“A ship under sail and a big-bellied woman are the handsomest two things that can be seen common.”
Today, with many myths around pregnancy, it is challenging for young couples to decide to become parents. Some of them choose to adopt a dog or a cat to try the role of a parent and understand the capabilities of carrying responsibility for another living creature. For instance, Instagram accounts for pets have come second after accounts of food at present.
Witnessing the economic crisis, being aware of climate change and analyzing the global political situation, the youngsters shift their decision towards raising a fur baby or even a plant rather than having a human baby. They do not focus on the fact that the average lifespan of the pets is 8 to 18 years. In Azerbaijan, one of the main reasons on parenting brought by the elder generation is the saying that “at least someone will bring me a glass of water when I am old.” At first sight, this banal phrase has a meaning from an emotional-psychological point. The rates of dementia and Alzheimer diseases in Azerbaijan are significantly low in comparison to western countries. In the West, some of the old people are isolated from their families and sent to nursing homes. The psychological impact of dementia and Alzheimer's disease mean the loss of soil under your feet, a sense of belonging. Once strong people are now unable to look after themselves, turn into weak creatures that feel worthless and fear the future. Thus, their brain starts to deteriorate and leads to consenescence. In countries with strong family ties between children and parents, these diseases have low rates of probability to be widely spread. It’s too early to make any conclusions on youngsters who favor pet parenting over human offspring, but diseases like dementia become a choice depending on the lifestyle.
The question of life and death becomes acute the very moment when the sperm meets the egg. The fertilized egg starts its journey and travels down the fallopian tube to find its nine-month home inside of the uterus, where the embryo and placenta are formed. For the embryo, the space within uterus becomes the only universe. What if two embryos developing in one uterus have a conversation about life after delivery? One of them assumes that there might be another life when they can walk with their legs and eat with their mouths, the place with a lot of light. The idea that they might walk and eat without umbilical cord sounds absurd for the other one. Still, the first embryo believes that there is a different life outside, even though the second one continues questioning and states that after delivery there is nothing but darkness and oblivion. This imaginary conversation of the twins in the womb might illustrate the conception of death.
Almost every pregnant woman receives more pregnancy advice from their female friends and experienced moms than from medical personnel. Most of these tips do not have the scientific backup, they are spurious or superstition and thus treated as old wives’ tales. The scientists attempted to debunk one
of the famous myths that if the pregnant woman suffers from heartburn, it is likely that her baby will be born with a full head of hair. However, the researchers at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore registered that 82 percent of the time when pregnant women reported heartburn, they had hairy newborns. At the same time, the majority of heartburnfree women delivered bald babies. The researchers at the Fetal Assessment Center of the hospital assume that higher levels of estrogen and progesterone stimulate fetal hair growth and relax the esophageal sphincter, which allows stomach acid to back up into the esophagus and cause gastric reflux, known as heartburn. Another belief which sprouted even among doctors says that if a woman had a C-section, it is risky for her to have a vaginal delivery. The main concern is related to the high probability of uterine rupture because of the incision scar. In 2010, the National Institutes of Health has studied more than 20,000 women and issued a state-of-thescience report with the consensus that the risk of uterine rupture during a “trial of labor after Cesarean” is between 0.5 percent and 0.9 percent which is considered as very low. Subsequently, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists revised its guidelines on VBAC resolving that it is safe and acceptable option for most women.
Pregnancy is a unique experience for each woman that allows her to feel as though she is the universe herself embracing the planet Earth floating freely in her womb. The fetus that she carries serves as gravity because it gives weight to her body. In biology, consonant to gravity the term gravidity indicates the number of times a woman has been pregnant, regardless of the pregnancy outcome. The average length of pregnancy is from 37 to 42 weeks. Each week is a tremendous leap in the formation of the embryo. The first organ to develop in an embryo is the heart that starts to pump the new life. On the 15th week, when the embryo is the size of an apple, the gender can be identified. On 26th week, the baby makes the first breath, trains the lungs, preparing them for a lifelong non-stop work. From the size of a sesame seed to a whole person, each baby goes through many steps to fight for its right to be liberated and lead a new life outside of the womb. Pregnancy is a period of great anticipation for both parents and baby. The baby prepares to the first meeting with the parents. They both wonder how they look like; this naughty kicker and the familiar voices.
The phrase “we are expecting” uttered by a couple does not need any further explanation. Everyone understands that they are expecting a completely new life full of bright colors that follow the birth of their little wonder that teaches what unconditional love is. No matter how sweet, affectionate and loyal pets are, may they replace the feeling when the little ball of your genes smiles at you and says “Mommy” or “Daddy”?
Text by Leyli Salayeva