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Journey of Pregnancy Week 3

3 Weeks Pregnant: Peek A Little, Do You See Anything Yet?

Fertilization has succeeded for now. From that one cell, it will divide itself into two, then 4, then 8. You know what, how about 16? No, not enough, 32 then.  Would this ever stop? Yes, at 100 cells which we called the blastocyst. It’s a ball and it’s still microscopic. When you are 3 weeks pregnant, this cell would be the highlight of your show.

One part of it would develop into a placenta while the other would form an embryo. Yes, when you are 3 weeks pregnant, its size is even smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. No kidding. 

How do I know my baby’s gender when I’m only 3 weeks pregnant?

After sperm and ovum have met at a specific point in your fallopian tube, they figure it's time to find a good place to settle down. Yes, let's move ourselves to the uterus. It has a great spot where they can plant themselves. The trip would take between 5 to 6 days but there’s no hurry. You wouldn’t feel anything when you are just 3 weeks pregnant. Onto the next question. So, is it a boy or a girl? Which one? Well, the good news is the gender of your future baby has been predetermined based on the genetic information contained in the sperm that fertilized your egg.

If you are familiar with biology, then you would know sperm and ovum carry 23 chromosomes each. When they combine, you would get a normal 46 chromosomes, including one pair that would determine your child’s gender. Yup, even if you are only 3 weeks pregnant, your baby’s gender has been determined. Your husband’s sperm would carry either X or Y chromosome, while you (the ovum) are always X. If the combination is XX, then you’ve conceived a girl. If it’s XY, then you will conceive a boy.

Now, for the bad news, you wouldn’t know your future baby’s gender, not until your little one is big enough. Right now, it’s unbelievably microscopic to be seen by ultrasound. Trust me, even after they have grown large enough, sometimes, it can be difficult to know.

The physiological synchrony to support the growing foetus

So what happens now? Just so you know, when it comes to your egg’s old place in the ovary, it has been replaced. That’s right, its previous follicle got a new tenant. A much obedient one who would like to stay for the next few months or so. Her name is corpus luteum. So many things happen when you are just 3 weeks pregnant. For now, the corpus luteum is kind enough to provide support to the growing baby. It supplies progesterone and oestrogen while waiting for the placenta to grow.

After your blastocyst propels itself into the uterus, the part which is going to develop into a placenta would start to release a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), telling the ovaries to stop releasing eggs. Hold them off for now. It will also trigger the production of progesterone and oestrogen that would keep your uterine lining from shedding off which means, there will be no period, for the next few months or so. You will be filled with hormones but for now, your body is not used to it yet. That’s when you’re gonna get morning sickness and other pregnancy-related symptoms. 

Maybe you wouldn’t get it when you are 3 weeks pregnant but you will definitely do. At this point, if you were expecting, then you would suspect it right away but if you weren’t expecting, you would typically think of food poisoning first. Nevertheless, you would know by the next one to three weeks or so. Yes, you would.

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