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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – This might be the ultimate example of ‘don’t try this at home.’ A Dallas woman is an expert sword swallower — at nine months’ pregnant.

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Veronica Hernandez, 27, performs in burlesque and side show acts, and will be one of many performers at World Sword Swallower’s Day on February 28.

It took her two and a half years to learn sword swallowing, from another experienced performer. The blade is 14 inches of steel.

On Wednesday, Hernandez showed CBS 11 News how it’s done. “It basically is knowledge of the human body and what it is capable of,” she said.

Hernandez explained, the blade goes down the esophagus, passes by the heart and between the lungs, to her stomach. But she says the tip is dull.

“Even though it’s a blade and we’re doing something that other people aren’t doing, we’re not going to kill ourselves, so it can’t be sharp.”

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When Hernandez became pregnant, she says her body changed, which presented a whole new set of challenges.

“Being pregnant you have to take in your posture, the difference in weight from my belly and you have to remember all of this while you’re preparing to pose and get your body in alignment with the sword.” she said plainly. “You have to make sure it’s absolutely straight.”

Hernandez never attempted the feat while pregnant with her daughter, Allena, who is now 14 months old. Now nine months pregnant with her son, she’s learned how to adapt.

Hernandez says another pregnant sword swallower showed her how. “I’ve even talked to my chiropractor and my doctor. They’ve all said you know what you’re doing.”

On days though, where she’s not feeling up to it, she doesn’t take the risk. “It doesn’t interfere with the baby itself — if I take the precautions for myself, then the baby is fine.”

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

You can see Hernandez and other performers for World Sword Swallower’s Day at Ripley’s Believe It or Not on February 28 in Grand Prairie. The 8th annual celebration is founded by the Sword Swallower’s Association International and co-sponsored by Ripley’s.

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