earthling pregnancies

I originally sold this flash story to a magazine that folded, so for awhile the only place you could find it was in my collection. Then I included it (plus the audio) as a patreon reward, so if you want to hear the audio, that's available over here (for the low low price of $1. :D )

And yes, I definitely wrote this story while pregnant and looking at a very long and cheerful list about all the things I was no longer allowed to do...

Standard Comfort Measures In Earthling Pregnancies

Tina Connolly

1. SUPPLEMENTS: Upon discovering there has been implantation by the marvelous Xorlyn overlords, please do not self-defenestrate. For best results you will have started with the folic acid and copper supplements three months ago upon our landing, as politely requested. However do not panic if you failed to heed emergency broadcast blarings. Simply begin these pills now, as well as adding a quart of copper-enhanced prune juice to your daily regimen, available at any Xorlyn-overtaken Costco.

2. NUTRITION: DONT'S: During your standard nineteen-month pregnancy, there is a short and easy list of foods you will not be able to eat. Please avoid deli meats, goat cheese, all food that comes from the sea, chips, ice cream, soda crackers, all food that has passed through an animal's bosoms, steak tartare, steak almondine, filet mignon, earthworms, eggs, bees, alcohol, "hard" drugs such as aspirin and crack, food that grows in the wet air (figs, birds), food that grows in the dry air (woodpeckers, oxygenated particles), and soy sauce.

3. NUTRITION: DO'S: Vinegar is considered quite safe and you may consume as much as you wish.

4. MORNING SICKNESS: It is quite normal to have a period of morning sickness for the first eighteen months of your pregnancy. This is your body's natural adjustment to bearing Xorlyn triplets and should not be taken for a psychological rejection of the fry, unless, of course, you are well aware that you are an unfit parent who should be rounded up behind the nearest Xorlyn Costco and shot. Xorlyns frequently take a small measure of our parent's blood to combat the inevitable nausea; that is suggested here.

Please remember that despite the nausea you will still need to consume 5,000 calories per day. Please consult the nutritive do's and dont's.

5. OTHER SYMPTOMS: It is quite common to feel a splendid electrical tingling in the abdomen, especially in the male half of your species whose insides will be rearranging in order to properly bear Xorlyn fry. Also common is a purple discharge around the toenails; however, should the discharge be lavender, please seek out care from the doctors at your nearest Costco.

You may also notice:

- swelling in the wrists

- engorged feelings of despair

- stretch marks around the abdomen, hips, and thighs, as well as in one random place where the third fry chooses to nest

- night terrors

- increased attraction to Xorlyns (less commonly; decreased attraction to Xorlyns)

- a rudimentary tail

6. LABOR: Nineteen months from now, you will feel a cold leaden sensation in your extremities signifying that birth is imminent. Please do not be alarmed at the lack of a doctor. This will be happening to everyone all over the world in the same few weeks. Home births are a natural part of existence. The human body was made to bear Xorlyn fry in the most natural way possible. The following steps will guide you through the pleasant and natural process:

- When you first feel contractions, start walking. This will encourage the Xorlyn triplets to be born. You should have already prepared a birthing bag that you can carry with you as you walk for the six days of labor. You will not need to eat, but please continue to drink your daily quart of copper-enhanced prune juice.

- When the Xorlyn fry are ready to come out, lie down and make yourself as comfortable as possible. Try to breathe naturally through the process. Xorlyns have been impregnating alien species for millennia and it is a perfectly well-established process. Try visualizing something relaxing, like a sandy beach or a star going nova.

- For women, the two Xorlyn fry nestled in your womb will try to find a natural place to swim free. If the third fry is also nestled near by—and not inside a major organ—congratulations! You will have the easiest possible 72-hour birth, and will be around to repeat the process once these fry have grown to full size in two years.

- All others—please remember that sometimes Nature is only able to select the fittest of the species to continue. Try to enjoy your remaining months with your fry, and be easy in the knowledge that if you panic now, the fry will immediately tunnel to your heart and explode.