By the time that you were six months in the womb, you were already physically reacting to music, moving rhythmically to songs. What was your first playlist? Probably your parents’ favorite tunes along with a lullaby or two. Also, you had developed a blink-startle response to loud noises. You still have this response – think when something loud scares you. You shut your eyes quickly, jumping a little! This is a trait that girls develop sooner than boys, while still in utero.
Breathing motions were made with your lungs as a kind of practice for the outside world, better developing your respiratory muscles. Your brainstem was able to detect CO2 levels and trigger an inspiratory response when they were too high. You began sitting up straight as your internal organs settled into final place – and you even started to be responsive to light.
You may have been hidden from sight, receiving from your mother your every need, but your connections to the outside world grew. At this age, if you had been in just the right position, your father (and other family members and friends) would have been able to hear your heartbeat by simply placing his ear against your mother’s abdomen.
When you looked like this picture, you had already established a rhythm of sleeping and waking… but, did you dream? Well, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) began between 18 and 21 weeks of your life, which means that you experienced the kind of sleep that allows for dreams. What kind of dreams did you dream? Although your world was very limited at this time, there were stimuli that surrounded you – dim light glowing through the uterine wall, the swishing of fluids and beating of your mother’s heart, the waves of song your father would sing, the touch of your fingers and toes. All of these, scientists speculate, were woven into the fabric of your dreams in your watery world.… Perhaps, in your first sleeping visions, your very Creator spoke to you… “In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon mortals as they slumber in their beds.”
© 2016 Christina Chase
from an original post on my parish’s website: http://www.CatholicSuncook.org
Just Facts: http://www.justfacts.com/abortion.asp#f66
The Endowment for Human Development: https://www.ehd.org/dev_article_unit15.php
Web M.D.: http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/your-pregnancy-week-by-week-weeks-21-25?page=2 (ages listed are from LMP, subtract two weeks for actual age)
The Archdiocese of Baltimore: http://www.archbalt.org/family-life/respect-life/spiritual-adoption/upload/Bulletin-announ-w-baby-images.pdf
 Job 33:15
Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.