What to Expect When You’re (Legally Considered to be) Expecting

Tips on making the most out of your pre-pre-natal status.

You already knew that your most recent menstrual cycle is considered a pre-assembled bundle of joy under the recent Arizona law, which recognizes fetal personhood two weeks before conception. This is because Governor Jan Brewer has developed a unique form of time travel that is both retroactive and womb-specific (and they say America doesn’t invest in science anymore).

At any rate, it’s better to be pregnant than sorry, as the old chestnut goes. Congratulations! You’re (mostly) already a mother. How wonderful – and may I add, on a personal note, that you’re absolutely (hypothetically) glowing? Here are a few bits of pre-prenatal advice we’d like to offer our newly pregnant readers.

  • If you’re not sure where to start, why not try naming your tampons, just in case? “We call this one Harper. She’s got her father’s absorbency but I think she takes after my mother’s side of the family – she expands radially just like my mother’s sister Abigail.”
  • Worried about early preschool cutoff dates? Now that proto-Edwick is a whole two weeks older, you’ve got that much more of an edge on your Brentwood School application. Your slutty neighbor who got knocked up before H.B. 2036 passed is going to have to wait an entire year before she gets another chance. Edwick will already be fluent in Mandarin calculus engineering by then!
  • Don’t forget, however, that early admission also means early student loan repayment – your ante-blastula may already have exceeded the maximum number of uterine deferrals. Does your womb have space for debt collectors?
  • What does your icipient embryo think about Lena Dunham’s Girls? Do you want your progeny to be the only one in the maternity ward without an opinion? It’s never too early for a longform thinkpiece about a television show that’s aired exactly one episode, so plan ahead.
  • Are proto-zygotes growing up too fast and having sex before they even start to exist?
  • Why not take this expansive, futurist approach to the rest of your life? Shake things up a little! Divorce your spouse before your relationship falls apart! Quit your job before you retire! Stop breathing before you die! Don’t think of it as overweening and self-defeating presumption. Think of it as maximizing your life-cycle efficiency. Sure, you’ll die earlier, but we live in fast-paced times! Who wants to sit around waiting for their body to stop working before ceasing to exist?

Alternately, of course, you could use those two weeks to get the hell out of Arizona and into a state with sane, compassionate reproductive laws. Like Nevada – wait. New Mexico, then. Or not. Utah doesn’t look much better, does it? Colorado? …Oh.

Image: Josh Parrish

Mallory Ortberg

Mallory resides in San Francisco, California. You can catch her weekly Sex By Numbers column.