01 September 2006

The Babies are Coming, The Babies are Coming!

...Or, knocking down Godidit mentality.

My brother-in-law and his wife just gave birth to a new baby girl. She was about a week overdue, and this lead to a discussion about inducing birth and how the baby knows to come out between me and my wife:

King: Wow, good news about the baby. Is everyone doing well? They sure didn't pick a great time to have the baby at 6 am. Yikes, that's early. Did they have to induce, or did it come along on its own?

Queen: I'm not sure if they had to induce the labour. Not really important. :) They don't get to choose when the baby comes, the baby comes when it comes (and this one wanted to come at 6:08am).

K: Babies should be more considerate ;-) Really, we should stop saying that the baby decides to come out. It's not deciding anything at its stage of mental development. It can't even decide when it goes to the bathroom; it just happens. Not that babies go to the bathroom: they just go, wherever and whenever.

Q: Okay I guess the baby doesn't really decide on when it wants to come out. God does :) The baby is probably really unintelligent in the beginning and just plops out.

K: For the birthing stuff, answering "God does it" doesn't really provide us with useful answers, so I did some research on the baby stuff. Inducing labour is done by either artificially rupturing the membranes, applying a special suppository drug to the cervix, or through an intravenous drug. As to what decides when a baby is born, research from 2004 indicates that it starts when the baby's lungs mature enough to actually be used. Once this occurs, about a week or two before birth, the lungs suddenly start producing a large amount of a special protein which is used to combat microbes. This protein also enters the amniotic fluid and in turn activates fetal immune cells which enter the uterus and trigger an inflammation response that starts the whole birthing process. The researchers think there are other regulatory mechanisms to this as well, but this is the major one. Also, certain infections can cause premature births, and the researchers think that, by coincidence, the infection is mimicking the irritation of the uterus done by the fetal immune cells.

Q: Okay I guess saying God does it doesn't help you :) I mean that God is in control of everything and knows what will happen. Thanks for doing research. That was neat to read. I'm not too keen on having labour induced because I don't want them to stick anything up my goodies (e.g. "inserted into cervix"), no thanks.
So ongoes my continuing struggle to make my wife less God-awed.

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