Imagine for a moment that humans were not mammals but an egg-laying class. Not reptilian though for that would bring in a whole set of new problems to the equation that gets in the way, what with being cold blooded and all. Instead imagine that these hypothetical humans were of a new class that are warm blooded, posses all the qualities of mammals except for the fact that they lay eggs instead of giving birth to an infant.
Now that would be disturbing yet fascinating, wouldn't it?
For starters, a few days after the conception the mother would lay a huge ass egg. Judging by the size of a normal new born baby the egg would have to be about a foot and a bit in diameter. To add a bit of fun imagine that white parents' eggs would be white, black parents' eggs would be black, the Indians would lay brown eggs and the Asians sort of yellowish ones. Interracial marriages would generate more interesting patterns if one would let the imagination run wild a bit. A white dad and a black mom can expect to have sort of brownish eggs or else perhaps a patter of black and white dots or Zebra lines. Imagine how cool that would be. Asians and blacks; a yellow and black pattern. Asians and Indians; yellow and brown like a Giraffe. Or just plain beige sort of color. The parents would probably keep the shell as a souvenir after the hatching, and perhaps present the child with it when he or she comes of age. Along with family portraits the walls of houses would also have framed egg shells. In short, the possibilities are endless.
Just as the couples these days run to the hospital when the contractions start, the mom and dad would rush to the hospital where the mom will spend few days before and after the laying of the egg. The moment of laying the egg would probably be as hard as a childbirth or possibly harder. Once the egg is laid, the nurses will take it into their care, will check all the vitals by poking all kind of techie instruments into it and give an assessment on the health of the 'baby'. And then, possibly after cleaning it and wrapping it in a warm cloth the egg would be handed to the mother who is full of maternal love by now.
And then only will the real pregnancy start.
In early days where the technology was not so advanced the mother would have kept the egg with her at all times while the father and other relatives would provide for her 24/7. Just like the moms in
universe go to regular checkups when they are pregnant, the moms in that imaginary universe would take their unhatched eggs to the clinics to regular checkups to ensure the health of the unborn baby. She would keep the egg close to her body and keep it warm till the baby is born for real which would be in about four or five months. This would have been a real difficult time in the early days of humankind with the need to keep the egg warm and away from water. Hence, just as the fatalities were so high at childbirth in the old days in this universe, only a few eggs would have gone on to produce a child in that imaginary universe. But with the advancement of the society and the advancement of science this would have been made easier for the parents. With the invention of air conditioning devices and such the mother would have been relieved of the hectic duties and the parents would have been able to stick the egg inside a some kind of hatching device and let it do the work. Of course the society would be divided on this matter; some would claim that even if the child is not yet born it is important that the mother be with the egg at all times providing maternal care while the others would argue that it's time to do away with the stupidities and embrace technology.
Finally, a choice between a male or female child would be a piece of cake, at least with the advancement of technology. Like Turtle eggs would produce male of female hatchlings depending on the warmth (or lack thereof) it received before hatching, so would the human eggs. If you needed a son all you have to do is stick the egg in an oven, or if you needed a daughter just stick it inside a fridge. This would have given the term 'family planning' a whole new meaning.
Think about it.