Monday, 2 September 2013

I saw Cloverfield the other night - JJ Abrams, shakycam, monster, disturbingly-out-of-place-in-silly-big-budget-monster-film September 11th references - and it struck me, we as a culture have been using the wrong film as a metaphor for pregnancy. Alien has the visuals, but for me, Cloverfield wins.

The Cloverfield monster (alien? primordial being? who knows) is the size of a skyscraper, with claws and teeth and a tail that can smash down a bridge. It marches around Manhattan breaking things, leaving rubble and fire and death in its wake. It swats down buildings. It bites the Statue of Liberty. It wrecks pretty much everything in its path. And it also has creepy little person-sized scuttling parasites that fall off it and cause even more damage, just for extra chaos. But! According to the designers, the monster is a newborn (new-hatched? new-spawned?) baby. It is not wrecking stuff out of malice; it is wrecking stuff because stuff is in its way, and it is confused and lost and has no idea what's going on and can't help it that every time it moves, something else goes ka-BOOM. So on the one hand, it's laying waste to everything you know and hold familiar in a series of gore, disaster and devastating explosions - on the other hand, it's only doing all this as an unintended side-effect of, basically, being a baby.

Why yes I do still have terrible morning sickness, since you ask. And exhaustion. And 36-hour headaches. And, well, the list goes on, but let's just say that the one thing Cloverfield is missing as a pregnancy metaphor is for the army to saunter up to the waves of terrified, injured, fleeing civilians, watching their city burn around them, and say "Have you tried ginger?"

But, I live in hope. The exhaustion is already fading; the sickness hopefully will follow one day (although I have given up on all the advice suggesting when, since it was getting too depressing to watch the points at which it's supposed to start fading whooshing past me as the sickness got worse and worse, and incidentally fuck you every single book and site and article on the second trimester for telling me how much better I'm feeling by this point).

The 12-week scan went fine. I have the requisite selection of blurry ultrasound photos making it look like a cross between a weather radar map and an alien, but they don't capture the best bit about the scan which was the realisation that, oh my God, it moves. Not just waving an arm or something, but a constant burrowing, kicking, somersaulting, bouncing whirl of motion. Did you know they can actually trampoline themselves off the inner walls of the amniotic sac? Because THEY CAN. The scan took forever because it wouldn't position itself obediently for the measurements at all - "okay, that's nearly there, now if it juuuuuuuust moves a liiiiiiiiitle bit to the right...", cue kick, flip, gone - but it was pretty amazing to see so much of it.

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