I’ve been reading up on all the lovely definitions of what constitutes which stage, and I am suddenly overcome with belated giddiness and horrible panic.
It’s no longer an embryo.
It’s a fetus now.
Apparently, the technicality hinges on whether the little thing has crossed eight weeks (or technically, six weeks after conception) or not. Once the magical eight-week marker is crossed, said li’l bundle of cells ceases to be an embryo and a speck and a freakish, smallish thing dividing like crazy but not doing much other than making your hormones go haywire (and well… really, that’s a lot, but not in terms of anything pushing out or your pants not quite buttoning comfortably).
But now it’s a fetus. And fetus it shall be until the day I’m screaming in pain, dilated, effaced, broken-watered and with what I hope are large yet natural levels of oxytocin and prostaglandins surging through my body.
In a very strange way, I feel like I have been in a very slow, rather inconveniencing roller-coaster and just now am I headed for the Big Dip– you know the one that suddenly looms ominous and threatens to make you upchuck your cotton candy and chee-tos in a cometlike web that might just hit the person behind you.
But you’re so terrified, you just hold on tightly and keep your mouth shut and promise to swallow the vomit and not even think about it.
And that is just how I feel. Right. Now. I want to scream so badly, but I can’t.
Incidentally, thinking about my baby’s –excuse me…. my fetus’s placenta — freaks me out a little too. Maybe I’m a victim of disgustingly overactive imagination, but just thinking about that blobby baglike reddish-brown organ that, while not having any real shape, seems to be like the mafia boss in my uterus, I get really nervous. As if there truly were some sort of crime organization conspiring against me inside the little gal (the uterus and associates, that is…. of course they are all girls, duh). As if my uterus were possessed of cunning and deadly instinct, and as if my placenta owned a Louisville Slugger, no less.
Sometimes I imagine Madam Placenta ruling the roost with a bloody and iron-rich fist –she feeds the baby and cleans it up and makes sure the baby gets the first crack at sucking the nutrition from everything I eat– therefore leaving me dizzy and gasping for food when none has been consumed for, say, 20 minutes. For all I know she’s also reading it bedtime stories and telling it about how horrible the outside world is. She’s a little too efficient and perhaps I’m just a little afraid that my own placenta might be a better and more protective mother than I’ll ever be.
Incidentally…. I strongly recommend NOT looking at the slideshow where I got the placenta picture. It’s the stuff of nightmares!