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.