1. =8)-DX says

    So next you just hook up external blood pumps and keep it warm? For some reason this seems to make me want to squat…

  2. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Incroyable [/highschool faux-french-accent]
    GOBSMACKED, that such is even possible. is Placenta still attached? Time to fire up that artificial womb all the “not a scientist” Repubs demand for all those “sacrificed” younguns (they got em, right? and are just demanding wimminz provide occupants, right?).
    apologies for attempting to derail this awesome event into politicsland.
    This is very awesome; unbelievable, if not for the pic.

  3. Markita Lynda—threadrupt says

    Silly, the placenta is attached until after birth or the fetus is in deep trouble. Breathing starts right after birth and replaces the connection from the placenta. Labour helps to expel fluid from the lungs, which is one reason it’s better, all other things being equal, than Caesarian section. The placenta is expelled next and is called the “afterbirth.”

    Yes, this is similar to the sac that forms the inner skin of an egg. Birds have their nutrients in with them (the yolk) and oxygen comes through the semipermeable shell of the egg.

    Superstition says that someone born with a caul will never drown.

  4. says

    Funny coincidence: I decided to watch The Prisoner, so I ordered the discs though Netflix and I’m waiting for the first arrival. I’ve never watched the show, so now I’m curious what you’re referencing. (No spoilers, please.)

  5. Holms says

    “Are Humans Actually Monotremes?!” or perhaps “This One Weird Photo Will Make You Question The Nature Of Humanity!!” <== potentially real headlines coming soon to shitty news sites. Hello, Huffpo!

    Funny coincidence: I decided to watch The Prisoner, so I ordered the discs though Netflix and I’m waiting for the first arrival. I’ve never watched the show, so now I’m curious what you’re referencing. (No spoilers, please.)

    He is actually referring to an Iron Maiden song: “The Prisoner”.

    …Which references the tv show.

  6. ravensneo says

    Resident neonatologist here. This is actually a good way to deliver preterm babies, especially the smallest ones–the intact sac and fluid cushions the baby from the pressure of contractions and various anatomic prominences. It is amazing to see–the whole bubble is just delivered, placed on the table, and the membranes opened with an instrument. Out comes the fluid and the baby!

  7. Anne Fenwick says

    All that breathing stuff doesn’t happen with very young preemies. We just had one in our family and the poor tiny thing only survived by being stuffed with tubes for artificial oxygenation and feeding. Usually a placenta does those things, but it’s no use at all without a mother on the end. I have no idea what’s going on here, but it may be a quick photo of a very temporary situation.

  8. The Mellow Monkey says

    Oooh. That is really neat to see.

    It also reminds me of my youngest niece’s birth. She was born with membranes intact and had a face presentation, and I believe the combination of the two hadn’t been seen by anyone present at her birth. Protip to student midwives/medical students/etc: never say “What’s that?” when looking at a birthing person’s crotch.

  9. moarscienceplz says

    Bronze Dog #7:
    In episode #1 “Arrival”, the Prisoner is shown that people who do not obey the rules of The Village get chased, captured, and often suffocated to death by a white blob which is “born” in any convenient body of water and grows to become what looks like a weather balloon (because that is in fact what it is in real life. Very little is ever told us about it, but in “The Schizoid Man” episode, the Prisoner tells someone about another person that, “Rover got him.”

    BTW, many people feel that the original order of episodes is not the most logical progression of the story. Here’s a variety of episode orders you can use. I recommend the KTEH order because I think it is the most carefully thought out version. (KTEH was the call sign of the San Jose, California PBS TV station that aired The Prisoner several times in the ’90s and has exhaustive analyses of each episode.)

  10. Trebuchet says

    Didn’t they used to call this “born in a caul” or some such? It was considered a very bad omen.

  11. Grewgills says

    There are all sorts of cool powers that are supposed to come with being born in the veil; luck, seeing ghosts, talking to animals, etc.

  12. lorn says

    The Prisoner was all about the fear of #1 sending him back to the womb?

    It puts the show into a completely different light.

  13. Trebuchet says

    Me, at 15: Actually a sign of GOOD luck, according to Wikipedia. As #16 says.

    @17: The linked article says:

    He added that doctors had quickly removed the baby from the sac so that it could start breathing. “It felt like slow motion but really realistically probably about 10 seconds that we had to sort of quickly pause and be able to do this, because at the same time, we want to get the baby out of that sac, start helping the baby to begin breathing,” Binder said.

  14. magistramarla says

    I used to work for a midwife and assisted at many births. In a normal birth, the umbilical cord continues to pump blood for 6-8 minutes. My midwife friend would always allow the cord to stop pumping before she clamped it off and cut it.
    This was especially awesome in an underwater birth, which some mothers chose because they were so much more comfortable during labor. Due to the continued pumping of the cord, she could take her time in bringing the baby up out of the water for its first breath. I remember seeing a baby open its eyes and smile at us while being held under the water. Once she brought the little one’s nose and mouth above the water, the baby calmly sucked in a breath of air and looked around before being quickly wrapped in a warm blanket (my job) and placed in Mom’s waiting arms.
    Those water births were the most peaceful births that I ever witnessed.

  15. Grewgills says

    @magistramarla #20
    Having a tub in the room was a great help to my wife when she went through transition. Without the tub she might not have been able to have a drugless birth.

  16. ragdish says

    I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered!

    Has anyone fully explained what exactly the rover is in The Prisoner? Is it a machine or an organic life form? And why did the rover kill number 6’s imposter in Schizoid man but 6 lived in Arrival when the rover caught him? And if number 6 is number 1 who ultimately runs the Village, why would 6 allow the rovers to exist in the first place to torture himself? Why was number 1 trying to figure out why himself (ie. number 6) resigned? What was the point of it all? And one more thing…..Oh f— it! Enjoy the show and……Be seeing you!

  17. empty says

    I’m having flashbacks to The Prisoner.

    PZ, you’re showing your age. Good times. Well, physically anyway.

  18. Radioactive Elephant says

    Oh no! Someone fed it after midnight… It’s going to hatch soon, and then we’re doomed! Dooomed!

  19. ragdish says

    Spoiler alert!

    For those who haven’t seen The Prisoner and are planning to, please ignore/bypass my #22 post. Sorry!

    PZ, in the interest of those who haven’t seen the show, could you delete the #22 post?

  20. peterh says

    I don’t think #22 is all that much of a spoiler – more of a teaser, really. And be seeing you, too.

  21. leel says

    “41. “Oh my god, I birthed an alien!”

    “I felt what I thought was a No. 2 slip out just as I got into the birthing pool. I said to my husband, ‘Oh my god, I pooped in the pool!!’ Just then, a big bubble floated to the surface and I said, ‘Oh my god, I birthed an alien!’ The midwife grabbed the ‘bubble’ and tore it open. My son was born inside of his amniotic sack.”
    —Laura Downie, Facebook”


  22. says

    Netflix wasn’t kidding about “very long wait.” I just got the first disk with “The Arrival” on it and watched it. Rover is by far the scariest balloon I’ve ever seen. Definitely one of those weird things like the Daleks that would normally be hard to take seriously, but someone still manages to make them scary. I think part of the fear is that it’s an outside-context threat. Rover’s first appearance was when the place stopped being “merely” a creepy insular sugarbowl in the service of interrogation and became cloudcookooland for me.