(If you’d like to start at the beginning of my pregnancy journey, click here!)


Week 17!!!! I have my follow-up OB appointment this week!


But before we get to that, let’s see what baby is the “size of” at 17 weeks:




Your hand


Baby is over 5 inches long!

And she’s anywhere from 5-6 ounces in weight. That’s as much as three eggs!

She’s growing so quickly.


Which is probably why THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER happened during week 17:


I felt Baby Girl McInnis KICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I was lying on the couch, trying not to pee my pants because I really wanted to finish an episode of my show before getting up, and then I felt a little blip against my bladder.

My first thought was, Well that’s a new “go pee right now” sign from my body…

And then the blip happened again.

It was like a little bubble of air was traveling/moving against my bladder.

And then the whole world bowed out around me and I saw the stars and the planets and other lifeforms and then the world snapped back into place and my whole face lit up and my eyes bugged out of my head and I said, out loud, “THAT’S THE BABY KICKING!!!!


I immediately texted my mother and sister.

And then I waited.

And she kicked me again!

And then I ran into my bedroom to find Husband, and I screamed the news at him, and he said something like, “Oh, wow!”


And then I ran to the bathroom because I had to pee.


And even AFTER I peed, I felt her kick again!


GOD it’s the craziest, most spectacular, most riveting experience.

I felt more joy and awe in that moment than I’ve ever felt in my life.


So it felt like a bubble like everyone said, but I could tell it wasn’t gas because it was right by my bladder and I’ve never felt gas pains there before, and also, she kicked me in a few different places. And the bubbles weren’t exactly tickling me or enjoyable. They were like forceful bubbles. And they felt reeeaalllyyy weird. Unlike anything I’ve ever felt in my belly before.



So there’s your tip: if you want to try to coerce your baby into kicking you, drink a ton of water and lie down and wait for her to get so squished by your full bladder that she kicks it so you’ll empty it and give her more room.


Oh my flowers, she is kicking me right now as I write this!!!

I wish I could let Husband feel this. It feels like pure, raw magic.


I read somewhere that when you’re moving around, baby is lulled to sleep, so she won’t be very active.

This is true, because I was doing an intense 21 Day Fix workout, and there was no kicking. Five minutes post-workout, she kicked me!

I love when she kicks me.

It makes being pregnant 8 billion times more fun.


Other week 17 pregnancy symptoms include:

Eating steak, chicken, peppers, and onions for breakfast.

You see, we made kabobs the night before…

mmmm kabobs


mmmm kabobs


And when I woke up the next day and peered into the fridge, I passed over all of the fruit and yogurt and eggs and breads and stopped when I reached kabob leftovers.

Baby NEEDED them.

And man, did they hit the spot.

I followed dinner-for-breakfast with a small cup of coffee and didn’t bat an eye.

What Baby wants, she gets!

Speaking of what Baby wants, my appetite is gaining speed as the days pass. Most of my pregnancy apps blame my insatiable appetite on my larger baby whose appetite grows as quickly as she does.

For example, I’ll eat dinner at 6PM and dessert at 6:30PM and lie in bed at 8:30PM with a grumbling tummy. And those are BIG dinners (and desserts).


Speaking of desserts, I finally found (well, my mom finally found) a GOOD eggless cookie dough recipe!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s a link to it.

Delicious pregnancy-safe cookie dough.

Cookie dough was a food group before I got pregnant, so I’ve been experimenting with various eggless recipes.

This one tastes just like classic cookie dough!!!!

The only thing I would recommend is microwaving your flour for 30 seconds to kill off any bacteria (you know, since everything has salmonella these days), and also, I would add maybe 3/4 c. of chocolate chips instead of a full cup. I am a huge fan of lots of chips in my dough, but all those chips crowd this dough.


Back to Baby!


Big news week 17: Baby’s brain is taking over and regulating her heartbeat, so no more random heart rate/arrhythmia.

She’ll also start to build up some nice body fat from here on out. Just like mom!



Another week 17 symptom: I can no longer get up from a sitting position gracefully. There’s a lot of grunting and rocking back and forth so as to conjure enough momentum to launch myself to standing.

You try attaching a big ball to your stomach and then sitting up! Not easy. I now roll to the side a little which helps to minimize the ever-so-attractive gasping and groaning.

It’s real cute! Just come to Alabama. I’ll show you.

I am also having lots of heartburn. No matter what I eat.

Also, MY TAILBONE IS KILLING ME. Remember? Relaxin and estrogen are two lovely hormones that cause all of your ligaments to mellow out so you can grow during pregnancy AND stretch far enough to deliver a baby. In the meantime, however, these hormones relax the ligaments holding your coccyx in place, which allows it to SHIFT around a lot.

Super painful!

Sitting and walking cause pain. But if I recline in my amazing couch, I feel some relief.

Did I mention how hungry I am week 17?

I thought the whole pregnancy ravenousness wouldn’t hit me, but apparently it was just hibernating until week 17.

GIVE ME EVERYTHING on your plate and on mine.


In other news, this is the size of Baby’s hand at 17 weeks:

Baby's hand size at 17 weeks!


Just to put her astronomically rapid growth into perspective for you, here’s a side-by-side of her hand size at 16 weeks and at 17 weeks:

Baby's hand size at 16 weeks versus 17 weeks.


That might not seem like a lot, but it is.

When’s the last time you grew half an inch in a week?


I love her so much already.


I’d like to take a moment to show you how different poses affect how pregnant you look. 

The side profile is by far the most flattering angle for a pregnant woman. Because it proves she still has curves AND it shows off her belly. Win-win for anyone trying to stay as far away from Whale Pictures as possible.


Anyway, here are three pregnancy pose variations.
Ignore the toothbrush on the counter. Yeah, I know I could crop it out. Leave me alone!

Pregnancy poses!


Pregnancy poses!


Pregnancy poses!


As you can see, hand-on-hip is the most accurate pose for showing you the real size of my belly. My arm covers up the curve of my back in the other two poses. That’s why all of my weekly belly pictures feature the arm-on-hip pose.

Eventually, I am sure I’ll be so big it won’t matter, but I wanted to share this FYI with anyone trying to capture their best bump view.


So I know I’ve been talking about food a LOT in week 17’s post, and that’s because food was the focus of week 17.

For example, I made these glorious raw cocoa balls.

Raw cocoa balls! In a food processor, pulse one cup of nuts, one cup of dates, and 2 T. of cocoa powder until combined and sticky! Then, roll in cocoa powder or chopped nuts. Excellent, healthy pregnancy snack and especially good for growing fetuses.


The recipe is really simple.

Soak one cup of nuts and one cup of dates in water for however long your patience lasts (overnight is best). My patience lasted 10 minutes. Pulse those soaked nuts in a food processor until they’re as fine as possible (mine were pretty chunky), and then add the dates and pulse those until the nuts and dates are combined and sticky. Then add 2 T. of cocoa powder and pulse until it’s all combined. After, roll into balls and roll through cocoa powder or chopped nuts. That’s it!

These raw cocoa balls are an excellent, healthy snack for everyone, but they are especially good for pregnant mamas. Dates and nuts are dynamite nutrient sources when one is growing a fetus.


If you’re me and you forget how to measure, your recipe looks like this:

1 c. walnuts

1 c. almonds

1 c. dates

3 T. cocoa powder


This combination wasn’t very sweet, so I rolled my balls in a mixture of cocoa powder AND coconut sugar.


It’s hard to stop at one. So don’t.

These balls are high in calories, but who cares when you’ve got a 5″ fetus kicking you in the bladder. And especially who cares since they are so plain and simple and just the way nature intended them to be.

Eat up!


Speaking of a 5″ fetus, I just wanted to remind you that, until I am 21 weeks along, my baby is measured crown-to-rump, NOT crown-to-heel.

So, technically, Baby Girl McInnis is longer than 5″. But she’s kind of bunched up (except when she stretches out and kicks me), which is why it’s easier for ultrasound techs to measure her small body head-to-butt.


Since she switches to crown-to-heel measurement at 21 weeks, that means Baby goes from being 6.5″ at 20 weeks to 10.5″ at 21 weeks.


My mom and I figured that, at 17 weeks, Baby is probably about 8″ long if we include her legs. That’s a long baby!!


Here’s a shot of me on the first day of Baby Girl McInnis’s 17th week in utero:

17 weeks pregnant!


Baby Girl is too small to be as big as the belly would have you believe (I think), but the truth is that my uterus is pushing my intestines and everything else OUT OF THE WAY (read: up into my torso) while it expands. Hence the large belly.


Besides, she kicks me now, so I don’t care how big I get anymore because I am on cloud 10,006 and completely unstoppable forevermore.


Now, let’s talk about my OB appointment!


This was just a regular follow-up appointment, at which the doctor squeezes jelly on my stomach and rolls a hand-held doppler around until she can hear and measure my daughter’s heartbeat.

I can hear her heart beat, too, because doctor turns the sound up.

It’s a lot of fun, especially since I only hear it every four weeks.

We even heard Baby Girl do a twirl/spin in there! It was a big whoosh sound.


Then my doctor told me that my uterus was all the way up to my belly button, which surprised me greatly, because Baby Girl usually kicks me in my ovaries/bladder, so I thought she was WAY lower.

But when I thought about it, Baby’s heart rate came through the clearest/loudest when my OB put the doppler right under my belly button, so I guess she’s all over the place.

Either way, Baby Girl is taking over.


My doctor asked me if I am having any issues (I told her I wasn’t), and then I asked her about my free breast pump.

Everyone says you get a free dual electric breast pump machine through your insurance. I’ve also talked to a few Tricare moms (army insurance), and they’ve confirmed that, yes, we do get a free $300 machine.


My doctor wrote me a prescription for a breast pump, handed it to me, and sent me to the lab to have more blood work done.

I don’t know what to do with this prescription, so I am going to do what Alphamom told me to do and call my insurance and ask them the following things:



I’ll keep you posted on what they say. At least I already have the prescription!


The blood work my OB ordered at my week 17 appointment was standard. Apparently it tests for more genetic abnormalities/problems than the Panorama blood test I had done at 10 weeks.

I’m not sure what the results tell me, actually, so I’ll have to keep you posted on that.

I know, I’m a fountain of focus and clarity these days!


I was having a hard time focusing at this appointment because I’ve been 987% distracted since Baby started kicking me, and plus by the time the doctor came in the room, I had long since burned through my breakfast.

Hungry = dumb and distracted, when you’re pregnant.


Also, pregnant = dumb and distracted period.

Want an example?

Here it is:

Husband and I were driving on the highway, and we passed a billboard that said “aPORKalypse.”

Me: “A..pork..ocalypse.”

Me: “A…pork…pocalypse.”

Husband: “Are you having a stroke?”

Me: “No, that billboard says…a…pork…aPORKcalypse!!”

Husband: *silence*

Me: “It’s like apocalypse, except it says PORK in huge numbers.”


I literally said numbers.

And then I almost peed my pants because I was laughing so hard.

I also forgot to pay our land payment, and when the lady called Husband to tell him, he told her his wife has baby brain and he’d take care of it.



This dumbness is why after I made a huge deal about accidentally revealing Baby Girl’s name in week 15’s post, I DID THE SAME DAMN THING IN WEEK 16’s POST.

It’s not my fault, though, because I’m pregnant.


really want to reveal her name at my baby shower in August, but my mom says at the rate I’m going, there will only be three people on the planet who DON’T already know her name.



So, I go back to the OB in THREE WEEKS for my 20-week anatomy scan ultrasound!!!!


Last time we saw Baby Girl McInnis, she looked like a gummy bear.

In three weeks, she’ll look like a real baby!!


Here’s a silhouette of me at 17 weeks.

17 weeks pregnant.


I’m huge!

Although, I feel like I am not as big in real life as I am in all the pictures I take.

I’m probably in denial.

Anyway, the silhouette photo is a cool way to capture Baby + me head-to-toe, so I’ll try to remember to keep taking these shots.


Here’s a picture of me parked on the couch in my PJs after my OB appointment (and my post-appointment lunch date with my Alabama friend).

17 weeks pregnant.


I almost fell asleep in the car on the way home, I was so tired! Sometimes, pregnancy just pulls the rug out from under you.

I was fine, I promise, it was just that I was all cozy and warm in my car and slumping further and further in my seat the closer I got to my house.

I fell asleep on my couch the minute I hit it.


In Rucker-affiliated news, he’s still as cute and as weird as ever.

What a weirdo


He stood like that, on my toes, for a good 45 seconds.

I think Husband and I have decided that we are going to stick with one Great Dane for now. Remember? Last week I wanted another puppy REAL bad.

But then my baby brain kicked in and I remembered that I am going to have to carry an infant around wherever I go in a few months, and, really, I’d prefer to only have one dog to trip over/push off of me.


Other than all of these events, nothing crazy happened during week 17.

I did some more cold calling (work), relaxed with Husband, and went for lots of walks with baby Rucker.

He LOVES walks.


I also repeatedly experienced waves of shock every time I realized that I am almost TWO WEEKS away from being halfway through my pregnancy.

Where on earth has the time gone?!


Fast time passing = my mom returns to Alabama sooner (with my nephew).



Now, stay tuned for week 18’s post, because I’ll be attending my first baby/parenting class at the hospital!



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