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Terzah's Twin Pregnancy Journal

Week 34 ~ December 7, 2006
~ Animal Pregnancy Facts, or What You Do When You’re Bored At Home

I am still here and very glad to still be pregnant. I am under orders to "take it easy," but the doctors are pretty general about what that means, so I am still going to work (but fewer hours) and trying to lay around and do nothing strenuous when I am at home. My bosses and colleagues at the library are being incredibly flexible. I've been told to come in when I feel like it, and they'll work me into the schedule, and not to come in if I don't feel like it. It's worked pretty well this week. And I'm really grateful because it means I really won't have to start my leave until the babies arrive, which has always been one of my goals.

Just reaching Week 34 on Monday was a goal, too. Now, if I go into real labor, the c-section will happen. No more worries about labor-stopping drugs, which I hear can be VERY unpleasant. My new goal is to make it to Dec. 21, the middle part of Week 36. That's when Dan is done with his semester, and my mom (a teacher) is done with school. That or the week after is also when my doctor says we will schedule the c-section if the babies haven't already come on their own. I realize that goals are meaningless in pregnancy. But maybe I can have some kind of subtle psychic influence over my body.

Meanwhile, I am uncomfortable but not horribly so, and trying to amuse myself in ways that don't interfere with staying off my feet. I was playing around on the Internet and decided to look up the gestation lengths for other mammals' pregnancies. It was enlightening. Check out these stats:

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- Elephants: 22 months (can you imagine??? AND the average elephant calf weighs 200-250 pounds at birth)

- Blue whales: 10-12 months (pretty equivalent, but they get to be in the water the whole time; I guess they're entitled to float when their calves typically weigh 4,440 pounds and are 23 feet long at birth)

- Horses: 11 months (there are all kinds of Web sites out there for calculating when your mare is due to give birth)

- Gorillas: 9 months, just like us

- Tigers: A little more than three months; they usually have between 2 and 4 cubs

- American opossum: 2 weeks! (this is the shortest mammal gestation, according to one Website; I won't get into all the weird details of marsupial birth here, but it makes me glad to be human)

Has anyone reading this ever watched an animal give birth? I once saw a cow have her calf. She didn't seem to be in a lot of pain, though it's hard to tell because I think animals are more stoical about pain than people.

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