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MATTHEW GAYDOS (director+):
Where do babies come from?


Between my legs and under my clothes, there are three noticeable holes. The urethra, where urine comes out, an anus for my feces to exit, and between them, a vagina.Babies usually come out of vaginas, but sometimes a cut is made in the abdomen here, like this, or like this, and the baby is pulled directly from the uterus, or womb, where it's made. 

How is a baby made?

If you have a penis and a little sac with balls in it hanging between your legs, those balls are testicles and they produce sperm. Millions of tadpole-like packages carrying information about you. If you don't have these genitals, you may be like me. I have a vulva, with a vagina, and my balls - called ovaries - are inside my body, holding eggs that are already made with information about me. When these parts, one sperm and one egg, come together to share information, it's called fertilization. It's a fertilized egg, or zygote. And this new thing has the information to make a unique baby, provided there's a uterus to grow in. People often confuse the uterus with the stomach because they're in similar areas, but babies do not grow in stomachs, bellies, or tummies. They grow in the uterus, also known as a womb.

How do babies get into the uterus?

One way is to provide a sperm and an egg in a glass dish, known as in vitro fertilization. Then, move the growing zygote, now blastocyst, to a uterus.

More often, though, people put sperm into the vagina that then swim up into the body to the egg to fertilize it without the help of a lab technician, and then this new zygote moves to the uterus naturally. Penises are usually small and limp, but other times they get bigger and stick out from the body, like there's a bone inside. This is normal! The stiffening is called an erection, or boner, even though there's no bone. And it's caused by blood rushing into the penis faster than it comes out, so the penis is hard and able to go into the vagina more easily.

Remember what I have, a vagina, this opening down here? Putting a penis inside a vagina is called sex! Sex. It's a way to from the testicles of one body, through the vagina, through the uterus, to the egg of another body. There are other kinds of sex, like oral (with the mouth), and anal (with the anus), but they're not designed to make babies. But vagina-penis sex is- not every type of sex has happened, but billions of times that sex has happens. The vagina gets puffy and wet, and the penis, as we discussed, gets an erection. And when both people agree to it, they slide the penis into the vagina, just slightly, in and out, sometimes once, sometimes many, many, many times. The best sex is when all of this feels good for the penis and the vagina. People have sex will moan and talk to express what would make sex better, and they also breathe and sweat a lot because sex is exercise. Now at any time, a white fluid filled of sperm will squirt out the penis. This fluid is called semen. If you don't want to make a baby, this fluid needs to be separated from any access to an egg, like getting into the vagina. Otherwise, the sperm and semen squirted into the vagina should, if they're healthy, swim up the Fallopian tubes looking for the egg. If there isn't an egg ready, the sperm wait. If there still isn't an egg after a few days, they die.

An egg comes once a month, and there's a very difficult race toward it. A sperm has to do a lot to get to the egg. Imagine all the hardest competitions you can think of at one time! One sperm wins them all. Well, if that sperm doesn't die too. It will be the only sperm to fertilize the egg, and the sperm-egg combo will become a zygote, then a blastocyst, then move to the uterus to nestle down.

This is called a pregnancy. The blastocyst becomes an embryo, getting bigger and bigger, and looking more and more like a dinosaur. Then, depending on whether the person pregnant is able and willing to continue, the pregnancy can go on for nine months, changing from an embryo to a fetus, then a baby.

Birth is what we call it when the baby is pushed out of the vagina or pulled out of the womb to grow up on the outside of a person's body, like you and me.

Are you wondering if baby making is right for you?

Talk about making a baby. When and where will you have sex? How is the body going to change? Who's going to help get the baby out? What if the baby is sick? Who's going to change the baby's diaper? Who's gonna buy the diapers? What if you change your mind?

Know where babies come from, and stay curious.

This episode was inspired by a conversation I had with a high school student who thought babies came out of the anus. It's difficult to imagine that something so big could come out of the vagina, so the anus seems more logical. But alas, not the anus, vagina/womb.

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