Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Baby Update: 18 Weeks

Have you heard of the way to tell the gender of a plant? Tie a magnet on a string and hold it over a plant. If the magnet swings in circles, it's a female; if it swings back and forth, it's a male. This can be helpful in a plant nursery where a person needs a male kiwi plant to pollinate female kiwi plants, for example.

It can also be a fun way to tell what gender of baby you are having: hold the magnet over a pregnant belly. I had had 100% accuracy until I tried the magnet test on a friend from church, about nine weeks along. The magnet swung in circles, but she had a boy.

So my scientific experiment this pregnancy has been to see if there is a point when the circles that I, as a female, give off are overruled by back and forth of boy baby. (Of course, the experiment necessitates that I have a boy; if I'm having a girl, the magnet would always swing in circles.)

Every few weeks, I've tried this. Girl, girl, girl. At 16.5 weeks: girl. At 17.5 weeks: boy.

This was interesting to me, especially when I read that 18 weeks is the time that gender parts are finalized in some way. Amazing that a baby as tall as a bell pepper and weighing less than a cup of butter has such well-developed male parts.

Am I sure this baby is boy? No, of course not. But the likelihood is pretty high. We've had our girl's name picked out for about twelve years: Genevieve Lucille, for Phil's grandmothers (a little Lucy Lykosh as a girl; a sophisticated Viv as a teen). Meaning: humble light. It's a great name.

But we have been totally uninspired about a boy name. Years ago, Isaiah had written a note that I found recently: It said, "Jadon J Lykosh [which isn't Jadon's middle initial] Isaiah J Lykosh Timothy J Lykosh." At the time, I asked Isaiah who this Timothy was supposed to be, and he just smiled. And Isaiah is named for a prophet. And Timmy is cute, and Timothy is a wonderful name. But I don't LOVE it.

I had my first midwife appointment since week 5 today. (Since this is my fifth baby, I asked that I be allowed to convalesce, as I have little need of education on the stages of labor or proper eating or the changes that may be happening in my body.) The appointment was super fun: my midwife graciously drew blood, saving me a trip to the lab. I heard the baby's heartbeat, a good 140 or so beats a minute. And I weighed myself.

I have been feeling a bit like a puff ball lately, or a Peter Paul Rubens model. And although I remember the watermelon belly of babies past, I don't remember the squishy feeling of all my other parts. No wonder—I've always gone in to labor at the exact same weight, whether at 39 weeks or 41.5 weeks. I am only 7 pounds away from that weight now, meaning that I weigh as much at 18 weeks as I always have in the past at 34 weeks.

I'm surprised how distressing that was for me. I think of myself as pretty low key about pregnancy weight gain usually, but I'm not feeling like that at the moment.

But lovely to have the healthy sound of a heartbeat. The baby becomes more real with every little kick!


  1. You look lovely Amy! So fun to see a picture. I always check the blog so it's nice to have a post tonight. Yay baby! Whether boy or girl, this baby will be such a nice addition to a great family. And, you still have a long time to be inspired by a name. :)

  2. It's nice to see you looking so well, Amy. I know those first months of morning sickness are relentless, so I'm happy you're coming out the other side now.

  3. Totally obsessed with your girl name! So thrilled you are feeling well. You look just lovely!

  4. Heart rate was a 100% predictor for us...all nine times. ;-) And, I agree, you look lovely.