Week 15

Baby: Your 13-week-old fetus now measures about 4.1 to 4.5 inches from crown to rump and weighs about 1.75 ounces. Its body is covered by an ultrafine hair, called lanugo, which is usually shed by birth. Eyebrows and hair on the top of the head are beginning to grow. He may even be sucking his thumb by now. Bones are getting harder.

Mom-to-be: Your uterus can probably be felt about 3 to 4 inches below your navel. Sometime in the next five weeks you’ll be offered a quadruple marker screening test, which measures four chemicals in your blood — alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), inhibin A, and estrogen produced by the placenta. The test is a more accurate predictor of Down syndrome than AFP testing alone. Amniocentesis, which tests a small sample of amniotic fluid withdrawn by an ultrasound-guided needle, is usually performed between now and 18 weeks. It may be recommended if you’re 35 or older or if your AFP or quadruple marker screen test results were suspicious.

and now for my take on things…

Baby: We had a doctor’s appointment today, so I actually do have something to report here. The small one’s heartbeat is a healthy 150 bpm (beats per minute), and the doc had no problem finding the heartbeat with the doppler this time (the last appointment involved a bit more prodding to hear the small one over my thunderous heart beat). And that’s it. (I never said I had a lot, just some actual, tangible news.)

Me: I am now up to 124 lbs., which puts me at 4 lbs gained so far this pregnancy. My doctor was happy with the weight gain, so upon arriving home I rewarded myself with an ice cream sandwich.

My uterus is where it’s supposed to be, and is the cause of my current “baby bump,” as it’s displacing everything that used to sit in my lower abdomen (guts and fat mostly). I’m now at the point where even when I get up in the morning I have a distinct little bulge, but after I’ve had breakfast I look decidedly pregnant (that’s just how “displaced” my midsection is right now – all it takes is a glass of orange juice anymore). I only own one pair of pants that I can still button. Everything else is held up by Bella Bands. Also, I’m reaching the point where, between my bigger boobs and my noticeable bump, most of my shirts no longer cover my stomach completely. I am currently thanking the fashion gods for the long shirt trend of two years ago that I’d previously cursed them for (at 5’2″, anything that is supposed to hit at my hips stretches halfway down my thighs – not exactly helping me look any taller). If not for those few cotton sweaters and a pair of hoodies begrudgingly purchased between 2004 and 2005, I would be flashing Bella Band all day long, and I am desperately trying to hold off on buying maternity clothes as long as possible (read: until I visit my parents over Mother’s Day weekend and my mom and I head to the mall like the good New Jersey suburbanites we both are at heart).

As for the prenatal testing, we’re skipping it. As I’m only 26, I’m not at increased risk for Down syndrome and therefore my insurance won’t cover the tests. My doctor offered them, but said that the tests can yield false or inconclusive results, and that we’d be able to check everything out during the 22 week ultrasound (when we also get to find out the gender, assuming the small one isn’t shy and decides to cooperate with the photo session).

As a side note about testing, I did have a friend of mine recently warn me about calling your insurance provided before agreeing to any non-standard testing (including additional ultrasounds). A colleague of hers ended up spending $13K out of pocket as the testing facility and lab where her doctor sent her were considered out of network by her insurance company and were therefore not covered. Granted, this was in Manhattan where it’s a lot easier to end up out of network than in a smaller city or town, but I am very much taking this warning to heart. Not that I’ll let it stop me getting care I think I need, but it takes the “I’m already here so why not” temptation away from agreeing to everything the doc is required, sometimes by law, to offer, even if he doesn’t consider it necessary in your particular case. As my friend said, you will never be on the phone with your insurance company as much as you will while pregnant. Thanks for the warning!

Overall Rating of Week 15: 8 (so far so good – I’m definitely starting to look and feel pregnant, but I’m saving the 9’s for the first kick or something more exciting than a-okay)

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One Response to “Week 15”

  1. Sara Says:

    I’ve been through that with my insurance for normal things… extra tests suggested by the gyn that I said ‘sure, why not’ and then insurance didn’t cover. Yuck.

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