We are each one of a kind! No one was exactly like you in the past, no one is exactly like you today, and no one will be exactly like you in the future. Months before your birthday, God was knitting you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).
Think about what makes you special. What is your skin shade? Eye color? Hair color? Are you right-handed or left-handed? Can you curl your tongue in a u? Are your earlobes attached to the side of your head? You are a unique combination of DNA from your parents, and when that combination came together, you began!
Your DNA is wound up in special structures called chromosomes (KRO-muh-sowms). Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. But did you know that boys have one pair of chromosomes that is different from girls? Girls have two X chromosomes, but boys have an X and a Y chromosome. This doesn’t make boys better than girls or girls better than boys. But it does make boys and girls different. Those differences are there right from the start and can never be changed.
Have you ever heard that you have your father’s eyes, or that you have your mom’s smile? While you’re not exactly like your mom or dad, you are similar to them because they are your parents.
We also share characteristics with God because he made us in his image (Genesis 1:26–27). Are you exactly like God? Nope! But you do have some of the same attributes. Maybe you like to paint or play music. You are reflecting God’s creativity. Maybe you like to write or talk to others. You are reflecting God’s ability to communicate. Maybe you like to help others. You are reflecting God’s kindness.
Because we are all made in God’s image, God wants us to treat other people kindly in both our words and actions. We want to show our love for him and those he has created (Matthew 22:36–40). But being made in God’s image isn’t just about what we do—it’s about who we are. All humans, regardless of their abilities, where they live, or what they look like, are made in the image of God.
Sadly, some people use the word “tissue” or “clump of cells” when referring to the baby so that the baby’s life doesn’t seem worth protecting. But the baby is a human being from the moment of fertilization!
Remember you are fully human right from the start. The Bible says you are “fearfully and wonderfully” made by God (Psalm 139:14). Fearfully here doesn’t mean afraid but rather awesome! It means God creates us just how he wants us to be.
Think about all your body parts. You have arms, legs, a brain, eyes, ears, a heart, lungs, and so much more! Did you know you have 206 bones, around 600 muscles, 78 organs, and trillions of cells? The instructions for how to make all those things are in your DNA. But most amazing of all—it takes just 9 months in your mother’s womb for them all to form.
The moment dad’s DNA combines with mom’s DNA, the baby begins to develop. This process is called fertilization. At this stage, the baby is called a zygote. The zygote is a unique human made in the image of God, just like every other human. The baby is only one cell and the size of a speck of dust.
The baby is now made of two cells. At this stage, she is called an embryo (EM-bree-oe). The baby begins the short journey inside mom to a special place called the uterus (womb) where the baby will develop until she is born.
The baby grows and develops into many more cells and nestles herself in the uterus. A new structure begins to form called the placenta. This will provide the baby with what she needs as she grows. The baby is the size of a grain of sand or a piece of glitter.
The baby’s brain, spinal cord, and nerves (which connect the brain to the rest of the body and help you move and feel) are growing. Her eyes and ears start to form, and her heart starts beating! The baby is the size of a sesame seed.
The baby’s nose, ears, and jaw are starting to take shape. She is the size of a candy Nerd.
The baby’s arms, hands, legs, and feet can now be seen. The skin is see-through, and the baby’s growing organs are visible. The baby is the size of a gummy bear or an app icon.
All the baby’s organs have developed. If mom gets an ultrasound (a device that lets people see the baby inside mom), she may find out from the doctor if the baby is a boy or a girl! The baby is now the size of a golf ball.
The baby can wiggle her fingers, and her fingernails and fingerprints start to form. The baby is the size of a chicken tender.
The placenta is now fully formed. It provides food for the baby and gives her oxygen. It also gets rid of waste products since the baby doesn’t poop and pee inside mom—that would be gross!
Though her eyes have not opened, the baby can sense light. She can even hear sounds like voices and music outside of mom’s womb! The baby’s hair is growing, and she can now taste and swallow. The baby is the size of a banana.
Did you know that your belly button is a scar from the umbilical (uhm-BI-luh-kl) cord that connected you to the placenta when you were in your mom’s womb?
The baby begins to kick and stretch. Her muscles are growing stronger! The baby is the size of a mango.
Hair is now growing on the baby’s head. She “breathes” the fluid that surrounds her, practicing for her first breath outside mom’s womb! The baby is the size of a head of cauliflower.
The baby can now blink, and her eyes respond to light and darkness. She gains half a pound of weight every week. The baby is the size of a pineapple.
The baby’s lungs are fully developed, and her brain is fully formed. She is about the size of a soccer ball. She is ready to be born!