One of the slightly-more-useful web resources on pregnancy I’ve found is the totally generic Women’s Healthcare Topics site. They have a pretty comprehensive week-by-week pregnancy guide. Each week’s entry starts out with an estimate of the baby’s size, then adds highlights of the baby’s current development milestones, and what changes can be expected in the mother’s body. It’s pretty neutral, and it’s a quick read.
In the size-of-baby intro, each week compares the baby– either its weight or length– to a different fruit or vegetable. The early months were mostly legumes. Week 14 listed a small guava. I’m really not sure how big a guava is, but I’ll take their word for it. 16 weeks compared my child to a “small mango”. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a small mango. All the ones I’ve encountered have been pretty large. 17 weeks saw a return to familiar fruits: my kid was now grapefruit sized. I trust they meant that as a weight measurement and not a shape? At 18 weeks it gets weird again: my baby was the length of a medium-sized banana pepper. Week 19 is a coconut with the outer shell removed. Last week it was a plantain. At this point I am thoroughly confused and I just try to ignore the listed fruits and vegetables, because when I go to market there are about five kinds of plantains for sale, and they vary from about four inches long to maybe a foot, depending on the variety.
But then, week 21: my baby is now (drumroll please) A SCALLION. Yes, comparable in length to a scallion. What does that even mean? I had only wondered before, but now it is a sure thing: the vegetable comparisons are some kind of weird in-joke with the folks at Women’s Healthcare Topics. I used scallions for dinner two days ago, and the darn things were two feet long. That’s nowhere near the 10.5 inches the paragraph listed. They sat around the lunch table thinking up bizarre food items to add to the weekly updates, to see how far out they’d have to go to provoke head-scratching and confused emails. I’m now trying to ignore the produce of the week, and look at my tape measure instead.