1. At just 4 days after fertilization… What? That zygote doesn’t look human? Well, scientifically, it is! It’s growing, so it must be alive. It has human parents, so it must be human. In fact, since fertilization, that zygote has possessed a predetermined sex (it’s a girl!) and her own unique set of human DNA. Her DNA will guide her body’s development over the next nine months (and its entire lifetime!). Remember, don’t judge or discriminate against other human beings just because they don’t look like us!
2. At just 5-6 weeks of gestation…Despite being only a quarter of an inch long, her nose, mouth, and ears are already taking shape! Her heart is beating about 100 times a minute (almost twice as fast as yours) and blood is beginning to circulate through her body. Brain waves have been detectable for at least 2-3 weeks already!
3. At just 7 weeks gestation…Most of that growth is concentrated in the head as new brain cells are generated at the rate of 100 per minute. Your baby’s mouth and tongue are forming as arm and leg buds sprout, and those little kidneys are getting ready to do their job (pee production and excretion).
4. At about 10 weeks…All of her major body functions are up and running: the kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver are all working. Her tiny arms and legs can already start to flex. Most abortions in the United States take place around this time. If she’s lucky, her mom will love her enough to let her live.
5. At 12 weeks…Her muscles are beginning to bulk up, so she’s busily stretching and kicking. If you put your hand on your tummy, she’ll likely wiggle in response because her reflexes are starting to develop, although you won’t feel it yet.
6. At 16 weeks gestation…This week, the baby is going through a growth spurt. Soon she’ll be growing locks of hair on her head and she’s already started growing toenails. Every day, her heart pumps about 25 quarts of blood through her body.
7. Sucking her thumb at about 18-20 weeks gestation…Right about now, she has her own unique set of fingerprints.
8. Around 6-7 months gestation…The baby can now respond to external sounds by moving and increasing the pulse. A mother may notice jerking motions if the baby hiccups!
9. At around 8 months gestation…This baby can hear and is beginning to recognize her mother’s voice. Her skin is pink and she already is beginning to get that cute, chunky appearance that newborns have. That extra fat is very important, because it allows the baby to regulate her temperature after birth.
We’re all just grown up embryos…
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