I read that little development tidbit the morning my child reached the 13-week mark. My reaction was to think about all the little ones who are being aborted at this stage. A bit morbid, yes, but that's where my mind went.
My baby, and all healthy babies at the cusp of the second trimester, have ten fingers and ten toes with fingernails attached. They have eyes, and eyelids, and mouths that practice breathing into their tiny lungs. They have growing, learning brains and beating hearts. Their organs are nearly all present, forming and moving into position. Their arms and legs move, and they have periods of wakefulness and sleepiness. And they have fingerprints.
When I told a good friend of mine I was pregnant again, I showed her the 9-week ultrasound image I had saved on my phone. Even she voiced surprise at how much my baby already looked like a person, at only two months gestation.
That same morning my husband, along with many other members of our church, took part in the Walk for Life put on by Cornerstone Pregnancy Center. The center is for women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. They offer pregnancy testing, counseling, and now ultrasounds. Statistically, seeing their own baby living and moving makes parents much more likely to carry their child to term. I think it shows them that a real person is growing in there.
As I found out in my last pregnancy, when abortion was offered as an option for "solving" the "problem" of Penny's abnormality, it is legal in Florida for a mother to abort her baby up to twenty four weeks of pregnancy. The average pregnancy is forty weeks. A woman can choose to destroy her child who is more than halfway finished developing in her womb. More than half. There are healthy, growing children who we're born as micro preemies around that gestational age.
And they had fingerprints.
My baby has fingerprints. My baby has an identity. My baby is more than a mass of cells which is less than human until labor or a c-section produces a person. My baby has always been a person. From blastocyst to birth and beyond, my baby is a loved person.