Don’t Panic!

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had many wonderful lines and elements, but one that seems most quoted and referenced is always “Don’t Panic”. Considering that the situations in the book (and subsequent movie) would make anyone panic is all the more reason why it’s a hilarious instruction. Science fiction is filled with all kinds of bizarre things that characters must simply acknowledge, adapt to and accept. It’s part of why I love the genre so much; the jumping off point is that crazy things will happen, but nothing is insurmountable.

Some days, being pregnant feels like a giant sci-fi saga. When people ask how I’m doing, I often compare myself to Sigourney Weaver in Alien. It’s not meant to be hyperbolic or weird, but some days I really do feel like her – all the mixed emotions, strange things happening in my body and the knowledge that just when I think I know what’s going on, it will all change again. I’ve sorta come to terms with it, but there are still some days when it’s utterly overwhelming. I know women have gone through this since the dawn of the species, but it’s still just such a strange experience. The hormones, the worry, the bizarre physical stuff, it really is like some sort of plague that would ravage the globe in a trashy sci-fi movie.

Ripley and Alien
Totally accurate depiction of how it feels to be pregnant… okay, not really

This weekend was mostly wonderful, although I had a crazy pregnancy moment. Moment might be an understatement – I was pretty mental for a good portion of Sunday. I hadn’t felt Harley move around in about a day or two, and I was getting worried. Okay, worried is definitely an understatement; I was panicked. I remembered reading about how women should monitor kick frequency, that if the baby stops kicking it could be a bad sign. Of course, none of that applies this early on, but I didn’t know that until later on in the day. Instead, I was a basket case. Poor Dean had to comfort me and keep telling me everything was going to be okay. I suppose it doesn’t help that I’ve seen far too many horror stories lately about people having miscarriages or babies dying – that definitely is the downside to being part of all the wonderful mommy groups on Facebook.

Anyway, all is well once more. I’m 20 weeks along, so I don’t need to worry if I go a day or two without feeling any kicks. And I did feel her moving around last night.

So, I’ve decided to embrace my love of sci-fi once more, to accept the bizarre new normal that is my life. Don’t Panic! Sure, like Ripley in Alien I will have moments when I just break down and cry over it all, but most of the time I’m one hell of a tough woman who can handle whatever it is that my body and the little princess inside decide to throw at me. Besides, it really is worth it for the awesome times. Just feeling her move inside me, knowing that one day she will be born and grow up into a real human – it’s sort of mind bogglingly awesome, in the true meaning of the word awesome. Much like any science fiction story, the journey might be strange and dangerous, but it’s also beautiful and profound. I’m feeling more relaxed and happy, ready to see what that next major plot twist will bring.


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