Milestones

Important events in Little Bear's new life. 

 Little Bear home

We're in the home stretch now... less than 40 days to go!! 

hmmm...maybe I should reconsider that gender/pronoun comment. :)  See the Guestbook entry for 18 September for more information. 

19 week ultra sound picture.  Now isn't that just the cutest profile!  If you look carefully you can just make out a thumb and four fingers of the right hand waving around up by her... yes, her... ear. :)  It should be known, however, that in this house, girl does NOT equal pink.  Purple and green are still the colors of choice.

 

15week doppler recording.  Call me a junkie, but after hearing LBC at the doctor's office I wanted more.  We rented a doppler that can record LBC's heartbeat so now you can hear what we hear. 

12 week ultra sound picture. This is our latest picture of LittleBear.  There were so many good pictures, but we were only allowed to choose one.  Although, in one of the pictures LBC looked like s/he was waving at us! :)

 

8 week ultra sound picture. Now, in the u/s LB looks a little less like a human and more like a jelly bean, but all the books say that the jelly bean in the picture actually looks like this.

Little Bear's 19 week heart rate measured 140 bpm. 

Little Bear's 12 week heart rate measured 150 bpm. 

Little Bear's  8 week heart rate measured 160 bpm.

38 weeks

On average, at this time, a baby weighs about 6.8 pounds (3100g) and measures about 14 inches (35cm) from crown to rump and 21 inches (47cm) total in length.  LBC is still growing and gaining weight and may gain as much as 1 ounce (28g) a day at this point.

LBC has been building up waste in his/her intestines for the past few weeks. Called meconium, this waste is greenish-black and is made up of material from blood cell break down, shedded cells from the lining of the intestine, skin cells and lanugo shed into the amniotic fluid and swallowed, as well as other sources. Meconium is the first waste a baby passes and the first diapers changed will probably be comprised of this greenish-black, tar-like substance.  (ahhh, fun with poop...and it begins. lol)

 adapted from fertiityfriend.com

 

36 weeks

Little Bear weighs about 6 lbs (2750g) and measures about 20.7 inches (46cm) in length. Crown to rump measurement is about 13.5 inches (34cm).

S/he now feels lower in your pelvis and continues to grow, kick, and move about.

His/her face has filled out and the cheeks now look plump and full. Fat baby cheeks are caused by fat deposits, but also by powerful sucking muscles which your baby has been honing by sucking her thumb.

LBC's skull is firm (no hard head jokes please), but it is not hard as it needs to give a little when it is passing through the birth canal.

 adapted from fertiityfriend.com

 34 weeks

LittleBear weighs almost 5 lbs (2250 g) and is 12.8 inches (32cm) from crown to rump and about 19.8 inches (44cm) long.

S/he were born now, s/he would be considered "pre-term" rather than premature. This distinction is based on fetal maturity, particularly the maturity of the fetal lungs. A pre-term baby, unlike a premature baby, is likely to have well-developed lungs and is less likely to need intensive care.

LBC is surrounded by a red glow when sunlight shines on your belly and may be aware of this as s/he is able to differentiate between light and dark.

The hair is getting thicker, though it may be a different color when older. The lanugo, the fine downy hair that previously covered the body is shedding.

More vernix, the waxy coating that protects the skin while submerged in amniotic fluid, is building up.

LBC's adrenal glands are producing more steroid hormone, the androgen-like hormone that indirectly aids in milk production. S/he is currently producing ten times more of this hormone than a normal adult and the adrenal glands are currently the same size as those of an adolescent. They will shrink after birth.

LBC is laying down bone. To do this, s/he will draw calcium from you.

LBC has taste buds and it has been suggested that s/he can taste and develop tastes for flavors found in the amniotic fluid, particularly flavors that you eat on a regular basis.... so bring on the vindaloo and jalepenos! :)

  adapted from fertiityfriend.com

 31 weeks

Morgan now weighs about 3.5 lbs (1600g) and measures about 18 inches (40cm) in total and about 11.2 inches (28cm) from crown to rump.  Her increasing size means that she has less room to move around in your uterus.

According to the midwife she has already moved into the head-down position.

Her lungs are maturing and their lining, which prevents air sacs from collapsing, is growing. This lung development means that she would have a much greater chance of survival if she were born prematurely.

About 16 fluid ounces of blood are flowing through the wall of the uterus to the site of the placenta, though my blood never mixes with her blood. It is separated by the placental barrier which is a very thin wall. Water, nutrients and waste are exchanged across this barrier at a rate of 0.3 fluid ounces per second.

She swallows amniotic fluid and urinates.

Morgan's ears are sufficiently developed to hear and recognize my voice, the voices of other family members as well as familiar musical tunes.  She reacts to Jim's voice reading to her at night and dances around to both The Police and Nine Inch Nails.

 adapted from fertiityfriend.com

28 weeks

Morgan weighs about 2.5 lbs (1.1kg) and is about 10 inches (25cm) from crown to rump and 15 inches (38 cm) long from head to toe.

At this time, her tastebuds allow her to distinguish between sweet, sour and bitter tastes.  Brain tissue and brain development increases at this time as she grows the folds and grooves needed for a developed brain.  Eyebrows and eyelashes are probably present and the hair on her head is growing longer.

Morgan's body is filling out, getting a bit fatter as fat deposition continues, but it is still somewhat red and wrinkled.  She is big enough for his presentation to be determined. That is, the midwife can probably tell how she is oriented in my uterus. She may be breech (bottom down) or head first. If she is in a breech position now, there is no need to worry as there is still plenty of room and time for her to change positions.

She can feel pain and respond to it in the same way as a full term baby
 
adapted from fertiityfriend.com

26 weeks

Morgan weighs just under 2 pounds (850g) and could possibly survive if delivered now. She measures approximately 9.2 inches (23cm) from crown to rump.

She is growing fast and gaining weight now. Her skin is less transparent and is becoming opaque as fat builds up.

Her heart is beating 120 to 160 beats per minute, as you have already heard at several doctor or midwife visits. (or on the dopler recording in the left column)

Until now, Morgan's eyes have been sealed shut, but she reopens them this week. Her eyes are almost fully formed and the retinas contain all the layers they will have when she is born. Her eyes are blue right now, no matter the ethnic origin or eye-color of Jim or me since eyes do not acquire their final color until months after birth.

Morgan is lean right now, but is getting fatter all the time as fat is being deposited. Her skin is getting thicker and paler and is becoming less red and wrinkled as more fat is deposited.

She has eyebrows, eyelashes and fingernails, though all are short and need to grow more.
adapted from fertiityfriend.com

24 weeks. (sorry, the move has put me a week behind)

Morgan is now about 8.4 inches from crown to rump (21cm) and weighs about 1.2 pounds (530g).  

Her face and body now look more like a full-term baby. She now looks close to how she will look at birth.  Her eyes, though they are still closed, are now close together on the front of the face and the ears are in their final position. Eyelashes are fairly well-developed and hair is growing on your baby's head.

Morgan's movements are becoming more restricted now as she fills up the uterus more. Cartwheels and somersaults inside the amniotic sac are no longer possible, but she can still hold the umbilical cord and touch and feel around her. Though your baby is already living in tight quarters in the amniotic sac, she will soon have even less room to move around.

Her vital organs are now quite mature. However, since the lungs are not yet fully formed, your baby would have breathing problems if born prematurely at this stage.

She is becoming increasingly conscious of the world outside and may feel startled when you are startled.  She may alternate between having very active and very calm periods.  She may have facial expressions such as frowning, squinting and pursing of the lips.

adapted from fertiityfriend.com

20 weeks

Although the placenta provides nearly all of the baby's nourishment, she will begin to absorb small amounts of sugar from swallowed amniotic fluid. This week, her bone marrow starts making blood cells — a job done by the liver and spleen until this point.

The rapid growth phase begins to slow down this week. The heart grows stronger this week, and the legs are reaching their relative proportions. Her eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed and the fingernails cover the fingertips. 

She now weighs about three-quarters of a pound and is approximately 10 1/2 inches long. Her eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed. And you can certainly feel her move. She's oblivious to your schedule, though, so don't be surprised if she starts working out just when you're settling down for the night. Her vagina is formed now, though it will continue to develop. 

There's a saying: 'Little pitchers have big ears'. She can now hear your conversations. If you talk, read, or sing to your baby, expect her to hear you. Some studies have found that newborns will suck more vigorously when read to from a book they heard frequently in utero. If you want to try, pick a book now and read it out loud. Make sure you won't mind reading it over and over once the baby is here. It may be your baby's favourite bedtime story for a long time after birth.

adapted from multiple websites: www.mayclinic.com, www.babycentre.co.uk, www.babyconnection.com, and www.babycenter.com.

 
18 weeks

LittleBear measures about 5.2 to 6 inches (13-15cm) from crown to rump and weighs about 7 ounces (200g).

The buds for the permanent teeth are forming behind those that have already developed for the first teeth.

LBC's nervous system and brain development continue at a spectacular pace. By this week, LittleBear's motor neurons, which connect muscle to the brain, have grown into place so that s/he can consciously direct his/her movements. Millions of neurons inside the brain are growing and forming connections and the nerves in his/her body are being covered in a fatty substance called myelin.

LittleBear's ears are now placed on the sides of her head and her limbs are now in proportion. The tiny foot is just one inch long, but is in perfect proportion to the rest of the leg.

LittleBear can hear my voice and recognize it.  S/he can apparently also hear and recognize Trent Reznor's as s/he dances like a mad thing every time I play NIN. :)

 adapted from fertilityfriend.com

 16 weeks.

LittleBear now weighs more than the surrounding placenta. S/he measures about 4.4 to 4.8 inches (about 11 to 12cm) from crown to rump and weighs about 3.5 ounces (100g). S/he is positioned halfway between your pubic bone and your navel.

Fat, which is important for your LittleBear's metabolism and heat production is beginning to form around this time.

The placenta, which will weigh more than a pound at full term, is also developing rapidly. It is now a large and well-established network of blood vessels responsible for exchanging nutrients and waste to support LBC.

adapted from fertilityfriend.com

 14 weeks, 0 days.

LBC measures about 3.7 to 4.1 inches (about 9.3 to 10.3cm) from crown to rump and weighs about 1.75 ounces (50g).  The bones still consist of soft cartilage but they are now beginning to harden and the development of the bones and the marrow continues. The ears are developing into a more recognizable shape and any hair already on the head and brows will become thicker.  LBC's skin is thin and translucent and all the blood vessels can be seen through it.  His/her hair continues to grow on his/her head and his/her eyebrows. If the hair will be dark, the follicles will start to generate pigment to color.  LBC is moving more now and is becoming increasingly flexible. S/he can bend his/her arms at the elbows and wrists and s/he can make tiny fists withhis/ her hands.

adapted from fertilityfriend.com

12 weeks, 2 days.

 LBC measured big for his/her actual age.  Although by my calculations (which, if I must say, are very likely to be accurate) LBC should be 12 weeks 2 days, s/he measured 12 weeks 4 days.  S/he measured 6.2 cm from crown to rump and had a heart rate of 150 bpm.  Although it's too early to tell, Jim is convinced that LBC will have his nose and forehead. :D We can say for sure that s/he has 10 cute little fingers as s/he was waving them at us as the u/s wand wandered over my belly. 

10 weeks, Little Bear is now a fetus:

LBC is no longer an embryo! Though barely the size of a kumquat — just an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weighing less than a quarter of an ounce, LBC now has completed the most critical portion of development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in the body rapidly grow and mature. The vital organs — the liver, kidney, intestines, brain, and lungs — are now in place and starting to function (although they'll continue to develop throughout pregnancy). The liver continues to make blood cells, and the yolk sac, which previously supplied these cells, is no longer needed and begins to disappear.
     During the next three weeks, LBC's length will more than double to nearly 3 inches. The head is proportionately smaller now than it was a few weeks ago, but it's still almost half the length of the entire body. The forehead temporarily bulges with the developing brain and sits high on the head; it will later recede to give a more human appearance. Each day, more minute details — including tiny fingernails, toenails, and peach-fuzz hair — start to appear. The fingers are now completely separated; the arms bend at the elbow and curve slightly; the hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over the heart; the legs are lengthening; and the feet may be long enough to meet in front of the body. LBC is busily swallowing amniotic fluid and kicking.
     Spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from the spinal cord.

    adapted from babycenter.com

 

8 week development update:

LBC is now 5/8 of an inch long, about the size of a kidney bean. S/he's constantly moving and shifting, although feeling these womb wiggles is still not possible for several weeks yet. The embryonic tail is disappearing, and eyelids practically cover the eyes. Still slightly webbed, the fingers and toes are growing longer. The arms have lengthened, too, and the hands are now flexed at the wrist and meet over the heart. Knee joints have formed, and the feet may be long enough to meet in front of the body. With the trunk straightening out, the head is more erect. Breathing tubes extend from the throat to the branches of the developing lungs. The nerve cells in the brain are also branching out to connect with one another, forming primitive neural pathways.

    adapted from babycenter.com