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ALIPIO, Noreen Anne C.

2015-05645 October 18, 2015

A Mother’s nine month journey

Pregnancy is a journey parents especially a woman undergoes for her child. Her body
provides sustenance and shelter for the growing child in her womb for nine months. Her body
goes through major physical and internal changes just to accommodate to the needs of her
These very nine months of a woman’s life will not only change her life but also give birth to a
new life that she would love more than her own.
It all starts with the egg. A woman’s egg is the only cell that is visible to the naked eye.
It travels from the ovaries to the fallopian tube and when sperm reaches and penetrate it, this
would start a new life. Hundreds of sperm fight for dominance over the egg cell but only one
can truly penetrate it. The sperm carries genetic information in DNA that would mix with the
mother’s genetic information.
DNA contains all the information needed to make up the various parts of a new being
like the eyes, nose, ears and others. As the fertilized egg travels days through the fallopian
tube, the cell divides again and again growing bigger and bigger than the egg. They go to the
womb and in there the new life begins to grow. Certain genes switch on and instructs the cells
to be part of something bigger like the eyes, legs and the arms. These cells with common
function multiply and take shape becoming the embryo.
The swelling in the embryo’s back will form the brain, spinal cords and skin. Buds also
grow that will soon become arms, legs, liver, and heart. In the third week, the heart beats
despite having only 2 chambers. After a month, more changes will happen. There would be
the development of the brain, eyes, lungs, stomach, kidneys and intestines.
Five weeks old, the embryo is now attached to the membrane by the umbilical cord.
The jaws appears and brain is developing. The dark patches present in the embryo will soon
become the baby’s retina. No eyelids cover the eyes and there are also no bones so the baby’s
limbs are supported by the cartilage. The embryo’s head is 1/3 its volume.
In Six Weeks, the hands are still webbed but are growing. The mouth is also visible
with the lips and a tongue is developing with buds for teeth.
In Seven Weeks, the baby can be ultra-sounded. Its movements could be seen but
can’t be felt by the mother because the embryo is too small. Despite the size, the facial
features are developing, the limbs are longer now and the touch pads of the hands are
developing. The baby’s eyes also have it retina in this stage.
In the eight week, the embryo becomes a fetus by developing its bones. Week and
weeks after that, more of the skeleton develops.
In the ninth week, the fetus is out of proportion with its head half its length. It floats on
a fluid filled sac with eyes shut and nostril plugged. Its foot prints and palm prints are already
In the thirteenth week, hairs begin to grow and a secretion covers its whole body. It
protects the baby’s skin from the fluid surrounding it.
After the fourteenth week, the fetus’ body catches up to its head and its legs are longer
that it arms. The fetus is developing various reflexes like sucking its thumb. It also has
differents activities in this stage separated by sleep.
In the sixteenth week, the baby puts on fat and takes up the whole area of the mother’s
womb. This forces the mother’s abdomen to expand to accommodate the change in size.
At twenty weeks, you can know if the baby is a girl or a boy. The mothers feel the
baby’s movement. The umbilical cord provides nourishment and placenta function as the lungs
of the baby.
A mother’s heart increases in size pumping 1/3 more blood into her system. Blood
pressure build up in her veins and she also feels more heat.
In the final eight weeks, the baby’s appearance changes little but he brain and spinal
still continues to develop. The baby’s muscle tone also improves. In this stages, normally
mothers have gained almost 30 pounds because of the pregnancy.
In the ninth month, the baby is now lying head down which is the easiest position for
birth. The baby has to past 4 in birth canal. The mother’s womb contractions are moving the
baby out. There is a time duration between contractions but as time continues, the duration
between them lessens. The baby’s head has to squeeze itself into a narrow opening only a
fraction of an inch wide.
The baby’s first cry clears up his air passages allowing him to breathe. The umbilical
cord is cut too. He might turn blue for a moment due to the lack of oxygen but will eventually
turn to pink.
A week after delivery, babies do minor activities like yawn, hiccup, sneeze, cough,
stretch and sleep. The baby will remain dependent to its parents for years to come until it
comes of age.