The last update on progress we had was week 15! That means I’m 6 weeks behind! Here’s a mini summary based on email reports from Emma’s Diary, SMA, Cow & Gate, Bounty and Huggies…
Your vital stats: 4.5″ / 80g
Your tiny arms and legs completed forming and began retaining calcium (ossifying). Your nervous system also beganoperating and your muscles started to respond to stimulation / messages sent from your brain (cerebral cortex). This means you have some control now over your movements (so next time mummy begs you to stop wriggling when she’s trying to sleep – pack it in). We’ve seen some evidence of your gymnastic skills on our last scan already so you’re clearly a happy boy in there!
Your vital stats: 5″ (9″ if you could stretch out)/ 100g
You grew to the size of a small melon this week and entered another growth spurt. Your skeleton continued to harden from rubbery cartilage to bone, and brown fat (adipose tissue) surrounded your tiny frame. This brown fat is crucial for body heat generation so it’s not that you’re a porky baby! These fat deposits will make up about 3/4 of your total bodyweight at birth.
My umbilical cord (your lifeline to the placenta) thickened and strengthened a great deal this week also as you’re demanding more sustenance from me. In fact, it’s almost the same size as you at this moment and contains thousands of weeney blood vessels to provide you with the oxygen you need to keep growing (you’ll overtake this in the next few weeks but I bet it was slightly cramped in there for a while). A layer of protective myelin also formed around your spine to keep your shape, and your intestines began to function on their own. On a less scientific note, you grew your eyebrows xx
You grew much more responsive to sound and mummy can testify to this; She felt you vibrating in the cinema this week (it’s okay, we watched Iron Lady which was boring so you didn’t ruin the film). Mummy also got a little more unstable on her feet and has to be careful when she stands up from sitting on her bum. Daddy pulls mummy up now to stop her crushing you (this is because the uterus is now level with my belly button). Luckily there’s been no sign of the dark patches on my face that some books predicted – a few new spots though which mummy is none too pleased about.
Here’s a 3D image of another baby (just like you) at week 17.
Your vital stats: 6″ / 200g
At this point you still had a fair bit of room to play in and kept on rolling around. Books say this was your most active phase but your were too tiny for mummy to feel it. Perhaps the most amazing thing this week is that your ‘boy bits’ formed (well… your prostrate gland)! When you eventually get around to reading this you’ll want to kill me – but in 16 or so years time you’ll be thanking week 18!
You retinas became more responsive to light also so you’re now vaguely aware of the difference between daylight and night time (although mummy isn’t quite sure you have this nailed yet). Some books say you’re now settling into a routine – I sincerely hope this isn’t true! Daddy bought mummy a special pillow right about now. This moulds to mummy’s tummy to protect me rolling on you. Although this helps, mummy wakes up around 4 times a night still from shooting pain. I’m hoping this isn’t too indicative of your routine in a few months time!
Inside your lungs, tiny air sacs called alveoli began developing. Your fingerprints also began to appear on your finger pads and vernix (a white waxy covering) formed on your deicate skin to protect it. More amazingly, your eyes began to move beneath your eyelids. Your ears also moved into position and began to stick out (oh dear! Daddy has big ones so let’s hope yours are more like mine). This little fact made me well up a little – you began to go through the motions of crying but no one can hear you as you have no real air to breathe… aww – how cute. You can also yawn and frown now xx