Conception and birth are two very different things, but work hand in hand. If it weren’t for conception, there wouldn’t be birth, and if there wasn’t birth there’d be no point to conception. The thing that happens between to two, the big thing that ties the two together, is development. In the book Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth from the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank by Randi Hutter Epstein, the main topic is conception and birth, so why not introduce the big in between?
Conception is like a witches cauldron, you throw in a bunch of seemingly random ingredients and get an interesting result when they’ve all mixed together, AKA birth. Now this “mixing together” this is development. This is change. This is the baby actually
being made right before our eyes, and yet we can’t actually, literally see it. When a sperm cell travels up the vagina and into a Fallopian tube it come in contact with an egg cell, when they do combine the process of conception is complete (creating a zygote). The zygote travels down the Fallopian tube, dividing as it goes, and into the uterus to then, once divided sufficiently, implants in the beginning to form placenta, now a blastocyst. A week later, the blastocyst has divided enough to be considered an embryo,not yet a fetus until, a couple weeks later, when it develops what can be recognized as facial features.
This now-fetus is the beginnings to all human life has now begun the imperative process of cell division and development that leads to the human baby. Learning this and the more specific details of human development, whether it be through watching someone give birth or dissecting a pregnant rat, I learned an important life lesson. Conception, birth, and that big thing in between, these are three of the most important steps to human existence.
Furthermore, the process of pregnancy affects more than just the baby.. The mother is going through a lot of changes. Over the course of this semester, we have learned the affects carrying a child has on the mothers body. The uterus, starting out at only about 7.6 cm grows and expands to accommodate to about 40 cm in circumference. As the uterus continues to grow the mothers organs must move up to make room. This causes her lungs and diaphragm to be compressed, and her bladder to be compressed(later on). This causes problems like heart burn, shortness of breath, and bladder leakage to name a few. She can also face problems like morning sickness, insomnia, and edema.
I found this fascinating. Pregnancy as a whole is something that I still must wait years to experience. And though, from what I heard from my classmates, the idea and repercussions of it scared them, it sounds worth-it. Pregnancy, while terrifying, sounds do-able. Learning about it was exactly what I needed.
The body is a delicate thing, there’s more to it then just conception and birth, but those are extremely important.