Created By: TheMuse on October 7, 2013 Last Edited By: TheMuse on October 25, 2013
Troped

Mystical Pregnancy

A pregnancy is complicated by fantastic means

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When a character's pregnancy is complicated by supernatural means - be it Bizarre Alien Biology, Functional Magic, or even through a Mad Scientist. There are three ways this could work:

This trope is a good way to give rise to empowered children; depending on the pregnancy and the supernatural means involved a mother could also birth a Fetus Terrible. However, there's also a large possibility that the phlebotinum involved could kill the mother, as well. Note, however, that test tube babies and other methods not involving natural conception are not examples of this, although some tropes could overlap - such as Designer Babies, which usually involve more "science" and less "magic."

Examples

Anime
  • Horrific example from Berserk: Guts and Casca's child, conceived in their moment of love by the waterfall, was corrupted by the demonic seed of the newly-born Femto, who raped Casca during the events of the Eclipse.
    • Further example from Berserk: Ganishka's demon-soldiers are created by dropping heavily-pregnant women into vats of demonically-charged amniotic fluid which instantly corrupts and mutates the foetus into a demon, who then claws and bites his way out of the womb.

Comic Books
  • The Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four had already had a difficult prenancy with her first child, Franklin. Susan's second child was conceived in the Negative Zone, and resulted in a stillbirth.
  • The plot of the comic book series America's Got Powers begins when an alien crystal falls to Earth and gives off a burst of energy. All of the pregnant women within range, regardless of how far along they were, immediately give birth to fully-developed, healthy, super-powered babies.
  • The Boys: Billy's wife dies when her superpowered fetus (she'd been raped by a super) explodes out of her uterus, floating in the air and firing Eye Beams. He kills it with a table lamp.

Film
  • Rosemary's Baby involved a young woman getting prescribed mysterious drugs by her doctor during her pregnancy, which she comes to suspect aren't legitimate treatments but something more sinister... but it is too late, and she births an Enfant Terrible (implied as possibly The Antichrist).
  • The Phantom Menace hints that Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vadar) was conceived this way.
  • Blade's mother was bitten by a vampire not long before he's born. The result: He's a Dhampyr.

Television
  • In Angel this happens to Cordelia a couple of times.
    • In an early episode she has a one-night-stand with a guy who turns out to be a demon and has impregnated her, and the baby grows and almost comes to term in just a few days.
    • Jasmine somehow impregnated Cordy with herself and uses Cordy's body as an incubator.
  • Soap:
    • Tim doesn't believe that Corinne's baby is his because she's showing after only a few weeks of pregnancy. She insists that it's Tim's baby, and ends up giving birth after only a month or so. It turns out that the baby is possessed by the devil.
    • Mary is pregnant with Burt's child, but she's not sure it's his - she conceived at around the same time when he had been kidnapped by aliens & replaced by an alien doppelganger, so it might be half alien.

Literature
  • In Twilight: Bella gets pregnant with Edward's half-vampire child that develops abnormally quickly, putting her life in danger
  • In the Elder Races stories by Thea Harrison, the pregnancy resulting from the marriage of Dragos Cuelebre and Pia Giovanni was complicated to say the least. For starters, Dragos is actually an immortal dragon in human form and Pia is the offspring of a human and a unicorn in human form; Pia herself can turn into a unicorn.. Since the pregnancy was utterly unprecedented, no one knew for sure how long it would go on or what form the offspring would take. Fortunately at nine months, the fetus transformed itself in utero to a human baby and was born normally
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Daenerys's pregnancy starts off normal, but after she asks a witch to perform Blood Magic to save her husband, the witch complicates Daenerys's pregnancy, leading her to birth a horrific reptilian baby that may have damaged Daenerys's womb and rendered her incapable of bearing children forever. (Or did it?)
  • From The Mortal Instruments: Jocelyn's husband experimented on her while she was pregnant both times, giving her daughter Clary angel's blood and her son Jonathan Christopher demon's blood, resulting in supernatural powers.
  • Thief of Time: the Anthropomorphic Personification of Time goes through one of these, essentially having the same birth twice, with the end result being one soul going in two children. Nanny Ogg, who was the midwife, was quite surprised, as she told herself (literally).
  • In Dune, Lady Jessica drinks and transforms the Water of Life for the Fremen seitch while pregnant with Alia. Due to that Alia is born with uncanny psychic powers and the memories (and as seen later, multiple personalities) of all her ancestors—a condition the Bene Geserit foresaw (or probably had seen from prior experience) as coming from such circumstances, to be avoided as "abomination".
  • In The Ramayana, the god Vishnu turns himself into celestial porridge (no, seriously) that King Dasaratha is supposed to feed to his wives. All three of them subsequently give birth to sons that are endowed to different degrees with Vishnu's essence.

Religion
  • From The Bible:
    • Jesus' mother Mary was an unwed virgin. She became pregnant directly by the power of God, without the need for sex.
    "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
    The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."
    - Luke 1:34-35
    • There also seems to be a trend of Surprise Pregnancy in The Bible, where Sarah and Elizabeth (both are elderly women; the latter is even infertile) get pregnant because God pretty much says they can.

Western Animation
  • Tangled: The pregnant queen becomes deathly ill, and the kingdom's soldiers seek out a mystical flower that could heal her. When she ingests it, she is cured, and her daughter is born with hair with healing powers.
Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • October 7, 2013
    DAN004
    There's a YKTTW called "Our Phlebotinum Child" which may be related.
  • October 7, 2013
    acrobox
    The Christianity example is wrong....
  • October 7, 2013
    TwoGunAngel
    I have to agree with acrobox. The birth of Jesus by the Virgin Mary (called the Immaculate Conception) is pretty damned central to the religion.

    Anime
    • Horrific example from Berserk: Guts and Casca's child, conceived in their moment of love by the waterfall, was corrupted by the demonic seed of the newly-born Femto, who raped Casca during the events of the Eclipse.
  • October 8, 2013
    reflaxion
    I think there was a Star Trek The Next Generation episode that would fit here, but I don't remember what it was.
  • October 8, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Isn't this pretty much just Fetus Terrible?
  • October 8, 2013
    randomsurfer
    ^^^Actually "Immaculate Conception" refers to Mary being free of sin and therefore worthy to conceive Jesus.
  • October 8, 2013
    reflaxion
    This seems more broad than Fetus Terrible.
  • October 8, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    The Jesus example doesn't seem to fit the current description. It's also badly worded.

    Is this about a foetus that was conceived by supernatural means, or a foetus who is in themself supernatural? Because when I hear "Mystical Pregnancy", I think of the former, but the description implies the latter. Of course, those two things often go together, but we need to be clear about what's covered here.

    • In the case of Jesus, the conception is supernatural, but the resulting pregnancy and the child are more or less normal. (Okay, okay, the child does have supernatural qualities. But they don't manifest themselves for another thirty years.)
    • In the example you cite from Twilight, the conception is normal, but the pregnancy is abnormal and the child is supernatural.
    • In the Star Trek The Next Generation example (as I vaguely remember it), the conception, the pregnancy, and the child that result are all supernatural.

    Which of these is covered by this trope?
  • October 8, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ All of those, I think. :P
  • October 8, 2013
    NightBreeder
    In the book Zombies vs Unicorns, there's a story where a Unicorn protects itself from hunters by impregnating a human child with it's offspring/reincarnation. It's like a Phoenix with [1]
  • October 11, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    In the Elder Races stories by Thea Harrison, the pregnancy resulting from the marriage of Dragos Cuelebre and Pia Giovanni was complicated to say the least. For starters, Dragos is actually an immortal dragon in human form and Pia is the offspring of a human and a unicorn in human form; Pia herself can turn into a unicorn.. Since the pregnancy was utterly unprecedented, no one knew for sure how long it would go on or what form the offspring would take. Fortunately at nine months, the fetus transformed itself in utero to a human baby and was born normally
  • October 12, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Literature

    • In Dune, Lady Jessica drinks and transforms the Water of Life for the Fremen seitch while pregnant with Alia. Due to that Alia is born with uncanny psychic powers and the memories (and as seen later, multiple personalities) of all her ancestors—a condition the Bene Geserit foresaw (or probably had seen from prior experience) as coming from such circumstances, to be avoided as "abomination".

  • October 12, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Film

    • Rosemarys Baby involved a young woman getting prescribed mysterious drugs by her doctor during her pregnancy, which she comes to suspect aren't legitimate treatments but something more sinister... but it is too late, and she births an Enfant Terrible (implied as possibly The Antichrist).
  • October 13, 2013
    TheMuse
    • Thief Of Time: the Anthropomorphic Personification of Time goes through one of these, essentially having the same birth twice, with the end result being one soul going in two children. Nanny Ogg, who was the midwife, was quite surprised, as she told herself (literally).
  • October 13, 2013
    DAN004
    Add with examples plz.
  • October 13, 2013
    Synchronicity
    Normal conception, supernatural pregnancy, supernatural babies examples:
    • A Song Of Ice And Fire: Daenerys's pregnancy starts off normal, but after she asks a witch to perform Blood Magic to save her husband, the witch complicates Daenerys's pregnancy, leading her to birth a horrific reptilian baby that may have damaged Daenerys's womb and rendered her incapable of bearing children forever. (Or did it?)
    • Tangled: The pregnant queen becomes deathly ill, and the kingdom's soldiers seek out a mystical flower that could heal her. When she ingests it, she is cured, and her daughter is born with hair with healing powers.
    • From The Mortal Instruments: Jocelyn's husbandexperimented on her while she was pregnant both times, giving her daughter Clary angel's blood and her son Jonathan Christopher demon's blood, resulting in supernatural powers.

    Supernatural conception, normal pregnancy (as normal as pregnant old ladies can be anyway), normal (for the most part) babies:
    • There also seems to be a trend of Surprise Pregnancy in The Bible, where Sarah and Elizabeth (both are elderly women; the latter is even infertile) get pregnant because God pretty much says they can.

    Does this also cover the trope Half Human Hybrid, like in Wolf Children Ame And Yuki where the human protagonist is impregnated by a Wolf Man and gives birth to wolf-babies? (Conception normal, pregnancy normal, child supernatural)? Definitely different from Fetus Terrible (Rapunzel is hardly an example of that), but there's often plenty of overlap.

    Also, this would go under Pregnancy Tropes. Compare But I Cant Be Pregnant, where there is understandable reasoning for why the pregnancy would be impossible.
  • October 13, 2013
    DAN004
    ^ Yes, Half Human Hybrid is a subtrope.
  • October 14, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Comic Books
    • The Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four had already had a difficult prenancy with her first child, Franklin. Susan's second child was conceived in the Negative Zone, and resulted in a stillbirth.
  • October 14, 2013
    DracMonster
    May sometimes intersect with No Man Of Woman Born, in cases where the Prophecy Twist or Curse Escape Clause is literally about pregnancy.
  • October 14, 2013
    Synchronicity
    ^That's Mister Seahorse.

    Description really needs a rewrite. How about:

    When a character's pregnancy is complicated by supernatural means - be it Bizarre Alien Biology, Functional Magic, or even through a Mad Scientist. There are three ways this could work:
    • Supernatural conception: The pregnancy is unnatural from the very beginning, such as Jesus's conception in The Bible. Half Human Hybrids and babies conceived through Mpreg are examples of this. This is normally a good time to exclaim "But I Cant Be Pregnant," where there is understandable reason to be surprised about the pregnancy.
    • Supernatural pregnancy: The baby is conceived normally, but during pregnancy something mystical happens to the mother and/or the fetus. Unfortunate women subjected to experimentation either through a Mad Scientist or a Back Alley Doctor can end up with this.
    • Both. The baby is conceived and carried to term through supernatural means.

    This trope is a good way to give rise to empowered children; depending on the pregnancy and the supernatural means involved a mother could also birth a Fetus Terrible. However, there's also a large possibility that the phlebotinum involved could kill the mother, as well. Note, however, that test tube babies and other methods not involving natural conception are not examples of this, although some tropes could overlap - such as Designer Babies, which usually involve more "science" and less "magic."
  • October 15, 2013
    reflaxion
    Comic Books:
    • The plot of the comic book series America's Got Powers (no TV Tropes page... maybe I'll create one later... maybe) begins when an alien crystal falls to Earth and gives off a burst of energy. All of the pregnant women within range, regardless of how far along they were, immediately give birth to fully-developed, healthy, super-powered babies.
  • October 15, 2013
    Waterlily
    The Phantom Menace hints that Anakin Skywalker (aka Darth Vadar) was conceived this way.
  • October 16, 2013
    kjnoren
    The trope name doesn't really indicate the description of the trope. What about Supernaturally Complicated Pregnancy?
  • October 16, 2013
    BlueIceTea
    Possible fix for the Jesus entry:

    • In Christianity, Jesus' mother Mary was an unwed virgin. She became pregnant directly by the power of God, without the need for sex.
      "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
      The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God."
      - Luke 1:34-35
  • October 16, 2013
    WeAreAllKosh
    Does the Dune example fit? I noticed it wasn't put in the examples along with the other ones at time of update.

    While the chemistry involved may not be "supernatural" the way we think of the term, the result sure isn't scientifically explained either, and does have a mystical quality to it (and it was done during a spiritual ritual). And how it manifests sure is creepy.
  • October 16, 2013
    Synchronicity
    Namespaced and italicized work examples, as well as added in the Dune and Star Wars ones.
  • October 17, 2013
    Synchronicity
    • In The Ramayana, the god Vishnu turns himself into celestial porridge (no, seriously) that King Dasaratha is supposed to feed to his wives. All three of them subsequently give birth to sons that are endowed to different degrees with Vishnu's essence.

    That and the Bible examples make this one Older Than Feudalism, although since Mr Seahorse is Older Than Dirt dunno if this would count.
  • October 22, 2013
    Synchronicity
    YKTTW Bump! Would really like to link to this.
  • October 23, 2013
    DAN004
    When they aren't inherently biological, cases of Mr Seahorse often overlaps with this.

    Now that I'm thinking about it: Not to be confused with M Preg.
  • October 23, 2013
    RandomSurfer
    • In Angel this happens to Cordelia a couple of times.
      • In an early episode she has a one-night-stand with a guy who turns out to be a demon and has impregnated her, and the baby grows and almost comes to term in just a few days.
      • Jasmine somehow impregnated Cordy with herself and uses Cordy's body as an incubator.
    • Soap:
      • Tim doesn't believe that Corinne's baby is his because she's showing after only a few weeks of pregnancy. She insists that it's Tim's baby, and ends up giving birth after only a month or so. It turns out that the baby is possessed by the devil.
      • Mary is pregnant with Burt's child, but she's not sure it's his - she conceived at around the same time when he had been kidnapped by aliens & replaced by an alien doppelganger, so it might be half alien.
  • October 23, 2013
    DAN004
    • Blade's mother was bitten by a vampire not long before he's born. The result: He's a Dhampyr.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=4d70sy44l3nclu75pp1bq366&trope=MysticalPregnancy