You were conceived from a single cell to a full-grown baby in only 9 months. This is amazing and miraculous because during ejaculation a mature healthy man can expel up to 500 million sperm inside a woman’s vagina. Just one sperm goes on to produce another human being with all its complexities.
The sperm is the smallest cell in the human body, yet each one carries an exact copy of the father’s genetic code. The sperm possesses a basic sense of smell that allows it to sniff its way towards the egg, which just happens to be the largest cell in the human body. The egg also contains each woman’s genetic code.
It may take up to 10 hours before conception occurs and the mother may be completely unaware of the events taking place inside her body. All of this is exciting, especially when the pregnancy is wanted. But what’s even more exciting is the fact that a new generation of ultrasound has given doctors and parents the opportunity to see exactly what’s going on inside the womb during the pregnancy. This lets the parents experience the development of the fetus as never before. The biggest benefit is that it allows a bond to develop between the baby and his parents while it’s still inside the womb.
We have been able to observe how during his stay in the womb, the fetus learns to grasp with his fingers, frown, smile, and identify his mother’s voice. The fetus can hear sounds from the outside world like conversations, music and other noises.
During the first trimester, the fetus practices reflexes by bouncing off the uterus walls like one would on a trampoline. There’s still a lot of space available no enable him to do this and practice the skills that will later be used for jumping, running, and walking. The mother, however, only becomes aware of her growing baby’s movements around the fourth month of pregnancy.
As he enters the second trimester, the fetus is still less than 10 centimeters long but he is now less at risk of a miscarriage. The fetus is much more mobile and able to flex muscles efficiently.
By the third trimester, the baby begins practicing more skills that will enable him to survive in the outside world. He swallows large amounts of amniotic fluid, up to half a liter, per day. This helps his digestion but also helps him to master swallowing. At the same time he begins to practice sucking. This is an extremely important reflex, and he will willingly suck on anything remotely resembling a nipple, such as his fingers and toes. The vivid images take you on a wonderful journey into the womb.