Something in the Water

A couple of friends and relatives have just announced pregnancies. It’s very exciting when the people around you have babies. I’m certainly stoked for everyone and looking forward to being an aunt to all and sundry.

However, the people actually making the announcements have much more mixed emotions. Shell shock seems to predominate.

I remember that ambivalent state in myself. I did a home pregnancy test, got the two lines, ran out to Travis, said “yay!” and hugged him, before bursting into tears. I knew I might be excited somewhere deep down but it was swamped by the sheer terror. For the first trimester the pregnancy doesn’t seem quite real, and as for the baby (or two!) that supposedly turn up at the end of the nine months, it seems so remote as to be impossible. So what you’re left with is the uneasy sensation of being on a ride that you can’t get off and that will force you along to an outcome you can’t even imagine but that you know will be completely overwhelming.

Fortunately, the baby becomes more real as it begins to move and roll and make its presence felt. And, in my case at least, I spent the last half of my pregnancy floating blissfully along in a sea of soothing pregnancy hormones. I enjoyed being pregnant, despite the alarms and excursions I had during the first trimester and despite the various discomforts pregnancy causes. I felt like a science experiment – everything was fascinating, even the morning sickness. And I felt that I was doing big, important work.

I hope that my friends and relatives enjoy a similar absorbing and wonderful experience.

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