9 weeks pregnant

9 weeks

Dear mom,

Here we go, month three. At this point, I’m about the size of a grape or an olive. Despite my little size, I’m actually starting to look pretty human. My eyelids are done forming and they’re doing a good job staying sealed over my eyes (as they will for the next 27 weeks). The rest of my facial features are coming along – you can start to make out my ears, mouth, nose, and nostrils. Even the tiniest little pinpricks of teeth are starting to appear. All those organs and nerves that have been forming in the first couple of months are getting ready to start working, and although you wouldn’t be able to tell on an ultrasound whether I’m male or female, my genitalia have also started to develop. Most importantly, this week the placenta is fully operational and will take care of producing hormones.

The placenta is completely critical to my well-being, and your body is working pretty darn hard to make sure it’s operational. As a result, don’t be surprised if you feel pretty exhausted right about now – pregnancy fatigue is completely normal. Once the critical development of the placenta is finished (in a few weeks time) you can expect your energy levels to perk back up as well. You’re also probably feeling a little emotional at the moment. Many moms report that weeks 6 to 10 have some serious mood swing action happening, so try not to get too worked up if you’re feeling particularly anxious one minute and doing a happy dance the next. Your emotions will likely rebalance themselves once we hit the second trimester.

My tip of the week? Sit down with your partner and talk about genetic screening. If you have a high risk of birth defects or other challenges (particularly if you’re over the age of 35) it might be worth it to sit down with a doctor and discuss your options. There are some risks to prenatal screening, but sometimes the benefits and possible peace-of-mind are worth it. Most screening is done between weeks 10 and 12, so now’s the time to chat and figure things out.

As much as work as it is to be pregnant, don’t forget – “A baby is something you carry inside you for nine months, in your arms for three years and in your heart till the day you die.” – Mary Mason (Musician)