So this morning when I worked out on the stationary bike, I got my working heart rate up to 145 BPM. Vastly more exciting though was seeing & hearing the first ultrasound of Katrina and I's baby, now at 8 week's gestation. I am now able to say with clear conscience that a developing fetus is the Hardest Working Person on the Planet... and here is why.
First off, I know many of my friends and I have differing opinions on the 'personhood' of a fetus but we can get past this by identifying this particular blog post as 'cute' and not 'political'. Sound good? Good!
Back to the story. So at the ultrasound our baby had a healthy 170 BPM heart rate, which got me thinking about why such a high heart rate is necessary for such a small thing. That, of course, led me into scientific thought. The heart rate is so high because of the mass amount of gas exchange needed to support the unfathomable amount of metabolism occuring in the fetus. Think about this:
-At 8 weeks our fetus is 2cm long.
-At 40 weeks normal gestation a newborn is about 51cm (20 inches) long.
-This is a 2500% increase in size over 32 weeks.
-Should I grow 2500% between now and baby's due date, I would go from 75 inches (6'3") to 1905 inches or approximately 160 feet tall.
By the way, baby is not just getting bigger during these 32 weeks; he/she is also developing most every body system and structure from this point forward. Almost equally impressive is the growth of the mother's womb and adaptation of her anatomy to pass "a camel through the eye of a needle".
Babies are neat! Mommies are neat too!