You see, once I learn something in school, I turn around and use it in my writing. Not always, of course, but quite often. A lot of my story ideas began by a simple phrase in history or by an event. While some writers have troubles researching historical info, I'm already set. Not only do I have the textbooks with all of the facts, but I seem to be competent at putting in just enough of history without making it boring. Sometimes I feel like I'm cheating the system and getting my writing research done while I'm doing schoolwork. But then I remind myself that I'm still doing a lot of work. Sometimes more than other writers.
I've mentioned it before, but this semester I'm taking a rather interesting History course on the Early Modern Period in Europe. Not only do I love the professor (I've had him before), but the subject matter is just fascinating. The Reformation, the witch-hunt and a time of immense change. How could it not be interesting to a history lover?
Well, one thing I love about my professor is that he doesn't just discuss the major events that took place. He also discusses the simple things like the life of a peasant from birth till death. We spent two classes talking about this (and by talking I mean that he lectured while we furiously wrote down pages upon pages of notes). Regardless, I LOVED these classes. So I figured I would share some of the interesting-- and humorous-- things about them. Specifically, this post will be about pregnancy.
1. How can you tell if you're pregnant? Your eyes get droopy, your veins get bigger and your nipples get hard. (Woah, they paint a pretty picture of a pregnant woman don't they?) (They knew the gender of their baby by which eye went droopy and which breast got hard. Sadly, I cannot remember which is which and my notes are at school. If you would like to know just let me know and I'll tell you on Sunday when I return to school).
2. How do you know you're 100% pregnant and when your baby gets its soul? It kicks/ moves around in your belly. Also called the "quickening."
3. How did the midwife entice the baby out of the womb when it refused to budge? Because the child got its identity from its father (hence the horror at being a bastard) the child was intensely curious about who its daddy was. So, the midwife would wave a piece of the father's clothing that he wore (or was in the room) during conception, under the mother's private areas. Apparently this would ensure that the baby would pop its head out of the womb due to curiosity.
4. What was another way to get the baby to come out? Jump up and down with the hope that the baby would just fall out.
5. When did the Caesarean section (c-section) get its name? Most would say that the name was derived from Julius Caesar who was supposedly born from a c-section. Although this is a very good story, it is impossible. You see, c-section was only done when the mother had no chance of survival. Caesar's mother lived long after giving birth. Even with Rome's advanced medicines, there was no cure for being cut up. Therefore, the most likely origin of the word is that the first c-section was performed during Caesar's time. It could also be derived from the Latin verb caedere which means, "to cut."
6. At what point in the pregnancy were the couple advised against having sex? The moment she knew she was pregnant the couple refrained from sexual relations.
7. Who was allowed in the room during birth? Only women! No men allowed! Generally there was the midwife, the mother and the mother-in-law. Perhaps a maid or two or a close friend-- such as the God mother.
Alright, that's all for now. I have a ton more facts but I should get some writing done! However, I'm thinking I might make History Lesson a weekly thing. I'll pick a general topic for each post, and give you guys some facts about it! I might even try to set up a question box where you guys can request information on specific things like dates, or events etc...
What do you think? Should I make this a weekly thing? What about the question box?