I don’t really want to write this, but as first communications officer I instructed everyone to keep a journal, as detailed as possible. I promised everyone complete privacy, and may uphold that promise. I certainly do not want this made “public” among my comrades here on this god-forsaken planet, nor anyone at home. It is all too strange. And utterly impossible.
Christopher all but abandoned me as soon as we found out that Sara’s child was his. Little Angela (we call her Angel) is a beacon for all of us, reminding us of our humanity as well as our professional “intergallactic” mission. She has luminous pale skin, Christopher’s blue eyes, but Sara’s unruly dark curls. She is the first citizen of this place, and if we survive, every tiny aspect of her life will be recorded and studied by future (depending on survival, as I said) generations, here and at home. We are all debating how to incorporate Angel’s name into the name for this planet, which so far only has a letter and number designation. We decided to name it ourselves, no matter what they want back home.
So, starting a colony on a distant, strange, and barely habitable planet does sound impossible, right? No, that is not the impossible part. That is not even the strange part. I am the impossible, strange thing on this planet. I have been pregnant for eighteen months.
The elephant is the mammal with the allegedly longest gestation period, at about 21 months. I’m not part elephant, nor was there anything particularly strange about my baby’s conception. Christopher and I, still together, had our last sexual encounter eighteen months ago, shortly before Angel was born. I learned I was pregnant six weeks later. And here I am, as big as a house, under constant watch, with a live baby— we lack a lot of sophisticated scanning devices but we know the baby is alive— and it kicks— in my belly. I am no bigger than any other soon-to-be-mother at nine months. So what is this child doing in there?
Was it the journey, the atmosphere, the food, a virus, the stress?— no one has an answer. We aren’t scheduled to contact UNASA for another six months.
I’ve not been a mother before, so can’t say whether or not the way I feel is “normal”. But I feel like shit most of the time, my back needs massaging daily or the pain is too much, and I’m the size of the Titanic with an astonishingly high level of horniness which I am unable to satisfy. And oh so confused about who or what is—
Feeling 36 kilograms lighter (about eight pounds). It is a boy. The elephant still holds the record for longest gestation.
Christopher and I already had names picked out for our child. Constance if a girl, and Radical if it was a boy. That was my father’s name.
Radical doesn’t have the rolls of chubbiness that most babies have. He is not skinny, just well proportioned. I think he has Christopher’s mouth. His eyes are a little different; a very pale grey with a halo of black. He is quiet and serene. He was able to make eye contact right from birth and all vital signs were normal. Angel loves him, her little half-brother, so we are all trying very hard to love him too.
- Image: Anne Geddes