, I was just…oh, okay. I understand. You’ve warned me about this before. I’m leaving.)

Oh Yeah, THIS: My couch sure is comfy. I just wish I could get up off of it without all the ungraceful grunting.

New This Time Around: Why am I still dry-heaving after meals? Why does the mere sight of any type of meat make me gaggingly ill? Why am I still a slave to an ever-changing menu of One Acceptable Food of Mystery while All Else Remains Vile and Inedible?

Last time I lost 10 pounds in the first trimester but quickly gained it back in the early weeks of the second once my appetite returned to normal. I didn’t lose any weight this time, but man, there is just no sign of ANYTHING returning to “normal” anytime soon, digestively speaking. I see cans of Ensure in my future, I just know it.


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 save it for later or share it.

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.

Amazon Baby Registry 2

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


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 ...

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 [email protected].

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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About the Author

Our Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty, was written by Amy Corbett Storch while she was pregnant with her second son, Ezra.

Amy, also known as Amalah, writes the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back here at Alpha Mom. You can follow her daily mothering adventures at her own site, Amalah.

About the Illustrations

The Zero to Forty illustrations were created by the artist Brenda Ponnay, aka Secret Agent Josephine. Brenda is very talented and these images are copyright-protected. You should hire her if you want your own unique ones.

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  • Bekki

    May 14, 2008 at 11:44 am

    I’m a few weeks behind you (12, as of this weekend) with my first. and holy hell, if I didn’t live on the other side of the country, you could totally do my registry. It scares and befuddles me.
    Maybe you could just do it online 🙂 I’m going to need the help!

  • Claire

    May 14, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    You can definitely come register with me! I’m overwhelmed by the “starter list” at Babies R Us. Our apartment is 1000 square feet. With that starter list, we’ll have to move out all of our furniture just to fit the baby! So tell me, what do I definitely need? Maybe need? Will never need?

  • Wallydraigle

    May 14, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    An HOUR? Until a couple days ago, I went most of the day without feeling her move (which, yeah, always made me nervous); there was always a flurry of activity around 1 pm and 11 pm. Now (19.5 weeks) it’s all day, all the time, and she’s thumping at me hard enough that I can feel it with my hand. Her favorite thing to do is to wiggle into weird positions that tickle me and make me laugh hysterically. I cannot wait for the bus ride to work today.

  • Wallydraigle

    May 14, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Also. I would totally welcome some advice on what to buy/register for. Otherwise I’m going to march into Target in a month, my brain will short out, and I’ll register for the whole freaking store.

  • Whozat

    May 14, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I just hit 12 weeks, as well, and if we’re not careful, we are going to register for every cute little outfit with a puppy-dog on it (thanks to my partner) – and no equipment!

  • psumommy

    May 14, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Mmmm. Salsa.

  • obabe

    May 14, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    I think a bonus post of “registry musts and must nots” should be forthcoming!!

  • Ida

    May 14, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    Okay, it’s my second also and I am 16 weeks and still totally doing the dry heave thing. Why is that??? I did not do that at all with my first. My first is also a boy. Maybe these are little girls we’re carrying around with us?!?!

  • hydrogeek

    May 15, 2008 at 10:54 am

    The stuff! Bring on the advice about STUFF! Most especially, a good double stroller. Also, pass the salsa.
    (Pregnant with second baby, one week behind you.)

  • lulu

    May 15, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    hmm..question. I am an Aussie girl living in Japan, also 12 weeks along with my first..doctors here are REALLY strict about weight gain.
    I was told between 8-10kg MAX! Does that seem realistic???

  • Wallydraigle

    May 16, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    lulu: I’m pretty sure that’s insane. I know “every book I’ve read” isn’t necessarily right, but I think 25-35 lbs (uh… 11.34 to 15.88 kg is what Google tells me that is) is what pretty much every recently-written book I’ve read says. My doctor concurs. I guess it’s not a HUGE difference, but it still seems a little low.
    When I first read your comment, my American eyes just read “8-10 lbs” and I almost had a heart attack.

  • lulu

    May 16, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    thankyou Wallydraigle,
    I`ve been comparing friends info from Australia (on their 3rd pregnancy and 1st) and it doesn`t seem as strict.
    I`ve also noticed that the birth weights are quite low compared to `home`. THe average here is 2.5kg~2.8kg!
    I think it has more to do with post-natal recovery, as in most of the weight gained dissapears within the first 2 weeks if kept within that 8-10kg limit..
    But what to do if you actually want to EAT??!

  • Jaeme

    May 17, 2008 at 9:30 am

    About the dry heaves…I had horrible queasiness and occasional puking from 6-14 weeks when I was pregnant with my son. After that the round-the-clock queasiness was gone, only to be replaced with a slightly grosser, though infinitely more manageable, daily habit. I dry heaved and threw up once every morning for the rest of my pregnancy. I learned quickly to not eat breakfast, not apply makeup and most importantly not attempt to drive my car until the morning’s retching was over. It took throwing up orange juice, a face looking like I got into a brawl with an angry, oily mechanic, and throwing up all over my stick shift while trying to simultaneously drive through an intersection and throw up to learn to just wait. Wait to get ready for work, wait to eat, wait to do anything that couldn’t hold on while my stomach violently contracted its contents each morning.
    It went on for so long that I began to think it had nothing to do with my pregnancy, and this was just what my body would need to do every morning for THE REST OF MY LIFE. And then one day I gave birth and I haven’t had my face in the toilet bowl since.
    Was that too gross?

  • RJStewart

    May 19, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Amalah- I’m 14 weeks with my first, and I live in the DC area, so can you please please please do my registry and take me shopping and tell me what to buy? 😉 There are TOO MANY things out there, and my house is soon to be under renovation for several months, and right now I’m just hoping for good hand-me-downs from family because it’s overwhelming, and do these little creatures really need all this STUFF anyhow? I’ll buy you Chipotle burritos….

  • Ashlee

    May 27, 2008 at 11:25 am

    This site is nice! I am currently 17 weeks pregnant & i have been checking back here every week and I love the candid baby talk. it is refreshing for the days that I am just overwhelmed. I get a good laugh. Thanks!

  • tara

    May 27, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    i’m pregnant with my second and i do the same thing at babies r us! once, i went up to a random couple who looked completely overwhelmed to offer my expert baby registry experience and ended up sending her an e-mail with a 3-4 page detailed list i created for some of my friends of baby items you “need”. looking back, i have no idea if she found it helpful or just plain weird.
    also, where is my second trimester this time around? i’m already getting uncomfortably big yet i’m still having food issues?

  • Elena K

    October 24, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I felt it first time about 2,5 weeks ago.It was one tiny movement.One week ago i started to feel some movements during the day.It was so light and tiny,nobody couldn’t feel it,but it brough joy to my days.But 2 days ago baby kicked really hard,even my husband feel it(3 times :-))
    I’m only 16 week+4days.
    i think my baby going to be a real big boy.(or girl),i don’t know yet.

  • BrittanyE

    October 26, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    It is 10/26/08 and I am officially 17weeks. This may sound dumb, but I felt so much better when I got to the end of your post. I am still sick too!! I for the life of me couldn’t and still can’t understand why!! At least now I know I am not alone!!

  • Jenie

    October 30, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    I’m 17 weeks pregnant with my third child and enjoy reading this blog as well. I’m finding that when I try to relate my own experiences, I will compare my current pregnancy and then can only recall what happened during my first pregnancy…I can’t remember what it was like during my second pregnancy! I keep on having to remind myself that I was pregnant a second time as well…it’s like the second was completely wiped from my mind…did I have an alien baby without the pregnancy?…Feels like it…is that weird? I feel like I’m being so unfair to my second…=(
    Also, with this pregnancy I’ve been feeling things around the 12th week, but passed it off as gas (pardon the pun). But, at around the 14th week I knew it was the baby for sure…squiggles right against my bladder…and have been feeling regular “pops” ever since. I remember with my first, I didn’t recognize the movements as being the baby until they were much stronger…and for the second?…I don’t remember…sigh…

  • kendall

    November 4, 2008 at 5:13 am

    Love the site.
    I’m 17 weeks w/my 5th, and so far, my hardest pregnancy. I’m a GenX girl who breezed thru prior pregnancies, while training for marathons!
    But no cakewalk now. CVS said its a boy, maybe that’s why.
    Praying things get easier down the road!

  • Cara

    January 26, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    A good friend told me that all a baby needs for those first few days home from the hospital are;
    a safe carseat
    a means to eat (for some moms that means more equipment than others),
    a place to sleep (I would suggest that a pack-n-play is a necessity),
    and diapers.
    They are primarily eating, sleeping and dirtying their diapers for the first part of life, so if you have those bases covered, you’re set.
    Once you’ve been home for a little while, you’ll get an idea of what you want, and want to get out of the house. Friends and family may also appreciate waiting for a post-birth shower to meet the new little person.
    I went the “bare minimum” route with my daughter (now 11 – YIKES), and kept things pretty simple with my son (18 mos) with lots of hand-me-downs for both. We’ll do the same with this one, for several reasons:
    we have a small house and don’t have space for all the gadgets – when they’re in use and when they’re not
    “why by new when slightly used will do” – They are in some of those contraptions for such a relatively short time that it’s never been worth the expense, space or for that matter plastic production (there’s the “green” side of me)
    kids survived without a vast majority of current gadgets for so long that it’s highly likely they can survive without them now, especially some that are overwhelmingly entertaining.

  • Randi

    February 6, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    “Why am I still a slave to an ever-changing menu of One Acceptable Food of Mystery while All Else Remains Vile and Inedible?”
    ROFLMAO!! This is new to me this time too! Insane.

  • jenn

    March 3, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    omg, the dry heaving, yeah I do it a lot..ok a ton. especially when i taste toothpaste which is terrible, cause well, I have to brush, throwup and brush again, hoping not to puke once more!!!!
    meat, GAG, especially hamburger meat, omg the thought of it BARF! I have registered, course this is my 3rd baby but its been 7 yrs so Im feeling overwhelmed!!

  • 1st timer

    March 30, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    so im exactly 17 weeks today and I have yet to feel any movements? Should I be concerned?
    Editor: Okay, so the Big Thing with last week (week 16) was 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.
    But, any concerns that you ever have should be directed to a medical professional, m’kay? You are pregnant and are allowed to call about ANYTHING. It is your right and use it, woman. 🙂

  • 1st timer

    March 31, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks I was just concerned reading about everyone who started feeling the kicking at around 14 wks. Does anyone else still find it difficult to eat? Like i said i’m in my 17th week and every meal is a major chore…it’s super weird being that before I would eat anything and everything and never get full?

  • Morgan

    April 4, 2009 at 2:30 am

    I know exactly how you feel 1st timer! This is my first as well and I’ve always been a little, well, fluffy. And to me, the worst part of being pregnant so far, is having to eat before I get hungry so that I don’t end up all pukey. I have lost about six lbs so far and am in my 4th month. I just think it’s crazy because before I was pregnant, I LOVED to eat! Anything! And now I just tolerate eating enough to get the nutrients I and the baby need. I also can’t hold as much food as before, I really hope that this holds true AFTER the baby!

  • Sarah

    August 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I am almost 17 weeks and think I have maybe possibly felt the baby a couple times. I’m not sure. I can’t wait for the next few weeks when it gets stronger and I know what I’m feeling! Of course when it starts kicking me in the ribs I’ll probably miss these days of quiet…

  • emilyjappe

    October 27, 2009 at 2:22 am

    DITTO to THAT Sarah! I’m in the same boat…i think that maybe i have felt the baby before, however then i tend to think, “well, maybe its just gas” (which is totally possible for me lol). I was reading these posts all the while being just a little sad that I a: wouldn’t actually know if it was the baby and
    b: not be feeling the kicks. But you were able to put my anxious mind to rest…thanks. hope all is well…im starting to really enjoy pregnancy :)see you all next week i guess. (btw: that one food item that you can always eat and always sounds good, for me, is pizza…CRAZY)

  • PolishMomma

    November 18, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    This is my first pregnancy and I think I am in my 17th week. Supposedly I have been “blessed” because I have mot experienced any morning sickness at all. But the blessing is not all it is cracked up to be because I feel like I am gaining too much weight too quickly. I was 135lbs before, and I think I am tipping the scales at about 150 or 155lbs now. Is this normal? Am I just too much of a hungry hungry hippo to gain weight the gradual way? And with the added stress of having a new job an hour away from home, my only escape is to eat my feelings. I just feel happy and overwhelmed at the same time.

  • cloudnine

    January 19, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I’m so glad I found your blog!! Best one ever!!
    I’m 16 weeks pregnant, well, my baby is measuring ahead so I say DD = July 4th, Dr. says June 28… I’m holding it in until the 4th for the fireworks.
    I’m pretty excited to start a registry, but I really don’t want a bunch of plastic! I heard it’s best to stick with Target, Babies R Us, or places like that, but I don’t really need too much and I’d rather have baby books than plastic toys. Is it rude to steer people away from plastic junk?
    Answer: Not at all. There are wonderful handmade fabric and wooden options of toys out there now. Another idea is to register on Amazon for books. Some of our favorite handmade toy brands like Blabla Kids, Melissa & Doug and Kata Golda can be found on Amazon. If you find something you like, check to see whether it is there. Amazon has become the google of the shopping. Also don’t forget to visit our overall registry guide:

    • christina

      January 29, 2014 at 11:52 am

      I’ve been to book baby showers before to help build a library. Ask party goers to bring a book in place of a card and to write a sweet note to the new baby inside. 

  • Mina

    February 4, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I am 17 weeks today and up until last week thought this pregnancy thing was a breeze – no morning sickness (at all! don’t hate me!) and modest weight gain – but then the sciatica I’d had moderately since week 9 acted up so badly that I couldn’t stand or walk anymore and ended up in the E.R. Not much they could do about it, of course. I am feeling a little better a few days later but has anybody found a great back pain relief?
    As far as the registry thing, I am not American but living here and my culture does not do baby showers. I am a little bewildered by other people buying our things, so trying to tactfully say “no thank you” has been interesting.

  • Andrea

    September 7, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    I am the same way about wanting to tell people looking at baby stuff what is awesome and what is useless. Can’t they tell a random stranger is eavesdropping and dying to share her opinion!?

  • wendy

    March 18, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I love the fact I work at a Dutch Drugstore. We sell a lot of baby stuff all the time. I get to tell people to not buy stuff they really don’t need! Love it, they return to me for advice that way.

  • Ryle

    February 10, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    I just got to 17 weeks and am a first time mommy and I have only felt one baby movement last week and nothing since.  BUT, thanks to your blog and the comments, I knew it was entirely normal before the Dr confirmed it.  He said its more normal to feel things around week 20.  So a couple more weeks to go before the worry starts in.  We started our journey with an early miscarriage and then 5 years of trying and infertility, so making the anxiety shut up is major right now.  I’m less anxious now but I cannot wait to start feeling more movements.  
    Some things I’m learning to deal with, the refrigerator is the most disgusting smelling place on earth, chicken is toxic and the only thing that makes me move past gagging to puking, not using my hip flexer muscles instead of my abs when getting up or moving so I don’t injure myself, and promising people my belly is a baby not a beer gut.  
    Thank you again for helping me beat down anxiety and your wonderful explanations of what is happening with my baby!