sciencegeekgirl is making a sciencegeekboy

by Stephanie Chasteen on June 10, 2012

I’ve been a blogger in-abstentia for several months, and I wanted to poke my head in to say hello and explain my absence.

As you can see, my obstetrician has a sense of humor.  Yup, I’ve been busy making lungs, feet, and lots of extra blood cells, so just have been feeling a bit distracted from blogging.  I’m at 25 weeks now (6 months), due in September.  And, yes, it’s a baby boy.  He’s getting rambunctious, kicking his momma a-plenty.

Being a physicist, I’m suddenly fascinated by all this biology.   Conception and birth was always so textbook-dry (probably like Newton’s Laws are to most non-physicists), but since we saw videos of what was happening inside me,  well, me and mr. geekgirl have been pretty fascinated by the whole thing.  Where there was nothing, my body has managed to make something.  And now I can see my belly poke out when geekboy’s foot lands a well-placed kick, while it’s rather reminiscent of Alien, it also makes us just shake our head at how weird this whole thing is. For example, it amazes us how quickly structures and function begin to form.  On our first doctor  visit, we heard the heartbeat.  By the second, he was doing backflips inside me.

Here is the rundown of what’s going on inside me this week (courtesy of Baby2See):You are 25 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 23 weeks

  • Baby is around 13.5 inches in length and weighs 1 and half pounds.
  • Bones are becoming solid, hands are now fully developed.
  • The brain is growing rapidly, the brain cells are starting to mature.
  • The sexual organs are fully developed.
  • Babies born at 25 weeks of pregnancy have about a 50% chance of survival.  (Wow!)

Baby is now pretty well-built proportionally even though it still has little body fat and its skin is thin. The structures of the spine begin to form — All 33 rings, 150 joints and 1000 ligaments. The tiny brain is growing rapidly, and the baby is starting to fill the space in your uterus. The uterus is now about the size of a soccer ball and mom looks pregnant.

Your baby’s hands are now fully developed, although some of the nerve connections to the hands have a long way to go. Dexterity is improving. Your baby can make a fist and clasp objects placed in palm (how do they know that!? asks my husband). Exploring the structures inside your uterus may have become baby’s prime entertainment. Fascinated by the amount of tactile stimulation a fetus gives itself; it touches a hand to the face, one hand to the other hand, clasps its feet, touches its foot to its leg, its hand to its umbilical cord.

Blood vessels of the lungs develop. Your baby’s nostrils begin to open. The nerves around the mouth and lip area are showing more sensitivity now. Their swallowing reflexes are developing. Baby can hear sounds outside the womb and the brain cells are starting to mature also. Already it can learn and remember and can recognize its mother and fathers voice. The inner ear bones have hardened so hearing is more acute. Baby may hear your partner’s voice more easily than yours, as baby is sensitive to a deeper pitch.

So, there you have it.  I’ll probably become a less frequent blogger, but will try to keep this up as well as I can, since blogging has always helped me stay focused, interested, and curious, as well as to process new ideas.


jsb16 June 10, 2012 at 11:19 pm

The premature birth survival odds are better for girls than boys. (Girl is the default in humans.) But every day counts, too. My elder daughter tried to escape at 25 weeks. Luckily, she didn’t succeed…

As for how doctors know that a fetus can clasp things: preemies at this age will hold on to a finger.

Dallas Raby June 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Pretty amazing stuff. What a creator. By the way, I’m pulling for him to be a musician.

Michelle Smith August 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Of course it is a boy! All women associated with the SEI have boys! Congrats!
Sorry to be late in my post, I was just recommending your website to someone and saw this post.
Take care

Stephanie Chasteen August 16, 2012 at 4:15 am

Thanks, Michelle! Though one SEI woman (Sarah) just had a little girl, bucking the trend. 🙂

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