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In which we are in Week 24

There are definitely differences between your first and your second. For instance, when I was pregnant with Anne, I had all this time to really think and meditate about parenthood, to pray and make efforts to get my stuff together, to talk about parenting and philosophies and ideals. With this pregnancy, even if I have that time, I am usually collapsed on the couch, trying to achieve a state known as “mild coma” in our house (right between sleep and awake where you’re just pleasantly there but not). There are other differences like my sheer exhaustion with this pregnancy – not sure if it’s a combination of being a bit older, having a VERY active toddler, working full time plus having a side job and just the general upheaval of our life right now but baby, I’m exhausted ALL THE TIME. Even when I am up and good, I could, at a moment’s notice, fall asleep. Another thing was that I got bigger way earlier. Now I’ve caught up and am pretty much where I was with Anne in size but man, I got pregnant and it was like memory foam – my uterus just pooched out and I looked pregnant right from the get-go.

But here is the stuff I really like about the second time around:

  • I’m much more aware that I am pregnant with a person this time. Because last time, I had no clue what I was getting at the end (just some ubiquitous baby, I suppose).  Now I know that there is a living, breathing person with a personality and soul and life at the other end. Because I have Anne there every day, staring me in the face (usually tooting evidently – see a previous post for context on that one), I know that I am having a real live person not just some baby. And that makes me very excited. We have so much fun with Anne and her little autonomous self, that I’m excited to meet our newest wee one, to learn from them and see them develop. Such a privilege.
  • As a result, I feel a lot more excitement. I know what I’m getting at the other end and boy, is it fabulous. I am so excited to meet this baby and start life together, to see their personality develop, to hold them and love them just like we did with Anne.
  • So I spend a lot of time chatting with the baby this time. I may not have time to philosophize about life and parenting to myself, but I talk to this wee baby all day long, praying as we go through our busy days. It’s nice that they are with just me for a while as I feel very bonded very early. We talk about watermelons and walruses (walrusi?), cabbages and kings as I go through my day. It’s not profound but we enjoy it.
  • I noticed the first movements when I was just 14 weeks pregnant because I knew what it was. THAT was fun.
  • I pray a lot while I’m on the go. Toddlers don’t allow a ton of time for “quiet time” so I’ve perfected the art of praying on the go. I feel that this kid is perhaps even more bathed in prayer because even though it isn’t focused prayer, it’s constant.
  • I have no fears or worries about childbirth. Sure, it’s hard work but I managed to give birth naturally to a nearly 9 pound baby that was sideways and sunny-side up last time. I’m sure I’ll manage again. And really, you can do anything for a day.
  • I feel very relaxed about a baby in the house. I know and love breastfeeding and don’t anticipate much issue there. I know a bit more about what to do, how to do it etc. It’s not the vast wilderness of “I have never done this and I’m freaked out” that it was the first time.
  • Maybe I’m just a bit more confident this time around?
  • I know what’s going on with my body and the baby most of the time. I feel more aware of everything and so more relaxed about any changes in my body or habits or self. No alarm bells or panicked visits to pregnancy books and websites. It’s cool.
  • I don’t have a thought about ‘stuff’. We have everything we need from cribs to slings to car seats and toys. The only unknown is whether or not we need to buy boy clothes. But if we have a girl, we are HOOKED UP.
  • Another big difference is how I wish it would go faster. I remember really enjoying pregnancy a lot and almost wanting it to be even longer with Anne. I still enjoy pregnancy and feel very sexy and whole and womanly but I’m ready for it to be going faster – I want to have this baby! I’m ready for our family to grow, I’m ready to meet them. I’m so excited for the result that sometimes it’s hard to go through the process this time.
  • I dig pregnancy body. What’s not to love about the one time in your life that you don’t have to suck in!
  • And I’m just really excited for the baby stage again. People always told me it went so fast and IT DID. I feel like Anne crawled for about a day and a half. It just flew by. I look at pictures of her when she was just a chubby baby, unable to lift her head, tucked into bed with me or breastfeeding and I can’t believe it was over so fast. I love every stage and it does get more fun with every stage, but I’m also looking forward to breastfeeding again, curled up froggy baby legs, snuggling up in the sling as we go through our day, breastfed-diapers (toddler diapers are NO FUN) and just the general “firsts” that are coming.

Your fetus weighs more than 1.3 pounds/ 600 grams. Though she still has little body fat and her skin is thin and fragile, she’s now well-proportioned. Her brain is growing rapidly, and she is starting to fill the space in your uterus. From crown to heel she could measure 11.8 inches / 30 centimetres. If you went into labour at this time, however, many obstetricians and midwives would make every effort to halt the progress of premature labour to enable your baby to continue maturing.

fetal development at 24 weeks
You may be noticing faint, red or brown streaks known as striae or
stretch marks on your abdomen, hips and breasts. While creams won’t erase them, wearing a supportive bra may help prevent or minimise them on your breasts. They are very common at this stage of the pregnancy — about 90 per cent of women get them. After you’ve given birth, the reddish or brown pigmentation in the stretch marks gradually fades, and the streaks become lighter than the surrounding skin.

 

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