I’m quickly approaching 10 weeks so I need to update what has been going on with you, my little one.
As I mentioned a few days ago, you have now officially left the embryonic period and entered the fetal period of your development, yay! The fetal period (9-36 weeks) is about continued differentiation of organs and tissues, most importantly this period is about growth both in size and weight. You are at a Carnegie stage 22/23 (56-60 days past conception – and the last Carnegie stage) now and you most definitely look human. Here is a scanning electron microscope picture of you at this stage in development:
And a pathology picture (courtesy of UNSW Embryology):
Many different systems formed in the embryonic period (known as organogenesis) grow and differentiate further during the fetal period. They do so at different times. For example, the brain continues to grow and develop extensively during this period (and postnatally) making thousands upon thousands of new neurons (neurogenesis) and making primitive connections or pathways with other neurons, the respiratory system differentiates (and completes only just before birth), the urogenital system further differentiates between male and female, endocrine and gastrointestinal tract begins to function.
The embryonic period involved transient structures to establish body and placental tissues, folding and form. The long fetal period (which is 4 times as long as the embryonic period) is a time of extensive growth in size and mass as well as ongoing differentiation of organ systems that were established in the embryonic period.
Take a look at this graph (courtesy of UNSW Embryology) that depicts fetal length and weight in the second and third trimesters. We are getting ready to grow, grow, grow!
And of course, every week I like to find pictures of what you look like inside me since the ultrasound pictures don’t really do you justice:
It’s kind of creepy and cool how there is a fully formed miniature human being inside my belly right now. Crazy, right?! And, you are upside down (well at your last ultrasound you were) just like the above picture shows.
This one I just thought was amazing. It’s a complete 9 week old embryo with the gestational sac and yolk sac still in tact. Beautiful.
p.s. I weighed myself this morning and I lost more weight. 😦 I’m so sorry baby monkey. I’m really trying. I promise. I’ve been eating all the time, all throughout the day. Sigh. I know I won’t have this problem later in the pregnancy so I’m trying not to stress too much about it, but I know you need your nutrients. Will keep taking all my vitamins and keep shoving food in my mouth haha.
p.p.s. In moments of silence and stillness I think of you. And I endlessly wory. Today I’m convinced that I haven’t felt very nauseous and no real stretching pains. I lost weight. I want to cry. My brain tells me this is all so illogical. I’ve seen you up on the ultrasound screen three times now with a beautiful, perfect heartbeat. This means I have a greater than 95% chance of having a successful pregnancy. But your angel sibling died at 9 weeks and 1 day, after we saw her beautiful heart beating. What am I suppose to do? How am I suppose to get through this? I feel alone. I know there is nothing I, or anyone else can do, but wait. Wait and let nature decide what is best for both of us. I’ll just keep telling myself that. I wish I could peek in on you every day just to make sure you’re doing well. I already love being your mommy.