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You conceive
You retch
You grow big
You grow bigger
You ache
You push
He or she cries
End of story?

Not a chance!

At 9 months

Normal pregnancy entails much more than those main predictable milestones. It is nine months (give or take) of a wide range of experiences. Even the use of the term "normal" should be preceded by a small pause for thought. There are a lot of women who will argue vigorously that their pregnancies cannot be described as normal. These protestations may range from those who claim that "I was so well and full of life and energy that it frightened

me" to those who cry "there was so much sickness which went on for ever, unremitting backache that started too early, an overactive baby that kept me awake all night and a pregnancy that went on a good two weeks beyond my due date!" The truth is, these are two ends of the same spectrum.
The point emphasized in this chapter is that the experience of pregnancy is bound to differ quite enormously between one individual and another, without any of these being abnormal. All this is to do with constitution, environment and how each particular body responds to this momentous event. We set out here to explain - through specific answers to specific questions - what actually happens at each stage of this process.

2. Normal Pregnancy

By Joe Kabyemela, MD

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