You are now 18 weeks pregnant, which not very far away from being halfway through your pregnancy, but you are still as excited as when you first found out you are pregnant. Most women feel that way. At first, they are all excited because they are pregnant, and after that, they are nervous because of the upcoming tiny human. What I can tell you for sure is that all women, no exception whatsoever, are rather hectic when it comes to their baby.
The fetus at 18 weeks
An 18 weeks fetus is about 6 inches long (15 cm) and weighs around 7 ounces (200 grams). To put it in comparison, you may think of your baby is the size of the bell pepper.
The nervous system suffers a great improvement this week. The nerves will become covered with a layer of myelin, which is crucial for the nervous system in developing and functioning properly after birth. Speaking of layers, the skin will also start to build a protective wax layer. It is called vernix, a white cheese-like protective material, which together with the lanugo (the tiny, fine hair I was telling you about in a previous post) will protect the baby from all the surrounding water from the womb.
If by any chance, you have an 18 weeks pregnant ultrasound and you find out that you are having a baby girl, you must know that she will already develop eggs in her little ovaries. How interesting is that? Of course, there is a chance that you still cannot find out the sex of the baby. At this point, it is possible to know, but it depends a lot on the positioning of the baby.
Naturally, a fetus at 18 weeks already has the genitals formed and in place. If you are having a boy it may be visible at the 18-week ultrasound, but again, it depends on the fetal position.
I must say that at 18 weeks your baby is really active. He or she will twist and turn, kick and punch, anything that implies movement actually. Also, considering the fact that your baby has recently learned how to grasp, he or she will be playing a lot with the umbilical cord. In a twisted kind of way, your baby will have his or her own form of a jungle gym.
Funny fact: an 18-week fetus begins to hear and maybe startled by loud noises. He or she will hear your heart beating, your stomach rumbling or even the blood moving through the umbilical cord. This being said, don’t be surprised if your baby makes a sudden movement when you are at a train station and one of the trains starts to choo-choo.
This week the baby’s lungs will suffer a very important development. Small air sacs, known as alveoli, begin to form in the lungs and the vocal cords are also being formed. The baby will be able to go through the motions of crying, but because there is no air in the womb there will not be any sound. Yet at least. Trust me when I say this, you will be tired of hearing him or her crying, so enjoy the silence. It will not last very long.
You will notice that your baby has the same sleeping patterns as a newborn. You will know when the baby is asleep or awake. Also, you will remark that your baby has a favorite sleeping position, just like an adult. How cute is that?
Mommy at 18 weeks
When it comes to you, you should have your anomaly scan soon. Whether you made an appointment or not, it is very important that you do it. It can reveal a ton of information, vital information, concerning you as well as the baby. Also, you should have 18 weeks ultrasound. The sonographer must make sure that the baby’s organs are in place and that the placenta is healthy and in the right place. When doing so, the technician may turn the monitor away from you, but you will be able to see your baby just as soon as he finishes. So don’t start to panic if he doesn’t show you your baby right away. It’s not a sign that something is wrong. Please keep this in mind.
As for the rest, pregnancy at 18 weeks should bring some serious thinking about baby clothes. I suppose you have already bought some. You cannot help it when you are in a store and you see something cute. It is almost impossible to refrain from buying something. They are simply too sweet. But keep in mind that you will get a lot of stuff from your family and friends. Especially if you throw a baby shower. And most of them will come in newborn sizes. The practical thing to do is to buy a few sizes bigger. The baby will grow really fast in the first few months. Also, take into consideration the season in which your baby will be born. You cannot buy tiny skirts or sleeveless shirts if your baby is due in October.
If it pleases you, stay with me for more week-by-week pregnancy pictures. I know for a fact that seeing them will be very soothing.