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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weird things about fetuses that I don't like to think about

Do you ever think about something kinda weird for too long, and then suddenly it's like you can't even function anymore because this weird thing is going on in the world and there's nothing you can do about it?

I get like that when I think about pregnancy sometimes. I mean, when it comes right down to it, there is a person inside my body. A human being with his own heartbeat. A person of a different sex than me, with tiny little testicles and a tiny little wee-wee even though I'm a woman and I've never possessed either of those things. But my body knew how to make them. It didn't even have to ask anyone. It just knew.

That's a little weird to think about, but the stuff on this list is even weirder. So weird that it makes me crazy uncomfortable to dwell on it, so ... I'm gonna dwell on it for a minute here and maybe you'll be just as uncomfortable and confused afterwards too.

They "breathe" in there but there's no air

All the pregnancy guides will gleefully tell you that at a certain point in their development, fetuses will start practicing "breathing" while inside the womb. They inhale and exhale so their little lungs can get the hang of the whole thing before they exit out into the world.

But what the eff are they breathing. There's no air in there. It's all sealed up. There is only liquid.

So they're breathing liquid in and out. Lungs all full of liquid. How can they do that without drowning? I'm thinking right now about how it would feel to breathe in a big lungful of nothing but liquid and I'm getting so uncomfortable I think I need to go outside for a while.

Also, fetuses can get the hiccups. How the hell can they get the hiccups when, once again, there isn't any air in there? They breathed in too much liquid and now they are hiccuping liquid too? NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE.


And then the second they're born, what, they suddenly can just breathe air like it's no big deal? Been breathing liquid for months and then BAM, oxygen enters the lungs and from that moment forward they can't breathe liquid anymore without drowning? I REPEAT: NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE.

They hang out upside down all the time

I know they're suspended in liquid and this somehow makes it possible to be upside down 24/7 without it being a problem, but I still can't really wrap my mind around it. How can they just be upside down all the time? Do fetuses get headaches? Because let me tell you one thing for sure: pregnant women can definitely get headaches. Especially when they spend too much time thinking about how much of a headache they would get if they were forced to hang upside down for months nonstop.

They can't stretch out any part of them

This is the worst one, and if you have any kind of claustrophobia, I recommend you stop reading immediately.

Once the baby reaches a certain size, they are stuffed into that uterus tight with absolutely no extra space at all. When they're tiny, they have plenty of room in there. Like, here's a fetus at 12 weeks gestation: 

They can still stretch out their arms and legs if they want to; they can roll over to find a more comfortable position; they can do pretty much whatever they need to do to be happy (except breathe air because they don't have any of that oh god I need to go outside again).

But once they get really big ... they can't stretch out anything. Like even a little bit. Their arms are bent at the elbow and jammed up against their bodies. Their legs are bent with their knees up by their armpits. The best they can do is these little wiggles. If they want to roll over, it takes a whole day to do it because they can only move a quarter inch at a time.

They can't even stretch out their neck all the way. Their heads are pushed forwards all the time.

I don't like it. I don't like it.

It's like being buried alive, but instead of being buried alive in a coffin, you're buried alive zipped into a suitcase. But you're being fed and given oxygen so you won't die. You'll just ... stay zipped into your suitcase buried alive for several months until you're finally born. Oh and you'll also get bigger and bigger while your suitcase stays mostly the same size.

I just googled this picture and I wish so hard that I hadn't. This is pretty much the worst torture I've ever seen. I need to go outside for a long time now. He's stuck like that. He can't even move. All he can do is push on the uterus wall and be like "hey is anyone out there I need help."

Also, did you know that there's no air in there? No air at all.

And actually this picture is upside down. The baby really ought to look more like this:

Do you think he has a headache?

He probably has a headache.

And a back ache and a leg ache and an arm ache and an itchy foot and an itchy nose.

Oh, and the hiccups too, because why not.

If anyone needs me, I'll be outside. Breathing air and stretching my whole body in every direction.


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