Being pregnant is way less fun than it looks in the movies. The “glow” is usually just sweat because you’ve got a heat generating parasite cooking in you. “Morning sickness” can happen at any time, sometimes for months on end. And those fun cravings where you get to eat ice cream with hot dogs on it or whatever? Mostly myth. But what if, instead of being pregnant for three quarters of a year, people had that baby bump for a literal century? 

In The Nature of Middle-Earth we get a glimpse into the weird and wild (and beautiful) writings Tolkien created after the publication of The Lord of the Rings. It’s a book from Tolkien published in 2021, which may seem odd considering he’s been dead since 1973. The book is a collection of his writings edited by Carl F. Hostetter, one of the world’s foremost Tolkien scholars. Oh, and casually he’s also a NASA engineer. Be glad this guy is not your cousin, you’d never hear the end of it at Thanksgiving. “Oh CARL just helped launch a new mission into space. And CARL has published a work by one of the most famous author’s ever and it wasn’t easy for him because that author isn’t even alive. Why can’t you be more like CARL?!” Hard pass.

Damn it Carl, you're too good.

The compendium brings to light a few wild factors about elven childbearing. Elves are basically immortal beings who age into a state of ethereal hotness and then stop the clock. They live for millennia, so being pregnant for one hundred years is actually not that bad when you look at it that way. Both parents are also aware of the baby elf growing in the womb the whole time. No need for a magical pregnancy test. The good news is that elves didn’t experience painful childbirth like humans do. But the bad news? When human women give birth, it’s pretty customary to take a maternity leave. Just some down time to chill with the baby and do some self care. Any parent in America will tell you we need better parental leave laws in this country, with paid time before and after a child is born. But we’re really only asking for a handful of months. Tolkien’s elves take around 50 years to withdraw from society.

Check out these Disney princesses who are pregnant, scary pregnancy facts, and wild birth truths that pop culture is afraid to show.

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