Operation Chill Out hit its first major obstacle this week in the form of cramping. Lots and lots of cramping. Now, I do remember some cramping last time — right before I found out I was pregnant, actually, because I distinctly remember deciding to NOT take a pregnancy test after I missed my period, since the cramping told me it must be imminent. But this week was different, since I could clearly tie the cramping to activities, like running errands or picking up my toddler or just WALKING TO THE BATHROOM. The pain shot through my abdomen and around my back and I swear I could feel it around my pubic bone at times. I took to the couch with a ginormous bottle of water (dehydration can cause uterine cramping) and tried to stay put for as long as possible.
My husband finally handed me the phone and ordered me to call the doctor — my first prenatal appointment isn’t for another few weeks and he was not happy about that. My doctor told me everything I already knew: drink plenty of water, rest, and relax. If there’s no bleeding, cramping is usually completely normal. But…come in for a quick ultrasound anyway.
At five weeks and change, your baby is about a millimeter long. That’s incredibly tiny and hard to see with even the best ultrasound equipment. This is not to say that there isn’t stuff there — the early shapes of a head and torso and the teensiest little limb-buds are starting to form, along with internal organs and the chambers of the heart. By next week, that little heart will be a visible flickering pixel on a sonogram, but right now it’s all just too small to see.