Yesterday I was 12 weeks pregnant, with only 2 weeks left in my first trimester. The first trimester is always a strange stage: feeling tired, sick, and trusting that your baby is growing well when you don't look pregnant yet, and you can't feel the baby moving. I don't take that for granted, as I know every day of my baby's life is another miracle.
Three weeks ago, I had an early ultrasound. One of those fuzzy pictures with a bean-shaped blob on the screen. No distinguishable features, other than the reassuring flicker of a tiny heartbeat. But what the ultrasound machines can't show on a 1.5 inch baby is a nose and mouth already forming, kidneys, tiny arms and legs with fingers and toes, swallowing, and a brain already responding to external stimuli. As I showed my family the little "bean" photo I was sent home with, I had to explain that the baby wasn't really just a bean with a heartbeat. It was already so much more.
Now, at 12 weeks, our baby is 3 inches long, with corneas forming on its eyes, and the beginning of a rib cage. The baby yawns, makes breathing movements, brings its hands to its face, and has recordable brain waves. Every day brings new growth, stronger bones, and more connections in the complex systems of the body. Three weeks from now, it will have hair forming on its head. Hidden miracles of God's creation every single day!
I pray that the baby will continue to grow and develop just as it should. But I know I can't take that for granted. In the past few years I've had several friends miscarry in their 1st and 2nd trimesters, and I've had 3 friends bury their babies, from stillbirth and anencephaly. One precious friend just buried her stillborn daughter yesterday, and my heart breaks at the pain she is feeling. I don't take a single moment of this pregnancy for granted. Each day is a gift.
I'll be at the doctor's office Friday for my second prenatal appointment, and I pray that I'll hear the precious sound of my baby's heartbeat for the first time. That sound will have to give me reassurance and faith for the upcoming month, that all continues to go well, that every day is another miraculous day of life and growth for our baby.
Treasuring each moment,