By Patrick B. Craine

August 25, 2009 ( – The two-hour National Geographic documentary 'In the Womb' is now available on YouTube in 9 parts.  Originally aired in 2005, the documentary used revolutionary techniques in computer imaging and 4-D ultrasounds to present stunning images of the developing embryo, taking viewers through the amazing journey of the unborn baby from conception to birth.

The video presents a remarkable visual apologetic for the pro-life message that human life begins with fertilization.  Showing the continuous development of the unborn child from conception to birth, it shatters all attempts to pinpoint any other time as the beginning of life. 

While portraying images of the sperm and egg coming together, the narrator explains, “Once within the egg wall, the sperm's nucleus is drawn toward the egg's. The two cells gradually and gracefully become one.

“This is the moment of conception,” he declares, “when an individual's unique set of DNA is created, a human's signature that never existed before, and will never be repeated.”

The narrator goes on to explain how all of the characteristics of the human body are laid out in the first weeks of life.  “Over the course of the first trimester, or first three months, this single egg will begin to transform itself into a fully-formed baby,” he says.  “But all the features of the human body, limbs, nerves, organs, muscles will be mapped out in the fragile first weeks.”

Through vivid computer-generated images, we are shown how at 4 weeks the black dots that will become the baby's eyes have already formed, as well as the “emerging buds” along her body that will grow into her limbs.  By six weeks, the eyes, though still not functional, have become “glassy domes with no eyelids,” and by nine weeks the buds have grown into full-fledged limbs.

We see the beginning movements of the fetus at nine weeks, and through 4-D ultrasound imaging, we witness the initial stepping reflex of the little 11-week child.  The ultrasound shows the child bouncing around in her mother's womb, “using the walls of the uterus like a trampoline,” as the narrator says.

The documentary takes the viewer into the operating room, where a fetoscope is used to perform surgery on a 26-week-old fetus who has developed a hole in his diaphragm.  Without the surgery, his intestines will have grown into his lungs by the time he is born, not allowing him to breathe.  The doctor puts the fetoscope through an incision in the mother, into the baby's mouth, and down the back of his throat to insert a tiny little inflatable balloon that will allow the lungs to grow properly (see end of video #7) to beginning of video #8).

The documentary's message is self-evident: the child in utero is fully human and her development in her mother's womb is merely one important phase in her continuous growth.  Concluding the video with the birth of a newborn baby girl, the narrator explains, “She's gone from egg to embryo to fetus to trillions of cells of newborn baby.  Her birth marks the beginning of her journey in the world, but she has already travelled an incredible path during her 9-month odyssey in the womb.

“Protected by her mother, and following her own unique genetic blueprint, she has grown a face, eyes, arms, and legs,” he says.  “She has a brain and nervous system to control her body.  Stomach and intestines to digest food and a heart to pump blood.  She has learned to breathe, to hear, to feed, to remember, and to tell her parents when she's hungry, tired, happy, or in pain.  All before being born.  And now, she is ready to face the world.”

See the following videos on YouTube:
(Warning: These do contain some suggestive material, including nudity.)

“In the Womb”

“In the Womb: Multiples”

See related coverage:

National Geographic Channel Explores the Hidden World 'In The Womb' March 6

Just Look: Cardinal Egan Compares Abortion Crimes to those of Hitler, Stalin