Today I heard that Lily Allen the singer is pregnant again (having miscarried in 2008, poor woman). My first reaction to this news was unmitigated bonhomie. Excellent. Good for her. Best wishes and hurrahs. And I went placidly on my way to work, where it befell my lot to peruse The Guardian website.
Now, the Guardian is normally a fairly respectable left-wingish newspaper, and I read it all the time, as it suits my political convictions and arty-farty inclinations. (The Comment and Culture sections are gems, by the way. Absolute gems). However, this is how they decided to headline the news of the pop singer’s imminent poppet: ‘Lily Allen pregnant with first child‘.
OK, so it’s the first child with her current partner. And maybe she herself prefers to think of this as her first child. The article doesn’t clarify.
But what does that make the previous pregnancy? What was she pregnant with that time then? Was she not delightedly expecting her first child for all those weeks right up until the tragic end?
And if I ever get pregnant again, do you think I’m going to be in the least bit happy referring to the putative indweller as my first? Even if (oh please please please) it gets to be a take-home baby?
Hell no. Not my first. My sixth. And I hope to the God I really don’t believe in that I’ll have the brass neck and steel balls to refer to it as my sixth when asked. Why yes, it will be far more information than anyone bargained for. But people shouldn’t ask that kind of question if they don’t want difficult answers. Fuck ’em if it makes them uncomfortable. Just think how uncomfortable living through it made me.
They may have never even really been alive in any meaningful sense, but I’ll be damned if I let the world brush my offspring under the carpet like that.