Week 24 Update
Well, here we are, Scout and I: 24 weeks pregnant.
Notice I did not say “preggo” or “preggers.” Hideous-sounding words, those.
Little Scout has gained about four ounces since last week, and boy, am I feeling it. The skin across my belly feels uncomfortably tight, like my stomach is a beach ball pumped with too much air. Surprisingly, I haven’t developed any stretch marks yet (that I know of, at least … I can’t really see the underside of my belly anymore, so if I have any there, I’m not aware of it).
Walking for exercise has become a chore. For one thing, I’m getting the pregnant-lady waddle down. My brisk, 4.6-mph walks are a thing of the past. I’m lucky if I can go 3.5 mph these days. The bigger factor, however, is the fact that I feel like my stomach grows, a little like Pinocchio’s nose, with each step I take. The first half-mile of a walk is fine. After that, I seriously feel like my stomach sticks farther and farther out. It’s the weirdest thing. Maybe Scout is just succumbing to gravity. By the time I finish my walk, my belly-skin feels so tight, and my belly itself so swollen, that I’m almost in what you would call “pain.”
So, these days, I’m walking less and doing a lot more prenatal yoga and prenatal body-sculpting instead.
Scout now weighs just over a pound and is about a foot long, head to toe. A whole foot! That’s taller than a piece of loose-leaf paper! (Ah, the very term “loose-leaf paper” gets me excited about that wonderful day, six or so years from now, when Scout and I go on our first shopping trip for school supplies!)
Scout is also starting to plump up a bit. (Taking after his/her mommy, I guess.) In fact, Scout will likely gain an entire half pound within the next week. Scout’s brain is growing bigger, too, and his or her taste buds are continuing to develop.
Why do I think it’s so sweet to imagine Scout’s tiny taste buds?
My uterus is now the size of a soccer ball. And, yes, it feels like one that’s been pumped up with too much air.
If we look at the pregnancy-as-a-southbound-AT-hike model, I’m now almost through Shenandoah National Park, at approximately Mile 92.4 of Skyline Drive:
Here's a bigger map, for a better idea of where on the "AT" I am:
Almost through Shenandoah National Park ... that means I’m almost to Waynesboro and my old stomping grounds at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA! When I was really there on my thru-hike, I considered it has one of my biggest milestones on the AT.
So I think making it to 24 weeks is a pretty big milestone, too. Sadly, several of the women on the “December 2009 Babies” forum on BabyCenter.com have already had their “December babies,” none of whom lived very long. It breaks my heart to read their posts. In fact, their experiences have actually contributed to a couple of very upsetting dreams I’ve had recently.
I just need to not think about those things right now and focus on the fact that Scout is, so far, very healthy, and that his or her little taste buds are probably the cutest, sweetest taste buds in the history of humanity.