A few weeks ago, I decided to make a fetal growth chart for gamer moms. I wanted to do something fun to celebrate babies’ growth.
At my 30 week prenatal appointment, we had an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech asked my husband and I if we wanted to guess the baby’s size, and we were hilariously off.
With my first, I had taken a few bump photos and plastered them with the obligatory fruit comparison.
But this pregnancy, I had no clue what size my baby was supposed to be at 30 weeks. Grapes? Jicama? As is true for most second pregnancies, my toddler has kept me so busy that I hardly have time to think. Which is good considering what we have going on.
If you’ve been pregnant before, you might be thinking, “I don’t remember a 30 week ultrasound.” And you’d be right.
30 Week Ultrasound
A 30 week ultrasound isn’t standard procedure, but I was diagnosed with a single umbilical artery (SUA). It was identified at the week 20 ultrasound when they looked at the blood flow direction.
Everything looked great for most of the appointment until I noticed the ultrasound tech pause for a long moment on the umbilical cord and then type 2VD on the screen. Where there should have been 3 vessels (1 vein and 2 arteries), there were only 2. With my daughter I had an unusually short umbilical cord, so I guess I’m just not great at making cords.
Anytime something unusual comes up during a prenatal appointment, it can be worrying. And like any good mom with anxiety, I dove deep into the internet.
Single Umbilical Artery
SUAs can be associated with cardiac or kidney abnormalities. For example, a baby might only have one artery in the cord if they only have one kidney. SUAs can also be associated with IUGR (growth restriction, seem towards the end of pregnancy) and IUFD (fetal demise). Very scary stuff.
After a very thorough week 20 anatomy scan, we saw that baby boy has two kidneys, his heart looks strong, and there were no other obvious organ or chromosomal issues. Although I did opt out of any extra/invasive chromosomal testing beyond the basic trisomy checks.
When the rest of the ultrasound looks normal, they call this an iSUA, or an isolated single umbilical artery.
It doesn’t take away all the worries completely but knowing the rest of his organs look good does relieve some of my anxiety. But even in the absence of other problems, iSUA can be associated with preterm birth, growth restriction, and IUFD.
These arteries are what remove deoxygenated blood and waste products from the baby. With only one, things could back up. So until he’s here with me, I’ll get extra ultrasounds to check on his size and weight. And kick counts are all the more important.
I realize there are no guarantees with any pregnancy and I’ve spent months accepting that there is only so much I can do to impact the outcome. I’m taking care of myself and going for all my appointments but mostly I just hope that we are lucky in the end and have a nice uncomplicated rest of the pregnancy and a happy baby boy in our arms soon. And I’m thankful for my toddler for keeping too distracted to worry.
The Growth Chart
So again, to celebrate our babies and all the amazing growing they do in there, I wanted to make a growth chart for gamer moms and gamer babies. I hope you enjoy!
I tried to do height and weight, but unlike fruit where height and weight are well-correlated, for video game consoles and characters those two things are not so related.
So I opted for length only, mostly because that information was more accessible or more deducible (knowing X character’s height and approximating Y’s height).
How did I do this?
Many, many internet resources
A tape measure and my basement, for system measurements
My brain and real life (Hollow Knight compared to a grub, assuming Chip and Dale are standard chipmunk size, etc)
I was shocked at how tall some of the characters were. I thought for sure I’d be putting a Goomba on the list but did you know that Mario is 5’1″? So Goombas are way bigger than you’d expect and that would make Princess Peach 6′.
I checked so many games where I thought the characters were small, only to be surprised that they weren’t (StarFox, Secret of Mana, Banjo-Kazooie).
So you’ll notice a lot of gaming systems/consoles featured in the list. The reasons are twofold. First, it’s hilarious to look down at my pregnant stomach and picture a PS4 in there. Second, those dimensions were easily found.
A lot of things are the same size too, like Sackboy and GameCube. Kirby and the NES. Caterpie and PS4. And The Prince and Chibi Robo and Chip and Dale (all about 4”).
Also, there are also a lot of Pokemon (they are small and heights/weights are established fact) and Smash Bros. characters on the chart. You Smash fans are hardcore about knowing how tall everyone is, even though it seems to be generally agreed upon that the height depictions during gameplay are not canon.
So, again, many thanks are due to the brave soldiers who came before me in attempting to figure out how tall video game characters are:
And, yeah, maybe I copped out with my players guide (a standard 11” long piece of paper), and the 18” laptop and 19” monitor because those are items that can come in almost every conceivable size. It was a lot harder to find video game characters in those ranges.
If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them!
Disclaimer: Many of the images in the chart are from the game or the cover art for the game, so copyright is most likely held by the game’s publisher or developer. It is believed that low-resolution images of cover art constitutes fair use.
Beth lives in Georgia with her husband, toddler daughter, two cats, and basement full of video games. She has a full-time job and a crazy commute. Beth describes her parenting style as “instant oats mama.” She’s a crunchy mama who also appreciates modern conveniences. In her spare time, you’ll catch her playing exploration, simulation, survival, or puzzle games.