By Nev Schulman and Laura Perlongo
MTV asked us to take a pause from our pregnant pause to reflect on the first major gauntlet of parenthood: growing the human.
Our time as a twosome is quickly coming to an end. Any day now we’ll be parents to a new human baby -- one that shares a unique combination of our genetic code.
At first we’re all, "Wut? That’s craaaazy" and stare at each other trying to imagine what this tiny person might be like. Low-spectrum OCD (like Nev) or painfully stubborn (like Laura). Or some new stubborn OCD hybrid superpower. We’re pretty sure she’ll have dark hair? HER LITTLE CHEEKS OMG…
But then without fail, we snap out of the biological narcissism, look around, and realize every single person in the world has been born. And that’s the craziest part. Billions of people! Born. Everyone reading this has parents. Billions of moms have carried babies. Billions of dads have ogled swelling bellies in shock and awe. They’ve all laughed and cried and freaked out and then played it cool, calm and collected at social events.
This thing is big. And we’re not just talking about the belly. We’re talking about the realization that we’ve finally opted in on humanity.
Yes. We are now part of a large movement that is the perpetuation of our species. Before now, we were relatively faultless. After all, we didn’t choose to be born. We could have skipped around blaming our parents for the good, bad and ugly until we snuggled into our cozy, blameless deaths. "We didn’t ask to live" inscribed on our tombstones. Not saying that people without kids do this, but over the last nine months, we’ve realized that now, more than ever, our lives are no longer just our own. Another person is now depending on us to not fuck up, to stay alive as long as we can. Stay alive for enough time to give back to this world. Leave it better than we found it. Because we’re adding a person. A person who might have a person. Who might have more people. WHAT A MESS. A global mess that is now partially, officially our fault.
It’s scary, sure — the state of the world being more specifically our responsibility. But luckily, we had lots of time for this information to sink in. Weeks and fruit size of the fetus aside, here were the stages of pregnancy as we experienced them.
• See "pregnant" on the pregnancy test and watch our lives in baby-themed movies flash before our eyes (Juno, Father of the Bride Part II, and that sperm/egg intro sequence of Look Who’s Talking)
• Decide we want to keep the baby over a meal of pasta with afraido sauce
• Notable increase in Nev’s use of dad joke-type puns
• Laura cries all the time because Nev is on the road filming and "is a single mom"
• Laura realizes she’d be a dope single mom and doesn’t need a man
• Laura realizes she could be a single mom but doesn’t have to be because Nev is actually very excited and in love and it was all "lol hormones."
• It’s a girl. Yay! We mean, whatever! But yay!
• Read Emma Cline’s The Girls and become obsessed with raising strong, independent woman
• People ask if we’re "excited to be mommies & daddies" (eyeroll)
• Tune out every person who wants to talk "pregnancy tips" and reject nearly everything traditional parenting has to offer.
• Laura writes article for ATTN: about her thoughts/ experiences so far
• Nev proposes. Feeling strong. We a unit. We got this.
• Shooting in Orlando nightclub. Death. Shock and confusion
• Start to see/feel baby moving. Life. Love and reflection
• Start to realize that life is an incredible shared experience
• Babymoon to Europe
• Realize parents/families in America have it rough when it comes to many social and political issues
• Presidential campaigns pick up, fueling climate of anger, fear and hate in the U.S.
• Read Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari’s and quote it obsessively
• Make video with ATTN: about parental leave
• Pregnant-casual to VMAS
• Homemade bombs in New York, what is going on?
• First presidential debate, what is going on?
• Out loud apologizing to baby fetus for bringing her into this world
• Pledge to do everything we can to be vocal, active & make this country and the world a better place. Not just for our kid, but for all the kids who never asked to be born into this mess
• Are we ready? Can we ever be ready?
All in, this wonderfully weird (read: normal) pregnancy has taught us to accept that we’re optimists. We’ve never had to really look/plan/think about life with such scope. We’re going to die, sure, but until then we’ve got to lean in. Try to make this world not just livable but loveable.
We couldn’t be more excited to meet our girl and are thankful we had all this time to mentally, physically and emotionally prepare for her arrival and, symbolically, the arrival of the next generation. This pregnancy reminded us how much help and love this world needs. We have to accept that we don’t know everything and do our best to explore, discover and act. There’s a lot of work to be done and, especially as humans who made a human in 2016, there is no time to waste.
So, in short, we’re voting for Hillary Clinton.