by Lyn Lomasi, Write W.A.V.E. Media Staff
Our little Nova Skye Rowell is 24 weeks in utero, as of February 13, 2016! Here's the latest on how she's doing, how I'm feeling, what's been going on, and 24 week fetal development.
What's Nova doing in There This Week?
At 24 weeks pregnant, the baby's hearing is more developed. They're said to be able to make out sounds and hear voices now. Little Nova seems to be proving that theory. Whenever daddy Rich talks or I talk, she kicks up a storm. She seems to do it more for him, unless I'm a little louder. That goes along with medical info that says she should be able to hear lower frequency sounds, like that of the male voice, better.
Another cool thing she did is to kick vigorously for hours while I was singing along with music. Anytime I stopped, the kicking stopped and when I started back up again, so did her movements. She also seems to kick up a storm whenever one of my sister's cats lays on my stomach and purrs.
When's the Next Prenatal Visit and What's it About?
Our next appointment is February 16, so it's right around the corner. This is when I get to drink that icky glucose drink for the diabetes test. As with all appointments, we'll also hear Nova's heartbeat and have a routine checkup. We'll also be following up with the doctor regarding the Placenta Previa. It was diagnosed during an ER visit after some troubling symptoms and is something that needs to be monitored regularly.
Therefore, the OB doctor needs to do a follow-up and watch it, as determined is necessary. I assume this means we might get another ultrasound, even though we didn't have that planned until the next visit. The best way to look at the placenta is the same way you look at the baby and that's via ultrasound. Not sure if we'll get a look at the baby if that's what happens, but if we do, Rich and I will post more ultrasound pictures.
UPDATE 2/16/2016: My OB doctor has confirmed that I do not actually have Placenta Previa. I do have a low-lying placenta. However, it's not low enough to be a concern and this is actually normal at 24 weeks. The placenta will rise as the baby gets bigger and I get further along. I was told to rest even more because of the pain and spotting -- and just due to this being a high-risk pregnancy. This news is kind of a pain because I don't really do very much as it is. Rich and I are working together and trying to figure out what else there is left to eliminate from my responsibilities, but it isn't much, at this point. It also doesn't help that I can be a very determined and stubborn person (as can be witnessed in the paragraph below from the original post) and there are no responsibilities left that I feel willing to give up. We'll work it out though.
How's the Momtrepreneur?
Let's just say I'm hanging in there. The pain and fatigue is pretty bad and it’s there all the time. There are no pain free days and there haven't been since the pain started. There are days when it eases slightly and I use those days to get the most done. I do a lot of my work from bed and the kids and Rich help me with what they can help me with. I’m a mom, so I do mom things and sometimes I do them when I shouldn’t. But I do my best to rest and take it easy as much as possible. That’s really all you can ask of someone with 4 kids and one on the way.
Total and complete bed rest is out of the question, unless I’m forced to by the doctors. I joke with Rich that they might have to admit me to the hospital and strap me to the bed to get me to do that -- and even then, I might break free and do mom things. Haha Maybe I’m not that bad. But, there are things parents do that just can’t be replaced with anyone else, no matter how generous others are and no matter how much help you’re offered.
Sometimes kids just need their parents to do certain things. Plain and simple. I’m a mom and will always be a mom. I’m always going to do whatever my kids need me to do. Trust me, I do rest when Nova needs me to. However, the world doesn’t stop just because I’m in pain.
What About the Dadtrepreneur?
Well, you can ask Rich himself for the full scoop. Only he can say how he feels on the inside. But from my perspective, he’s already becoming a great daddy. It would seem he’s been having some sympathy pains and symptoms, which is not surprising, considering how close we are and how involved he is. He’s been super tired because of my difficulties in this pregnancy, but he has never once complained about my symptoms and always helps when he can. I’ve noticed that whenever I feel a certain way, most of the time he says he does too, even if I haven’t said anything about my symptoms. That’s pretty darn cute -- and probably also not fun because how I feel lately isn’t great.
Rich has been very involved in everything, from attending every prenatal (and other) doctor visit, to helping choose clothing and other baby items, and so much more. If baby is in the equation, so is he. I love how his face lights up when he feels Nova kicking or when I say anything related to her. We have long discussions on everything from feeding, to schooling methods, to parenting styles, and more. As an experienced parent of 4 already, even though Nova will be his first, I can easily say with confidence that he’s going to be an awesome dad.
Accomplishments This Past Week
We won a ton of stuff for Nova on Listia, eliminating a good chunk from the Amazon Registry. We also received a couple more registry gifts and bought some much-needed items ourselves from the registry, Target, and thrift stores. You would not believe how much we got for how little we spent. We also got a steal deal on some baby leggings (get 5 for free and pay only shipping with a promo code). If you want my promo code to get some for free, ask soon, as it expires in less than 30 days.
Nova still needs some stuff, but we accomplished so much on that front in this past week alone and we really appreciate anyone helping us during this tough time. It’s been a struggle with me having to leave my job and being unable to do any work that doesn’t involve the computer, due to the pain. Some days I can’t even do that. But, we’re still here and making it happen the best we can because that’s what parents do.
Interesting 24 Week Fetal Development & Pregnancy Info
The 24- week mark is a significant one because it’s this week that the baby is considered to be officially “viable,” meaning that potential survival outside the womb (if born prematurely) is more realistic. It would still require intensive medical care. However, knowing there is a chance is good reassurance for many parents-to-be, especially those at risk for preterm labor. Doctors would still try to halt the delivery process because the baby should remain in the womb longer, if at all possible. The earlier a baby is born, the greater the risk of health issues. Survival rate increases with each extra day the baby is in the womb until term.
By the end of 24 weeks in utero, the baby can weigh around 1.3 pounds and be about 11.8 inches long. That’s almost a foot! The inner ear is also fully developed at this stage and your baby may be able to tell the difference between being upside down and right side up. You may also notice the jerking motions your baby makes when hiccuping and other fetal movements should be strong as well.
Though long, the baby is still skinny at this stage and most of the weight is from the skin and lean muscles. The 6 ounces baby usually gains in this week is attributed to muscle, bone mass, and organs. Baby’s alveoli are forming nicely in the lungs at 24 weeks, so that they can later be inflated when baby needs to breathe outside the womb. Baby’s skin is still “see-through” right now. But, it’s starting to get filled in with fatty cells and will be more like yours later in development.
The eyelids are fully formed but they won’t be able to unseal and open for a few more weeks. Bone marrow is also being made by the red blood cells by 24 weeks. The baby’s tastebuds are also forming at 24 weeks. So, you may be able to notice a reaction in your baby to certain tastes, especially bitter ones.
Muscular coordination in the hands and legs is better developed. Baby may be observed sucking their thumb and may kick and punch more than before. Sweat glands are also forming from 24-25 weeks. Your baby will also have creases appearing on the palms of their hands. The baby’s body also starts filling out and looking more like a newborn.
You may notice stretch marks appearing on the hips, breasts, and abdomen. Cocoa butter or stretch mark creams may provide some relief or fade them. But they may not. A more supportive bra can help prevent (or at least reduce the intensity of) breast-area stretch marks. They may be reddish-brown during pregnancy. After delivery, they usually lighten. Around 90% of women get stretch marks at some point during pregnancy.
You may feel the need to use moisturizing eye drops at this point, as the eyes can be dry, gritty, and more sensitive to light than usual. This is normal during pregnancy and common starting at around 24 weeks.
Remember to eat healthy during pregnancy, as your baby is growing and needs nutrition. Your obstetrician or midwife can discuss healthy options specific to your situation. Everyone is different and will have different needs, based on health, usual dietary habits, medical conditions, supplementary needs, and more.
CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK FOR ANOTHER UPDATE!!!
National Library of Medicine