There was much joy this last week as Prince William and his wife Catherine announced the exciting news that they are expecting. With this news came all of the expected guessing of whether it will be a boy or a girl, and when exactly the child will be born, and then the big question, what will his or her name be.
But there is still some time before those questions will be answered, but that does not mean that there is nothing going on right now.
The timing of where Catherine is in her pregnancy is not precise right now, but at 4 weeks from conception, this future prince or princess will have the first heart beats. In the fifth week from conception, arms and legs will appear, with fingers and toes to follow the next week. Brain activity becomes detectable in week seven, and in week 8, 2 months since the child was conceived in the womb, Catherine will be able to feel the baby kick inside of her. And in the ninth week from conception, if they so desire, William and Catherine can now for certain whether they will have a boy or a girl.
At twelve weeks, while Catherine may begin to show the proverbial baby bump, the child will be three inches long, and will weigh only 2 ounces.
But of course this is not just for a potential king or queen of England, this is true of every child. Every child, no bigger than a grain of salt at conception, develops at the same rate. Quite remarkable that less 2 months from conception, the child, every child, is fully formed in terms of internal organs and exterior limbs. At 7 weeks, everything is present, it just gets bigger from there.
This is all the working of the loving and careful hands of God. God forms us in the womb to be His children. The heart that will love Him, the hands and feet that will love and serve their neighbor, the brain that will direct the mouth to confess that Jesus is Lord, is all present at the very earliest stages of life.
May the Lord of life keep Catherine and William, and all expecting mothers and fathers in His perpetual care. And may the life that they so eagerly expect, be healthy and be brought to the Church in the waters of Holy Baptism.