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Pregnant & Posting: 18 & 19 weeks

It's been an exciting and also unexciting couple of weeks. Life is changing, as it often seems to do.

At my last doctor's appointment I had gained a couple of pounds. My care provider was okay with this because it puts me back on the way to my pre-pregnancy weight. My partner was able to come to my appointment with me this time. We got to hear the heartbeat again. I'll also have my "survey ultrasound" (level II ultrasound) in the next couple of weeks. Sometimes people refer to this as a "gender ultrasound," although checking out reproductive organs is not even the primary goal of the procedure. It's not a required procedure. The primary purpose is to look at specific aspects of the fetus and see if there are any indications of possible abnormalities. The technician will take measurements of the limbs, look at the placenta & umbilical cord, and take pictures of the brain and spinal cord.

They also may be able to see the reproductive structures. In some areas, ultrasound technicians in

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Pregnant & Posting: 16 & 17 Weeks

3 words...round ligament pain. Oh my.

This is probably my biggest complaint over the past couple of weeks. And my goodness, it is uncomfortable! Round ligament pain happen as the uterus expands in pregnancy. There are ligaments (special muscles) that hold the uterus in place in the abdomen. During pregnancy, the uterus expands and the fetus grows and consequently these ligaments have to stretch to accommodate the larger size of the uterus. Just like when you stretch any other muscle in ways it is not used to, pain can result. Even though I've experienced it before (with my previous pregnancy), it's still a shock when it happens. Sometimes it occurs when I get up from a sitting position or when I roll over at night. It can happen at other times as well, but those are fairly common. The pain is a shock that takes my breath away until it eases, just like any kind of muscle cramp would.

I also had a slight illness scare during Week 17 that called attention to how scary it can sometimes b

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Pregnant & Posting 14 & 15 weeks

It's been a busy couple of weeks (both in terms of life in general and in my pregnancy).

At the beginning of week 14, I had my most recent appointment with my OB/GYN. This time I'd only lost 1 lb in the month. While weight loss in early pregnancy is not completely unusual, in most cases care providers would rather see you maintain weight or gain around 5 lbs by the end of the first trimester. Since my weight loss is still relatively low (around 5-6 lbs total), my doctor is not too worried.

Because I hadn't had one in a year, I was due for a pap smear. During my first pregnancy, I had a pap before I became pregnant. However, had I needed an exam they would have done it during my first or second appointment. The office policy has changed since then and now if a patient needs a pap, they wait until you are more than 12 weeks to do the exam. I've never been particularly bothered by gyn exams, so as usual, I had no problem with this exam. My doctor conducted a regular physical (listening

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Pregnant & Posting: 12 & 13 Weeks

I'm sorry my blog is a bit behind here! Life was busy last week and somehow I just never managed to sit down for more than 2 minutes to be able to talk about what was going on with my pregnancy.

On the positive side, during the last week to week & a half, I've been feeling better. This is likely related to coming to the end of the first trimester. My afternoon/evening nausea is starting to abate, thank goodness. I was getting very tired of being almost unable to eat after lunchtime. I've also noticed that, especially within the last week, my anxiety has decreased as well. This is a distinct relief.

While I know it seems superficial, my biggest complaint right now is about clothing. My pants still fit (barely) around my slightly thickening waist. I don't look pregnant, rather just as if I've put on a few pounds around the middle. (My weight is actually still down overall though, so I must have been losing in one area and gaining in my abdomen.) If I button my regular jeans it is uncomf

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Pregnant & Posting: 11 weeks

I feel like I'm behind this week. I usually start my pregnancy posts earlier, but this was a crazy week and I'm just now getting here.

Physically, I'm feeling much the same as I was last week. Although the fetus is around an inch and a half long now, I don't think my look has changed much yet. I have switched over to maternity pants because it is simply more comfortable. The nausea and tiredness are still there, as is the anxiety. But hopefully some of that should wane in the next few weeks.

This week, I've been thinking more about the social implications of pregnancy and I'd like to talk a bit more about that.

During my last pregnancy, I told family and a limited number of trusted friends and colleagues relatively early on. However, I kept things quite at work until it became so physically obvious that it was impossible to hide anymore. For women in the academy, pregnancy is not necessarily viewed as a wise choice. They worry that by having children, a woman won't be taken seriously

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Pregnant & Posting: 10 weeks

My uterus is around the size of a grapefruit this week. I'll admit, I find this rather amusing. When you look at sexual anatomy diagrams (which are generally shown non-pregnant anyway), the uterus usually looks pretty large. In reality, it's about 3 inches and looks a bit like a pear. By 10 weeks, my uterus is now more the size of a grapefruit. In the grand scheme of things, this is still pretty small. This week, my embryo became a fetus. It is now just over an inch in length.

I also had my most recent checkup with my OB this week. Early in pregnancy, women are generally seen every 4 weeks (if you have a high risk pregnancy, it may be more often). My blood pressure and urinalysis looked good. One of the things they gave me is a special card that has my pregnancy information on it. It includes my EDD (estimated due date), blood type, Rh factor, and other information from my OB blood panel. I'm supposed to carry the card with me. If I were to be hospitalized, it would give other health

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Pregnant & Posting: 9 weeks

I think I feel more pregnant this week. It's amazing the impact that something the size of a grape can have on a woman's body & life.

My not-morning-sickness has kicked itself up a notch. For the most part, I feel fine until early afternoon and then start to get really nauseated. This feeling often continues through dinner, making trying to find something I can eat a real chore. With my last pregnancy, I had nausea pretty much all day but it was less severe than what I find myself facing this time. And then there are the random scents that set off the nausea (and occasional vomiting) at other times. That's always a (not) fun surprise because I often can't predict which smells will be a problem.

I'm still tired, though I'm less tired than I was with my last pregnancy. Some days I can actually manage without a nap. (During my previous pregnancy, I could not make it through a day without a 2 hour nap in the afternoon.) This time though, I realize that when I start to get tired, I also ge

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Pregnant & Posting: 8 weeks

I'm pregnant.

It looks like such a small sentence, but in reality it is not small at all. Pregnancy is a big deal. It changes lives, both during a pregnancy and afterward. Bodies change, relationships change, lives change. It can be exciting and terrifying all at the same time. So I start this with a small statement with big implications.

At Scarleteen, we see many questions about pregnancy. Often they are about a specific pregnancy risk or whether someone is pregnant or not. Sometimes it is about the choices that accompany a pregnancy. Sometimes there are questions about the things that happen during pregnancy.

I'd like to share with you, in this blog, about my pregnancy. It is not my intention to suggest that this is what every pregnancy is like for every woman. I am not arguing that my choices are the "only" or "best" way. I want to talk about my experience and my perspective. I want to share the good parts and the bad parts.

To that end, I feel like it is important to tell you wh

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Ready for arguments about increasing your access to Plan B? We can help.

You may have heard that the FDA may finally remove age restrictions for the morning-after emergency contraception pill in the United States. If you've heard that, you may have started to hear some panic or fear-factoring, not just gratitude and relief.

Currently, in the United States, someone must be over the age of 17 in order to get Plan B at a pharmacy without a prescription. Until two years ago, the age limit was 18. It's still kept behind the pharmacy counter for people of all ages, but those over 17 do not need a prescription from a doctor or a clinic to purchase it.

For a long time now, organizations like ours and many, many other reproductive choice, justice and health organizations, have been lobbying to remove that age restriction, something other nations -- like Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Israel and others -- do not apply; a restriction which has never been supported by sound health data. The restriction per age has long been about politics, not health.

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