Eight day old embryo in uterus. The blastocyst (now comprising some 200 cells) secretes a mucus (blue) that proclaims its presence in the uterus.

Week 1-2

Mum

The average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, although it can be longer or shorter. Although you’re not actually pregnant for approximately the first two weeks of your pregnancy, your body has started preparing for the event. The egg is ripening and the uterus is getting ready to receive the baby.

It’s a good idea to start taking folic acid supplements if you haven’t yet, and to plan a romantic evening or a weekend away. Do it while you can – nine months from now it’s going to be a lot more challenging.

Dad

The closer the two of you are, the more you’ll be able to share the experience of pregnancy and birth, so here’s some science for starters. Around week two of the pregnancy chart, the egg (ovum) leaves the ovary and travels into the fallopian tubes, where meets your sperm and gets fertilised. From there the fertilised egg travels through the fallopian tubes and into the uterus, where implantation occurs. Bet you thought it was a lot simpler than that …

Baby

At first, you are just a twinkle in your parents’ eye. Sometime during these first two weeks you stop being part egg and part seed, and become a zygote – it’s a funny word from the Greek language that means “to join”. You are half Mum and half Dad. Beautiful, isn’t it?

Photos in the bumpandbaby.co.nz/week-by-week/ are by Lenart Nilsson. Lenart's series was bought to fame when his photo, considered the greatest photo of the 20th century, appeared on the cover of Life magazine in 1965. “Everyone interprets images differently, depending on their social, cultural and religious background. In the digital era, I believe it is more important than ever to go back and take a look inside ourselves. What better way of doing that than with these photos?” ~ Jane Stene, art gallery director and curator of Lenart's definitive black and white series, told the The Guardian in 2019. It is Lenart Nilsson's wish that his images are never used for political debate about pro-life.

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