I’ve just been sent a link to some images which I’m not sure I can accurately classify. One of my very closest friends is pregnant and has had a 3D scan of her baby, resulting in a series of images which, while are very cute, are also somewhat disturbing on several levels. Firstly, the scan doesn’t catch everything and so one image shows a view of the child’s face with a cut-out in the skull which appears to show the inside of it’s head. The images are startling in their clarity and look like the wax sculpture designed to melt away when casting bronze – a little lumpy, a little featureless but none-the-less clearly a baby with distinct features.
One part of me wants to coo over this premature sighting of the baby’s face, another part of me wants to marvel at the technology and these cool, arty images - however another part of me rebels slightly – I mean, we thought we were pretty good by getting photographs of Charlie out on email 5 hours after he was born but we’ve been pipped to the post by this – pictures from inside the womb. What’s next? Pictures from inside the testicles? “ And here you are descending the fallopian tube to meet Daddy’s sperm.”
I’m not sure I’d like to send pictures of the inside of my womb around to everyone. Although, come to think of it, I did do just that – but it was a fuzzy, hard-to-distinguish image of something that could be a cloud or perhaps a potato - while this is in pretty raw detail, placenta and all. And let’s face it (or rather, let’s avoid it at all costs), the placenta is a pretty disturbing piece of human anatomy. Oh yes, perfectly natural, after all we were all attached to one at some point in our lives. But still. Anyone who has come face to face with an actual placenta can back me up here… It’s distinctly meaty. And it may be just me but I’m not that keen to think I’ve produced something that would sit happily on a plate next to some onions. Oh, I know. They’re perfectly healthy. Absolutely guilt-free. Nothing died in the production of this placenta. No little placenta had their leaves torn off but… well I didn’t fancy looking at mine let alone eating it and I don’t think I much want to find myself face to face with the 3D image of someone else’s.
The baby however is very cute and has increased my terrible broodiness. I don’t know if broodiness is the correct term… it’s like someone who wants another cigarette before the first one is done, or has to order another drink while the first is still a quarter full… Charlie is only 3 months old but it’s clear that before long he will no longer be a baby and here I am, the world’s most reluctant mother having never wanted a baby in my entire life, trying to work out how to con D into timing another pregnancy so that just as this baby is finishing and becoming a toddler, I can have another one. Chain-babying. I must have an addictive personality. Who knew?
I can see why my friend has sent the images however. There is definitely something insipid about motherhood, it slowly perverts, diverts and subverts one’s sanity and pulls down the walls of common sense. One finds oneself indulging in peacock displays of all things baby on an increasing scale. As this is my friend’s third child, I can only imagine that she’s very far gone and take a sort of fond pity on her, knowing full well I will never sink to such depths simply because D is unlikely to allow me to have a second child, let alone a third. I can imagine that the walls come down on an exponential basis with each additional child and I have no idea how my friends with more than two children cope with the simple daily encroachment of insanity let alone the day today logistics.
In the meantime, back on the slippery slope, however many images I have of my son it seems there are never enough. While I have no images from inside the womb, I have become one of those parents who will have ten thousand images of their baby before the age of one and who will force everyone in her immediate circle to look at them. In fact, everyone in the general vicinity. I may have t-shirts and posters made up. Coming soon to a wall near you.