Monday, June 27, 2011

The Miracle of Life

I got a magazine called As Your Baby Grows: From Conception to Birth when I went to the doctor's office. It's really neat. It's mostly pictures, but it also tells you about the changes happening.

And making a baby is truly a miracle! I never understood before exactly how complex it all was.

First, conception: It takes 500 million sperm to make a baby. They are released into the vagina and travel up to the cervix. And then only 10% make it past the first barrier- or about 50 million sperm. Out of those 50 million, only one or two thousand make it to the fallopian tube, but only 100 or 200 make it to the egg. Then, after one breaks into the egg, the membrane around the egg toughens so no other sperm can make it through. Then it sheds its tail (which I did not know about) and burrows in deep.

Then it starts to become a baby blah blah... I knew most of the stuff but not all. For instance, I did not know that until about 16 weeks, both genders have the same external genitalia. A nub and a slit, both boys and girls have. If it's a boy, the nub becomes a penis and the slit fuses together to become the scrotum (which I didn't know) and if it's a girl, the nub becomes the clitoris and the slit becomes the labia. How cool is that? So we aren't developing with both parts until one takes over, like I had been told, but really that our external sexual organs are in fact, the same thing, but just developed a little differently.

So my mind was blown. The ear develops from the inside out- starting with the middle ear/ear drum then eventually becoming ears on the outside of the head.

Amniotic fluid? Baby piss. The baby urinates straight into the amniotic fluid, but doesn't harm the baby. It also swallows it and replaces it every 24 hours. And babies don't poo in the womb either... that's all sent through the umbilical cord (which house the baby's intestines, by the way!)

Then babies become hairy! fine little hairs all over the body. Why? uhmmm no one knows. Then we get coated in a cheesy yellowish wax, which protects the skin from the amniotic fluid (but not until 6 months...which is weird)

So now it doesn't seem so alien/sci fi but really really fascinating. I absolutely love human anatomy and learning how complex and why things happen, or not knowing why they happen but they do is so interesting to me.

I love learning about this kind of thing.

What is one thing that you like to learn about, that seems a little different or strange? For me, it's definitely anatomy.

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