My Journey Through Pregnancy – The Second Trimester
November 17, 2018
WEEK 16 – FOR REAL…
I finally hit the second trimester!! After the change in my due date and being only 13-weeks along instead of 16-weeks when I had my “16-week” ultrasound, we waited 3 more weeks and had a full ultrasound again to check the baby’s measurements, weight and development – a baby physical.
Afterward we saw another midwife who was even more concerned as the baby hadn’t grown very much at all in the last 3 weeks. It was only in about the 1st percentile. Everything else seemed to look ok, but we were nervous as we left that appointment. They were going to continue to monitor things closely and we began to pray that our baby would start to grow!!
The next day I received a call… The kind of call that no mother EVER wants to hear!
A concerned nurse shared with me news of a birth defect they found on the ultrasound after looking at it further. My little, tiny baby had a hole in it’s belly and the intestines, and potentially other organs, were not inside it’s little body…. a condition called Gastroschissis.
I could hardly believe what I heard. I couldn’t contain the tears that poured down my cheeks. I called my husband, who was at work, and he came home and I told him all the nurse had told me. We were broken and afraid… in shock.
We didn’t know what this meant. Was our baby going to survive the pregnancy? How many surgeries and procedures would there have to be? Would it have a normal life?
There were so many unknowns… and so many questions.
This was the beginning of a very long, painful, growing, stretching journey for us in our faith and as a couple. I thank God that He was there with us that day! It took several days to come to terms with what was going on, and to realize that God was in control. Our little baby was in His hands and we needed to trust Him!
We were recommended to a bunch of specialists at a medical center 1.5hrs away and had an appointment with them the next week. That very first meeting with the specialist met us with so much information our heads were reeling…
The condition was not genetic but can be a result of a change in genes or chromosomes. (Thankfully, after genetic testing, that was not the case.) It’s also not as rare a condition as we thought, and were told it can happen to 1 out of about every 500,000 babies. It occurs early during pregnancy when the muscles that make up the baby’s abdominal wall do not form correctly. A hole occurs which allows the intestines and other organs to extend outside of the body, usually to the right side of belly button.
Right after the baby is born surgery will be needed to put the organs inside the baby’s body and repair the hole in the abdominal wall. After the repair though, infants with gastroschisis can have problems with nursing and eating, digestion of food, and absorption of nutrients. (There is also a risk that the intestines won’t work properly and a surgery would be needed to remove part of them.) – Scary stuff when you think of this teeny, tiny, little baby having to deal with so much once it enters the real world.
A long NICU stay was for sure ahead of us after the baby would arrive.
The thing that scared us the most was the fact that preterm labor is very common in mothers with this condition. And because the baby was not growing very fast and was so tiny, if the baby decided to come too early there was a very small chance of survival. We had to make it to 25 weeks for there to be a fighting chance for it to live!
With these realizations we prayed God would give us peace and keep the baby growing and safe inside of me. We prayed for a miracle.
THE GENDER REVEAL…
With all of this news in the forefront of our minds, as well as still being incredibly sick all the time and exhausted, we needed some good news!
We still were dying to know the gender. (Well, at least I was!) The baby hadn’t been very cooperative during our other ultrasounds so we made a specific appointment to spend more time just to find out the gender.
The day finally arrived and we met a nice ultrasound tech who was just as excited for us. We get all cozy in the room, the warm slippery gel is applied, and the search for the “parts” begins! (Lol.) But, of course, the baby has to have its legs crossed. “Really?!” I thought… It seemed like everything was against us yet again. I said a prayer and the lady tried a different angle.
And just like that, everything was clear as day!! It was a GIRL!!!!
This was yet another answer to prayer! To know I was going to have a daughter filled me with such joy!!! I had a feeling it might be a girl, but to know for sure was so wonderful!
I praised the Lord that day that He granted my request and I knew He was going to “show up and show off” in many ways yet to come!!
The next weeks went by slowly. We had to see doctors 2x (sometimes more) a week to have ultrasounds and keep a close eye on the baby’s progress and to make sure there were no signs of an early arrival.
Here’s what happens each week as the baby grows and develops in the 2nd trimester…
Week 17 – The baby should be the size of a turnip at this point and fat is starting to form. The baby should weigh about 3.5oz.
Week 18 – The baby should be 5 1/4oz and about the size of a sweet potato. From this point on the growth rate slows down.
Week 19 – The baby should be 7oz and the size of a mango!
Week 20 – The baby is 7oz and the size of cantaloupe. The skin is forming more layers in preparation for storing fat and the start of forming finger prints.
Week 21 – The baby is the length of a large banana and weighs about 10.5oz. Organ systems are maturing and the digestive system is functioning and the baby is starting to swallow some amniotic fluid.
Week 22 – The baby is 12 ¼ oz and roughly the size of a spaghetti squash. Eyelids and eyebrows are developed and fingernails are now fully formed.
Week 23 – The baby has reached the size of a papaya and is almost 1 full pound. It’s little body is getting plumper and the pancreas is developing further.
Week 24 – Baby is the size of a large ear of corn this week and is about 1 ¼ lbs. It is filling out even more and it’s little face and body are beginning to look more like what it will look like when it’s born.
Week 25 – The baby is now the size of an eggplant, weighing about 1 ½ lbs.
Week 26 – The baby is the size of a large cucumber – about 9 ¼ inches, and weighs almost 2lbs. It now has distinct sleep cycles and all 5 senses are fully developed.
Our baby was growing, slowly but surely, but was keeping at least 3-5 weeks behind in growth. The doctors were concerned about this. but thought it was due to the fact that the intestines were outside of the baby and they weren’t processing nutrition like they would if they were on the inside.
We prayed every day for our little peanut to grow!! I was still working at this point and the traveling, doctors, working, and people got very tiring at this point. I was exhausted! Not to mention the fact that I owned a dance school and had to be dancing and teaching classes for hours every week. I was also dealing with round ligament pain that made life incredibly painful and difficult 24/7. (Thanks to my awesome chiropractor who helped a lot, this only lasted about a 4-6 weeks!!)
I prayed God would give me the strength to get through this! At timesI felt like I was out in the middle of an ocean and was being swallowed whole by wave after wave that came crashing down on me. It was scary, emotional, exhausting, and lonely at times.
He showed Himself to me in so many ways. My morning sickness stuck around until about week 21 or so and then FINALLY, and THANKFULLY, tapered off! And I was finally finishing up my dance school year and ready to concentrate on taking care of my baby girl the remainder of the time I was pregnant with her, and prepping to bringing her into the world.
He also brought such peace to our situation. He gave me the strength to trust and to place my little baby in His hands. He also brought so many wonderful medical staff into our lives that gave us such assurance that they would do the best they could to help us and our little baby girl!
ARE YOU STRUGGLING?
Are you going through a time of struggle similar to this? Or perhaps something completely different but you still feel afraid, alone, exhausted, beaten down – just struggling to stay afloat in a raging sea??
I know what you are going through. It’s not fun. It’s hard. Uncomfortable. Difficult. Stressful. You can feel helpless. Alone. Sometimes you feel like you can’t go on physically or emotionally… Have FAITH!
Sometimes God allows situations in our lives to remind us that we are not in control. He is. We need to rely on Him, and if we put our complete faith and trust in Him, He will come through for us. Sometimes it won’t always be the way that we think, but He knows best and He will always be by our side! These times of trials are to strengthen us, and to mold us and shape us into the people He wants us to be. They are never comfortable or fun to go through, but well worth the lessons in the end!
“Gold will never be beautiful if it doesn’t go through fire!!”
Remember these truths in God’s word….
Psalm 139:1-4 “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. O LORD, You have searched me and known me. Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.”
Zephaniah 3:17 “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Psalm 107:1 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I would also encourage you to check out my blog post “God Knows the Desires of Our Hearts”!
Keep going! God’s got this! Don’t give up! Once you hit a valley, the only way next is up the mountain. The climb is difficult, but God will be there to carry you when you can’t go on, and when you reach the top… boy, is the view beautiful!!! 🙂
GOD SURE IS AMAZING!
Throughout my pregnancy I was taken aback, time and time again, at how amazing God is, His unending faithfulness, and His GRACE!
I was also so overwhelmed with awe at how He created us women. That along with HIM we are able to create life! He knit us together so that our bodies are able to make another human being… with hair, beautiful blue eyes, sweet little lips, 10 fingers and 10 toes, perfect little hands to hold, kissable cheeks, 2 little ears to nibble on, and a cute, little button nose… a precious little person to hold and love forever!
Wow! It’s amazing to contemplate, and even more so to experience firsthand!
The child inside of me was growing and forming according to HIS design. We didn’t know what the future would hold, but our TRUST was in HIM!
Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Thanks for joining me and reading the second part of my pregnancy journey! Stay tuned for part three! – And remember that YOU are beautifully and WONDERFULLY made! An amazing piece of ART, created by the Lord of ALL creation, who loves you more than you’ll ever know!