Friday, December 16, 2005

Alien Babies

In the past month, I’ve had a number of friends share with me news that they’re expecting. I have now officially passed the phase in my life that, when someone tells me they’re expecting, I don’t follow up with “expecting what?” This is probably a sign of maturity, but I still have a long way to go. I’ve tried my best to get over it. I’ve tried to be a grown up. I’ve tried to focus on the positive, but the fact remains. Having babies grosses me out.

Procreation is one of those unique processes that involves lots of unpleasant bodily functions, but is still widely thought of as being beautiful. From the reports of my pregnant friends thus far, carrying a child seems vaguely reminiscent of eating bad Indian food. You’re slightly nauseous, and you might occasionally feel faint. The early stages of pregnancy seem largely characterized by a mild general discomfort. Fun.

All of this is redeemed, however, by the excitement of the ultrasound. Describing her recent ultrasound, my friend Ms. K said “you can see the baby, and it’s moving all around, acting like a baby.” Which takes me to my biggest peeve with pregnancy…something is growing INSIDE YOU. Although some may find the signature pregnancy bump to be Botticelli-esque, to me, it’s like a tumor with its own nervous system.

My pregnant friends thrill at the thought that later in the pregnancy, they will feel the baby. One friend described how, late in the third trimester, you can sometimes see the movement from outside. A vague imprint of a fist, moving across your navel. All of this strikes me as far too similar to the preemptory scenes of Alien. For those unfamiliar with the Ridley Scott cinematic classic, Alien involves Sigourney Weaver bravely battling against a breed of extraterrestrials who procreate by violently emerging from the bodies of their most recent victims. The central image is that of a claw/paw/whatever shooting out the chest of said victim.

For the most part, I’ve tried to keep my distaste to myself. It hasn’t been too hard, as I’m sincerely super excited for my friends. If anything, my aversion to the procreative process has helped me to focus on the crux of child-bearing. Carrying a child is hard, but starting a family is even harder. When two people decide that they're ready to face the challenge because they love each other, and they want to share that love with a little one. Well, that’s something even Sigourney and I can appreciate.

We’ll appreciate that from afar though. As much as my husband and I are enjoying wedded bliss, at least for the time being, we’re both still suckers for those 10-minute abs.

Ms. J


Anonymous Mark said...

I agree with you, Ms. J--we were all better off when babies were delivered by stalk. Although, it sure is fun making the babies! Am I right or am I right? Hello? Is this thing on?

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Where do babies come from? said...

But think about the alternatives: storks are universally recognized as filthy deisease carriers; my parents always told me that I grew from an apple seed in the back yard, I still feel dirty though.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous TheSuze said...

I don't know, to me the creepiest part is that it's allowed to keep existing outside of you--and that eventually it might even get bigger than you! I'm worried I will one day look at any son I have and go "ahhhhh"

9:40 AM  
Blogger Berry said...

Happy checking on you two in the new year.


11:39 PM  
Blogger Berry said...

knock, knock...anyone here?

6:42 PM  

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