Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another way to hold your breath til your blue in the face.

So, the first day of class we talked about the physiological changes that an infant experiences right after birth. On the second day of class we talked about suicide. So we start with birth and go directly to suicide, how's that for consistency? Yesterday we talked about schizophrenia and psychosis. And today we talked about conception and fetal development. The funny thing is this is all the same class. We are going for one extreme to another.

The lectures have all been very interesting, but I have especially enjoyed the fetal development/birth lectures. A lot of stories were relayed and I thought that I would share a funny one.

The story was told of a pregnant woman who was placed on bed rest. It seems that at 20 weeks gestation, the baby (a.k.a. the fetus), begins to make purposeful movements. This includes sucking the thumb, holding hands, or even playing with the umbilical cord. One such infant found that he really enjoyed playing with his umbilical cord, he in fact, loved to squeeze it. So, he would grasp hold of the thing and squeeze and squeeze. Now for those who don't know, the umbilical cord is the blood and oxygen supply to the baby and, consequently, when your blood and oxygen supply is cut off, one usually passes out, much like holding your breath. So this baby enjoyed playing with and squeezing his umbilical cord to the point that he would pass out. Luckily, when he passed out, he would let go and the blood and oxygen supply would rush back to his little body. They knew that this was occurring because they would watch it happen on the ultrasound - over and over again. So, the mother was forced into bed rest in order to protect her baby when he continuously passed out. At birth, the baby was found to have no difficulties, abnormalities, or mental deficits. There was however, a long line of health care professionals waiting their turn to spank the baby, the mother, of course, was first in line.

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