Monday, April 18, 2011

It's My Onion And I'll Cry If I Want To, or Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Pregnancy That The Internet Tells You Anyway

The internet is good for a lot of things. For instance, email, social networks that allow you to flip idly through vacation photos of people you barely know while avoiding doing your taxes, and websites that helpfully identify your post-yoga leg cramp as a probable sign of bone cancer. (Thank you, Al Gore!)

It is also good, I have recently discovered, for finding out disturbing E! True Hollywood story details about your developing fetus. I signed up for weekly email updates on what my small parasite is up to, and let me tell you, it is educational. For instance, in week 11, just in time for Mardi Gras, we learned that our fetus had visible nipples (nice try flashing people for beads, baby, but no one can see you in there). At 14 weeks, s/he could "squint, frown, grimace, and pee" (note to my future child: angry urination never ends well). And this week--17--it is apparently spending most of its time practicing "sucking and swallowing" (stay classy, What to Expect When You're Expecting).

Some websites also like to tell you how big your baby is, usually compared to fruits and vegetables, which are cute and benign. This week it's a fig, next week a navel orange, etc. On the flip side, one site I shall not be visiting again told me that my fetus is currently the size of a small gerbil. Right. Because in addition to weight gain, gas, and acne flare-ups, what I really want right now is to imagine a rodent floating around inside of me (no offense, Richard Gere). Anyway, this week I'm carrying around an onion, which may explain why I burst into tears with such frequency.

Another fun internet pregnancy game is: type any symptom or foodstuff into the Google search bar and wait for someone to tell you that you are about to have a miscarriage, usually in frantic, misspelled ALL CAPS, because, presumably, the sanatorium only gives them computer privileges for 5 minutes at a time.

Sigh. Who would have thought that some day, we'd have to enable cookies to study the miracle of life? My grandmother didn't have pregnancy books or the interwebs. She gave up either drinking or smoking, but she can't remember which one. She didn't need an iPhone app to tell her if her weight gain was on track, or a weekly text to inform her that she was turning into a human urinal. She just sat back, enjoyed her cocktail (or cigarette), and tried not to get kicked in the stomach. A very manageable to-do list.

Then again, I am glad that I live in an age in which I can know the moment my little nippled onion is able to grimace...

... because if it inherits one thing from me, I kind of hope it's my bitchface.


  1. Hahaha! That's funny because it reminds me of when my daughter was pregnant last year and kept saying "the baby's peeing in me?!" after she read What to Expect.

    Just pretend it never happens lol.

  2. I had to stop with the pregnancy Google searches, because EVERY symptom meant something bad. And the forums were all full of doomsayers. It was pretty ridiculous. I do receive one weekly update, which is cool, but I'd rather just enjoy the experience than read about other people's paranoia and crazy, drama-filled talk.

    Nice bitchface. My "face" has been labeled stinkface.

  3. LOL! I remember reading everything with my first baby. There was some scary shit out there.

  4. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Oh jeeze. WebMD is my best friend/worst nightmare.

    Melanie@Unravelled Threads
    Follow @UnraveldThreads on twitter!

  5. Your little fig could totally flash for beads if you would wear that scary tummy x-ray Wrestling Championship belt ;)


    Gotta love Tina Fey! :)

  7. On the track of too much info, I wanted to recommend some other books to you but someone else's blog said it better:

    I've been reading you for maybe a year and I'm so excited for you. I'm also a recovering birth nerd, so keeping my trap shut is getting harder and harder. I know no body needs my unsolicited advice, so I'll leave it at the list of book :)

  8. "A Fireman once said to me, if in trouble you squint, frown, grimace, and pee, and though good advice, I think it would be nice, if inutero it didn't affect me." Limericks The Cornerstone of Civilization..Best to You!

  9. The What to Expect app never leaves me wanting. In one of the forums the other day, swear to god, a girl was like, "I've been drinking a lot of water lately, and when I went to the bathroom a little while ago, my pee was CLEAR. Should I call my doctor?!" If everyone else hadn't already assured her that that was a good sign, I would've done my best to have her in tears.

    Also, you're 17 weeks this week? So am I. I have an ultrasound tomorrow and if I don't find out what I'm having I'll probably just kill myself. I'm tired of not knowing anything about this tiny dictator in my uterus.

  10. I forgot! The internet introduced me to this crazy 12-year-old-looking cloth diapering guru via youtube, and I have joined the cult. The tutorial is definitely worth watching if it's something you've considered. I want this girl to make videos on everything about having a baby. She didn't even laugh at the phrase "explosive newborn poops." Or vomit, which is what I did.

  11. Well, inherited bitchface is good for laughs for a few years, then you simply want to beat it out of them.
    Thank goodness my "baby" is going to be 20 tomorrow. I was already nervous each time I was pregnant because I worked with highly unusual children. I imagine the computer (whose lure I wouldn't have been able to resist) would have put me over the edge.
    I didn't get any highly unusual ones, just three with inherited bitchface.

  12. I was on the pregnancy forums for iVillage for a long time, but it really did more harm than good. The only thing worse than googling medical information is getting it from people you don't know. Sure, it's nice to have people who are going through the same thing as you (and at the same time), but those forums are full of judgmental women. If you want to eat Subway sandwiches and have a sip of wine every once in a while, you'll be made to feel like a pariah.

    ALSO, whenever one of the hundreds of women has a miscarriage, they post about it, even if they only lurked before, so it seems like people are dropping left and right! It's nerve-wrecking, I'll tell ya!

  13. I really, really hope your baby inherits your humor. You are so good.


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