Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The elephant in the womb: Why I'm glad I'm not an elephant

In July, 2006, I looked like this:

A very early capture of our little Photobomber, Jazz, refining her art

My ribs being positioned where they are (right on top of my hips with nary a centimetre between bone structures), there is nowhere to go but out, baby! So the LGBB was hovering out over nothing. A bit like walking the Eureka Skydeck88, I imagine. I only know what it was like from the building's perspective: damn uncomfortable and actually painful (I tried not to complain at the time, grateful as I was, but man.... my body was not happy and I had to increasingly manage the unexpected pain as I got bigger).

Around the time the photo above was taken, I mused the following to Steve (lifted from my old, now private, blog). He had no end of these sorts of musings thrown at him and, thankfully - or not - I recorded them on my blog as they happened. He's a funny guy. Most of the time. This time, I wanted to stab him. But I couldn't move.

Please excuse me, but there's an expletive involved:

Me: Imagine being a pregnant elephant. And gestating for two years. WITH AN ELEPHANT.

He: *daring to speak after thinking a moment* Hey... imagine if YOU were pregnant for two years. With.... an elephant.

*****respectful pause*****

Me: Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

I had forgotten all about this until tonight when I heard on the news that Melbourne Zoo's Asian elephant, Num-Oi, is expecting her first calf. Already four months along, it is considered very early and there is a risk of miscarriage, as with any, and I felt a pang of hope mixed with trepidation. I don't know why.

Then the news presenter said the expected due date was sometime in January..... 2013.

January 2013!?!

And of course, me being me, I got to thinking how utterly, utterly stressful that would be for an elephant if it had lost its first calf in infancy. They remember, you know. Don't they? Elephants, I mean. What the hell would go through an elephant mother's mind, I wonder. Waiting and gestating that, er... little 100kg precious bubba.

The day we took the LGBB to the zoo last year, I admit to shedding a happy tear seeing this gorgeous little three-month-old healthy girl:

Baby Mali on a family outing in April 2010:
"Are we THERE yet?"

I am SO glad I am not an elephant. Respect to the mamas. Major respect.

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