Welcome to my week by week pregnancy guide. Today I am looking at Week 18. If you want to catch up with previous weeks, scroll to the bottom.
At this point in the pregnancy I remember being very excited because I was about to find out my baby’s gender, both times, and I was also going to have some genetic testing done to assess the risk factors for different genetic problems. I remember the doctor going over all of this with me, as I am sure he will do with you. The bottom line is that these tests are not required. If you don’t want to participate, no one will drag you to the lab and poke you involuntarily. Also, even though I did the tests both times, they really don’t tell you anything more than the risk your baby is in for a number of disorders. These tests do not tell you if your baby in fact has any of them. So they are useful, but not terribly informative.
I also vaguely remember around this time that I was getting a little light headed. This wasn’t the same kind of nausea I felt during morning sickness. It felt like I was either dehydrated or starving and about to pass out. Except I wasn’t either. Sometimes it would get so bad while I was driving I would have to pull over because I was too scared I may black out on the freeway. I never actually fainted or blacked out, but it was still a little scary. My doctor said it was normal as long as the light headedness didn’t last for long increments of time. He said it had to do with my blood flow during this stage. If you experience anything like this, talk to your doctor to make sure it is just as harmless. Luckily this stage doesn’t last long, and after probably less than a month I was back to normal.
Around now you can start feeling your baby move. With Munchie I didn’t start feeling anything yet (she was very, very tiny). Ducky on the other hand was quite the acrobat and I would often feel his little limbs as he was playing on his mini trapeze doing flying jumping jacks.
By the end of this week (both times) I had scheduled my upcoming ultrasound, excited at finding out the baby’s gender, provided he/she was inclined to share. Babies sometimes get shy when on camera and cross their legs. Ducky got jittery and wouldn’t sit still. The technician identified his gender right away, but she scanned my belly for over two hour trying to take the necessary measurements for the doctor. He spun and swerved faster than she could point and click. It was very exciting, and may have gone faster if I didn’t have to stop her every forty five minutes so I could go to the bathroom (aside from being pregnant, I was also getting poked in the bladder by the ultrasound wand).
Are you going to find out the gender? Or do you want to be surprised?