Diary of an Unborn Child

Chronology of the New Life

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  1. Immediately upon fertilization, cellular development begins. Before implantation the sex of the new life can be determined.
  2. At implantation, the new life is composed of hundreds of cells and has developed a protective hormone to prevent the mother's body from rejecting it as a foreign tissue.
  3. At 17 days, the new life has developed its own blood cells; the placenta is a part of the new life and not of the mother.
  4. At 18 days, occasional pulsations of a muscle - this will be the heart.
  5. At 19 days, the eyes start to develop.
  6. At 20 days, the foundation of the entire nervous system has been laid down.
  7. At 24 days, the heart has regular beats or pulsations.
  8. At 28 days, 40 pairs of muscles are developed along the trunk of the new life; arms and legs forming.
  9. At 30 days, regular blood flow within the vascular system; the ears and nasal development have begun.
  10. At 40 days, the heart energy output is reported to be almost 20% of an adult.
  11. At 42 days, skeleton complete and the reflexes are present.
  12. At 43 days, electrical brain wave patterns can be recorded. This is usually ample evidence that "thinking" is taking place in the brain. The new life may be thought of as a thinking person.
  13. At 49 days, the baby has the appearance of a miniature doll with complete fingers, toes and ears.
  14. NAME CHANGED FROM EMBRYO TO FETUS. At 56 days all organs functioning - stomach, liver, kidney, brain - all systems intact. Lines in palms. All future development of new life is simply that of refinement and increase in size until maturity at approximately age 23 years. This is approximately two months before "quickening" yet there is a new life with all of its parts needing only nourishment. The mother will usually not feel the child's movements until four months after conception.
  15. 9th & 10th week, squints, swallows, retracts tongue.
  16. 11th & 12th week, arms & legs move, sucks thumb, inhales and exhales amniotic fluid, nails appearing.
  17. 16 weeks (four months), genital organs clearly differentiated, grasps with hands, swims, kicks and turns somersaults (still not felt by mother).
  18. 18 weeks, vocal cords working . . . can cry.
  19. 20 weeks, hair appears on head; weight - one pound; height - 12 inches. A fetus (little one, child, baby) is essentially no different at fertilization, ten weeks, twenty weeks or thirty weeks. A person is a person, no matter how small.

This information sheet is available upon request from:

American Life League, Inc.
P.O. Box 1350
Stafford, VA 22555
(540) 659-4171
(540) 659-2586 Fax

The Knights of Columbus copyrighted this diary in 1993, and granted American Life League the permission to print it.

Posted with Permission

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: mail@priestsforlife.org