Hey, it’s Claire. Here are the highlights of my interview with Melissa _________, the woman who’s been pregnant with a male fetus for twenty-six trimesters.
ME: Congratulations, I guess!
HER: Thank you. I feel very blessed.
ME: What’s your son’s name?
ME: Most mothers I’ve known start to feel very “get this baby out of me” by the end of the third trimester. How’re you feeling after seven years of pregnancy?
HER: I worried a lot in the first year, but once I understood he was healthy and safe, I made peace with him staying inside. My hormones reached a wonderful balance. I have a permanent pregnancy glow. I’m not in any discomfort. I think a lot of mothers would love this experience. I’m always with my baby. He doesn’t get sick, he’s never alone. He’s growing up in a perfect environment.
ME: He’s not really growing up, though, is he?
HER: He isn’t physically growing but he’s happy and alive. He’s always growing closer to me.
ME: I want to ask some challenging questions if that’s OK.
HER: Go ahead.
ME: Have you considered a C-section?
HER: God, no! It’d be extremely dangerous for him at his stage of development.
ME: You’ll never get to see him or hold him. You’ll never talk to him.
HER: I talk to him all the time. I’m holding him all the time.
ME: Are you concerned he’s missing out? Totally arrested development? He’ll never ride a bike, or see the ocean, or make out with a prom date. He’ll never have a life of his own.
HER: He’ll never get hooked on drugs or have his heart broken, either. He’ll never have to worry about the news or feel alone.
ME: This takes helicopter parenting to a new level, though. You’ve locked him in the cockpit.
HER: I didn’t ask for this. If I suddenly went into labor, I wouldn’t try to fight that. I’m making the best of a unique situation, which is what every good parent does with every individual child.
ME: Why do you think this is happening to you and Timothy?
HER: I have no idea. Why can some woman get pregnant while others can’t no matter what? Why do some babies have disabilities and others have amazing natural gifts?
ME: But this isn’t like, “Geez, my baby has a harelip.” This is one in a billion. Unprecedented, far as we know. You’ve got to have some theory.
HER: I’ve had lots. Proof that God has a plan. Proof there isn’t any God. Mutation. A leap in evolution. Somebody slipped me an experimental drug. Alien pregnancy. But I don’t believe in most of those crazy ideas. I’m a very normal woman, very grounded. I think theorizing is less important than simply enjoying what I’ve got. We’re happy. We have a good life.
ME: That’s super zen. I don’t personally roll that way, but I appreciate how you’re just like, “I love my permanently unborn baby Tim and I’m awesome at my payroll job.”
ME: May I ask you one more question? It’s a tough one.
ME: He’s snug as a bug in there. Not really aging. There’s no indication that’ll change. What if this goes on for decades and he finally outlives you?
HER: I guess they’ll cut him out. Maybe that’ll be his time.
— Report filed by Claire Maple