Watch Jesus Grow!

While in the planning stages of the “Impossible Novena” for our community, we imagined the beauty of tracking Jesus’ growth in Marys’s womb.

We also knew that a secular pregnancy app could never do this pregnancy justice. But we knew someone who could!

Jessica from @TheLivingHeartCo is a friend and fellow Catholic in our Instagram Community. She has a God-given talent as an artist and a true devotion to Jesus & Mary.

Led by the Holy Spirit, her work brings deeper meaning to the stories they portray. She is praying this novena with us, and is bringing us unique pieces of art to meditate on each month as we journey with Mary throughout her pregnancy.

We will be updating this page throughout the Novena!

Please check out her Instagram and Etsy shop to learn more about her and find other pieces of Sacred Art!

The Moment of Mary’s “Fiat”

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” Luke 1:31

Can you imagine the Son of God at the very moment of conception, in the womb of the Virgin Mary? Can you imagine the power and glory that came down from heaven when Mary uttered her “Fiat” for the redemption of the world?

In this image, we can see the resemblance to Jesus in the Eucharist. Remember that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“Mary brings us the Bread of Life. From the day of her birth we salute her as the aurora of the Eucharist, for we know that the Savior of mankind will take from her the substance of that Body and Blood which He will give us in the Adorable Sacrament of His love.” St. Peter Julian Eymard

Month #1

March 25 - April 24

  • During the 1st month after conception, Jesus’ Sacred heart begins beating within Mary’s Immaculate womb

  • By the 20th day, His brain, spinal cord & nervous system are developed

  • Jesus has begun developing arms, legs, eyes, ears, kidneys, a liver, a mouth & umbilical cord.

  • Mary’s placenta has formed, bringing nourishment & oxygen to Jesus

  • Jesus is growing and developing quickly! He is now about the size of a grain of rice, and although Mary may not be able to feel His physical movements, she is immensely aware of His divine presence in her womb. 

“Through her own womb’s immaculate flesh, she gave birth to the nutriment of our souls.” // St. Peter Damian//

Month #2

April 25 - May 24

  • By the end of the 2nd month, Jesus’ beautiful face is  continuing to develop, and His ears beginning as little folds of skin on the sids of His head

  • The tiny buds which grow into arms and legs are beginning to take on more shape. His fingers, toes, and eyes are also forming

  • Jesus’ brain & spinal cord are well formed, and His digestive tract and sensory organs have begun to develop.

  • Bone has started to replace cartilage, and His milk-teeth are present.

  • His heart is beating twice as fast as Mary’s

  • By the end of the second month, Jesus is about 1 inch long, weighing about 1/3 ounce.

  • It is now apparent that Jesus is a boy! But Mary already knows this since the Archangel Gabriel announced this to her.

Surely by now Mary must have told her parents, Joachim and Anne, that she was pregnant. What was going through their minds? How would they tell Mary’s betrothed, Joseph? The law in those days would have Mary stoned for “adultery”. They trusted in God and had faith in His plans!

Month #3

May 25 - June 24

  • By the end of the 3rd month, Baby Jesus is fully formed. All organs and extremities are present!

  • His limbs, as well as His hands, feet, fingers, and toes, have become well developed.

  • His fingernails and toenails have begun to form.

  • Baby Jesus can open His mouth…the very mouth which spoke the most Sacred words of The Gospels.

  • He can now suck his thumbs and fingers, and He might even have hiccups! Mary likely can’t feel His physical movements just yet, but we know she felt His presence in a very intimate way.

  • Jesus can kick, curl, fan his toes, make a fist and has even begin practicing breathing by inhaling & exhaling amniotic fluid.

  • He is now about 4 inches long, weighing nearly an ounce.

At this point, Mary’s pregnancy is becoming more visible as her belly continues to grow. However, we know that in her modesty of dress and disposition, passers-by may not have noticed that she was concealing the Son of God within her womb. We celebrated “The Visitation” on May 31, where Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. Although others may not have known of Mary’s pregnancy just yet, Elizabeth knew immediately. The Holy Spirit inspired Elizabeth to proclaim the words:

Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” The Visitation (Luke 1:39-56)

Month #4

June 25 - July 24

  • By the end of the 4th month, Jesus’ hair, eyelids, eyelashes, and nails are well developed.

  • He has unique fingerprints which will remain the same for His whole life.

  • If Jesus were born in modern times, His heartbeat would now be detectable with a Doppler from the outside of Mary’s belly. If ultrasound were available, it would have been evident that He is a boy

  • Jesus can now stretch, yawn & make cute faces!

  • He is large enough that Mary can likely feel Him moving around from within her womb.

  • Jesus’ organs are functioning and His heart is pumping about 6 1⁄2 gallons of His precious blood each day

  • He can hear Mary’s heartbeat which provides Him comfort and peace.

  • He is about 6 inches long and weighs about 4 ounces!

Mary is now visibly with child, living in society as a married woman and expectant mother. Family and friends gather materials to make the swaddling clothes for Jesus when He is born. She can now feel the Son of God moving…imagine what that must be like!

Month #5

July 25 - August 24

  • Baby Jesus is becoming more active in Mary’s womb this month, and it’s likely that she can feel His kicks and flips!

  • Jesus is now sleeping and waking in more regular intervals, and outside noises can actually wake Him up!

  • He now has vernix & lanugo coating His body. Vernix is the creamy coating that protects His skin, and lanugo is the soft fine hair which holds the vernix in place.

  • Jesus is about 10 inches long and weighs between 0.5 and 1 lb!

We know that Mary had perfect faith in God. She never doubted that Jesus dwelled within her from the moment of His conception, even when she couldn’t feel or see Him. But imagine the unfathomable excitement and joy she experienced at this point of her pregnancy! To feel The Son of God moving in her womb! How she must have cherished each kick and flip. As we continue on our Impossible Novena journey, may we receive the grace to feel Jesus moving within each of us too.

Month #6

August 25 - September 24

  • Jesus’ skin is still translucent, reddish and wrinkled. Despite this fragility, His tender body is enveloped by Mary’s protective womb.

  • His finger and toe prints are well developed at this point.

  • Jesus’ eyes are now parted, and he is able to open them to His surrounding home within His mother

  • His responsiveness to external stimuli can be found through purposeful movements & changes in His heart rate.

  • Although Jesus has likely been having hiccups for a while now, Mary is feeling them more profoundly at this point. Maybe Joseph can feel them too, since they can be felt from the outside of Mary’s belly!

  • Jesus is now about 12 inches long, and weighs about 2lbs!

At this point of  pregnancy, an infant in modern times could survive premature delivery with the help of medical interventions. The age of viability is 24 weeks of gestation, or around 6 months of pregnancy. Of course, in the times of Mary and Jesus, such medical care was not available for prematurely born babies. But reflecting on this age of viability reminds us so clearly of the gift of life.

As Catholics, we know that life begins at the moment of conception. But for those who do not know or believe this truth, the age of viability so clearly demonstrates the unique individuality of the baby’s life from the mother’s.

We pray that all mothers choose life for their babies, at every age and stage!

Month #7

September 25 - October 24

  • Jesus’ organs and systems are fully in place and are continuing to develop each day!

  • A layer of fat is beginning to store up under Jesus’ skin as Mary gets closer to her due date

  • His hearing is now fully developed. Jesus can feel and hear His Blessed Mother’s heartbeat, along with what is happening in her surroundings. Imagine Mary singing to Jesus! St. Joseph talking to Him! What a beautiful scene to meditate on.

  • Jesus is reacting more to His surroundings, especially sound, light and even pain.

  • He is changing positions often, and His Mother must be feeling this so profoundly! Mary’s amniotic fluid is decreasing as He is increasing in size, so every movement is palpable at this point of pregnancy!

  • Jesus is about 14 inches long and weighs approximately 2-4 pounds!

Now in the 3rd Trimester, Mary is feeling her pregnancy in a whole new way. As her body accommodates her growing Son, she is physically aware of His presence in every single moment. She knew that Jesus was present with her since the Annunciation, but His body now inhabits a large space within her womb. Such intimacy with Christ, not only spiritually but also physically, must have been truly incredible!

Month #8

October 25-November 24

  • Baby Jesus continues to mature during this month as His skin thickens and He gains more fat stores for nourishment and insulation.

  • Antibodies are building up and He is experiencing rapid neurological development.

  • Mary is still feeling lots of movement in her womb as Jesus grows in both size and strength. But His space is feeling tighter. He now rests chin to His chest with His arms and legs tucked in.

  • Most of His internal organs and systems are fully developed, but His lungs still need to mature a bit more.

  • Jesus is now close to 18 inches long and weighs close to 5 lbs!

By the end of the 8th month, Mary must have been preparing for the imminent arrival of Baby Jesus. Maybe she had the crib and swaddling clothes ready to go! But suddenly, Mary and Joseph learned that they would need to travel to Bethlehem for a new census that was ordered. Did Mary feel frustrated or worried about such a drastic change to her birthing plans? Or, did she practice the virtues of and faith & obedience in this situation, surrendering everything to God with unwavering trust? May we be more like Mary when our own plans unravel, trusting in God’s infinite love and care for the needs of ourselves and our loved ones.

Month #9:


November 25-December 25

As we wrap up the final month of the Impossible Novena and Mary’s pregnancy, we contemplate the incredible mystery of The Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, The Nativity of Our Lord.

We envision what Mary must have experienced in her final month of pregnancy, and perhaps it was a mix of emotions. We can imagine that she was excited to hold Baby Jesus and caress His beautiful face. At the same time, perhaps, she may have longed to keep Him in the intimate embrace of her womb just a little while more.

In her humility, faith, obedience, kindness and love for each of us, she shares Him with the world. All are invited to adore Him, as she did.

 “Arise, all ye nobles and peasants; Mary invites all, rich and poor, just and sinners, to enter the cave of Bethlehem, to adore and to kiss the feet of her new-born Son…Let us enter; let us not be afraid.” //St. Alphonsus Liguori//

Meet The Artist

Catholic Art Rooted in Sacred Tradition

Jess is a an opera singer, professor of voice and self-taught artist from Grand Rapids, MI. In 2016 she began dabbling with watercolors and opened and Etsy shop as a means to generate the funds for the adoption of her and her husband’s first child, and she has been making art ever since! In 2019 she transitioned to exclusively creating sacred art and prays that her work inspires deeper devotion and mediation in all who encounter it. The name “The Living Heart Co.” comes from her deep love for the Holy Eucharist, which scientific analyses of eucharistic miracles reveals is the real living heart of Jesus.

Thank you Jess for being a part of our “Impossible Novena” team and prayer community! We are so grateful that you are sharing your God-given gifts to help us imagine Jesus in the womb of Mary during this special journey!

Although these prints are not currently available for purchase, you may browse Jessica’s shop for other beautiful pieces.

Code: MIRACULOUS for 15% off your order

“The flesh of Christ is the flesh of Mary, and although it was raised to great glory in His resurrection, yet it still remained the same that was taken from Mary.”