Q & A: Hair, Homicide, and Homunculi!

Dear Let’s Panic:

I’m five months pregnant and lately I seem to be sprouting a lot of hair on the knuckles of my hands and my feet. Interestingly, the hair stops at my ankles and wrists, so it kind of looks like I’m wearing pieces of a gorilla costume. The hair is thick and black and shiny, and I can comb it in different directions if I want. Do you think it will all fall out after the baby comes, or will I get to keep it?

Signed,
Hairy Mary

<em>This lady groomed her extra face-hair real pretty.</em>

This lady groomed her extra face-hair real pretty.

Dear Hairy:
The hormonal surges a pregnant woman experiences can often affect her body hair in a pleasing fashion, and we’re happy that you’re taking your new look in stride. Often, once the baby is born and the hormones recede, the woman’s body returns to normal, and that is exactly what might happen to you. However, sometimes a woman’s hormones go KABLOOEY after the birth, and then anything can happen. It’s an exciting time for the 5% of the population that’s prone to depression, insomnia, and erratic alopecia! So while we cannot predict what your outcome will be, a discreet costume supply shop may provide a temporary solution until your daily poultices of Rogaine* take effect.

*Do not use while pregnant or breastfeeding. Contact your doctor if chest pain, rapid heartbeat, faintness, dizziness, unexplained weight gain, swelling, irritation, or unwanted facial hair growth occurs.

Dear Panic Experts:

I’m a 28 year-old single pediatrics intern, I’m eight months pregnant, and I keep having dreams about dropping my baby. Sometimes in my dream I’m walking across a street and I slip and drop the baby in front of oncoming traffic. Other times, my dreams are more complicated. Last night I dreamed I packed my baby into a barrel and pushed the whole thing over Niagara Falls. Is this normal? Because I wake up feeling terrible, and also a little nostalgic because I grew up in Buffalo, NY.

Signed,
Dr. Demented

Dear Dr.:

We need to draw a line between dreams that express a healthy and normal fear of harming your baby, and dreams that make you look like a homicidal nut-job. Fortunately, we have your address, and the police have already put you in jail. We’re just posting your letter to deter other pregnant women from admitting any ambivalence whatsoever about their abilities to take care of a small, helpless baby single-handedly while pulling 36-hour shifts in the ER. Because that just sounds like a giant bummer.

Dear Glorious Panic Leaders:

Because of my medical history, my doctor performed just about every test you can think of to see if my baby is normal and healthy. After doing amnio and yet another ultrasound, I started feeling my baby kick and move inside me as though it were trying to claw its way out of my uterus. Ha ha! It couldn’t be doing that, right? I’m sure my baby knows that it’s all for his own good, and he must understand that that giant needle and those horrible sounds that have pierced his watery cocoon are actually harmless. Right?

Signed,
Test Taker

Dear Test:

Since you didn’t tell us exactly how many tests your doctor has given you, we’ll give you the odds either way. If your doctor is one of those under-insured ninnies who printed out his diploma from Web M.D., he probably gave you way too many tests and the result is that your baby is busy growing soft, impermeable, helmet-shells over her ears and a tough, leathery hide. If you’re lucky, however, your doctor gave you precisely less than 20 tests (it doesn’t matter which ones!), in which case your baby is grudgingly remaining thin-skinned and open-eared, and that clawing you felt wasn’t your baby at all! It’s because she’s in there with some sort of reptile or rodent, and that’s just what they do.

Things that will nauseate you...

...during your first trimester:

Toes, especially the fourth one over

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