The Birthing Process
Today in Biology we finished up our Reproduction unit with Fertilization, Development, and Birth, which having taken Health a few years back, I thought would be boring, simple, and well just bland since it’d all be repetition anyways… Well, today, my eyes were open to the amazing mechanics we’ve got in our bodies!
It’s fantastically terrifying.
Especially if you’re female. (We also watched some student made films on what it’s like to be a sperm cell…those buggers work hard to get to an egg!)
But besides all the various new things I learned about the human body, I also was able to re-confirm why I love my Biology teacher. He’s so awkwardly funny and totally made learning about the uterus and such so much more entertaining. (He was also in the sperm cell race video we watched – He was the egg…and at the end he high-fived the winning sperm cell and screamed FERTILIZATION. We all died laughing.)
So these are the following questions and answers he received and gave throughout our lecture. I took notes, because as the class continued, I realized that this was great blogging material.
Q: Some babies come out with no hair, right?
A: Yeah, some babies come out bald as a cue-tip, like R here. And then some come out with a head full of hair. Not like a whole lot though. No baby is going to come out with a pony-tail or perm, sorry.
Q: What’s the deal with epidurals?
A: A shot full of drugs. Some people like to go natural though so they have the baby without any drugs.
Q: How bad does it hurt?
A: I imagine a lot, but I’m not an expert on the subject seeing as I can’t really experience it…so I’m not sure exactly how much.
Q: Wait, what is this stuff about a placenta?
A: That’s the afterbirth. Women have to push it out of their vagina after the baby is popped out. It’s the size of a dinner plate.
Q: Push it? Why can’t the doctor just grab the umbilical cord and pull it out.
Q: Why does there have to be more contractions and pushing after the baby is out? Why can’t the doctor just pull the rest out?
A: What, like tug-of-war?
A: It’s attached to the wall of the uterus. The contractions and pushing detaches it. If the doctor pulled it instead, he’d pull the uterus out.
A: Uh, no?
A: Yeah. The doctor opens the woman up and the baby’s like “I see the light! Ahhhhhh!” and BAM baby out.
Q: Yeah, are they any better than a normal birth?
A: No. They aren’t any better or less painful.
Q: Then why have them?
A: I suspect they are the result of the hippie crusade long ago. One day, they decided it was better to join hands around a kiddie pool and sing. The woman’s like “yes, surround me and watch me give birth to my child”.
Q: Two years? Elephants are pregnant for two years?
Q: TWO YEARS?
A: When you give birth to an elephant….
A: When a mother elephant gives birth to her baby elephant…
A: What does the baby look like?
Q: Well, at this stage the outline of the head and spine is formed and there’s an almost tail-like appendage disappearing and you’ve got nub-nubs for hands and feet.
Q: (forms hands into fists and tucks them into his chest) yes, your limbs are nub-nubs.
A: So the extra time is for development, right?
Q: Yes. For example, elephants come out able to walk and stuff, but humans can’t. Human babies, when they come out can’t really do much at all. In fact they just kind of move like so (twists body). Maahhh..ahh.. Like that. And they just flop over. That’s why they have pillows to prop you up, but yeah we’re pretty defenseless blobs of flesh.
A: Yes, it’s tied in two different places and daddy gets to cut it.
Q: Why dad?
A: You want mommy to do it? Well, I suppose she could, she’d just have to reach really low…(starts bending to illustrate)
A: No, births are never pretty like they ones they show on tv. When you come out, you’re pretty disgusting and you’re covered in fluids and you’re blueish. It’s not beautiful.
Q: My mom said..
A: Yrs, mothers lie a lot.
A: That happens so that another egg can’t be fertilized when you’re already pregnant. I mean, imagine if you already have a baby four months in you and then you got pregnant with another child as well. When you finally give birth do you just push the other baby back inside if it tries to come out? (Makes hand motion) ‘No sorry it’s not your time yet, get back up in there’.