Get Me Out by Randi Hutter Epstein is an informative book on the history of childbirth dating back as far as the 1700’s. It is about the myths, legends, and backstory to how we have looked at pregnancy. A very well-written book that shows how the way pregnancy was viewed has influenced social movements, and how it even caused some.
Some important info: An embryo is the stage a baby is in before it turns into a fetus. There a complicated process for how that happens on a molecular level, but the long and short of it is this: a sperm and an egg come together, germinate, and develop over time to become an embryo. Embryos aren’t considered living human organisms just yet, and some may argue that fetuses aren’t either. But either way, it’s good to know.
The first Trimester is when the fetus starts out tiny (.004 cm). Their heart starts to beat, the nervous and digestive systems are visible as well as the face. Most mothers at this point have morning sickness and weird food cravings. They start to gain weight, feel fatigued, and experience frequent urination . By the end the fetus is around 7.5 cm.
The second Trimester is full of life. By now the fetus is 15 cm. You can feel fetal movements, and if you have the pleasure of getting a ultrasound you can see the fine little hair on the fetus. There is a lot of brain developments in this stage as well, including the lung sacs . In this stage you can also see a lot of development in the skin, hair and nails. By the end of the sixth month the fetus is 60 cm. Mothers in this stage may experience bleeding gums, breasts enlargement, thicker hair, and constipation.
The third Trimester is putting the finishing touches on the baby that is now of variable size. The fetus cannot survive on its own without medical attention, but is fully developed. There is rapid growth, as it soon grows to be from 46-56 cm. At this point fat starts to accumulate on the fetus as well. At this point in time mother’s are probably bleeding, having heartburn, hemorrhoids, shortness of breath, and swelling.
I used to just associate pregnancy with babies that I took care of, but now I tend to look a lot more at the mother. And while I don’t plan on having kids in the near future, the whole process seems very troublesome for a tiny child. The developments are amazing to me, and how fast they happen seems remarkable. Once you watch a video on delivery, you will never be the same. That being said, I think my more educated outlook on pregnancy allows me to appreciate the mother, and admire her for undergoing so much bodily change. Delivery makes me the most scared. Conception, to me, seems really cool and I feel like marveling it from afar at the moment. So much happens in nine months, its pretty amazing.