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0136 Having a Baby

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 136: Having a Baby.

You’re listening to English as a Second Language Podcast episode 136. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development here in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

On this podcast, we are going to have a baby. Well, not me. Let’s get started!

[start of dialog]

Patrick: Hey, congratulations! I just heard that you're expecting. How far along are you?

Cindy: Thanks. I'm four and a half months pregnant. It feels like it! I feel huge.

Patrick: You don't look it. I bet Carlos is excited. Do you know yet if it's a boy or a girl?

Cindy: No, we don’t. Not yet. We should be able to find out at my next ultrasound. I don't care what sex the baby is as long as it's healthy. Carlos is really excited about the baby. He has been going with me to every prenatal appointment and we'll be taking a Lamaze class together soon.

Patrick: How was your first trimester? When my wife had our daughter, she had a lot of morning sickness.

Cindy: Oh, it was horrible! I was nauseous all the time, but I'm better now. Did your wife have a natural delivery or a cesarean?

Patrick: She had a natural delivery, but she was in labor for 12 hours! I was in the delivery room the entire time and wish I had an epidural, too.

Cindy: Twelve hours! I can't imagine doing that.

Patrick: Don't think about it. I'm sure you'll have an easy delivery. Let me know when the baby shower will be.

Cindy: Thanks. I will.

[end of dialog]

Well, in today’s podcast, we talk about someone having a baby. Patrick talks to his friend Cindy and he says, “I just heard that you’re expecting.” “To be expecting,” for a woman, means that she is going to have a baby, that she is pregnant. She is, we might say, “with child,” meaning she has a child, or is going to have a baby. Now, this is a special verb “to be expecting.” It can also be used – that expression can also mean – just to be waiting for something. “I am expecting a package from my brother.” But if we want to say someone is having a baby - and talking about a woman – then you can say “to be expecting.” It’s important to point out here that, although “to be expecting” comes from the verb “to expect,” you cannot say “She expects” – that doesn’t mean the same as she is expecting. You have to use “to be,” the verb “to be” plus expecting to mean having a baby.

Well, the next question that Patrick asks Cindy is, “How far along are you?” “How far along (along) are you? – that means how many months pregnant are you. How soon will it be before you have your baby? – before you give birth, we would say. “To give birth” (birth) means to have a baby for a woman. And Cindy says, “I’m four and a half months pregnant,” meaning she’s been pregnant for four and a half months. So, the baby is four and a half months in her – the expression we might use is “in her womb.” “Womb” (womb) is where the baby is before it is born.

Well, she is four and a half months pregnant and Patrick says, “You don’t look it” and asks if they know if it’s going to be a boy or a girl. And Cindy says that they don’t know. They will be able to find out at her next “ultrasound.” An “ultrasound” (ultrasound) is when the doctor is able to use a special machine and it’s sort of like taking a picture of the baby inside the womb. And you get to see the outline of the baby and, of course, if you see the baby in the picture and the baby is developed enough, you will tell whether it’s a boy or a girl. And if you don’t know how to tell a boy versus a girl, then this is not the podcast for you.

Now, Cindy says that her husband, Carlos, has been very supportive – has helped her – and he has gone to every prenatal appointment. A “prenatal” – all one word – (prenatal) – means before the baby is born. So, we talk about, for example, “prenatal medical care” – it means the medical assistance, the medical care a woman gets before her baby is born.

Cindy also mentions that she and her husband are taking a “Lamaze class” together. “Lamaze” – which is (Lamaze) – is a method where women – usually they go to a class when they’re pregnant and they learn how to breathe in a certain way, so when they are ready to give birth, to have their baby, the delivery is a little easier. And “Lamaze” was actually, I think, a French – the name of a French doctor from the 19th century – from the 1800s. Well, Patrick says, “How was your first trimester?” Typically, a baby takes 9 months to be born and we divide those 9 months into 3 parts and we call each part, a “trimester” – “tri” (trimester). You might have heard the expression “semester” (semester) – that’s when you divide something in two. A “trimester” is when you divide something in 3. So, the first trimester would be the first 3 months of the pregnancy.

Patrick says that when he and his wife had their daughter – well, the wife actually had the daughter, Patrick just watched, well, he helped, of course. Well, his wife, Patrick’s wife, had “morning sickness.” Now, you know what morning is and you know what sickness is, but when someone says “morning sickness” – this is what happens to some women when they are pregnant, especially during the first part of their pregnancy. When they wake up in the morning, they sometimes feel sick; although, I am told that some women are sick throughout their nine months of their pregnancy or many months of their pregnancy. And that, of course, is not very fun, but it’s part of the body’s response to the pregnancy. And Cindy says that her morning sickness was horrible. She was “nauseous” all the time. “To be nauseous” (nauseous) means to feel sick like you are going to well, the word we would use is “throw up” – two words – “throw up.” “To throw up” means the same as to “vomit” (vomit) which means, what’s in your stomach comes out your mouth. I know it’s not a very nice thing to talk about, but that’s what “to be nauseous” means, you feel like you’re going to throw up.

“Did your wife have a natural delivery or a caesarean?” Cindy asks Patrick. “Did your wife have a natural delivery?” The delivery is when the baby is born. The baby is “delivered” if you will. Well, a natural delivery means that the baby was born the regular – the normal way. The other possibility is a caesarean. And “caesarean” spelled (caesarean) – we also sometimes say a “caesarean section” (section) – two words – “caesarean section” means that the baby is removed – is taken out of the womb by cutting open a hole in the womb and taking the baby out, rather than having it come out naturally. “Caesarean” comes from – there’s an old story that Julius Caesar and Julius Caesar was the first emperor of Rome, of ancient Rome 2000 years ago, that Julius Caesar was born this way. Although that’s almost certainly not a true story because his mother survived his childbirth, her childbirth rather, and that probably would not have happened if it had been a true caesarean section. But enough of history.

Patrick says, “She was in labor for 12 hours.” His wife was in “labor.” “To be in labor” – two words – (in labor) – means that you are preparing to have your baby and it’s a time when the baby starts to come out of the womb and it can last a few hours, it can last 10 hours, it can last a long time. And it’s often the woman is in pain during that time. In fact, so much pain that sometimes the doctors give them a certain pain killer – a drug to lower the pain, and that’s called an “epidural.” “Epidural” (epidural) is the way that they administer – they give you the drug – through an epidural. My mother had 11 children. I am the youngest, as some of you know. And I don’t think she had any epidurals back then.

Well, Patrick says that he wants to know when Cindy and her husband are having the “baby shower.” A “baby shower” and “shower” (shower) – well “shower” normally means rain. But a “baby shower” is a party that you have usually before the baby is born and you go to the house of the person who’s having the party and you give a gift to the mother and the father. Traditionally, only women go to baby showers, but in the last few years, several years really, in the last probably, 25, 30 years, it’s now more common for both men and women to go to this baby shower.

Well, now let’s listen to the dialogue this time at a native rate of speech.

[start of dialog]

Patrick: Hey, congratulations! I just heard that you're expecting. How far along are you?

Cindy: Thanks. I'm four and a half months pregnant. It feels like it! I feel huge.

Patrick: You don't look it. I bet Carlos is excited. Do you know yet if it's a boy or a girl?

Cindy: No, we don’t. Not yet. We should be able to find out at my next ultrasound. I don't care what sex the baby is as long as it's healthy. Carlos is really excited about the baby. He has been going with me to every prenatal appointment and we'll be taking a Lamaze class together soon.

Patrick: How was your first trimester? When my wife had our daughter, she had a lot of morning sickness.

Cindy: Oh, it was horrible! I was nauseous all the time, but I'm better now. Did your wife have a natural delivery or a cesarean?

Patrick: She had a natural delivery, but she was in labor for 12 hours! I was in the delivery room the entire time and wish I had an epidural, too.

Cindy: Twelve hours! I can't imagine doing that.

Patrick: Don't think about it. I'm sure you'll have an easy delivery. Let me know when the baby shower will be.

Cindy: Thanks. I will.

[end of dialog]

The script for today’s podcast was, as usual, written by Dr. Lucy Tse. And we thank you Lucy, as always, for your work.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
expecting – for a woman to be waiting for the birth of her baby; going to have a baby

* Bethany was expecting her first baby and was busy preparing for the baby’s birth.


How far along are you? – How many weeks or months has it been since you became pregnant?; When will your baby be born?; a question one asks to learn how many weeks or months the baby has been growing inside the mother

* When Rick saw that Ariel was going to have a baby, he asked her, “How far along are you?”


pregnant – going to have to a baby; having a baby grow inside of one’s body

* Victor was very happy when his wife said she was pregnant because he has always wanted to be a father.


ultrasound – pictures and video taken by a machine the doctor uses that show a baby as it grows inside the mother's body; a machine used to learn about the health of a baby before the baby is born

* Phyllis and Eugene saw their baby for the first time when the doctor showed them the ultrasound.


prenatal – before birth, often referring to visits to the doctor or medical care that a woman gets before she gives birth, to keep the woman and her baby healthy

* Bin is a doctor who gives prenatal care to women who are going to give birth.


Lamaze – a method of giving birth to a baby that includes exercises and controlling one’s breathing; a method a woman uses to feel less pain without drugs when giving birth to a baby

* In her Lamaze class, Patricia learned about how she needs to breathe when she gives birth to her baby.


trimester – a group of three months of a woman’s pregnancy (the time when a woman has a baby growing inside of her); one of three equal time periods of a woman’s pregnancy

* Baoan told his sister that his wife began her third trimester, so their baby will be born in a few months.


morning sickness – stomach uneasiness that a woman gets when she is expecting (going to have a baby) that lasts several weeks or months; a feeling of wanting to vomit (for food inside of one’s body to come out of one’s mouth) that a pregnant woman gets during the early months

* Angelique did not have bad morning sickness when she got pregnant and only felt a little ill one or two times.


nauseous – feeling like one might vomit or throw up; feeling like one might empty one’s stomach by sending food back up through the throat and mouth

* Ricardo felt nauseous after he ate the spoiled food and almost vomited.


natural delivery – the state of giving birth to a baby the usual way; the act of giving birth to a baby through the normal paths inside a woman’s body, called the birth canal

* Mayim went through a natural delivery when she gave birth to her son James.


caesarean – the state or act of giving birth to a baby by having doctors cut the baby out of the mother

* Clemens was born through a caesarean because he was too large and his mother could not give birth to him the natural way.


in labor – for a woman to be giving birth to a baby; for a baby to be coming out of the mother’s body

* Lila was in labor for eight hours before her son was born.


epidural – medicine or treatment given to a mother as she gives birth to her child to reduce the amount of pain the mother feels

* Giving birth to her baby was much easier once the doctors gave Maria an epidural.


baby shower – a party or event that celebrates the birth of baby before the baby is born

* All of Lori’s friends and family came to her baby shower and gave her many gifts for her new baby.

Culture Note
Bearing Children

The verb “to bear” has several meanings. We may say, “Please bear with me,” which means please be patient with me. “To bear” can also mean refer to “childbearing,” which is the process of giving birth to a baby, so you’ll often hear people talk about women bearing children.

A 2012 story in the Wall Street Journal reported something “surprising” (unexpected) about “expectant” (pregnant; with a baby in one’s body) mothers. The story reported that mothers may have some small control over when they will “deliver” (have; give birth to) their babies.

Researchers examined births in the United States from 1996 to 2006 during the two weeks around Halloween (October 31st) and St. Valentine’s Day (February 14th). You would expect that the number of spontaneous or natural births to be “about” (approximately) the same each day. They “excluded” (didn’t include) “caesarians” (where the doctors surgically remove the baby from the woman) and “induced births” (where drugs are given to cause the woman to give birth.

They found that the number of births on St. Valentine’s Day “rose” (increased) 3.6% “over” (compared to) the surrounding days, and “fell” (decreased) 5.3% on Halloween. The researchers concluded that, within a limited “time frame” (a limited amount of time), women can “expedite or delay” (speed up or slow down) “childbirth” (giving birth to a baby).