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Monday, May 20, 2019

Baby Chris is Eight Weeks Old

[This is part 9 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of "Baby Chris." Click here for other parts.]

Since his or her conception eight weeks ago, Baby Chris "has grown from a single cell into nearly 1 billion cells forming over 4000 distinct anatomic structures" and "now possesses more than 90 percent of the structures found in the adult." He or she is about the size of a kumquat. This marks the end of the embryonic period; from now until birth, Baby Chris is referred to as a fetus.

Above: Human embryo at 7 weeks and 4 days, via the Endowment for Human Development
Baby Chris now has distinct fingers and toes. His or her kidneys are beginning to filter toxins from blood and produce urine, which is released into the amniotic fluid. The hypothalamus is forming in the brain. His or her heart has beat over 7 million times. Skeletal development continues, with bones ossifying in the arms and legs. The skin is thickening, and as a result, Baby Chris's internal organs are no longer visible. If Baby Chris is biologically male, testosterone production has begun. And unlike the Mona Lisa, Baby Chris now has eyebrows.

Baby Chris continues to move frequently, exercising his or her developing muscles and joints. According to the Endowment for Human Development, "[t]he earliest sign of right- or left-handedness begins around eight weeks, with 75 percent of embryos already exhibiting right arm dominance."

The Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion, reports that 14.5% of abortions in the United States occur between 7 and 8 weeks after fertilization (or between 9 and 10 weeks using the LMP method of dating pregnancy). With approximately 1 million abortions taking place in the United States annually, this amounts to 145,000 abortion victims every year who are about the age Baby Chris is now. For comparison, 143,396 people live in Syracuse, NY.

Download the See Baby app for more information on how prenatal children develop in the womb.

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