Baby girl, you are grow grow growing and getting so much stronger! I feel you every day now and look forward to playing and talking to you when you’re awake. I LOVE it. Seriously. I can’t even begin to describe the ear to ear grin and feeling of love I get when you’re up and dancing in my tummy! You’re doing some serious maturing right now and weight gain, so let’s see what you’ve been up to this past week!
- You weigh close to a pound at this point!
- You can now hear our conversations more clearly than before! When I talk, read, or sing, you hear me loud and clear. Studies have found that newborns will suck more vigorously when read to from a book they heard frequently in utero, so that’s what we’re doing…along with music. And the reason for this clarity? Your cochlea has reached adult size and functionality!! (The cochlea is the frequency analyzer of the ear and converts sound waves of varying frequencies into electrical impulses which are then communicated to the brain. By 22 weeks it reaches adult size within the fully developed inner ear. From now on, you will respond to a growing medley of sounds!)
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- Your eyelids and eyebrows are fully formed. And in the next couple of weeks those beautiful eyelids that have been fused shut, will open.
- Your fingernails have grown to the end of your fingers.
- Your brain has entered a stage of rapid growth, especially in what’s called the germinal matrix. This structure deep in the middle of the brain serves as a kind of factory for brain cells and disappears shortly before birth. But your brain’s amazing expansion capabilities will continue until around your fifth birthday! Swoon!
- With some help from me, your liver is starting to break down bilirubin, a by-product produced by your red blood cells.
Lots of great stuff kiddo! Here are some google images of what you look like this week:
How cool is this one (and of course my favorite from this week)…YOUR BRAIN! An actual 22 week fetal brain. OMG amazing!! This has got to be one of the coolest pictures I’ve ever seen. Notice that you do not have a lot of gyri (bumps) and sulci (grooves) yet…that is to come of course, but that anatomy is perfect!