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23 Weeks

“You’re so huge!” is a common phrase I hear these days. Just what is it about the general public (especially old ladies) that makes them think they have the right to comment on just how fat a pregnant woman is getting?

Well, I think I have given them more ammunition…

Because holy growth spurt, Batman! Take a look at how much my belly has ballooned in just a week:

My weight is gain at a hefty 23 pounds now. I had been hoping to keep it at 30 lbs for the entire pregnancy, but with 17 weeks left I have a feeling I’ll go way over.

For the first time ever, my waist size is now larger than my husband’s. Luckily, I still have 20 more pounds before I overtake him on the weight front, and I’m seriously hoping that this will never happen. After all, I have just started to feel the top of my thighs rubbing together as I walk. Sigh.

And meanwhile, the pregnancy boards are abuzz with women bragging about how they’ve only gained 3 lbs so far. Bitches.

The baby now weighs over a pound (yes, only one pound, which leaves the remaining 22 to my arms, boobs, and ass) and measures over a foot long. She is starting to get STRONG — the other night, I actually saw my belly jump — through my shirt, no less — as she delivered a particularly powerful kick.

My sister asked me the other day what baby kicks feel like. At first, it literally felt like butterflies fluttering in my stomach. Then it progressed to large bubbles popping inside my belly, and now it feels like muscle twitches and spasms. I know that as she grows larger and stronger, it will become more apparent that I have a squirming human inside of me…and that her movements might even hurt. I’m not sure how I’ll handle these, because baby girl is definitely a night owl and she’s already keeping me awake at night! Being a super-light sleeper certainly doesn’t help in pregnancy.

A few days ago, a woman in one of my pregnancy boards went into premature labor at 23 weeks. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence; I would say that we lose at least one woman per week from pregnancy complications. However, this time, the baby survived. Sure, he is severely underweight, hooked up to tons of machines and will most likely spend months in the NICU, but he’s alive.

In just one week my baby will be considered viable by the medical community. Be that as it may, I still have nightmares about losing this baby, about going into premature labor, about delivering a stillborn, and about the baby just suddenly dying in my womb without my knowing. But reading this story gave me renewed hope. She’s getting there.