Your Pregnancy: Week 15
You and your partner may be worrying about continuing with your usual sex life. Unless you have a history of miscarriage or experience unusual vaginal bleeding, go ahead and enjoy the time you have together. In fact, many women claim the extra blood flow to the genitals makes pregnancy sex better than ever! As far as the baby is concerned, he/she is completely protected by a mucus plug covering your cervix.
Also, don’t panic if your gums have been bleeding when you brush your teeth. This is normal even for healthy mouths and is caused by an increase in blood volume and pregnancy hormones. Continue your dental hygiene as usual, including teeth cleaning at the dentist if you still haven’t gone.
Your baby is now the length of an apple, weighing about 2 1/2 ounces and measuring 4 inches. At the close of this week, all major organs will be formed (heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas, lungs, and spleen), although not necessarily performing their functions yet. The organs will continue to grow and develop over the next couple of months and will be up and running in no time.
- Adequately warm up and stretch your recently loosened joints and ligaments before working-out to prevent injuries.
- Sign up for a prenatal yoga class, especially if you’re feeling stressed. Some classes go into meditative methods for a natural childbirth, and/or work to strengthen your pelvic-floor muscles.
- Eat protein and complex carbs at every meal, and keep snacks like trail mix or granola bars at hand to prevent your blood sugar from dipping and causing sudden dizzy spells.
- If you’re not happy with your practitioner or hospital, make the change. Take a tour of a local birth center or explore other options, but make sure that your choice is covered under your insurance plan.
Blood vessels can be seen through the baby’s thin skin, and although the eyelids are fused shut, the baby can sense light. Also, it won’t be long until you start feeling little kicks since the baby can now move his/her limbs and joints.
Advice from Dr. Shari E. Brasner
Even before the lower abdomen starts to protrude, you may swear that none of your clothes fit. This, like so much in pregnancy, is due to your body’s increased production of progesterone, which contributes to a bloating sensation. As the uterus lifts up and out of the pelvis, it eases pressure on the bladder, and most pregnant women experience a second-trimester decrease in the frequent need to urinate.”
Babble recommends Dr. Brasner’s pregnancy book, Advice from a Pregnant Obstetrician.
Mom-To-Mom Advice: Finding Out the Sex of the Fetus
Finding out the sex of the fetus is now fairly routine and with the ubiquity of ultrasound imaging, it can actually be an effort to keep it a surprise. Many parents want to learn early so they can more easily make choices about names and prepare a gender-specific environment for the baby. Some also want the time to deal with any disappointment they might feel if the baby’s sex is not the one they’d hoped for. It actually seems like disappointment can be more intense if found out before the baby’s arrival. At birth, preconceived notions typically take a backseat to the excitement and joy of meeting your new child. But finding out beforehand does give parents the opportunity to deal with their feelings directly, with perhaps less guilt than they might with a baby in their arms.
We all have dreams about what parenthood might be like, and often the babies of our dreams skew toward one sex or another. When our real life babies don’t match, some readjusting is required. Acknowledging the loss of what you’d hoped for is really important. You may imagine yourself bored playing with dolls when you love sports, or mourning for a fantasy future prom and wedding dress shopping with your nonexistent daughter. But it’s also important to realize that these fantasies may never come to pass regardless of the sex of your child. The children we imagine we will have are rarely the ones we end up with, even if they happen to be the same sex.
In a way, finding out that your child is not the sex you had in mind is a kind of gift. Being a parent is all about adjusting and readjusting expectations; you’re learning how to do this early and may be better prepared for the inevitable pattern ahead. Meeting and getting to know your baby is a process of discovery. If you’ve learned the sex, you have one data point, but be careful what you project. The person inside of that belly of yours is still a mystery. The sex is only a small piece of the puzzle.
Babble recommends From the Hips, by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris.
Read more about Week 15 at BabyZone’s Pregnancy Guide!