What To Expect

  • Weight gain
  • Itchy skin
  • Restless sleep

Your Baby This Week

Your baby this week is about the size of a Rubix cube

Dear Diary

What a week it has been. Twenty weeks of pregnancy marked our "big scan" date. Many people will find this to be the most anxious time in their pregnancy because this scan gives a really detailed picture of how the baby is doing. I felt really nervous about it and kept going to the worst place in my mind to almost prepare for some kind of bad news.

On my first pregnancy, I didn't bat an eyelid before this big scan. In fact, I referred to it as "the scan where you find out the gender" which irritated the sonographer and I can totally see why now. I think on a second pregnancy your focus is so much more on actual life with a baby. You know so much about what can go wrong.

In the lead up to the big scan, I noticed my old friend comfort eating made an appearance once again. It's amazing how clear I can see it when it passes but at the time I am completely oblivious to what is going on. The thing about comfort eating is that its so easy to do. It is instant escapism, a total distraction and because it's not illegal, nobody even knows you're doing it.

I didn't see it at the time but there were several points this week where I actually ate so much that I felt sick. It was as though the minute I stopped eating I had to really feel the anxiety and worry over the scan. So I kept eating. It's something I've battled with for my entire life and I just find it amazing that I can never see it coming on.

I associate it as being legitimate hunger and "just wanting" those particular foods but it's total self-destruction mode for me. Some people turn to alcohol or cigarettes at times of stress and for me, food is the drug of choice. I ended up having a few cross words with myself during the week as soon as I realized it was happening. I reminded myself that my body was a vessel and binging on crap food was only going to hurt my baby. Thankfully it is not something I do very often but it seems to really happen at times of great stress.

I am feeling so very lucky and cannot stop looking at the scan photos!

I was a nervous wreck on the way to the scan. I'm usually a real chatter but I kind of went mute in the car. My husband kept saying that he just felt everything was going to be OK. This did reassure me but I couldn't help but look back on our twelve-week scan and how it panned out so differently than what we expected. We went in to see the baby and left feeling panicked about my Ovarian cyst. I was worried that the focus this time would also be on the cyst or something negative. I just desperately wanted to see my baby thriving and doing well.

We were called in more or less immediately when we arrived in the waiting room and for this, I am eternally grateful! Just like on my previous pregnancy I couldn't believe how much the baby had changed in just eight short weeks. Seeing up-close images of their tiny kidneys, fingers and bones was just incredible. They were moving around a lot and had their hand up to their face which was just adorable. The sonographer confirmed that everything looked great and that was literally it. She turned on the 3D mode at one point and it was the most amazing thing to see. We had never seen that in our last pregnancy and it was just so incredible. We were asked if we wanted to know the gender but we stuck to our guns and have decided to keep it a surprise.

I feel like I can breathe again. It is an amazing feeling to know that my body is creating a new life again and how blessed are we that all is going well and they are thriving in there.

I am feeling so very lucky and cannot stop looking at the scan photos!

A Partner’s Perspective

The big scan! My partner and I decided not to find out if we are having a boy or a girl. Surprises are so much more fun! I was a little apprehensive going in with my partner for the scan but I am delighted to say everything is a-ok. The pictures – of which we got many print outs – are amazing, you can really see the baby much more pronounced.

In fact, it looks like he/she is sitting up driving a car! Saw their little nose, cute as a button. Lots of questions from the doctor and nurse around the general health of my partner, and they were glad to hear we were nervous coming into the appointment. Apparently many people are very laissez-faire. I have no idea how.

I also helped my partner get all of her many maternity documents into her place of work.

Our Midwife’s Advice

Your baby has reached the half way point... Hooray! Like Tracey, at this time most women have their anatomy scan. It is truly amazing as you will see your little baby in such detail. It will really feel real. You will see your baby moving and swallowing and shaking their little arms and legs. Before your scan, it is totally normal to feel anxious, everyone does. During the scan, the sonographer will take a detailed look at all the different systems in the baby and check all is ok. This takes time, if there is something wrong, they will tell you as soon as they see it. If they are quiet while they scan, they are just concentrating!

At this stage of your pregnancy, you might notice some aches and pains in your pelvis or back. The pregnancy hormones, particularly relaxin and progesterone loosen all the ligaments in the body. As a result of all this stretching and the increased weight of the pregnancy, discomfort is normal. Make sure you are paying attention the way you are sitting so you aren't creating more discomfort. Most hospitals will do a pregnancy physio class which will explain these changes and also give you techniques to improve your posture and comfort.

Week 20

Our Wellness Tip of the Week

At this stage in your pregnancy, you may be feeling increased fatigue and discomfort. Be realistic about the amount you'll be able to do - don't feel guilty about cancelling plans with the girls just to stay at home and watch a film. You're growing a human, after all!

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