Tag Archives: Sex Ed

What’s on the Inside of the Belly Button?

8 Dec

All of a sudden, I had to find out today: what’s on the other side of a belly button? After viewing it for years as just a scar from where the umbilical cord used to be, I thought: well, while I was still a fetus – that cord must have lead somewhere? So it must have been attached to something on the inside?

I researched the subject RIGHT AWAY. I was too intrigued to find out – and sort of shocked that not only I have never known anything about it – I have never even thought to wonder about it!

Apparently, there are two arteries and one vein in the umbilical cord. The vein supplies the fetus with oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood from the placenta and then the fetal heart pumps “deoxygenated, nutrient-depleted” blood through the umbilical arteries back to the placenta.

Within the fetus, the umbilical vein continues towards the liver, where it splits into two. One of these vein branches joins a vein which carries blood into the liver. The second vein branch allows the majority of the incoming blood to bypass the liver and flow towards the heart. After the birth and cutting of the cord, the veins close up and degenerate into the round ligament of the liver.

The two umbilical arteries branch from the main pelvic arteries and pass on either side of the bladder. Part of each umbilical artery closes upĀ  and degenerates into some other ligaments (didn’t quite understand), while the remaining sections are retained as part of the circulatory system.

Huh. So that explains why my lady parts respond to the stimulation of my belly button – they are connected!

Giving Birth

22 Sep

In my today’s newsletter I got links to videos of births. First, I watched a natural birth, not in a hospital, with no meds. Yikes. No, I get all the benefits and all – but seriously, yikes.


Then I watched a live video in a hospital with an epidural. The video isn’t too graphic, but detailed enough. I am glad I watched the natural birth first, though. For me, this looked much, much better. And I actually cried when I saw the baby’s head emerge. It was such an amazing miracle.


13 weeks and Moving Along

2 Aug

I subscribe to newsletters from a couple of websites – and it’s amazing how helpful they are.

For example, over this past weekend I started feeling a tiny cold pinprick in the centre of my right nipple, feeling like it’s wet – and cooled by wind (although it’s hidden in a snug bra with no air – and even if I were naked, I would be hard pressed to find any cold air in this heat wave!). One morning I woke up and there was cottage cheese like substance.

I also started seeing an increase in discharge – and change in its texture.

And then I got home from our camping weekend, and received the newsletter which mentioned that I am now likely to start producing the pre-milk substance (I forget it’s proper name) – the stuff that I will be feeding my baby with right after birth, before the real milk shows up.

This same newsletter also mentioned that I shouldn’t freak out if I see changes in my discharge.

Isn’t that amazing? I barely had the time to notice these changes – and here they are, explained!

Today there was a link about giving birth. I read through it – mostly, I knew everything (maybe not laid out in stages and phases), but then I read these words and they took my breath away. All of a sudden, I had such a strong visualization of this moment!

If there are no complications, baby’ll be lifted onto your bare belly so you can touch, kiss, and simply marvel at him. The skin-to-skin contact will keep your baby nice and toasty, and he’ll be covered with a warm blanket — and perhaps given his first hat — to prevent heat loss

For some reason, the first hat really did it for me. Make it feel very real.

For myself, I am saving the link to this whole article: http://www.babycenter.com/stages-of-labor?page=1

Pregnancy and Libido

2 Jun

Yeah, I read before that for some women pregnancy brings a total libido change. Mine came in the form of complete lack of interest in sex. I mean – nothing. Nada. Zero.

My worries about my cervix getting bumped during an intercourse and starting to bleed as the result also don’t make sex sound very attractive. It’s not dangerous, I know – but I will always be questioning the blood I’ll see.


What can be done to improve sex drive?

Life is Dangerous. People Die from Living

1 Jun

Curious to learn what you think, ladies (and gentlemen). We are all well aware of all the environmental dangers around us: the smog alerts, the chemicals out of a spray can, the hormones in that chicken thigh, the bird flu in airplanes (or swine flu?), the dust allergens…

But we also know now that the more time you spend in air-filtered and air-conditioned rooms, the more susceptible you become to allergies. The more you filter your water, the more you lack essential minerals. The more we use hand sanitizers, the weaker we become in face of all the various germs. And so on.

Why am I raising these questions now?

The “connection bridge” is all the no-nos for pregnant women. No smoking. Check. No working with radioactive elements. Duh. No sushi, no raw meat, no cat litter boxes. I get it. No over-heating, so no jacuzzi – but warm bath is recommended (now, how warm is warm – remains to be identified).

But then we move into murkier waters. I can marginally understand the no hair-dying thing. I agree that alcohol is not good, but a couple of sips of red wine once in a blue moon ain’t gonna kill anyone. The same goes for coffee. And eliminating nail polish and make-up seems just plain ridiculous.

Seriously, those Italian women have been drinking wine for thousands of years. They seem to be fine.

Painting your toes once a month should be fine. They don’t need to be painted more often than that.

And unless you plaster your face with tons of toner and powder, I think you should be fine with your makeup, too.

Now, this is my opinion. And I really wonder – what do you think? What are the things that you think should be given up – and which are all a result of over-stressed modern society?

Worries and Interesting Facts

31 May

I will start with worries.

My betas were 63 on Friday and 230 on Monday. Which means they quadrupled in 3 days. My friend told me it’s growing too fast. Dr. Google scared me. Really scared me. Unless it’s twins, it’s a lot of unpleasant things that can cause this. I am calming myself down with thoughts that maybe early on it doesn’t grow precisely by the book?After all, it doubles every 36 hours instead of 48…

I don’t have any symptoms. No morning sickness, no sore breasts, no nothing – other than the urge to pee in early morning. But then my sister told me she didn’t even know with her second child that she was pregnant until she was almost 3 months. She also had no signs.

So I am trying to stop worrying over everything.

Now, moving on to interesting facts. While my dearest hubby thought that the more I am going to eat from now on, the better (I had to explain all the risks of over-eating and bust his intent to feed me with chocolate croissants on a daily basis), I found stats in my book where exactly all those extra pounds are being allocated to (this is based on a 30 lbs weight gain):

Baby – 7.5 lbs

Breasts – 2 lbs (woah!)

Maternal stores of fat, protein, and other nutrients – 7 lbs

Placenta – 1.5 lbs

Uterus – 2 lbs (this one I don’t get… is it the uterus walls that get so heavy?)

Amniotic fluid – 2 lbs

Blood – 4 lbs

Body fluids – 4 lbs

So I guess once the baby is out, it’s the breasts and the stores of fat that remain?

From Ejaculation to Fertilization – How Long?

23 May

I watched this awesome documentary from discovery channel – The Great Sperm Race (eighteenyears, thank you for the reco!)

It’s not your typical youtube video – it’s much longer, with commercial breaks – but so worth watching!

But – I have a question now. In this video, the fertilization happened 36 hours after the ejaculation. THIRTY SIX HOURS!

So now I am absolutely confused: how long does it actually take for the sperm to reach the egg?

I’ll explain my concern.

In the last cycle, I was given an ovulation trigger and got the ovulation confirmed 48 hours later. So it’s safe to assume it happened withing those 48 hours (they say it usually happens within 24-40 hours from the trigger).

Last cycle, I was told to have sex the same day as the trigger – and the following day. Hmmm, if it takes 36 hours for the sperm to reach the egg – then they all missed the ovulation?

Now, even more mysterious. This cycle, the doc said to have sex on the day FOLLOWING the trigger day and the one after that. In plain English – he suggested we have sex 48 hours after the injection. Which, as we know from the previous cycle, is waaay past the ovulation time. WTF? Especially if it takes that long for the sperm to reach the fertilization zone?

I am glad we had sex the night before the trigger. I am banking on those swimmers.

But seriously – how long from ejaculation to fertilization?

The Sad Stats, the Hopeful Brown, and Some Sex Ed

22 May

A friend of mine gave me a book on conception, pregnancy, and… probably, giving birth. I can’t recall. Most of it is all old news to me. But there are some new, interesting facts

Sad stats: while I thought that it’s about 25% chance of getting pregnant each month, it’s much less. The 25% number is for those in their early 20s – and healthy! I am in my early 30s. Which already puts me at 10-15% chance each cycle. And then add PCOS into the cocktail… Sigh. I hope that adding FS as a savoury part of this cocktail brings the chances right back to at least those 10-15%. Or 7-10 months to get pregnant. Argh.

Hopeful Brown: Yesterday and today my toilet paper has been showing very light, almost-not-there shade of brown. And boom! – if before now I was sort of relaxed and laid-back about this cycle results, now my hopes are getting high. Because I keep thinking this is it, the implantation bleeding! I am on 8dpo, if my calculations are correct. And my luteal phase is loooong.

Sex Ed. Now, here’s something I didn’t know about how sperm reaches the egg. So, imagine this: it’s ovulation time. Your cervix is all slippery with sperm-friendly egg-white substance. The battalion of sperm runs for the os (the gates of cervix), most of them heroically die on the road, but some of them make it in there. Typically, the fastest ones. No news here, right? Well, wait for this: only a small portion of sperm head straight towards the fallopian tube and reach the DWA (designated waiting area) within an hour from ejaculation.

What do the rest do? Some stop at the tube entrance. Some stick around in cervix caves and pockets. And they head towards that DWA later, in groups. Over a period of 5 days!!!

This ensures that there’s always some sperm around when the egg comes in, all glamorous and shining (it’s unlikely that it actually is shining, but you get my point).

Now how amazing is that? I had no idea that sperm behaves in such well organized strategic fashion, leaving someone on-call at all times!

Cervix Life, Day-by-Day

24 Apr

Sorry – it’s me again. Just discovered this absolutely fascinating (although a bit gross) website: a girl tool photos of her cervix every day of the cycle, as part of her midwifery project. Enlightening!


It’s Cycle Day (?) – What’s Happening Inside Me?

24 Apr

I typed: “cycle day 25” into google and found this awesome website, that describes each and every day of your cycle: click here

Now I know what (hopefully) has happened today, in my cycle day 25.

Can’t wait for Wednesday, to have the real test!