The Miracle of Life

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Conception: The Father’s sperm fertilizes the Mother’s egg cell. From the moment of conception, 46 chromosomes with 30,000 genes combine to determine all of your physical characteristics: sex; facial features; body type and the color of your hair, eyes and skin. dna.gif (3927 bytes)Even more amazing, intelligence and personality - the way you think and feel, your talents, tastes, athletic abilities and more - were already in place within your unique genetic code.
littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)At the moment of conception, you were already essentially and uniquely you - no bigger than a grain of sugar.
littlegoldcross.gif (962 bytes)Also, at the moment of conception, Almighty God creates our immortal soul and fuses it to our minute body. There it remains as a fountain/receptacle of God's love for us, until we die and see Him Face-to-face.


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30 hours after conception


First Day: Between 12 and 30 hours after fertilization, cell division begins. At this stage, the cells are no larger than the head of a pin. Cells continue to divide every 12 to 15 hours - two into four, four into eight and so on. By the time you reach adulthood, there will have been 45 doublings of cells, producing about 30 million millions of cells.


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8 days


8 days: Now a ball of several hundred cells, the fertilized egg burrows into the wall of the mother’s womb.

24 days: In just over three weeks you are already one-sixth of an inch long and rapidly developing. Your backbone, spinal column, and nervous system are forming, and the kidneys, liver, and intestines are taking shape. The heart is beating regularly now and is pumping your own blood, separate from your Mother’s.


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1 month


1 month (4 weeks): From one cell to millions of cells, you have grown 10,000 times over and are now 6-7 mm long. Already your eyes are developing, the buds of your arms and legs are appearing and forty pairs of muscles are forming along your spine. Your heart is no larger than a poppy seed at this stage.

5 weeks: The pituitary gland is forming in the middle of the brain and the neural tube enlarges into three parts, soon to become a very complex brain. Your mouth and ears are taking shape and the spine and spinal cord grow faster than the rest of the body at this stage and give the appearance of a tail. This disappears as you continue to grow. Already your sex can be determined.


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6 weeks


6 weeks: Your embryonic heart is fluttering at 140-150 beats per minute - twice as many as your mother’s. Your skeleton is already forming (in cartilage, not yet bone), and your brain coordinates how your muscles and organs move, and you have already begun to develop reflexes like responding to touch.


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7 weeks

7 weeks: Your facial features are now visible, including the eyes, ears, nose, lips and tongue. The eyes have a retina and lens, and buds of milk teeth have appeared. The major muscle system is developed, and you are beginning to move spontaneously. You now have your own blood type, distinct from your mother’s. More than 100,000 new nerve cells are created every minute. Brain waves can now be recorded by an EEG.

2 months (8 weeks): You now measure about three centimeters long and weigh in at just one gram. You are already well-proportioned with tiny fingers and toes, well-established hearing and balance mechanisms, individual fingerprints and a sturdy heart beat. Everything to be found in a fully grown human being has already been formed. You swim and move gracefully in your mother’s womb, swallowing and "breathing" amniotic fluid, which is good practice for your digestive system.


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9 weeks

9 weeks: Already you can bend your fingers around an object placed in your palm. Your fingernails are forming and you may even start to suck your thumb. Already the brain and nerve fibers necessary for pain sensation are functioning, and you would try your hardest to avoid the source of any pain.

10 weeks: Your heart is almost completely developed and closely resembles that of a newborn baby. The heart’s energy output is also well over 30 per cent of an adult’s. Already you are squinting, and puckering up your brow and frowning - next week you will be able to smile!


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3 months

3 months (12 weeks): Now 9 cm long and weighing 45 grams, your brain, lungs and vocal chords are formed, and you sometimes hiccup and even cry (silently). Already your behavior shows distinct individuality and you can kick your legs, curl and fan your toes, make a fist, move a thumb, bend your wrist, turn your head, open your mouth and press your lips together.

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13 weeks


13 weeks: Your face is looking prettier now and your facial expressions already resemble those of your parents. Your movements are more graceful and flowing and look more like water ballet, but your reflexes are getting more vigorous too and you will squirm if someone prods your Mother’s abdomen.


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14 weeks


4 months (16 weeks): You now weigh 200 grams and measure 14 cm long - one third your birth size. Your mother feels the first flutters of the your kicking, swimming and somersaults within and her stomach is now expanding to accommodate you. You respond to light, sound, voices and music and you now have an adult’s taste buds and may even be able to savor your mother’s meals. Your heart is pumping six gallons of blood every day and eyebrows, eyelashes and fine hair are appearing.


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15 weeks


Week 17: In the next three weeks you’ll go through a large growth spurt, doubling your weight and adding inches to your length. Your may have already discovered your first toy - the umbilical cord - which you enjoy pulling and grabbing. Sometimes you may even clutch it so tight that less oxygen gets through, but you don't hold onto it long enough to do any harm.


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4 months


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18 weeks


5 months: You sleep many hours of the day and you settle into your favorite "lie" to sleep. Your mother can even wake you up by tapping on her abdomen. She also feels your hiccups now, and you can hear and recognize her voice. Your hearing is so sensitive that you respond to sounds that are too high or too low for adults to hear, and a loud noise, such as a door slamming, may startle you. Though still small and fragile, you are growing rapidly and could possibly survive if you were born at this stage. Using an ultrasound device, the doctor can tell if you are a girl or a boy.


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19 weeks


22 weeks: Although you have been able to move for several weeks, you may be so mobile now that your mother can't sleep at times. These movements are known as a "quickening". Your mother may be able to tell whether it is your elbow, foot or head poking against her abdominal wall.


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6 months


6 months: You now weigh about 640 grams and measure about 23 centimeters. Fine, downy hair called lanugo begins to grow on your eyebrows and head. Your tender skin is protected by a waxy substance called vernix. Some of this substance may still be on your skin at birth at which time it will be quickly absorbed. Most of your skeleton has hardened now and you practice breathing by inhaling amniotic fluid into developing lungs. Babies born at this age have been known to survive.


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7 months


7 months: Permanent eye teeth have now developed, and you can open and close your eyelids and look around. If someone shines a light on your mother’s abdomen, you will turn your head to see what it is. You can hear and recognize your mother’s voice and are beginning to accumulate some fat on your body regulate your body temperature. Your body is also in the process of building up antibodies against diseases that you might meet outside the womb.


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8 months


31 weeks: This week you continue to open and shut your eyes. While you could distinguish light from dark from someone shining a torch on your mother’s belly three weeks ago, you can now track the light or even reach out to touch the moving glow. A baby is usually capable of living outside the womb at this stage and would be considered premature at birth.


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9 months


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37 weeks


32 weeks: You sleep about 90-95% of the day, and sometimes experiences REM sleep, which indicates you are having your first dreams!

39 weeks: You continue to build the fat stores that will help regulate body temperature after birth. Your internal organs are fully developed and in place, but the lungs will be last to reach maturity. (Even after you’re born, it may take a few hours before you establish a normal breathing pattern.)

40 weeks: This marks the end of the normal gestational period. Approximately seven and a half pounds and 20 inches long, you are now ready to live outside of your mother's womb. Your head has now dropped down into your mother's pelvic basin ready to enter the birth canal. It is you who will determine the onset of labor.


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Birth: The act of birth is triggered by a number of processes, which notifies your mother's uterus that it is time to be born. The contractions begin and she goes into labor. Your umbilical cord will stop working now as you take your first breaths of air. The breathing will trigger changes in the structure of your heart and bypass arteries which will force all blood to now travel through the lungs.

Welcome to the World!


Provided by The New South Wales Right to Life


[Human Vitae]