I looked the word incubate up for inspiration.
The result of an internet search says:
- (of a bird) sit on (eggs) in order to keep them warm and bring them to hatching.
- (especially in a laboratory) keep (eggs, cells, bacteria, embryos, etc.) at a suitable temperature so that they develop. “the samples were incubated at 80°C for three minutes”
- have an infectious disease developing inside one before symptoms appear. “the possibility that she was incubating early syphilis”
When I read the word incubate, the picture that forms in my mind is of a newly born baby in incubation. Naked except for a diaper and maybe one of those knitted caps. Eyes tightly shut, maybe a fist curled to the mouth. Perhaps a new parent leaning over the bassinet, not allowed to touch, slightly confused, with a gnawing worry growing in their gut. They baby they’ve yearned for right there in front of them, but yet, unreachable.