this week …

I know most of you won’t care about this, but I do, so I’m posting it anyway! Here’s what’s happening with me and the bubble this week …

from ivillage …

You are 4 Weeks Pregnant! (Counting from the first day of your last menstrual period)

What’s happening with you:
Congratulations! You’ll be hearing that word a lot. You may have peeked at that positive test a hundred times to make sure it hasn’t mysteriously reverted to negative, but it’s true. So from this point on, be a healthy machine: Eat well and exercise in moderation. Instead of lunch errands, think lunch naps. Everything you do is for two, so take a deep breath, daydream often and let your body perform its miraculous work.

Physically, you may be experiencing any of the following symptoms: missed period, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, bloating, a feeling of fullness, light cramping, poor appetite, frequent urination, and breast tenderness. If you’ve had some minor spotting in the past week, it may be “implantation” bleeding, which is not a cause for concern. Some women have no symptoms at all and feel absolutely wonderful. This, too, is perfectly normal.

What’s happening with your baby:
The fertilized egg has made its seven- to ten-day trip to the uterus, where it implants cozily into the endometrial surface. It is now called a blastocyst and it has divided into two parts. While you are reading this, the first part is forming the placenta and the second part will become the embryo. The two layers that make up the amniotic bag of waters are newly formed, and the very beginning of the connecting stalk — which will become the umbilical cord — has appeared. Until your placenta is fully functioning, the yolk sac, now present, will feed your baby. Basically, the “home” for your little one is under rapid construction!

from babycenter …

Your pregnancy: 4 weeks

How your baby’s growing:
This week marks the beginning of the embryonic period. From now until 10 weeks, all of your baby’s organs will begin to develop and some will even begin to function. As a result, this is the time when she’ll be most vulnerable to anything that might interfere with her development.

Right now your baby is an embryo the size of a poppy seed, consisting of two layers: the epiblast and the hypoblast, from which all of her organs and body parts will develop.

The primitive placenta is also made up of two layers at this point. Its cells are tunneling into the lining of your uterus, creating spaces for your blood to flow so that the developed placenta will be able to provide nutrients and oxygen to your growing baby when it starts to function at the end of this week.

Also present now are the amniotic sac, which will house your baby; the amniotic fluid, which will cushion her as she grows; and the yolk sac, which produces your baby’s red blood cells and helps deliver nutrients to her until the placenta has developed and is ready to take over this duty.

See what’s going on in your uterus this week. (Or see what fraternal twins look like in the womb this week.)

Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby’s development.

How your life’s changing:
Sometime this week, you may be able to find out whether you’re pregnant. For the most accurate results, wait until the end of the week to take a home pregnancy test. (You can try one now if you like, but you’re more likely to get a correct result a week past your expected period.)

If the test is positive, call your practitioner’s office and schedule your first prenatal appointment. Most practitioners won’t see you until you’re about eight weeks along, unless you have a medical condition, had problems with a previous pregnancy, or are having symptoms that need to be checked out.

If you’re taking any medications — prescription or over-the-counter — ask now whether it’s safe to keep taking them. And be sure to alert your caregiver to any other issues of concern.

You should already be taking a multivitamin that contains at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid. Once you’re pregnant, you’ll need a bit more — 600 mcg a day — so switch to a prenatal vitamin if you haven’t already.

The next six weeks are critical to your baby’s development. The rudimentary versions of the placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already functioning. Through the placenta, your baby is exposed to what you take into your body, so make sure it’s good for both of you.

If your home pregnancy test is negative, take another at five weeks if you still haven’t gotten your period. Many urine tests are not sensitive enough to detect a pregnancy at four weeks.

If you’ve been trying to conceive with no success for a year or more (or for six months if you’re over 35), talk to your healthcare provider about a workup exam for you and your partner to spot possible fertility problems. While the results may be upsetting, finding out about a problem sooner rather than later will get you started on the road to treatment — and to your ultimate goal: having a baby.

from whattoexpect …

Week 4 of Pregnancy: The Egg Implants
After completing its six-day journey through your fallopian tube, the blastocyst you’ll one day call your baby reaches its ultimate destination and begins to attach itself to the uterine lining.

Just a week after fertilization, baby-making is still in its infancy, so to speak. In week four of pregnancy your body’s busily gearing up, big time. Chances are you’re oblivious to all the hubbub — though some women experience those pesky PMS symptoms about now (mood swings, bloating, cramping — the usual suspects), others don’t feel a thing. Whatever you’re feeling (or not feeling), you can’t be 100 percent sure that it’s pregnancy yet. It’s still too early to test. But behind the scenes, here’s what’s going on:

The fertilized egg and your uterus are making contact this week. After completing its six-day journey through your fallopian tube, the blastocyst you’ll one day call your baby reaches its ultimate destination and begins to attach itself to the uterine lining. About 30 percent of the time, implantation bleeding will occur as that bundle of cells burrows its way into the uterine wall. Implantation bleeding, which is usually very scant and either light pink, light red, or light brown, occurs earlier than your expected period. Don’t mistake it for your period, and don’t worry about the bleeding — it’s not a sign that something is wrong.

As soon as the fertilized eggs implants, it starts to release hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) — the pregnancy hormone that will very soon turn that line on your pregnancy test pink or blue and your world upside down. HCG alerts the corpus luteum (the once-follicle this egg was released from) that it needs to stick around and produce progesterone to nourish the pregnancy until the placenta takes over — about six weeks from now.

Week 4 of Pregnancy: Development of the Embryo and Placenta
Your little ball of cells is splitting into two groups this week. One will become your son or daughter (embryo) while the other becomes the placenta — the lifeline that channels nutrients to your baby and carries waste away.

Your baby has found its home — your uterus. Once there, it burrows into your uterine lining and implants — making that unbreakable connection to you that’ll last the next eight months (and a lifetime after that). Once firmly in place, the ball of cells undergoes the great divide — splitting into two groups and making you four weeks pregnant. Half (now called the embryo) will become your son or daughter while the other half becomes the placenta — the lifeline that channels nutrients to your baby and carries waste away.

Despite its extremely tiny size — no longer than one millimeter and no bigger than a poppy seed (think about that as you eat your morning bagel) — your little embryo is busy setting up house. The amniotic sac that boards your baby (also called the bag of waters) is forming, as is the yolk sac (don’t worry, you’re not having a chicken), which will later be incorporated into your baby’s developing digestive tract.

The embryo now has three distinct layers of cells that will grow into specialized parts of your baby’s body. The inner layer, known as the endoderm, will develop into your baby’s digestive system (with help from that yolk sac), liver, and lungs. The middle layer, called the mesoderm, will soon be your baby’s heart, sex organs, bones, kidneys, and muscles. The outer layer, or ectoderm, will eventually form your baby’s organs and tissues, including the nervous system, hair, skin, and eyes.

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