Seven weeks. My little poppy seed is now more the size of a bean or a blueberry.
I’m amused by all of the pregnancy sites that use food to try to convey the size of a baby as it grows. I ate a fistful of blueberries yesterday at the creek, grabbing a quick snack to keep the morning sickness at bay before wading back out to help my three year old swim. I can’t manage to make the connection between the small growing life that will become my child and a plump round purplish berry.
I can imagine the tip of my pinky finger, I can picture a quarter of an inch and how tiny it is even compared to that tiny bit of me. I’m told that even at this tiny size, the human embryo has become 10,000 times bigger than it was at conception.
None of these details manage to give me what I’m looking for.
I remember reading over descriptions like these during my first pregnancy, trying to piece together what it meant. Trying to understand how it all worked. Trying to use it to connect to the idea of motherhood.
My oldest is eight years old now. I’d say he’s about the size of an eight year old, which is rapidly approaching the size of me. My five year old has lost his toddler chub and can be measured by the strength of his full body hugs that feel like being tackled by a small quarterback. My three year old stretches from under my chin to down below my knees when she lays herself down on top of me to listen to my heartbeat while trying to fall asleep on a restless night.
This time around the way that growth is happening is more of a scientific curiosity than a way to connect.
My fourth child is curled up like a tiny question mark in my womb, rapidly growing to a size where he or she can be born. I probably won’t hold this child in my arms until they’re larger than a sack of rice. Until they can curl up on my chest instead of on the tip of a finger. I understand with all my heart that this child will be loved no more and no less than the children that wrestle and play around me now.
That is where the wonder comes from, this time around. Feeling the growth of hope and love and connection form.
I’m as pragmatic as I am unapologetically emotional. I understand that until eight weeks I still have a 30% miscarriage risk. I understand that until 14 weeks the risk is still high.
Honestly, none of that matters. When I first saw the two lines on that pregnancy test in the bathroom at my friend’s house in Vermont… I made a choice in that split second. I chose to feel love and hope from the very beginning.
There’s no newsletter, no baby growth ticker, no set of medical illustrations that can describe that for me. The growth of love and hope. I can’t say it’s the size of a bean or a blueberry. I can’t say that it’s managed to grow to 10,000 times the size that it was before I even knew.
I can say that it’s there. I can say that it’s growing. I am seven weeks pregnant. I feel hope. I feel love.