Baby Chris is 38 Weeks Old

Image via BabyCenter.com



[This is part 39 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of “Baby Chris.” Click here for other parts.]


38 weeks after fertilization (40 weeks LMP), Baby Chris 20 ¼ inches long and weighs 7 ¾ pounds—about the size of a small pumpkin. Baby Chris will be born very soon! Their lungs are ready for life on the outside and should not require special medical assistance.

Shamefully, it is still legal for Baby Chris to be electively aborted in the final week before birth. While Roe v. Wade and Supreme Court’s other abortion cases allow states to restrict third-trimester abortions, not all states have done so, and abortion lobbyists are pushing for even fewer restrictions. In no state does Baby Chris enjoy legal recognition as a person with the right to life.

Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of doctors have a conscience and will not perform such a late-term abortion, despite its legality. As a practical matter it is extremely difficult to obtain an abortion at this stage. In medical emergencies where continued pregnancy threatens the mother’s life or health, the sensible course of action is to immediately perform a C-section or induce labor; this not only gives the baby a chance to live, but also provides a quicker resolution for the mother than a 9-month abortion procedure would.

To learn more about prenatal development, download the free See Baby app!

Baby Chris is 38 Weeks Old

Image via BabyCenter.com



[This is part 39 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of “Baby Chris.” Click here for other parts.]


38 weeks after fertilization (40 weeks LMP), Baby Chris 20 ¼ inches long and weighs 7 ¾ pounds—about the size of a small pumpkin. Baby Chris will be born very soon! Their lungs are ready for life on the outside and should not require special medical assistance.

Shamefully, it is still legal for Baby Chris to be electively aborted in the final week before birth. While Roe v. Wade and Supreme Court’s other abortion cases allow states to restrict third-trimester abortions, not all states have done so, and abortion lobbyists are pushing for even fewer restrictions. In no state does Baby Chris enjoy legal recognition as a person with the right to life.

Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of doctors have a conscience and will not perform such a late-term abortion, despite its legality. As a practical matter it is extremely difficult to obtain an abortion at this stage. In medical emergencies where continued pregnancy threatens the mother’s life or health, the sensible course of action is to immediately perform a C-section or induce labor; this not only gives the baby a chance to live, but also provides a quicker resolution for the mother than a 9-month abortion procedure would.

To learn more about prenatal development, download the free See Baby app!

Baby Chris is 37 Weeks Old

Illustration via BabyCenter.com



[This is part 38 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of “Baby Chris.” Click here for other parts.]

37 weeks after fertilization (39 weeks LMP), Baby Chris is 20 inches long and weighs 7 ¼ pounds—about the size of a mini watermelon. He or she is full term and could be born any day! The Endowment for Human Development reports that “[t]he eye of the full-term fetus or newborn has achieved roughly 75% of its adult size and about two-thirds its adult weight.”

Although we’ve been using averages to educate our readers about prenatal development, it’s important to keep in mind that every person is different and grows on their own timeline. Many babies are born before 37 weeks or weighing less than 7 pounds; this is perfectly healthy and normal. I myself was not born until three weeks after my due date (an early sign of my bad tendency to procrastinate) at 9 pounds, 3 ounces. My brother was right on time yet weighed in at 10 pounds, 12 ounces!

To learn more about the incredible journey we have all taken from conception to birth, download the free See Baby app.

Baby Chris is 37 Weeks Old

Illustration via BabyCenter.com



[This is part 38 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of “Baby Chris.” Click here for other parts.]

37 weeks after fertilization (39 weeks LMP), Baby Chris is 20 inches long and weighs 7 ¼ pounds—about the size of a mini watermelon. He or she is full term and could be born any day! The Endowment for Human Development reports that “[t]he eye of the full-term fetus or newborn has achieved roughly 75% of its adult size and about two-thirds its adult weight.”

Although we’ve been using averages to educate our readers about prenatal development, it’s important to keep in mind that every person is different and grows on their own timeline. Many babies are born before 37 weeks or weighing less than 7 pounds; this is perfectly healthy and normal. I myself was not born until three weeks after my due date (an early sign of my bad tendency to procrastinate) at 9 pounds, 3 ounces. My brother was right on time yet weighed in at 10 pounds, 12 ounces!

To learn more about the incredible journey we have all taken from conception to birth, download the free See Baby app.

Baby Chris is 36 Weeks Old

Image via BabyCenter

[This is part 37 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of “Baby Chris.” Click here for other parts.]

36 weeks after fertilization (38 weeks LMP), Baby Chris is 19 ½ inches long and weighs 6 ¾ pounds—about the size of a leek. The brain has developed “deep, convoluted grooves — extra surface area for neurons.” The Endowment for Human Development notes that brain weight doubles during the last nine weeks of pregnancy:

Much of the brain’s weight gain is due to the thickening of the myelin sheath around the nerves. By the end of pregnancy, the fetal brain is about a quarter of its eventual size and contains nearly all the neurons it will ever have: perhaps 100 billion. Each of these neurons will eventually synapse with as many as 200,000 other neurons, creating an electrical network of almost incalculable complexity.

For more prenatal development info, download the free See Baby app on your device.

Baby Chris is 36 Weeks Old

Image via BabyCenter

[This is part 37 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of “Baby Chris.” Click here for other parts.]

36 weeks after fertilization (38 weeks LMP), Baby Chris is 19 ½ inches long and weighs 6 ¾ pounds—about the size of a leek. The brain has developed “deep, convoluted grooves — extra surface area for neurons.” The Endowment for Human Development notes that brain weight doubles during the last nine weeks of pregnancy:

Much of the brain’s weight gain is due to the thickening of the myelin sheath around the nerves. By the end of pregnancy, the fetal brain is about a quarter of its eventual size and contains nearly all the neurons it will ever have: perhaps 100 billion. Each of these neurons will eventually synapse with as many as 200,000 other neurons, creating an electrical network of almost incalculable complexity.

For more prenatal development info, download the free See Baby app on your device.

Baby Chris is 35 Weeks Old

Above: Depiction and ultrasound of 35-week-old unborn baby via the Endowment for Human Development



[This is part 36 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of “Baby Chris.” Click here for other parts.]


35 weeks after fertilization (37 weeks LMP), Baby Chris is 19 ¼ inches long and weighs 6 ¼ pounds—about the size of a bunch of Swiss chard.

If you’ve ever interacted with a newborn, you’ve probably done the adorable “grab my finger, oh no the baby’s got me I can’t escape!” trick. The Endowment for Human Development reports that this grasping reflex has developed by 35 weeks.

For more information on life in the womb, download the free See Baby app!

Baby Chris is 35 Weeks Old

Above: Depiction and ultrasound of 35-week-old unborn baby via the Endowment for Human Development



[This is part 36 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of “Baby Chris.” Click here for other parts.]


35 weeks after fertilization (37 weeks LMP), Baby Chris is 19 ¼ inches long and weighs 6 ¼ pounds—about the size of a bunch of Swiss chard.

If you’ve ever interacted with a newborn, you’ve probably done the adorable “grab my finger, oh no the baby’s got me I can’t escape!” trick. The Endowment for Human Development reports that this grasping reflex has developed by 35 weeks.

For more information on life in the womb, download the free See Baby app!

Baby Chris is 34 Weeks Old

Diagram of a mother and 34-week-old baby in the womb via BabyCenter

[This is part 35 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of “Baby Chris.” Click here for other parts.]


34 weeks after fertilization (36 weeks LMP), Baby Chris is 18 ¾ inches long and weighs 5 ¾ pounds—about the size of a head of romaine lettuce.

Baby Chris isn’t just growing; he or she is also learning. The Endowment for Human Development reports:

Studies suggest that towards the end of prenatal development, the fetus has been developing preferences and tastes based on prenatal experience. For instance, fetuses whose mothers consumed anise, the substance which gives licorice candy its flavor, showed a preference for anise after birth. Newborns without this fetal exposure disliked anise.

The fetus hears numerous sounds before birth, with the mother’s voice and heartbeat dominating other sounds. Studies show that after months of listening to the mother’s voice, the newborn prefers her voice to any other. The newborn also prefers female voices to male voices and familiar lullabies heard before birth to new lullabies after birth. Newborns can distinguish prose passages heard during the last 6 weeks of pregnancy from new passages, providing additional evidence of in utero memory formation and learning.

For more information about prenatal development, check out the free See Baby app!

Baby Chris is 34 Weeks Old

Diagram of a mother and 34-week-old baby in the womb via BabyCenter

[This is part 35 of a multi-part series chronicling a pregnancy through the lens of “Baby Chris.” Click here for other parts.]


34 weeks after fertilization (36 weeks LMP), Baby Chris is 18 ¾ inches long and weighs 5 ¾ pounds—about the size of a head of romaine lettuce.

Baby Chris isn’t just growing; he or she is also learning. The Endowment for Human Development reports:

Studies suggest that towards the end of prenatal development, the fetus has been developing preferences and tastes based on prenatal experience. For instance, fetuses whose mothers consumed anise, the substance which gives licorice candy its flavor, showed a preference for anise after birth. Newborns without this fetal exposure disliked anise.

The fetus hears numerous sounds before birth, with the mother’s voice and heartbeat dominating other sounds. Studies show that after months of listening to the mother’s voice, the newborn prefers her voice to any other. The newborn also prefers female voices to male voices and familiar lullabies heard before birth to new lullabies after birth. Newborns can distinguish prose passages heard during the last 6 weeks of pregnancy from new passages, providing additional evidence of in utero memory formation and learning.

For more information about prenatal development, check out the free See Baby app!