It’s ok.

What became really clear after Sarah’s post about crossing the bridge, was that more and more of you are pregnant, trying to be pregnant, or thinking about potentially, one day, maybe, perhaps, trying to be pregnant. This means that more of you are beginning to write about it, and so there’ll be maybe a bit more pregnancy/child related stuff on the blog. We know that some of you are nowhere near that space, and some plan never to be near that space, so we certainly won’t be overwhelming you with B.A.B.Y. stuff, but we will be allowing readers a place to talk honestly about how they’re feeling about where they are in the process. Hearing people’s truthful and genuine feelings about the process has to be a benefit to everyone, right? 

We’re really aware that a little while ago we posted Fee’s heartbreaking story, and we wondered about posting this post now. But, after some soul-searching we realised that, by its very nature, AOW will always have posts from people having different experiences, at the same time – that’s what makes it so diverse, and allows us all to peek into each others lives and support each other so well. This post had been scheduled for today for a long time, and so we decided that it was so honest, and so descriptive, that is was right to post it now.

And with that, I give you Vivienne, who has basically written an absolutely spot-on, perfect description of how I felt throughout my pregnancy.

Except, it’s not about me, it’s about her.

It’s ok to….

Not be jumping for joy about the fact that you have gotten yourself well and truly duffed. Sometimes pregnancy is a surprise, often it is planned with military precision, and for some, it is fought long and hard for.  And you would think if you fell in to the last two categories, that seeing those two pink lines materialise on the pregnancy test would result in a state of elation that would keep your feet from the ground for the whole 9 months.

Doesn’t always happen.

On seeing that faint but unmistakeable line on the test,  a few days before my period as due, my first words uttered were ‘oh f*ck’. And while we were happy, over the moon, jumping up and down happy, the swearing and disbelief continued.

At 8 weeks, we had a scan. Our baby, blob like with a tiny flickering heartbeat it’s only distinguishable feature, came up on screen, bringing tears to our eyes. But I still couldn’t compute what I was seeing with how I was feeling. My body screamed ‘YOU ARE PREGNANT’, and yet I would find myself poking my boobs in a (hopefully) inconspicuous manner at work to check they were still sore.

I thought I knew what tiredness was, but it didn’t even take me close to how knackering the first 12 weeks of pregnancy were.  Loo visits became nap opportunities, bus stops were missed, and I often found myself undressed in bed with no recollection of how I got there.

Then add in morning sickness – which is basically a 3 month long hangover that doesn’t rectify despite your best efforts to eat, drink and not vomit in your lap on public transport. Not forgetting the hormone induced acne, hair growth (E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E), constant need to wee, constipation, bloating, increased sense of smell, and tendency to cry every 2 minutes – how I managed to continue to deny it to myself is quite mystifying.

Babies are like leeches – they literally drain you of your life force to the point where remembering your own name becomes a struggle.

And no wonder – a mere 3 weeks later, at 11 weeks, the blob had grown arms and legs.  Arms and legs that waved, kicked and a bottom that wriggled.  Alas, I was no closer to believing that what I was seeing was going to result in a Tiny. Human. Person.

We told our families – Mums reduced to tears, and Dads proudly hugging and telling us ‘well done’ (probably the only time your Dad will ever be happy that you have had sex. Just don’t do it again unless you are going to make another baby, OK? )

And I STILL COULDN’T GET MY HEAD AROUND IT. To the point where I was starting to think there was something wrong with me…that suddenly the maternal instinct I’d had for the past 17 years since my youngest brother was born had deserted me.

But, at 16 weeks we found out we were expecting a boy. A baby boy with long legs who now at 28 weeks doesn’t let me forget that he is in there with his kicks.  Who is going to learn about Star Wars within the first hour of his life if he doesn’t come out Jedi ready with light saber in hand, according to his Dad.

At last, I believed it is real.

We are going to have an actual baby. We are going to be parents. Our lives will change forever. We will probably be time poor. We will definitely be financially poor. Sleep poor, adult conversation poor, and possibly devoid of the ability to go to the toilet alone any time in the next five years.

But we will be richer than rich with love, and that’s all that really matters – it’s how people have more than one baby and still manage to function within the normal realms of society regardless of the fact they haven’t slept in years. Or whatever their secret is, we can’t wait to find out


Categories: Becoming a Mother, Health
18 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted August 14, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I love this post.

    I’ve been following Vivienne’s journey since before those 2 pink lines and I am so excited for her. I don’t think any of it feels really REAL until you hold that baby in your arms, and even then you’ll still find yourself creeping in to watch a sleeping baby/toddler/child, just to check you didn’t dream them and you really are a Mother.

    Franky xxx

  2. Posted August 14, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Such an honest well written post Vivienne, it just shows you that no matter how planned for or wanted the initial jump into motherhood is a scary one!

    I bet you can’t wait to meet your little boy.

  3. Posted August 14, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I too have followed you since before those lines and remember how randomly excited I was for someone I’ve never met (didn’t even know your name back then!) to be pregnant! It’s strange to think about how it actually feels compared to how you think it will feel when it finally happens! So excited for you!

  4. Posted August 14, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Echoing Bex I also followed the story from before and was SO excited to hear you were pregnant Vivienne. I can completely understand the weight of expectation to feel that everything ought to fall into place after wanting something and planning for it for a while, then having it finally happen. I’m so pleased you’re feeling good now, that’s such a lot of pressure to have at a time when your body is basically under attack! This is a great case for finding out the sex of a baby too! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and on meeting your little boy in a matter of months :)


    • Vivienne
      Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      You definately do feel people expect you to react in a certain way – especially when they know how keen you are to have children. Until I had my 20 week scan, and knew that all was as it should be in there, I was terrified for the little person growing inside me, so when people would ask ‘are you excited?’ the answer was of course, yes, but you can never explain in polite conversation just how scary it is at the same time!

  5. Kate Q
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    It’s a range of emotions that is so difficult to explain isn’t it? I’m the Kate who keeps commenting and complaining about feeling rubbish during pregnancy (although I think some of that might have been hormones as I’m feeling a bit better about it all now).

    I hadn’t really thought much about actually being pregnant, I didn’t know much about it so everything I felt seemed abnormal (the constipation…seriously, that just seems so unnecessary on top of everything else). I still find it hard telling people as I don’t know how to respond to the “you must be so excited” I’m not very tactful and maybe too honest so I think I’ve replied “no I’m terrified” far too many times. I put a lot of these feelings down to the pregnancy being slightly unplanned which I then felt guilty about so it’s nice to know that I’d likely be feeling this way regardless. When is an irreversible life changing event not scary?!

    I thought I’d decided not to find out the sex and had managed to convince my husband the same but now this is making me think again – although I’m kind of convince I’m having a boy for some reason, did you have a guess before you found out?

    • Vivienne
      Posted August 14, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      We planned for a long time, then tried on and off for over 14 months before we fell – and felt like a mad woman for swinging between being happy and being so scared and therefore in denial to even acknowledge it. I can confidently say my husband was more excited than me the first few months! Worst thing is – I felt ridiculous having these pregnancy symptoms come as a surprise, since I’d done midwifery training and will be working as a doula after our wee man is born…I should ‘know’ what pregnancy feels like but it really is undescribable until you are there!

      I thought baby was a girl for a start (I conceived just after my friend died and I felt a strong connection that she had sent us this gift) but guessed at our 12 week scan that it was a boy. I’d been very on the fence about knowing, but my husband was very keen to know and I’m glad he talked me in to it!

  6. Posted August 14, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Great piece, Vivienne, thank you. I admire your honesty – being pregnant scares the bejesus out of me but then I guess going through the experience is one of the things that makes it such a miracle. Here’s to a happy and healthy few months ahead x

  7. Katie
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this post. It sums up how I feel too. I never expected pregnancy to be so tough, it really does suck the life out of you. My initial reaction on finding out I was pregnant, was what have we done. Even though we were trying, I didn’t expect to get pregnant so quickly, and thought we had longer to save, and do things just the two of us.

    We’re in week 13 now, and only now feeling the excitement and elation at having a baby. Still suffering with tiredness and sickness though, waiting for the wonderful second trimester that everyone talks about, to kick in.

    Cheeky question, I was thinking about getting one of those maternity yoga balls. Are they worth it?

    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy.


    • Vivienne
      Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      It will come – week 14 and I was feeling so normal again, I could have almost forgotten I was pregnant. We hadn’t even sold our flat when I got pregnant (it had been on the market forever too) but things have a funny way of sorting themselves out when your body decides it is ready.

      I’ve got a birth ball now at 28 weeks, and it is fab….wouldn’t have had much use for it before now though x

    • Clare
      Posted August 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Katie, towards the end, the ball was the only thing I could ‘comfortably’ sit on – I couldn’t bear to sit on a sofa for longer than 5 minutes, but the ball took the pressure off.

      I also took (read: made Andy carry) the ball into the labour room because lots of women say they help make them comfortable in labour – I didn’t go near it the whole time.

      Everyone’s different, but for me it was worth having, if just for late pregnancy.

  8. Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    I have to admit that I am completely in the camp of not being able to get excited about it until I’d had the 12 week scan and it felt a bit more ‘real’. Having said that, I’m currently in a slightly strange place of knowing that I’m pregnant (obviously!), but not feeling it at all so sometimes I can almost forget what’s happening. I know it sounds completely mad, but that’s what pregnancy does to you – sends you a bit batty. I’m using pregnancy as the excuse anyway.

    I do think that it is hard to get excited and feel genuinely happy during the first few weeks though, mainly because you feel so bloody ill that you think “what the hell have we done?!”. When that passes and you get on more of an even keel (aside from the random emotional outbursts obviously) it does start to sink in a tiny bit. Then it’s time to scare the bejesus out of yourself by writing a list of all the things you need to do / buy before the little person arrives – as we did yesterday and my husband turned a slight shade of green! If that doesn’t make it seem real I don’t know what will.

    Having always been in the camp of not wanting to know if we’re having a boy or girl I’m now starting to change my mind…


    • Kate Q
      Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      A list, I should totally write a list!

      I still haven’t told anyone at work so I spend the majority of my week pretending I’m not pregnant which I kind of like but does fuel my denial!

      • Vivienne
        Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Lists are both helpful and scary in equal measures! There are lot of things that you are told you ‘need’ that you don’t really. And never, EVER go in to Mamas and Papas on payday…..!

  9. Liz
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I’m also at week 28 and this and everyone’s comments sums everything up for me. I still find it so hard to say that I am excited about it all, I am so very happy, but excited?!
    When people ask its a bit like when they ask are you excited about your holiday or christmas, but it is so different! I’m finding its hard to be properly excited, in a everything is going to be amazing way, when you know that your whole life is going to be topsy-turvy in just a few weeks!
    In my experience, from my own and friends, its the dads who truly do the ‘I’m so excited’ thing!

  10. Katielase
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    This is ace, Vivienne. I think we are all always under so much pressure from the media and our culture to feel and react in a certain way; we feel we SHOULD be over the moon, not in denial, or feeling like death on a stick, or wishing it would all hurry up and be over. One of the main things I’ve learnt in life is that there’s never any should with feelings, you feel the way you feel, and that’s it.

    I’m so delighted you’re excited about your gorgeous baby boy, I’ve been so excited for you all along, and truly can’t wait to see all your photos and hear your stories from the other side of the bridge. Good luck, lady!

    K x

  11. Steff
    Posted August 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    This is such a reassuring post for everyone teetering on the edge of the bridge. Congratulations on your wee boy :)

    Wishing you a happy and healthy pregnancy (well, what’s left of it!). Exciting times ahead! x

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

More here.

image by Lucy Stendall Photography

Find me a random post