One of the things about having pregnancies so close together is that it's not too hard to remember how things were and compare them to how they are. Even if you don't want to, you just can't help it.
So, periodically, when my heart can take it, I go back and read about how things were with Matthew at this point (23 weeks!) in my pregnancy with Luke. Because as much as it shouldn't be too hard to remember...it's painful and my brain just doesn't always let me go there. I am so, so thankful I wrote as much as I did, and I wish it was more. Every time I read one of my posts about Matthew, I feel motivated to write more about Luke so that I have every morsel of him available to me whenever I want.
Then life gets in the way and I just need to make the time.
Last July, I was 23 weeks with Matthew. We saw Dr. Sweeney at 23w3d and yesterday, with Luke, we saw Dr. Sweeney at 23w0d. I love that I had appointments with both of the boys at this point. So many things similar....but so, so different, obviously.
Luke looked fabulous yesterday! Dr. Sweeney (who was very, very missed these last few weeks!!) said Luke was a very easy, easy baby to examine and was just adorable. (I have to agree!) He was measuring at 1 lb., 4 oz. (52%ile and 4 ounces heavier than Matthew did at this point) and had really full little cheeks. He definitely has my chin and it is getting more and more pronounced to the point that you can see the dimple and I again am so thankful for that in him because it is one of the most precious things I loved about his brother. I thought about going to one of the ultrasound places for a 4D video, but honestly, I get the same pictures at Dr. Sweeney's (better, I think!) and it feels like hanging out with your family watching the baby there!
I haven't gained anything; in fact, I went back to about 108, but honestly, I think the prior weeks were a little fluffed from cruise indulgence. Luke's gain is just lovely, so that's what counts. The heartburn is way worse than it was with Matthew (probably because I'm carrying so much higher!) and sleep is evasive. John tells me every night that he hopes I sleep well. I thank him and then say, "I just hope I sleep." Of course, I type this as I've been up since 5 am because that's not happening, but that's ok...I can nap if need be.
It turns out that there was no UTI (but took the medicine anyway), but Dr. Shonekan's office wants me to come in on Wednesday and test again to see if anything is going on. Dr. Sweeney isn't the least bit worried--he said that a lot of time there is white blood cell contamination in the clean catch samples and as long as there was not any bacterial growth (there wasn't), he'd not worry.
So I'm not. Honestly, I am not worried (much) about Luke. I'm more worried about something happening to John...and that seems to be getting worse and worse, but I was telling a friend on Sunday that I really and truly have been blessed with a peace about Luke and his little life. She told me that she could actually see that on my face.
So when you see pictures and see happiness and joy, know that it is the grace of God, pure and simple.
That joy and lack of anxiety lives with such a deep and drowning heartache every day...and wins.
That's grace. That's mercy.
Here are a few pics!
22w6d...not thrilled to take a picture because we were about to give the dogs a much-needed bath, but John insisted...
Luke...look at those cheeks!
Practicing his swallowing...in the middle of a swallow!
"That's all, folks. No more pictures, please!"
(For the record, this is SUCH a familiar face...I've seen it on my grandmother and my mother and in the mirror many, many times!)
Like I said, I had an appointment with Dr. Sweeney yesterday at 23w0d with Luke and last year with Matthew at 2323d...and I am so glad that I have similar pictures. There are definitely similarities in the boys--especially their penchant for keeping their hands up by their face and their chins. Luke (on the right) has fuller cheeks and Matthew had his Granddad's eyebrow structure. Love, love, love the pictures I have. I am so grateful for them.
Here's what's going on with Luke this week:
Week Twenty Three: Sense of balance develops
|You are 23 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 21 weeks)|
Skin pigment is now forming. The fetus is now proportioned like a newborn except it is a thinner version of a newborn baby since its baby fat has not developed much yet.
The pancreas, essential in the production of hormones, is developing steadily. Baby has begun producing insulin, important for the breakdown of sugars.
If born now, your baby would have a 20% chance of survival, the odds going up with each passing day. By this week, your baby weighs a little over 1 pound (500g). Its crown to heel length is 11 inches (28cm).