Wow. I feel like I've just watched Titanic for the first time.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the most EPIC pregnancy animation of all time.
An orchestral soundtrack hurtles you through the opening scenes. You're following sperm through sweeping vistas, the tiny internal landscape of the womb made to look vast and expansive. Hurriedly, a sperm buries its way into the waiting egg before the fertilised cell drops from its precipice and begins to multiply.
Early pregnancy has never looked so glorious.
WTF am I watching?
The foetus is alien and yet pushed along by this riveting soundtrack we watch as it bumps around - a tiny passenger in the car boot of life.
But there's no time in this journey to get philosophical because life is happening people - and it's only got 4 puny minutes to get the job done.
So on we travel as neural pathways form, a tiny heart starts to beat, the being's sex shift and shapes, we journey into the ear to watch the cochlear form. Voices join the background symphony, propelling the action dramatically forward into a new phase of life.
Clever, clever music makers and animators; two minutes in and it truly feels we've been tricked into experiencing more.
The second movement
A lull in the soundtrack introduces a new phase, where life is more than form.
The baby is busy - nibbling on toes, we see bones in her tiny kicking legs. She sucks her thumb and we watch through her eyes as she experiments with moving her hands, grasping around her floating umbilical cord.
What sorcery is this?
After three minutes one can't help but wonder at this crazy miracle that occurs within each and every pregnant woman. This baby, now so human wraps its arms around itself and prepares for the final, epic movement.
It's happening SO quickly - am I ready for this?
With the music building to a brilliantly OTT crescendo, the dynamic thrust of birth is relatively swift. Babe's exit from the womb, accompanied by thundering timpanis and a gigantic chorus of voices fit for a Lord of the Rings battle scene, brings the film to a close (notice how it's a film now?), and you can't help but feel conflicted.
Was that completely and utterly unnecessary? Or is this the first time the miracle of life has been given the grandiosity and seriousness it deserves?
I say, "Bravo!"
A feature film in four minutes that reminds mum's bodies are EPIC, that pregnancy is EPIC, and that birth is super swift and easy (yeah, well... a girl can dream, can't she?).
The Sperm Race BeginsDuring sexual intercourse the penis is inserted into the vagina, when this happens the sperm from the penis is released. The sperm cell then swims up the fluid of the uterus and into the fallopian tubes where it will meet the egg. Sometimes more than one sperm is realeased.
Meeting the egg.When more than one sperm is relaeased, the one that meets the egg lives, and the rest disintegrate and die. The sperm that lives breaks into the egg (using its head) and fertilises it.
The Journey To The WombOnce the egg has been fertilised, it travels down the line of the fallopian tube and gets implanted into the side of the uterus.
Growing in the wombThe fertilised egg starts to grow as an zygote in the womb. Eventually, over time the zygote gets bigger and develops into an embryo throughout the pregnancy. Once the embryo(now a foetus) is fully developed, it is time for it to be born. Mitosis may occur during pregnancy, which is where the egg splits, making twins. But, sometimes the egg does not fully split, making conjoined twins. When twins are conjoined, wherever the egg did not split properly is where the two twins will be linked.
Time to be bornOnce the embryo(foetus) is fully developed, the mother starts to have contractions. These last for a while, and then the mother knows that the baby's birth has begun. Usually a natural birth takes a few hours until the baby is fully out. When the baby is born, it is still connected to the mother by the umbilical cord. This is cut off.
Baby's first meal.As the baby is usually used to having food through the umbilical cord, it isn't used to being breastfed, it usually takes a few feedings for the baby to start to feed properly.
Breastfeeding/anitbodies/defence against infectionBreastfeeding is the most natural and the best way to feed a baby. The baby will suck on the mother's nipple of the breast. All breast milk tastes sweet to all babies. Breast milk also protects babies against antibodies, and is a defence against infection. But, some women do not like breastfeeding, and decide to use follow on milk, but it is not as good.
Newborn reflexesWhen a baby is hungry, it will use the rooting reflex to look for food. This is where it moves it's head around alot. The sucking reflex: a good way to test the sucking reflex is to run your finger gently across the side of the baby's cheek, and see if it will try to suck your finger. The step reflex is where if you hold your baby upright under her arms and lower them onto a flat surface they will make a walking movement with their legs. (At around 11 weeks of age.)