Did The Stork Really Bring Me?


SexEdNotes   ~   Delivery


In these Anatomy sections, new terms or the names of new body parts will have Leading Caps to emphasize to the reader their significance. Be sure you know what each term or part is as you read through the material.


Some Birthing Statistics:

Multiple Births:

  • TWINS  can be of two different types: Identical (Maternal) twins and Non-identical (Fraternal) twins. Identical twins come from a single fertilized Egg that splits into two individuals when cell division begins. They will share a Placenta but have separate Amniotic Sacs. They will always be of the same sex, the same blood type, and identical features. The are nearly an identical Genetic Code.  Non-identical or Fraternal twins come from two separate Eggs which were fertilized by two separate Sperm cells. They have separate Placentas and separate Amniotic Sacs. They may be the same or opposite sex, and are no more alike than any other siblings, other than having the same birth date (give or take a few minutes). See Note Below

  • TRIPLETS, QUADRUPLETS, QUINTUPLETS... are pretty much the same as Twins, except there are three, four, five or more individuals. They can all be identical, all be non-identical, or some identical and some non-identical. We are seeing more incidences of this lately due to more usage of fertility drugs, which cause the Ovaries to release more Eggs than one during Ovulation.

  • Conjoined (or Siamese) Twins are exactly the same as Maternal twins, except that the Egg did not completely split, and the two Fetuses still share some amount of body parts. It can be anything from a small growth of tissue that is encapsulated within the body of the dominant twin, or an extra leg or the upper torso and head of each are separated but still share a single lower body... or they may simply have a small attachment between them that may or may not allow surgeons to separate them.

  • Various Combinations: The following are combinations of the number of Eggs involved, the number of Sperm cells, and the number of splits that may have occurred when cell division started.

They are listed as three numbers: (#Eggs, #Sperm, # of splits)







































The chances of a naturally conceived pregnancy being a multiple birth (out of a number of total births):

Twins: 1/100, Triplets: 1/10,000, Quadruplets: 1/1,000,000, Quintuplets: 1/90,000,000..... Septuplets: nearly zero chance.

NOTE: The "original" Siamese Twins were Chang (hot tempered) and Eng (quiet tempered) Bunker, born on May 11, 1811 , on a house boat near Siam. One was born head first, the other born feet first. Connected by a six-inch long tube (8 inches in circumference) at about their liver height, they could stand, walk, work, and 'break' wild horses. They came to America when they were 18, became boxers carpenters, farmers and married two girls that were sisters, but not twins. They lived in one home, but after the families got too large, they built a second home on a nearby ranch and lived three days in each home, switching between the two families. They traveled worldwide, were well known, and had good incomes. They were never separated, and died on January 1st, 1874, within three hours of each other. With no X-rays at that time no one knew what was inside that connection between them, so they never separated them. After their death and autopsy it turned out their liver was connected through that tube and they would likely have bled to death had they separated them back then.


  • The largest known number of children to have been carried at the same time in a Uterus was twelve.

  • The largest known number of children to have  been carried at the same time in a Uterus and be delivered alive was nine, although some died shortly after delivery.

  • The largest known number of children to have been carried at the same time in a Uterus and ALL be born alive was six, and it happened at least seven times of record. The last ones were in 1993 (The Dilley's) and 1995 (the Haners)... until November 19th, 1997, when seven (4 boys and 3 girls) were delivered by C-section in Iowa to Ken and Bobbi McCaughey, the only recorded successful delivery of septuplets. Then in 1998 the first set of octuplets were born to the Chukwu family, the first set of octuplets live-born in the US. One died after the first week.

  • The most children from one woman... 69. Sixty-seven survived infancy), and there were four sets of quads, seven sets of triplets, and sixteen sets of twins... that is twenty-seven pregnancies.

  • The oldest known man to father a child was 94 years-old.

  • The youngest girl to give birth was 5 1/2 years old. She went full term, and it is reported that she was the victim of a member of her family.

Abortion is the termination (ending) of a pregnancy; the removal or expulsion of the Embryo or Fetus before it has reached full development and is able to sustain independent life.

Miscarriage (Spontaneous Abortion)

One in six pregnancies end in miscarriage, usually before the mother even knows that she is pregnant. She loses it and only thinks that she is having an extra heavy menstrual flow. Miscarriages occur most often between the sixth and the tenth week. Basically the Fetus or the Placenta detaches from the Uterine wall because:

  • The Fetus was defective or deformed or abnormal and could not survive.

  • The Fetus died for some reason.

  • The mother's hormone production was faulty.

  • There was an anatomical defect or functional abnormality in the mother.

  • The mother had an illness or an infection.

  • Defective Ovum or Sperm from the beginning.

  • Psychological conditions of the mother.

A miscarriage can be just as emotionally devastating as the loss of a child. A miscarriage will usually not impair future pregnancies.


Clinical or Medical or Induced Abortion is the deliberate termination of a pregnancy; any action that is done with the intended result of deliberately ending the life of the Embryo or Fetus. Methods used are:

  • SUCTION - the Embryo is drawn out of the Uterus through a small hollow plastic tube into a suction device. This is done up to the 12th week of pregnancy.

  • DILATION & CURETTAGE (D&C) -  anything in the Uterus is scraped from the Uterine wall by a curette, shaped like a small, long, sharp spoon and removed from the Uterus (up to the 12th week of pregnancy).

  • HYSTERECTOMY - similar to a Cesarean Section, the Uterus is surgically opened and the Embryo or Fetus is removed, along with the Placenta, and discarded. This is a technique used after the 14th week.

  • INDUCTION of UTERINE CONTRACTIONS  -  A large needle is inserted into the Amniotic Sac and a concentrated salt solution (saline) is injected into the Amniotic Fluid, poisoning the Fetus, causing the mother's body to reject and deliver the dead baby (used after the 16th week).

An abortion stops the processes that the body is going through to prepare for childbirth. There is some reason to believe that since the breasts have started to develop new tissues to produce milk, stopping that development in the middle may raise the risk of breast cancer. Twenty six percent of clinical abortions are second timers.

The details of an abortion are spelled out here so that it is clear to everyone that an abortion is a process that invades a woman's body with major complications, and in the process, the life of the child is stopped before it has a chance to be born.



Little Known Facts:

  • Twenty five percent of Cesarean Sections are done in the USA.

  • The average Caucasian birth-weight is 7 pounds, 9 ounces.

  • The largest recorded birth-weight was 22 pounds, 8 ounces... both in Italy in 1955 and in South Africa in 1982.

  • A Texas woman had an ovarian cyst removed in 1905, and the cyst weighed 325 pounds. Another woman in Chicago in 1951 spent four days in surgery and her weight went from 616 pounds to 308 pounds.

Cesarean Section - Also referred to as a C-Section, it is abdominal surgery to remove a baby so that it does not get delivered vaginally. In the USA one in four women choose this way to deliver their baby. It is an alternative delivery method if things become complicated upon delivery, such as signs of distress in the baby, or the baby position is bad. Also, there may not be enough room for the baby to fit through the pelvic bone.

Vaginal Delivery - A normal, natural childbirth is through the birth canal, consisting of the Cervix, the Vagina and the Labia. Muscular contractions of the Uterus press the fetus toward the Vagina, forcing the Cervix to open wide enough to pass the baby's head. The opening of the Cervix (Os) can be observed, and measured, and that is what is being referred to when they say the woman is "dilated" a certain amount, measured in centimeters. It is measured on a scale of zero to ten  centimeters. An episiotomy is a surgical incision made to enlarge the vaginal opening if the baby is extra large or the mother is really small. It usually prevents the tearing of the opening, and will require some stitches after delivery.

Prepared Childbirth - A term indicating things the new mother will do in preparation before childbirth, such as whether she wants to use pain relievers or not, and if yes, which drugs to use.  Or whether to deliver at home or in the birthing center or the hospital. Choices about the birthing method or whether to do exercises before delivery are also considered. Getting to know the procedures and the location of where she will be birthing, or whether she will be breastfeeding or not are important as well.

Natural Childbirth - Delivery is usually done at home or in a birthing center, with little or no pain relievers or drugs used in the delivery. Obstetrical tools and methods are usually avoided, and sometimes family members are included in the process. However, little or no provision to handle serious emergencies are provided.


We don't usually see images of a delivery, and few of us are able to remember it happening, but we all came into this world this way... or took a short-cut with a C-Section.


Happy Birthday!