There’s nothing quite as magical as feeling your baby move within you for the very first time. It even has a cute little name: the quickening. After a while, though, it can start to feel like your child is using your insides as a sparring dummy, and sometimes you can even see it, which is sort of gross.
Then there’s what’s happening in this video, which, despite being posted almost two years ago, is taking off now. Probably because it provides a fascinating illustration of how remarkably stretchy human skin is and because it gives off a fair amount of squick, a combination that’s Internet gold.
Video: cel liam/YouTube
The video, whose title “grossesse ventre qui bouge (bébé alien)” translates roughly from French to “moving pregnant belly (alien baby),” is set to soothing piano music that you expect at any time to crescendo into a classic horror stinger à la Psycho. It never does, which sort of makes the little tiny baby fist that’s trying to punch its way through Mom’s skin even freakier.
While “freaky” is a great descriptor for this video, the original poster is adamant that the experience didn’t hurt at all. They returned to the comments to reassure skeptics that, yes, the video is real and that no pregnant women were harmed in its making.
A quick look at the related videos that pop up is pretty telling: Lumpy undulating pregnancy bellies are apparently as fascinating to us as weird zip-popping videos, a fascination that’s likely born of the fact that human bodies are equal parts incredible and gross.
And when you think about it, for something that’s so common, pregnancy is a really weird thing. Think about it: You’re just living your life, and then one day you decide to procreate, so you tell your friends, “Hey guys, I think I’m going to grow a whole human right here in my lady organs.” Once you’ve succeeded at becoming a human matryoshka doll, they congratulate you and maybe even give you presents. Then, after months of vomiting, hemorrhoids and a thing called “cheeseburger crotch,” you evacuate your newly baked baby through your vagina, take a lot of pictures and, just like that, you’ve added a new family member.
Somewhere along the way, there’s the distinct possibility that the human inside you will decide it needs a good, long stretch or that it’s tired of this side of your uterus and swims on over for a visit to that side, all of which you can feel and, in cases like this one, see with your very own eyes.
You might even call your partner over, and the two of you will coo in amazement and wonder at the way your skin contorts and shudders, as though that is a thing that falls under the category of No Big Deal. Because why would it be? There’s nothing alarming about a person inside of another person doing a somersault that’s so intense the entire surface of the bigger person’s skin ripples and stretches. In fact, it doesn’t phase you, because it’s a good thing: Feeling your baby kick means that everything’s as it should be.
Videos like this one get so much traction because they serve as a reminder that despite being normal, pregnancy is also completely bananas. Our bodies are truly capable of incredible feats. Well, that and because it’s a little gross. The cool kind of gross, though. Not the ingrown toenail kind.