Specs in the City: Let’s Talk About Babies

Babies are weird.

As an important side note, my sister just had a baby. Therefore I am posting about babies. My column is on news and, though this isn’t necessarily news for all my readers, it’s big news for me.

And I think babies are just kind of weird and incredible.

I mean, think about it.

There’s this egg and this super sperm that somehow made its way to the egg- totally impressive feat in and of itself. Then science really kicks it into high gear.

The egg and the sperm have met in the Fallopian tube and within 24 hours the fertilized egg begins dividing into many cells as it moves through the tube to attach to the uterus lining.

Somehow, your hormones will react to the fertilized egg, producing a particular hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin. For people like me who don’t speak science, though, let’s just call that the “hey, there’s a baby coming” hormone. The presence of this in your blood or urine is what indicates to doctors that you are pregnant.

One thing leads to another (can I use that term with science?) and the cells that have been multiplying in the uterus are slowly (or rapidly, depending on how you look at it) turning into nerves which turn into more baby.

So just for a second think about how truly insane all of that is.

And that’s not even the half of it.

For nine months that thing grows inside of you, not unlike all those old sci-fi movies of aliens. This thing grows and forms until you can feel a heartbeat and even hiccups from outside if you put your hand on the belly.

If I can digress for just a second to talk about that.

There are few phenomena more bizarre to me than a baby in the womb who has the hiccups. I think that would be the most frustrating thing ever for that child. You have no control over those hiccups; you can’t hold your breath, and you definitely can’t drink out of the back side of a glass to stop the darn things.

So anyway, this baby is growing. And the cells form tissues and organs and bones and, eventually, distinguishable limbs. It’s at this point that your ultrasounds are looking more like something that kind of maybe resembles a human and less like a oddly catawampus dust bunny.

If that isn’t weird enough, there’s birth.

At some point, the baby gets tired of floating around in there and decides he/she has had enough. Cue the contractions. And a lot of placenta.

Placenta is a whole mess of stuff that I think looks like a bloody jellyfish and admittedly grosses me out, so I won’t get into that, but what I am basically trying to say is that babies are a fascinating and miraculous.

According to the United States Census Bureau, there is a baby born every 8 seconds.

But the one that matters most to me today is my new nephew.

Happy birthday, little guy. We’re glad you’re here.

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  • Pa Pa

    Glad you are a writer and not a scientist, but awesome column. You put into words a jumble of thoughts that I was having.