“I can’t believe I’m growing a whole person in my body,” said a first-time pregnant friend the other day. “I mean, how does my body know how to do this? It’s both weird and amazing!”
I had to agree with her. Pregnancy is both weird and amazing. To think that in 40 weeks (give or take a little bit) your body can take one egg and one sperm and create a whole baby, with fingernails and eyelashes and teeny-tiny toes! Pretty mind-boggling stuff.
And what is even more mind-boggling to many people – pregnant mums, their partners, those who haven’t ever been pregnant, and those who have been pregnant but still can’t believe it – is how the baby has to get out. Whether it’s through the sunroof or the old-fashioned way, childbirth itself is just as weird as pregnancy is. Maybe even weirder, in some ways.
A few weeks after the birth of my third baby last year, I was in the supermarket with my then-four-year-old, wheeling him up the pasta aisle in the trolley, when he piped up innocently, “Mummy, you had a baby in your tummy, right?”
“Yeeeees,” I replied, guardedly.
“How did the baby get out of your tummy?”
How indeed. I took a deep breath, then realised that nothing I could say here in the supermarket – or even at home – would quite suffice or explain, because to a not-quite-five-year-old, there would clearly be NO WAY that a whole baby could have come out the way she did. So I resorted to my second-favourite response (number-one is “Ask Daddy”): “Well, how do YOU think the baby came out?”
“I think you sneezed and she came out and said ‘Bless you!’” he replied in all seriousness.
Now, that really would be weird and amazing!
BUMP & baby is New Zealand’s only magazine for pregnancy and early babyhood. Our team of mums and mums-to-be understand what it’s like to be pregnant in this connected age, and that’s why BUMP & Baby online is geared toward what pregnant women and new mums really want to know.