[This is part 19 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of "Baby Chris." Click here for other parts.]
18 weeks after conception (20 weeks LMP), Baby Chris is about the size of a banana at 10 inches long from head to toe and 10 1/2 ounces. Circadian rhythm—the daily cycle of wakefulness and rest—shows up in Baby Chris's movement and heart rate. You can also spot movement in Baby Chris's vocal chords as he or she practices the muscle movements that will be necessary to make noise in the outside world.
It's common for prenatal care providers to offer ultrasounds at this point in pregnancy, so we have an abundance of images this week. Here are just a few. Thank you to everyone who donated!
The 20-week ultrasound is a wonderful opportunity for family members to bond with the baby, and it is often when the baby's sex is revealed. Unfortunately, there is a darker side; this is also when parents may learn that their child has a disability, such as Down Syndrome, that is often accompanied by tremendous pressure from "pro-choice" medical professionals to abort. Hope Story is an excellent resource for families facing a prenatal diagnosis, where they can cut past the scaremongering and hear directly from other parents.
If you haven't already, download the free "See Baby" app for more information and resources on a child's development from conception to birth!