Thursday, March 27, 2008

2nd Trimester Winding Down

We have only a week or two left (depending on your source) in the second trimester. And week 26 is apparently fairly action-packed. Monkey is opening his eyes this week - so far they've been fused closed so his retinas can develop. They still don't have much pigment in them, though. He's also growing the hair on his head - odds are strawberry to blonde judging from Zoo Keeper baby pictures - and if he has any cowlicks or weird growth patterns, they're forming now. This is a huge week in brain wave development, and he's becoming more responsive to outside stimulus like light, sound and those crazy people pushing on the belly. (Please do not try this without permission: Zoo Keeper tends to exhibit some ursine-like qualities lately.) His head has become more mobile, so he can shake his head for yes or no, if he knew what that meant. At 14 inches and about 2 pounds, he is trying to make the most of his still somewhat-roomy environment by practicing 'pedaling' - a pre-walking leg exercise that he'll eventually use on his bike.

At this point we don't anticipate seeing Monkey again until perhaps the very end, when we might need to see how big he is. We'll try to get some other pictures up in the next few weeks as work on the Monkey Habitat continues.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Week 25

Once again, we are reminded that Monkey is working hard to put on weight and develop his lungs. Also this week he is starting to turn pink - tiny capillaries are forming under his skin and filling with blood. His skin is becoming less wrinkly as a layer of fat forms underneath it. His nostrils are opening so he can practice breathing, and his heartbeat should be easily detected by a stethoscope. His fingers are becoming more dextrous and he should be able to make a complete fist. When we had our ultrasound a month ago, we saw his hands opening and closing. Apparently keeping them closed is a marker for genetic abnormalities, so that was good news!

He's put on another few ounces and should measure at about 13.5 inches., in their infinite knowledge of produce, says he 'isn't much bigger than your average rutabega'. If you don't know what a rutabega looks like (and the Zoo Keepers don't - no Food Network in this house!) they've actually put together a little visual aid if you're looking to waste some time. We found it amusing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Week 24

This week, Monkey is developing taste buds. The Zoo Keepers are having many heated discussions about whether eating ethnic food at this time will develop an appreciation for those cuisines later in Monkey's life. Monkey is also working on that big brilliant brain, lung development and gaining weight. Between last week and this week, he's probably gained a quarter of a pound from last week, so just under 1.5 lbs total. Checking in at about a foot long, BabyCenter advises you to 'picture an ear of corn'. If you need a more immediate point of reference, this is about the distance from Zoo Keeper's elbow to the middle of her (admittedly petite) hand.

Yes, that seems crazy to us too.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

23 Weeks

Not to disparage Monkey or his progress in any way, but it seems like from here on out not that much exciting is happening developmentally.

Monkey can definitely hear sounds now, although they need to be loud to be heard over the Zoo Keeper's heart and his own placenta. While the websites say he might respond by moving, around here it seems like he responds by becoming still. Over 11 inches long, he weighs just over a pound. All of his organs are in place and functional, and his lungs are beginning to produce surfectant, the substance which will actually make them able to pull in oxygen. If he were born today, there is a chance that he could survive, and his chances of making it in the outside world increase about 3% every day. By week 27 or 28 odds are that he would grow into a normal baby boy. According to the ultrasound, he is right on track for a July 4 due date.

Only one more month left in the second trimester!