Friday, November 12, 2010

Pregnancy and Conception

I made this article for one of my employers before...


There are several stages in pregnancy and conception; a lot of divisions will take place, as well as millions of sperm cells will die for the goal of reaching their destination --- the egg (ovum). In the long run, only one spermatozoon or sperm cell among an approximately 400 million sperm cells released each ejaculation will be successful in the goal of penetrating the coated ovum and fertilizing it. Such incidence of the union of the spermatozoon and the ovum is the beginning of pregnancy --- the stage called fertilization, or otherwise known as conception, impregnation, or fecundation.

The functional life of a spermatozoon is 48 hours, possibly as long as 72 hours. As such, 72 hours is the critical time on which fertilization should occur (48 hours before ovulation and 24 hours afterwards). The ovum, if not fertilized within 24 hours after ovulation or after it has been released, will also disintegrate. When this happens, fertilization can’t take place as well. Hence, comes the importance of right timing of ovulation and sexual intercourse.

Immediately after penetration of the spermatozoon (sperm cell) to the ovum (egg cell), their chromosomal materials will fuse. The resulting structure of such fusion is called a zygote. The spermatozoon and the ovum each contain 23 chromosomes (22 autosomes and 1 sex chromosome). With this, a fertilized ovum will have 46 chromosomes. If an X-carrying chromosome enters the ovum, the resulting child will have two X chromosomes and will be female (XX). However, if a Y-carrying chromosome enters the ovum, the child will be female with an X and Y chromosomes (XY).

Fertilization, as described above might seem to flow smoothly and hassle-free, but in reality it isn’t that easy to achieve. For fertilization to occur, at least three factors must be met: the maturation of both sperm and ovum, the ability of the sperm to reach the ovum and the ability of the sperm to penetrate the zona pellucida (the membrane surrounding the ovum) and cell membrane.

From the zygote, which is the fertilized ovum, the future child together with the accessory structures needed for it to survive the intrauterine life such as the placenta, fetal membranes, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord are all formed.

Once the zygote becomes a blastocyst which will be around 8 to 10 days after fertilization, implantation or the contact between the growing structure (blastocyst) and the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) will occur. A common sign for this stage is the presence of a small amount of vaginal spotting which can be mistaken as a menstrual period. Once implanted, the zygote is called an embryo.

The developing baby is called an embryo from the moment of conception to the eighth week of pregnancy. After the eighth week and until the moment of birth, the developing baby is called a fetus.

In a nutshell, in just 38 weeks, a fertilized egg matures from a single cell carrying all the necessary genetic material to a fully developed fetus ready to be born.

COOLING Your Home with the Use of COLORS

I made this article for my prospect employer, then...good enough, he liked the article and he even said that I am indeed a writer..and with a sense of humor...:-) Unfortunately, I was only looking for a part-time job by that time and they were in need of a fulltime article, hmm..yeah, I didn't land on the position...hehe...

COOLING your home with the use of COLORS 04-23-10

The temperature inside and outside of the house during this time of the year is undeniably hotter than the rest of the year that you just want to take a cold shower every now and then. If that is the case, then just imagine how much it would cost you on your monthly water bill? To add up to that, most families pay much due to their air-conditioned units working for almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Again, just think of how much money it will cost them?

Well, you might say that they are rich enough to pay for their electric and water bills, but that is not just the underlying issue here. There is a huge negative environmental effect that is directly related to the excess use of electricity and water consumption. By that point of view, we might as well consider some natural ways in cooling our home thus, further decreasing the amount of energy and water that we will consume, as well as shrinking the amount of money that we will have to pay every month.

One natural way to help you save that bulk of money for your electric bills all start from the top of your house ---- the ROOF. The roof which is more exposed to the sun than the rest of the house plays a big role in cooling and/or warming the entire house. How is that so? The answer came from the simple knowledge about the effects of COLOR when it comes to providing a cooler or hotter feeling. You know for a fact that color has a vital part in temperature control. When you were younger, you had been taught in school that darker colors absorb more radiant light from the sun compared to lighter colors. In effect, when you wear black or any other dark color during summer, you will feel the heat from the sun more intensely compared if you are going to wear white or any lighter color that you prefer. Why is that so? Again, it’s simply because dark colors ABSORB more light from the sun that further goes in to your body (or into your house) whereas light color REFLECT more of these radiant light from the sun causing these lights to bounce back thus, lowering the amount of light that will go to your body (or into your house), further causing a cooler effect. I guess, this time, the thought that I am trying to point out is already clear to you --- the COLOR of your roof affects the amount of energy consumption of your entire home.

So, are you now considering lilac colors for your roof? THINK.

Way to Start with Guilt

I wrote this article when I was still in 4th yr college...I really thought I posted this article here at my blog, but I didn't. So, I am posting it now because I do believe this article is very much worthy to be here. Besides, this article was featured on our ROCK Bulletin by that time. It stayed there for more than one semester. Hmmmm, maybe my co-writers were just much busier in writing articles to be published on our magazine than to be featured on our bulletin board. :-)

I hope you'll like it... :-)


Way to Start with Guilt

By: Raymond “Ube” Umpa

It was the first day of our duty----and again, we were directed to the ward. As we stepped into the nurse station, there came a strapping symphony of “lub-dub-lub-dub” reverberating around the corners; penetrating through the walls and occupying our anxious and disturbed emotional and mental consciousness. Then, there was SILENCE! After a fraction of a second, I felt that the carbon dioxide level of my body had outweighed the oxygen saturation within my system. So, I took a deep breath, recollecting what I’ve learned in the fundamentals of nursing and as what I’ve always enumerated in my health teachings to my patients. Indeed, I was relieved of respiratory distress, but not for too long. While I was busy listening and writing the endorsement, I sighted someone a bit captivating with my peripheral vision. It fueled my curiosity to the extent that it had overflowed. So, I had to turn and look as to whoever that person was. I was surprised with the automatic effect of his sight to my being. We had a fleeting moment of having each other’s gaze; yet with that transient and very short eye-to-eye connection, I felt a sudden alteration in my body’s mechanisms--- moments after, I was on the verge of having hypoxia. Good thing that he entered the room that soon, because, if it took him a minute longer, I could have fainted. To add more damage, my pupillary size would have been fully dilated just to accommodate the totality of his commanding and exceptional presence. His charisma was so destructing, yet so magnetic. But, come again? Did I just say he entered the room? Oh yes! That time, my heart jumped a mile while I watched him entering the room of the same ward that I’m into. In my mind, countless thoughts were playing. Instantly, I was preoccupied with the things that I should do to befriend him. To heck with whatever actions that must be done in order for me to emerge triumphant of my silly plans. My god, I was really desperate and so engrossed with my self-centered goal. Nevertheless, I was not sure as to how to actualize it. Knowing my introvert and reserved personality, it would take tons of effort for me to come out of the open and shine for him--- without turning stupid. Then, I felt a resounding “pssst” on my left ear--- I’m on the world again. I almost forgot, we were still on the middle of the endorsement. But, again fate was on my side, because all that I’ve mentioned happened while the nurses were busy chatting in-between the endorsement (Well, they always do that.).

To add up with my luck, I was assigned to the room where that gorgeous guy had entered. I did not know how to react. It was a mixture of excitement, exceeding joy and nerve-wracking episodes. My heart began to palpitate. I can sense it becoming stronger and stronger as we get closer to my room assignment. I could feel that the sudden rush of fortune on my shoulders was so immense that I was caught off-guard. I was like the calm and relaxing sea shore of Phuket, Thailand when Tsunami came in and left a disastrous history. The only difference between the seashore and me is that, the disaster that might happen to me is still to come about. I was only praying that I could be prepared to face such fiasco or otherwise prevent its deadly occurrence. Again, fate was on my side to have a premonition on events that will follow. But, until when would the hand of chance will reside on me? Louis Pasteur said, “Chances favor the prepared mind.” But, it’s not that I must read on piles of books and notes so I could find the perfect formula towards friendship and avoid an impending doom of a fruitful encounter.

Finally, we were leading towards my assigned room number. I took a deep breath and prayed to God that He will guide me all the way. Then, my hand grasped the doorknob, turned it clockwise to open and breathed once more before I took a single step forward. Before I knew it, I was already standing in front of that stunning hunk I’ve been daydreaming of earlier. To add again with the package, there was also another guy on the scene, as handsome and as tall as him. Yet, this guy has a lighter complexion. When, I looked into their eyes, I felt the same vibrancies and spirit. Then on, I knew they were brothers. True enough, we found out later that the lighter guy is the elder brother of my dream guy. But, ooh! I almost forgot my real purpose for our “nursing round” and my duty. I have a patient to take good care of. And that patient of mine just happened to be the mother of my crush-turned-crushes. Ill as she appeared to be, yet she had witnessed how I became accustomed to the eyes of her two handsome sons while I was unmindful of her staring at me. Looking at my patient, I can sense her fragile and vulnerable condition. She was obviously weak yet, I can feel in her eyes the enthusiasm and courage to live more each day. I stood in front of her, while she was sitting on her bed and as her two handsome watchers and other relatives were looking at me. My god, I felt like an ice cream in cone exposed under the sweltering heat of the sun. Then, I introduced myself to her. As far as I can remember, I knew I have tried so hard to remain calm under the intense uneasiness I was feeling that time. When I was talking and doing my thing to my patient, I did not stare to anyone else in the room except her. I cannot look to those guys anymore since I know that they already had a feeling that I had a crush on them. I was really conscious in every move that I made. I felt that I was drowning in an ocean of critical eyes just waiting for the perfect moment to eat me alive. If only I can disappear in a snap of my fingers so I could escape that trap of embarrassment, I would do it without hesitation. While, I was regulating her IV, my mind was busy processing as to how on earth I could excuse myself that soon, without being boorish. Finally, I got the nerve to say I would be back in a while to get her vital signs. At last, I was out of the death row. My group mates flocked in front of me, so thrilled to know the latest buzz on my escapade. They’re just clueless as to how humiliating it was for me, until I sobbed in front of them. I didn’t know why the hell I cried in their presence; just outside the room and adjacent the nurse station. What a perfect setting to accentuate my mortification. While I recalled as to how pathetic I became and how I made a fool out of myself, the drizzling teardrops on my eyes became a torrent of bitter tears. I never gained the strength to go at my patient’s room alone. I asked for some of my group mates to go with me in taking the vital signs, and later on, I totally gave my responsibility over my patient on their shoulders. Then, I learned from them that my patient was looking for me. I was touched yet guilty that I can’t give my care to her just because of my timidity. Moments after, one of my crushes (the older one) also looked for me. I was standing near the room, thinking if I should enter and trying to gain enough courage to do it, when he called me to come closer. I did not ask for a sign but it unveiled to me that swiftly. Of course, I had a bit of hesitation, yet I would be so rude to decline his request--- so I submitted myself to his summon. I was surprised when he offered his hand and introduced himself to me. His hand was so soft and manly that I didn’t want to let go of it. Then, as if he had read my mind, he placed his other hand over mine. That time, his two hands squeezed in my right hand. Right away, I felt my hair starting to grow like that of Rapunzel’s. He was so kind, so welcoming, yet I was so intimidated by his presence. Obviously, the problem was with me. Luck was really on my side, yet I was consciously pushing it away as if I had a million dollars to spend and so much love to take. It was my first time to be in such situation. Maybe, it’s what they say, “beginner’s luck.” Bad thing, that I wasted such once in a lifetime gift of fate. Moreover, to say the worse, the care that I should be giving to my patient that time was compromised. I went home that night with so much regret in my heart. If only, if only, if only --- I resorted for an unending chant of “if only” as I walked out of the hospital and left my patient without saying a word of goodbye “for now” nor sorry that I wasn’t able to look on her needs. I know I could have done better --- If only…

A day after I was shocked to know that just 2 hours ago, my patient had died of cancer. It was five o’clock, then. I didn’t expect not even in my wildest thoughts that my missed “goodbye for now” gesture to my patient the other night will be a gesture of “good bye forever” on the next day. Without hesitation, I, together with one of my group mate went directly to the hospital to give our heartfelt condolence to the family.

My guilt began to haunt me. It was even added when out of my aloofness the other night, the son of my patient still offered his hands and said “thank you” for the care that I gave to his mother. I looked into his eyes and saw the same beauty and depth; only that time, sadness was flooding on the surface.

Kindness can really kill, just like guilt can haunt and hunt you down. I believe there is justice in this world, because now, I am paying the price of being unjust. ®