Pregnant. (No, not me.)

by Lori Dwyer on October 6, 2010 · 24 comments

Heya, It’s been a while since we’ve had something from the Unfunny Files….

I remember, being pregnant for the first time.

I worked at a baby expo last week. I was surrounded by pregnant women, in various, rounded stages of gestation, about to be first-time mothers. Their bellies swollen, their eyes glowing with anticipation and excitement.

I remember how it felt, to feel that way.

When the most terrifying consideration, in having a bay, was enduring labor. If only I knew, birth is the easy part, no matter how torturous it is. It’s the rest of their life that may be difficult, may be painful.

It’s the rest of your child’s life you should be afraid of.

I remember, being pregnant. Being so very afraid, of losing this baby, of something going wrong.

Now, I’m a mother. And I’m still afraid. I’m still scared of something going wrong. But these days it’s drowning, fevers, and strangers with menace on their minds. The risks, the possibilities. Things That May Happen if I am not quick enough, if I am distracted for a single, selfish moment.

The paralysing fear of it all.

I remember, being pregnant. A vessel for my baby, a breath for my son in utero. His nutrition, his energy, his health and well being. Eating well, walking, walking, walking, pumping the blood through my body. Doing everything in my power to keep him safe.

Image is everywhere. Source unknown.

The more my children grow, the older they get, the less their wellbeing is intertwined with mine. Their limbs stretch and grow. They learn, and age. And the more I must let go of the illusion of control I have now. Rather than nourishing them through my blood, or choosing and carefully preparing their food for them, they now have a will and a right of their own, and will refuse to eat what is good for them. Their is little I can do about that. And as they grow, there is even less I can do about it, any of it- the older they grow, the more their wills are separate from mine.

I remember, being pregnant for the first time. The promise of it. The excitement. the flutters of a baby’s feet, kicking and glancing off your inner skin, timed against the flutter of your own heart, the beat of waiting, hoping.

The buying. The millions of things you must have, you need, to be a good mother, to be the best mother, the have a happy child, fully equipped for the dangers of Real Life outside the womb. Aspirators, beepers, hammocks and monitors. Belly beds, belly slings, exercise clothes for your belly that cost more than I earnt in a week. So many things, to equip you for the uncertain, potentially sleepless future, to allay your fears and discomforts.

I remember, being pregnant for the first time. Feeling fragile, not knowing where I stood. Clutching, grabbing at anything solid and reassuring, to prop up my insecurities. To begin the fulfillment of a dream, of a child who has everything, and wants for nothing.

Nine months, a year, eighteen months at the most. All those things, the belly things, the baby things, they gather dust. The insecurity, it remains.

I remember, being pregnant for the first time. I see expectant mothers, hand on bellies swollen with the vulnerable promise of new life. I recognise, in their eyes, the willful, clueless optimism I used to have in mine.

Some times, I have to stop myself, from reaching out, from taking their hand and warning them- this might not be what you expect. 

post signature

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Tish July 21, 2011 at 12:11 am

So poignant.


ClaireyH October 8, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Preggie for the first time is such a year of wonders, you really have to let women just have the feelings and faiths they do, they will be experiencing the real live baby and all that goes with it soon enough. I think our bodies need to deal with one aspect of mothering at a time, otherwise we may never get through it all.


So Now What? October 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Thanks for holding the FYBF. I am going to go home today and go through all of these properly, but todays post is beautiful xx


Mothers Matter October 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Yes the worry continues, the effort and luck required to keep kids safe. But the worry has also started with me. I absolutely fear a terminal illness and not being able to see my cherubs grow up!


Michelle Twin Mum October 8, 2010 at 9:26 am

OMG, so true and this picture is freaking me out! Mich x


allison tait October 8, 2010 at 7:59 am

Wonderful post Lori. I think every new mum deserves to read this. But then, they'd still walk away going 'no, not me, my life is going to be perfect'.


Brenda October 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Your last line sounds like a good book title to me! No joke!


Christie – Childhood 101 October 7, 2010 at 5:06 pm

What a wonderful post. The good, the bad, the ugly, all moments which are intertwined to become motherhood and as much as it is the same for all of us, it can be very different too.


Corinne October 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm

So, so true. I look at a pregnant woman and see the excitement and the promise in their eyes and I almost feel sorry for them. You can't explain what motherhood is going to be like, it's impossible to understand what it's going to be like until you do it. You know what else? I remember when I was pregnant and people tried to tell me and there was no way that I wanted to listen.

I love this post, well done! x


Wanderlust October 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Beautiful writing. And yes, it's kind of like someone planning for a grand wedding. You've been there, you know, but you also realize it's a phase of life. You can never tell someone how it's going to be. They just need to experience it for themselves. xx


misssy m October 8, 2010 at 1:39 am

It is funny looking back isn't it? The first time was great- the excitement, the not knowing. the second felt like an endurance test.

You inspired me anyway…as you know:


x0xJ October 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Hah! I too sometimes feel like i need to warn people that being told all these "fairytales" there is more to it. There is good and bad to life to allow it to balance itself out. People tend to "coddle" pregnant ladies, i don't know why, but they need to be told just as likely it is things can get better that doesn't mean something else could get a little worse, you know?


Jacki October 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm

This is a truly lovely post Lori, it perfectly encapsulates motherhood – from the very beginning.


Belinda October 7, 2010 at 9:32 am

Beautiful post, Lori. It has me sittting here in tears – feels close to home right now. This time last year I was one of those women.

I have a photo on my son's wall of me in my pregnant glory, all sepia tones, yoga pose and bare belly and I have that look in my eye – that clueless optimism.

And then he arrived, and it was so not what I expected, in oh so many ways.


skinner675 October 7, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Love this! I was only pregnant once & didn't really savour it all because Ipresumed I'd be pregnant again!


Being Me October 7, 2010 at 8:25 am

So true. All of it. One major reason why I would never dare assume anything about an expectant mother (much less a stranger) is that I don't know what she's already been through. The number of times I wanted to deck well-meaning fear-mongers for telling me all the sleepless, awful nights I would have (and we did have them!)…. I just wanted to get my second baby here safely, after all we'd been through. For me, the hope that my 'perfect' child wouldn't be any issue for me was far from my expectations. Heck, even her coming out breathing was far from my expectations.

People have no right to deliver anything on anyone, this is a great example of where showing tactful restraint is a must.


Kristi October 7, 2010 at 8:14 am

OH, the guilt….who expected that one??? We would all love to tell them but unfortunately they are in the 'unrealistic and naive first pregnancy cloud' and they don't think any of 'THAT' will apply to them and their perfect child :) ahhh the bliss of the unknown…


Lucy October 7, 2010 at 1:48 am

Ooooh Lori, this is great. So accurate. Spot on.


Glen October 7, 2010 at 1:30 am

I just look pregnant. Its not the same


In Real Life October 7, 2010 at 1:07 am

Wonderful post Lori! It is so true. I remember naively thinking that as the children got older things would get easier, but it's really just a different kind of hard, with new sets of worries. Thankfully, that is usually balanced out with new joys and wonders, as we watch them grow and learn.


A Daft Scots Lass October 6, 2010 at 11:50 pm

You can NEVER tell an expectant mum what to expect.

They have to Experience it and feel the instant love bond you feel the second that new little person is put in your arms.


Melissa@Suger Coat It October 6, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Great post Lori.

And I think you made the right choice to refrain from telling them, they wouldn't believe you anyways. :o)


Eva Gallant October 7, 2010 at 12:19 am

Unfortunately, the worrying doesn't stop. It may not be as constant as when they were small, but I still worry about my babies–and they are 37 and nearly 39 years old. I worry about them, their spouses, and my grandchildren!


Ellie Tat October 6, 2010 at 11:44 pm

You are so right, the first time we focus so much on the pregnancy and birth that see little beyond that. Maybe it's a good thing, nothing can prepare you for what parenthood is really like, so why not enjoy the ignorance while you can.


Previous post:

Next post: