I don't actually care about celebrity babies any more than I care about regular old commoner babies, who I've historically not cared about much either. Yet, I see that Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have welcomed a baby girl into the world , and I click. What the what?

There is no information in this article beyond a birthdate and wild speculation about how Ashton is handling this lifechanging event. ("He is a nervous wreck," one unnamed source tells People magazine. How's that for journalism?) And I find both of these actors a little obnoxious, personally. But here I am, scrolling through photos of them in various casual outfits as they stroll Hollywood holding paper coffee cups. The That 70's Show pic makes me smile. Jackie and Kelso. Crazy kids and their inevitable out-of-wedlock baby. I grew up with them. Maybe that's why I suddenly care.

At 16 weeks and 3 days pregnant, I have little to show for it. My symptoms, other than fatigue and scattered headaches, have been mercifully mild. My baby bump could easily be confused with the result of an enormous dinner. In fact, I'm barely above my preconception weight (which was happily low, thanks to a summer spent training for the Oslo Half Marathon). But there are a few signs that I'm undergoing a metamorphosis. Among them:

I'm baking, baking, baking. I do that every fall, but my drives are stronger this year. The other night, I whipped up what may have been the most scrumptious banana bread of my short and unillustrious career in the kitchen. It could have been the recipe, or it could have been catching my bananas in the perfect state of over-ripe blackness. But I think it was also my increased care about the quality of my baked goods. No joke: I took my time, double checked the recipe, smashed those bananas to a perfectly vile looking consistency before tossing them into the mix, and enjoyed every minute of it. That's weird, folks. Trust me.

I'm having trouble retaining what I read. This is a complete bummer because my reading comprehension levels have always, always, always been extraordinarily high. It's why I've thrived in school. I've only ever had to read something once to have all pertinent info stuck valuably in my brain. That skill is (at least temporarily) gone. Gone. Now, when reading, I have to slow way down. Remind myself about character names halfway through a novel. Highlight the beautiful, important lines of prose so I can flip through and find them again. (I used to be able to just plain remember that kind of thing, too!) As a student in a literature program, the timing of this early onset dementia couldn't be much worse. And it's got a name. Pregnancy Brain. It's the same thing that makes me forget whether I shampooed my hair... whether I locked the front door... whether I... whether I... whether I...

Children still sometimes bug me, but I don't feel any deep aversion to babies. In fact, occasionally at least, I'm intrigued by them. As a preteen, I babysat the children of our family's neighbors a few times, which means I'm sure I've changed a few diapers and handled a few bottles, but I don't remember those activities specifically. If I'd been any good at it, I would have kept at it, right? Instead, the minute I hit high school, I quit taking babysitting jobs entirely. I had a reason. Babies were never my bag. I found them to be sticky, squalling, smelly little things with nothing to offer the world beyond cuteness and potential. These things are all still true, but I don't hold it against the babies I see nowadays. I even give them more than a passing glance. They're figuring out the world, and it's fun to watch, even a moment at a time.

And finally, this celebrity baby thing. Duchess Kate and I are about the same number of weeks along in our pregnancies. She was outed once again by her hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness). I do not envy her, poor girl. I mean, I do, obviously, because she's royalty and beautiful and poised and well-educated and all. (In the photo above, she's as pregnant as I am. Poor wretched thing. How does she leave the house like that?) In my shallowest moments, I find it fun that Kate and I are pregnant at the same time because my mom and Lady Di were pregnant at the same time (my brother Ted and Prince Harry). This, along with Ashton and Mila's baby, does not matter at all. So, I chalk my increased fascination up to another symptom of the pregnancy itself.

Blame the baby. That's my policy.

Just for fun, here are the most recent additions to the pantheon of celebrity baby names (a couple of solid choices, but also some fun head-scratchers):

  • Scarlett Johansson's daughter Dorothy Rose
  • Alyssa Milano's daughter Elizabella Dylan
  • Pete Wentz's son Saint Laszlo
  • Carson Daly's daughter London Rose
  • Christina Aguilera's daughter Summer Rain
  • Rebecca Minkoff's daughter Bowie Lou
  • Amy Lee's son Jack Lion
  • Ashley Hebert's son Fordham Rhys
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt's daughter Autumn James
  • Holly Madison's daughter Rainbow Aurora
  • Chelsea Clinton's daughter Charlotte Clinton
  • Kerry Washington's daughter Isabelle Amarachi
  • Megan Hilty's daughter Viola Philomena
  • Ciara's son Future Zahir
  • Eva Amurri Martino's daughter Marlowe Mae
  • Gwen Stefani's son Apollo Bowie Flynn