One Trimester at a Time

By: Amanda and Carlee (5)

First Trimester

The fetus begins as embryo from which organs and body parts develop. The baby is about the size of a kidney bean to a passion fruit. The baby has a beating heart and is starting to develop intestines. The earlobes, eyes, mouth, and nose are starting to become more distinct. You can check your baby's development with an ultrasound after week 10.

The mother begins to have spouts of morning sickness, tender/swollen breasts, increased urination and fatigue. The mother also has heightened emotions. Her emotions begin to rapidly change. The mother will begin to have weird food cravings. The mother's eyesight also blurs due to a thickening lens and cornea.

Second Trimester

The baby is about 3 inches long and has fingerprints. The baby goes from the size of a Meyer lemon to the size of an artichoke. The skeleton starts to harden from cartilage to bone. The baby also develops a sense of hearing. At this point you can find out the gender of your child.

It is likely to feel the baby kick or fluttering. The mother begins to have stretch marks, shortness of breath, nasal and gum problems, and leg cramps. The mother can also start to experience dizziness. Her risk for kidney and bladder infections increase due to uterus being in the way when it is expanding. The mother can even start to notice changes in her skin such as dark spots.

Third Trimester

The baby goes from the size of an acorn squash to the size of a watermelon. The baby can blink their eyes and has eyelashes. The baby is developing fingernails, toenails, and hair. The baby is also adding billions of neurons to his or her brain. The baby will spend the last trimester gaining weight.

The mother during the third trimester will experience weight gain, continues growth in their breasts, Braxton Hicks contractions, and frequent urination. The mother may also see swelling in different parts of her body like in her ankles, face, and eyelids. The mother will find that it is difficult to get comfortable. The woman's breast can start leaking colostrum. The mother can expect to find herself 25 to 35 pounds heaver, but some of this weight is due to the baby, the placenta, and larger breasts.

Advice for the Father

As a father, you must remember that your child is helpless and needs your care to survive. It is beneficial to stay invovled and active in your child's life in order to not create the feeling of a secondary parent or babysitter. You should support the mother of your child. You could do this by attending some of the doctor's appointments even if you feel awkward being there. Remember to be patient and understanding to both your child and the mother. Communication is key.