From: Bernuetz, Oliver: WPG (Bernuetz.Oliver@cbsc.ic.gc.ca)
Date: Fri 13 Feb 1998 - 06:04:46 EET
I wrote the following for one of the (male) players in my campaign who's
(female) character is expecting. I thought others might be interested in
this as well. It's an extrememly mechanistic description of pregnancy (no
myths, no cultural stuff) that might prove useful to someone. I'm also
it on my web site.
Pregnancy in Glorantha
This cannot fail but be a fairly superficial treatment of the
subject of pregnancy. As a man I cannot ever hope (fear?)
to truly experience what it is like to be pregnant. (Though
my wife has gone through the experience twice so I've
experienced it in a vicarious fashion). Most of this information
is taken from Conception, Pregnancy and Birth by Dr. Miriam
Stoppard (published by Macmillan Canada, ISBN 0-7715-9011-3.
This write up was created to help a male player understand what
his female character was going through. It's a fairly rulesy
approach to the subject for which I make no apologies. I leave
what the baby is going through to more expert accounts.
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing and no offense is intended.
This overview assumes a single baby, multiple babies are
generally born earlier and affect the mother differently.
A "normal" pregnancy is said to last 38 weeks which is
conveniently divided into thirds called trimesters. (The interesting
part of all this is how close term is an actual Gloranthan year, only
four weeks shy. Coincidence? I wonder.) This is mostly
a convenient convention rather than a hard reality. I've followed
Dr. Stoppard's book and divided the pregnancy into four week
periods for descriptive purposes. Actual real world symptoms
are followed by possible game system/roleplaying effects.
First Trimester (12 Weeks)
Moods may change capriciously, libido may increase or decrease.
Food preferences may change towards a more bland diet. Weight
change will be small during this stage. An increased need for water
or other beverages is present. Many women suffer from being on a
hormonal roller coaster with unexplained mood swings and feel
worried and anxious.
First Four Weeks
Many women never notice any symptoms at this early stage.
Some women feel slightly pre-menstrual and may pass urine
more frequently. Most women will notice that their breasts
feel sore and heavy, while their nipples tingle. Soon after this
veins will become visible on the surface of the breast. Some
women even feel sick at this stage.
Mostly roleplaying possibilities. Warriors might have trouble
waiting in ambush with a full bladder (who wouldn't?). Chest
armour may be too uncomfortable to wear without adjustment.
Up to Eight Weeks
Metabolic rate changes. More protein and calories are required.
Fatigue sets in and most women get tired more easily and some
women even feel faint at times. Women who are subject to skin
problems just before their periods may experience the same
problem. Other women have dry and itchy skin. Morning
sickness can occur. This varies greatly and some women suffer
more than others. This can range from mild sickness to sever
vomiting. Hormonal changes may cause some women to become
weepy or otherwise emotionally needy.
Character needs to eat more often and more protein. Fatigue
loss during battle could be doubled or increased by an extra
every other round. A warrior would be pretty fit and this may
not be the case. Armour still uncomfortable. Formerly stalwart
warriors may have trouble not retching after battles or when seeing
Up to Twelve Weeks
Weight increase begins (usually only 2-4 lbs during the first
12 weeks. May be less if morning sickness is particularly severe).
Hormones begin to settle. Hands and feet are almost always warm
due to increased blood flow.
Some earlier effects continue.
Weight gain will usually be around 12 pounds. Your
waistline disappears. Pigmentation may darken. Musculature
in your intestinal tract loosens and this often causes heartburn
and constipation. Backache is common due to ligaments of the
sacroiliac loosening. Ligaments and cartilage in pelvis also
loosen which makes pelvis more flexible. Ribs are often sore.
Hormonal levels often balance out. This leaves the mother
more serene and positive. Hair may become thicker and shinier
and your complexion becomes clear and glowing.
Up to Sixteen Weeks
Nipples darken in color and may tingle and may feel sore.
Near the end of this period you may feel the baby moving.
Energy levels may increase and you may have extra energy
Some earlier effects continue. Extra fatigue loss should stop.
Up to Twenty Weeks
Nausea should disappear. Energy and sense of fun should
return. Mood change for the better often occurs. Baby
movements increase. (Mothers feel this to be a wonderful thing).
Stretch marks occur. Tiny red marks appear in skin due to
broken blood vessels. These usually disappear after birth.
Heartburn and constipation occur. Perspiration may increase
and shortness of breath may occur.
Mostly roleplaying effects.
Up to Twenty-Four Weeks
Baby movements should be felt every day. Weight gain
begins to range 1 pound a week. Rib pain occurs because
the baby is pushing up your rib cage and spreading out your
lower ribs.. Indigestion and heartburn may occur. Stretching
of uterine wall may result in stitchlike pain in your abdomen.
Mostly roleplaying effects. Armour and clothes are
outgrown and need replacing.
Up to Twenty-Eight Weeks
Urination increases due to baby pressing on your bladder.
Sleep may be difficult if you are big. Lower back pain is
common. Lifting should be avoided.
Mostly roleplaying effects. It's time to take a break from
Another 10 pounds are gained on average. The expectant
mother is tired most of the time and often has trouble
sleeping because of the inability to find a comfortable position.
Walking becomes uncomfortable due to softened ligaments.
Until the baby settles in the pelvis some mothers have trouble
breathing due to pressure on the diaphragm. Shortness of breath
is common. The mother to be should spend a fair bit of time
sitting in a semi-propped psoition. Hypertension may be a
problem. Symptoms are swollen and puffy hands, wrists,
ankles and feet. Backache is very common and tiredness is
Up to Thirty-Two Weeks
Braxton Hicks contractions start. Some women never feel
these though. Pelvis may ache.
Mostly roleplaying effects.
Up to Thirty-Eight Weeks
At 36 weeks most babies engage. This means their heads drop
into the mother's pelvis. This makes breathing easier and the
mother feels more comfortable. Many women compensate for
the extra weight in front by leaning back. Line of vision
changes because of this and your centre of gravity alters so
you may bump into things or drop things accidentally. Sleep
is difficult but getting lots of rest is very important. Nesting
instinct may kick in. This should be resisted in order to
conserve energy for giving birth.
Any time from 37 to 42 weeks birth may occur. The longer it
takes to occur the bigger the baby will be and the more difficult
the birthing experience. Any birth before 37 weeks is considered
to be a premature one. The duration/details of giving birth I
again leave to the experts.
Oliver D. Bernuetz
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