You’ve come a long way, fetus!

Today my little lemon-size baby probably doesn’t feel any different, but he or she has just had a birthday of sorts — the passage into the second trimester.

Twelve weeks ago, two gametes joined forces to become a rapidly-growing cluster of cells. Today, what latched onto my uterine tissue in August as a microscopic, 100-cell blastocyst has become a 1.5-ounce fetus who measures nearly 4 inches from head to rump and who swallows and expels amniotic fluid, makes faces, may suck its thumb, is producing its own hormones and is beginning to grow hair and eyebrows.

It’s been a busy few months for the baby, although the only changes apparent in me are fatigue, a lot of nausea, a little vomiting, a little weight loss from aforementioned nausea and vomiting, my sudden metamorphosis into Dolly Parton, and an increasingly bloaty-looking tummy where my abs used to be.

Now, I can look forward to again enjoying food, an acceleration in weight gain, the “popping” of my tummy to make it evident to all that I haven’t just been binging on pizza, and best of all, feeling the baby’s movements. Additionally, I can look forward to more energy, less nausea and vomiting, more assurance that the baby’s stuck nice and tight in its little apartment, and (I hope) the feeling that it’s all a little more real.

Of course, since the baby doesn’t know it just became a second-trimester fetus, I woke up today about 1:45 p.m. still feeling exhausted, ate breakfast and promptly ejected my prenatals into the big porcelain bowl in which so many other vitamins have ended up lately. But I trust that once the wee one notices it’s covered in downy lanugo and can taste the onions in the Greek salads I’m constantly putting away, it will say to itself, “Hey, looks like I’m getting pretty big here. Time for me to give Mommy a break!”

Because really, little one, you are now officially too old for this kind of behavior.

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