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Pregnancy Calendar

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illustration of a gummy bear on a light blue background intended to demonstrate the size of a fetus at the 8 week mark

Week 8

Your baby:

  • Is about the size of a gummy bear or kidney bean, and dear LORD I promise to be done with the bean comparisons soon, because it is all entirely too precious.
  • Is extremely jointy, with fingers and toes and elbows and knees that s/he can bend and wiggle.
  • Almost doesn’t have a tail anymore.


  • Are possibly a walking ball of first-trimester misery, if I may project myself on you for a bit.
  • *BARF*
  • May be having trouble sleeping at night, despite being exhausted.

Oh, and allow me to introduce you to your sciatic nerve. It is, quite literally, a pain in your ass. And a pain down the back of your legs. Trust me, you’ll know it when you feel it. Some women are prone to TERRIBLE sciatic pain throughout their pregnancies, which is caused by your expanding uterus putting pressure on the nerve. Some women only notice it occasionally, or only during certain times in pregnancy. (I had it from about week 18 on, but some women get it right away.) There’s not a whole heap you can do about it, other than lie down on the opposite side of the pain if it comes at night. Keeping your legs uncrossed and your feet supported during the day can help a little too.

At this point you should definitely have a prenatal visit scheduled, and you may have had it already. (Mine is tomorrow. Whee. Yay. Etc.) Your first prenatal visit will probably consist of a pelvic exam, lots of questions about your family’s health history, a urine test (pregnant ladies are AWFULLY prone to UTIs, on top of everything else) and some blood tests.

The blood tests will check your pregnancy hormone levels, but will also tell your doctor all sorts of other things: blood type, blood count, Rh factor, immunity for rubella and chickenpox, and will be screenings for Hepatitis B, HIV and syphillis. You and your partner’s ethnic backgrounds and family histories may also lead to a recommendation for further genetic screenings (for stuff like sickle-cell, cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs).

Needless to say, it’s all just terribly fun. But at this point, “uneventful” is definitely what you want out of your prenatal visits. If you’re about 10 weeks along at your appointment, you’ll probably be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat with the doppler, but no such luck right now. Thank you, come again.

Oh Yeah, THIS: Wow. WOW. I really had forgotten what a cavalcade of misery the first trimester can be. Nauseated but hungry. Tired but unable to sleep. Pudgy but not pregnant-looking. In pain from a variety of complaints and suffering from a weakened immune system but forbidden from taking most over-the-counter remedies. Moody and cranky and irritable and weepy.

Maybe THIS is why I swore Noah was going to be an only child for all those months. Huh.

New This Time Around: The only one who had to suffer my moods and general crankitude (besides me, of course, for oh! how I suffered) last time was Jason. Who, frankly, was a big boy and could deal with it and probably deserved it a little bit. This time, there’s a little two-and-a-half-year-old here who doesn’t understand that Mama’s head hurts or that she really needs some privacy in the potty or that she’s just really, really tired. I’m snapping at him, I’m impatient with him, I’m serving him the same damn inoffensive pizza snacks for every meal because they’re the only cooking smell that doesn’t make me sick. And I feel terrible about it, which is awesome, because I clearly wasn’t feeling terrible enough already.

Visit Week 9 of our Weekly Pregnancy Calendar.

Related post: Pregnancy and COVID-19: What We Know (& a Few Things We Don’t)

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About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering ...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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About the Author

Our Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty, was written by Amy Corbett Storch while she was pregnant with her second son, Ezra.

Amy, also known as Amalah, writes the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back here at Alpha Mom. You can follow her daily mothering adventures at her own site, Amalah.

About the Illustrations

The Zero to Forty illustrations were created by the artist Brenda Ponnay, aka Secret Agent Josephine. Brenda is very talented and these images are copyright-protected. You should hire her if you want your own unique ones.