Your Baby’s Growth, Week by Week

In 2017, the popular social media feed Humans of New York featured a gay couple and their son, born through a surrogate. The parents spoke of their love for their child and also shared their feelings about the experience of becoming fathers through gestational surrogacy. Because these fathers had never met their surrogate, they acknowledged that they didn’t have the same kind of emotional preparation for parenthood that each stage of pregnancy can provide.

If you partner with Growing Generations, you will have the chance to meet your surrogate in person before an embryo transfer and have the option of visiting her throughout the process. However, you likely won’t be with her for every doctor’s appointment to watch the development of your baby throughout the trimesters. That’s why we have created an interactive infographic to share with you the major milestones of your baby’s in-utero development. Among the highlights are:

Fourth Week

While the embryo is tiny only about the size of a poppy seed development at this stage is rapid. Thousands of cells are multiplying and forming every minute. Growing Generations will check in with a surrogate to see if she is going to her appointments and updating intended parents as to the baby’s growth and health.

10th Week

Your baby graduates this week: from embryo to fetus. Tiny fingers and toes are evident, and organs start to develop.

12th Week

At the end of the first trimester, the fetus is about the size of a lime. The baby has a face and functioning limbs and can even make a fist.

18th Week

Many pregnant women can detect the baby’s first movements at this time. While the fetus’s skin is still incredibly thin and translucent, muscles and bones have formed. An ultrasound can be done to determine the baby’s sex. This is also around the time Growing Generations will begin arranging plans for your arrival at your surrogate’s hospital upon the birth of your child.

22nd Week

You’re halfway there. You’ll be meeting your baby girl or boy soon. A heartbeat can be seen on an ultrasound. Features such as nails, eyebrows and eyelashes are beginning to grow.

27th Week

The development of the central nervous system accelerates. Your baby will start breathing, brainwave development can be detected, and he or she will soon be able to open and shut his or her eyelids. Most babies are about 14 to 15 inches long at this stage.

30th Week

It’s the final stretch. At this stage, neurological activity is increasing. Your child’s eyes can react to light. Your surrogate may also feel the baby “jump” in response to loud noises.

35th Week

Your baby’s bones are soft but fully developed and functioning. He or she might enjoy listening to music as well. Perhaps you could send your surrogate a CD, a file of your favorite songs or a recording of your voice.

40th Week

Your baby’s birth is just around the corner, if it hasn’t happened already. After so many weeks of waiting, you’ll be able to meet one another.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.