There's A Lot Going On In Your Body Before You Even Take That Pregnancy Test

Sure, you're barely pregnant when you do the ole pee-on-a-stick routine, but there's a lot more going on with your baby than you may realize.

Pregnant woman sitting |

Photo credit: Sam Edwards/OJO Images/Getty Images

The days or weeks spent leading up to a pregnancy test may be one of anxious wondering or blissful oblivion as you wonder, what if?

Although the answer to finding out if you're pregnant isn't always clear, one thing is: the incredible changes that your body goes through before you even know that you are pregnant. By the time that most women take their pregnancy tests, they are already considered a full month pregnant and some pretty amazing things have happened in their body since sperm met egg.

Can't touch this

Sure, that egg is a source of life, but once the chosen sperm has made his (or her) way into the egg for fertilization, all troops are deployed in the egg to ensure that it's one-and-done. The membrane that surrounds a woman's egg "demagnetizes" after fertilization, dropping all sperm that are still trying to worm their way in.

Two become one

Sort of like the way that the baby was made (in the old-fashioned sense, of course), it only takes a few hours for the respective sperm and egg to shed their own "clothes," in the form of their cell membranes, and fuse together. Their insides literally mash together to form one new complete set of DNA that will lay the groundwork for what will become your baby.

Already playing copycat

Your little one may learn the joy of mimicking Mom and Dad soon enough, but within her first day of life, she has perfected her copycat skills. After the sperm and egg fused together to become one zygote, all of the genes inside copy themselves, splitting over and over to form the layers that will build a human being from the ground up.

On the move

After splitting and dividing on itself from one cell to 16 to become what's called a morula, your baby begins the long and treacherous journey from the fallopian tube down to the uterus, where it will have to find a suitable resting spot to grow. The journey is not an easy one, and any bumps along the way can cause definite peril.

Final resting place

That may sound morbid, but finding a final resting spot in your uterus ensures that your little one can start to grow. By day four, the morula becomes a blastocyst and the cells once again divide into three separate parts: the baby, the placenta and the amniotic sac. Then the inside of the baby divides into three different major systems of the body: the brain/organs, the digestive system and the muscle/skeletal system.

Junior's first meal

Only a week after fertilization, your little one is as big as 1/10 of a millimeter, the size of a medium pinpoint, and yet he is already "latching on" for his first big meal: you. It sounds kind of crazy, but in order to survive, the blastocyst taps into your blood system during implantation to get the nutrients that it needs to keep growing. But I guess it only makes sense, since it will be a long time before you'll ever be able to eat a meal on your own again.

Source: From Conception to Birth: A Life Unfolds by Alexander Tsiaras

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