What To Expect

By Mikiah Hulme and Cassy Mais

First Trimester

Your baby is now a zygote! It has 23 chromosomes from you, and 23 from your spouse. This zygote will implant in your uterus by the fourth week of pregnancy. The baby will first begin to develop a brain, spinal cord, heart, and other organs. It will also begin to develop the outermost layer of skin, eyes , inner ears, and some connective tissues. When you reach week five, the baby is about the size of a tip of a pin. But, during week six the baby will rapidly grow and start developing basic facial features, arms, and leg.

The mother will experience many hormonal changes. Because of this, you might wake up with morning sickness, feel fatigue, have to use the restroom frequently, have food cravings, dizziness, or have tender breast. While your body is changing, it is also nourishing the baby and preparing itself for carrying and delivering the baby.

Second Trimester

Your baby is now 3 1/2 inches long and weighs about 1 1/2 ounces, or is the size of a pear. It has fingerprints and their skeleton starts to mature into bone instead of cartilage. It can hear, is aware of the bright light outside of your belly, can make faces, and can make a fist and suck its thumb. He or she can make faces and scratch their head. Fat starts to accumulate and their skin isnt as translucent. Your baby is growing very rapidly.

As the weeks go on into the second trimester, you will be able to feel the baby kicking and fluttering around. You may run into health problems, like bladder or kidney infections due to the uterus blocking them, or become dizzy, have leg cramps, or shortness of breath. You may have a stuffy nose or sensitive gums from more blood flow. Dark spots or stretch marks may appear on your inner thighs, breasts, abdomen, or buttocks, and your breasts will start to enlarge from the milk-producing glands. Your belly will start to gain 3 to 4 pounds from now on until delivery, and you may begin to have Braxton Hicks contractions which are usually weak and come and go unexpectedly. You are well into your pregnancy. Congratulations!

Third Trimester

Your baby is now 2 1/2 pounds! It can now open and blink its eyes and has eyelashes. His or her skin is smoothing out from gaining baby fat. Fingernails, toenails, and hair is developing. Bones are fully developed, and your baby is starting to practice breathing. For the rest of the term all your baby does is grow!

Your body is still growing as well. Your breasts will continue to get bigger in order to feed your little one. You will keep gaining weight as well, and will soon weigh 25-30 more pounds than when you began your pregnancy. Back aches and heart burn will soon begin. Your ankles, legs, and feet are going to get swollen, and soon spider veins, varicose veins, and hemorroids will appear. You will also start to urinate more frequently. The baby is fully grown by the end of this Trimester, and you are ready to deliver! Good luck!

Father Advice

Being a father can be extremely scary! Although you may not carry the baby, you still have a lot of time to get worried and excited! Here are a few tips to help you along the way. Stay connected! Have an open and honest relationship with your wife, remember you are in this together. Don't be afraid to tell her about your fears, she will most likely understand. Stay involved! Don't just be a "back-up parent", show that you can do it, and let her know that you are there for her no matter what she needs. Get involved earlier on as well, help pick out clothes, furniture, paint, and the name. Talk! Make sure to communicate about things like whether you want to take off work or not. Give your input, it matters to your partner. Set your priorities! You don't have to completely change, but staying home to help with the baby is going to be necessary. You have to step up to the plate, but don't be afraid to still have some fun! Support! Gentleman, there are support groups out there for expectant fathers! If you don't feel comfortable with that you can always just talk to your partner. She will understand. Don't be too hard on yourself. You are still learning! Just relax and enjoy your new little one!