(Cecilia, 10 weeks)
I think a lot of girls and women who get pregnant unintentionally are scared. And I don't blame them. Pregnancy is not something to take lightly. But I think it is easy to get blinded by the fear so much so that they don't fully grasp what is happening. They just want out without considering the cost of what their choice might be. So, while I realize I have very few readers, I wanted to put together this page to help.
First, let me say, if you are unexpectedly pregnant, it is okay. It is not a death sentence. Your life is not over. Yes, it may change, but it may be the best change of your life. Don't panic. And know that you are not alone. There are many people happy to help you.
I'd like you to understand what is happening at the moment.
When your egg was fertilized, you became 2 weeks pregnant, and a unique human life with its own DNA began growing inside you. What was one egg and one sperm begins multiplying cells and dividing into the embryo and what will become the placenta that will nourish the embryo.
|6 Weeks, Getty Image|
By 6 weeks, the baby's heart is pumping blood.
By 7 weeks, your baby's face is forming with nostrils and eye lenses. Arm buds that sprouted in week six now look like webbed paddles, even though your baby is only a little bigger than the top of a pencil eraser.
At 8 weeks, the baby's fingers are forming. Your baby is forming ears and your baby's eyes are visible. The upper lip and nose are visible as well.
By 9 weeks, your baby has bones and can bend his or her elbows and is forming those precious little toes.
|12 weeks, Getty Image|
By 11 weeks, or 9 weeks after conception, your baby will begin developing either his penis or her clitoris and labia majora. Although only 2 inches in length from the top of the head to the end of the rump, he or she is already developing their genitalia.
At 12 weeks, your baby has fingernails and his or her own distinct facial profile
By week 13, your baby's intestines have formed in the abdominal cavity. He or she is also developing little teeth and vocal cords.
|Life Magazine Cover, 1965 - 18 weeks|
At 15 weeks your baby's skeleton is taking shape and developing and his or her scalp hair pattern is forming.
By week 16, your baby can make sucking motions with his or her mouth and is beginning to coordinate the movements of the arms and legs.
In week 17, your baby begins storing fat beneath their skin in order to store energy and help stay warm after birth.
At 18 weeks, your baby can hear and will begin learning the sound of your voice.
By 19 weeks, a coating called vernix coats your baby's skin to protect it until birth. If you are having a girl, her uterus and vagina begin to form this week too.
By week 20 you might be able to feel your baby moving.
At 21 weeks your baby can swallow.
|Baby Jessica, born at 23 weeks after conception, survived.|
At 23 weeks your baby is forming his or her own unique fingerprints and footprints and will soon have taste buds. If you are having a boy, his testes are descending from the abdomen. If you are having a girl, the uterus and ovaries are in place with a lifetime supply of eggs. With medical care, babies born this week might be able to survive.
By 24 weeks, your baby regularly wakes and sleeps and has real hair growing on his or her head.
This is an absolutely amazing video of the fetal development (if you don't want to listen to the talk, the video is minutes 2 through 6, but the talk is interesting too).
So you see, you are taking part in an amazing miracle, the miracle of the creation of a new human being. You are being asked to share in the life of another. It is quite an invitation. There isn't a more vulnerable request one person can make of another. "Will you share your life with me?"
If you can and want to share your life with a son or daughter who will love you in ways you cannot imagine, you have an amazing future ahead of you.
Babies are amazing and wonderful and they will teach you more about yourself than you can imagine.
Be brave enough to give them a happy life, even if it won't be with you.