Week Number 1
You're not pregnant. This is the week of the start of your last
period. As the uterus sheds its lining and causes bleeding, the
hormones are preparing another egg for release.
Week Number 2
You're still not pregnant. The uterine lining is thickening and
ovulation (the release of an egg) is getting ready to occur. You
might feel a twinge of pain as ovulation occurs.
Week Number 3
This could be the week! When an egg is released into your fallopian
tube, it meets up with your partner's sperm. (During the average
ejaculation 350 million sperm have a chance at making the trip into
the fallopian tube. The ones that make it will wait there for an egg
for as long as four days.) When the sperm penetrates an egg,
fertilization (conception) occurs. The fertilized egg is called a
zygote. Immediately the egg begins dividing into identical cells as
it floats down the fallopian tube to the uterus. Now you're
Week Number 4
The fertilized egg is called a zygote. When the zygote finds its
nesting place in the uterus, it is called a blastocyst.
There's lots of action going on that you're completely unaware of.
Your little zygote finds its nesting place in the uterus and is now
called a blastocyst. When in the uterus, it divides in half:
one-half sticks to the uterine wall and becomes the placenta (the
life-support system that brings nourishment into your baby and takes
waste out). The other half will become the baby. Transvaginal
ultrasound (which is an ultrasound in which a small probe is placed
into the vagina, giving a very close look inside the uterus) shows a
gestational sac (a small circle that will become the baby's home).
By the end of this week, you will have missed your period, giving
you the first sign that something's up. Some women see a slight
spotting called implantation bleeding that happens when the
blastocyst nestles into the uterine wall.
Week Number 5
At this point a pregnancy test can confirm the pregnancy. Your baby
is about the size of an apple seed and is now called an embryo and
has a beating heart of its own. The placenta and the umbilical cord
are in full operation. You would be shocked to see how rapidly your
baby is developing:
* The head and the tail folds are distinct.
* The primary brain vesicles form.
* The nervous system begins to develop.
* Two heart tubes are fused in the midline and begin to contract.
Week Number 6
Your little embryo is dropping its calling card. This is the week
the physical sensations of pregnancy usually appear: nausea, sore
breasts, fatigue, and frequent urination are all signs of this
incredible growth process. The embryo looks more like a tadpole than
a human, but the body is growing rapidly:
* The head, tail, and arm buds are easily recognizable.
* The optic vesicles and lenses form.
* Limb buds are present.
* The earliest form of the liver, pancreas, lungs, thyroid gland,
and heart appear.
* Blood circulation is well established. The heart bulges from the
* The cerebral brain hemispheres are enlarging.
* In the stomach area, the primary intestinal loop is present.
In these few weeks in the first month of pregnancy so much is
happening. Just because you don't see your belly growing yet, don't
be fooled into thinking there's nothing going on that needs medical
attention. Don't let this first month go by without a visit to your