I’ve always wondered what parents find so adorable in sonogram images of the fetus that they have to carry it around in their wallets and phones. Maybe the realization that they are responsible for the creation of a life. That there in those photographs is a representation of themselves – their own DNA. Perhaps the closest to ever feeling that you’re a God. I don’t know, I’m just guessing.
I have to confess though that I’ve always been kind of creeped out by the whole concept of a baby. Especially when it hasn’t been born yet. The sight of a person’s tummy bulging with a life form, sucking their nutrients out day after day…growing bigger and bigger until the time comes when the host’s body can’t contain it anymore. And then it rushes out, almost exploding into the world in a terrible crisis of pain, rupturing the body that fed it for 9 months. Brrr. Like something straight out of “Aliens”. And it doesn’t look too pretty when it emerges either. I get chills just thinking about it. There must be some kind of maternal instinct at work here because from a logical perspective, I would have just one thought were I a pregnant woman – “Get this thing outa me!!”
I mean is it just me, but does a fetus feel a hell of a lot like a parasite? Contributing nothing to the host organism, and making use of the sheltering body to sustain itself. Even after birth, it gets its emotional tentacles into the mother, drawing milk from her and emotionally blackmailing her into caring for it for the next ten or twenty years.
Now I know the formal definition of a parasite is that they have to from a different species. Also the birth of the fetus is just the beginning of its lifecycle. But these are just technicalities. In its very essence, we have one organism feeding on another. It’s not a symbiotic relationship with a give and take. It’s parasitic, pure and simple.
Does it matter? Probably not since people seem to enjoy having this thing growing inside them. Occasionally it some areas it becomes illegal to remove it after a certain stage. It’s just that it’s a whole new way of looking at the process and most people to whom I pitch this idea take a while adjusting to the notion, trying to square off their image of dangerous looking parasitic organisms like worms etc with the cute cuddly runts we see running around all the time. Hey, it is what it is!
I guess it also feels good to throw those off who believe that “life begins at conception” and that abortion is “killing babies”. I particularly enjoy the outrage when they sputter “How could you think that?” :D