You're getting bigger and bigger now by the day, and it's lovely to be able to see your baby growing. Now you're well into your second trimester you're hopefully feeling quite well, although you may be a little tired as your growing bump makes sleeping a bit uncomfortable.
You will have had your first ultrasound by now, and if you had blood tests at the same time you can expect the results around now. In most cases, you won't need to do anything, although if your iron levels are low you may be prescribed supplements, and if you've got a rhesus negative blood type you might need to make an appointment for an anti-D shot later in your pregnancy.
Baby: What's Happening?
Your baby has done some impressive growing over the last couple of weeks. He or she now weighs about 2.5 ounces and measures roughly 4 inches, or just over 10 cm. Your baby looks exactly like a tiny human now, although the skin is still very thin and translucent. This will thicken and become opaque by the time you're scheduled to give birth, although if you have your baby early the skin will still be extremely delicate.
The big change for your baby this week is that they can "see" light. Although the eyelids remain fused shut, bright lights can be sensed, much like if you have your eyes shut and someone switches a lamp on; you can't exactly see the light, you're aware that its there. Shining a torch on your belly can cause your baby to try and find a dark hiding spot. It's a fun game for Mom & Dad, but try not to annoy your baby too much!
You probably still won't be feeling movement or, if you are, you may not recognise what it is. Many women report feeling butterflies or a rippling sensation at first. You may, however, be feeling your baby's hiccups. As your baby is swallowing large amounts of amniotic fluid which helps the lungs to develop, he or she will be hiccuping a lot. This continues for a while after the birth, too, as the respiratory system matures.
You: What's Happening?
You might be shocked at how your baby bump seems to grow so much overnight, and it may be harder to conceal your bump if you've chosen not to announce your pregnancy yet, especially if this isn't your first child. Your uterus now measures roughly up to halfway between your pelvic bone and your navel.
A good rule of thumb is that your uterus should measure as many centimeters as the number of weeks pregnant you are, so at 15 weeks your uterus should be around 15 cm (or about 6 inches). Of course, all babies grown differently, so a couple of centimeters difference either way is completely normal.
As your uterus gets bigger it compresses your stomach, and the progesterone being produced by the placenta relaxes your digestive tract. These two facts combined can mean you might be experiencing some rather nasty heartburn and acid reflux. Unfortunately, this might stick around for the remainder of your pregnancy.
If you've chosen to have amniocentesis you'll be having this sometime between now and 18 weeks. The test isn't particularly pleasant for Mom, but it can accurately determine any chromosomal irregularities. Many women experiencing healthy pregnancies don't opt to have the test, but you may wish to consider it if there are risk indicators, such as a thickened nuchal fold.
It's only natural that you're feeling nervous if you've decided to have the test, but try not to worry about your baby. Contrary to popular belief, your anxiety is unlikely to affect your little one. A study looking at the effect of maternal anxiety on the fetus at 15 weeks gestation found that there was no difference in fetal movement in anxious and calm Moms to be, so even though you may be nervous your baby is unlikely to be in any distress.
If you're suffering with acid reflux, there are a few things you can try to ease the symptoms. Firstly, as your stomach is so squashed, you may wish to try eating little and often. Eating smaller meals means your stomach won't be getting overly full, but you shouldn't be cutting down on calories (in fact, pregnant women in their second trimester should be taking in around 300 calories more than normal), so try eating 6 small meals rather than 3 big ones.
If your reflux is bad in the evenings, prop yourself up on a lot of pillows and cushions in bed. When you're lying down, your stomach acid can easily flow back and forth between your stomach and digestive tract. If your head is higher than your belly, it'll be much more difficult. It might not be the most comfortable position to sleep in, but it should help reduce the symptoms.