5 Stories in 100 Words: Pregnancy
In Meaghan O’Connell’s And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready, she writes, "With stuff this big almost any way of looking at it could be true." I have yet to hear a better explanation surrounding parenthood and pregnancy. Parenthood is anything and everything. The anticipation and pregnancy leading up to it is anything and everything. These five stories are everything.
Colleen Wisniewski, founder of sincerely, colleen
Currently 33 weeks pregnant
I’m sitting still, feeling my 33 week baby bump and this little girl is having hiccups for the third time today. It feels like bubbles popping in perfect rhythm. Every movement, even after all of these many weeks, feels worth stopping, noticing and appreciating. Each one feels significant - signifying milestones and how soon she’ll be big enough and strong enough to live apart from me. In a matter of weeks, this little girl will be outside my body. Our hearts will beat in two separate spaces, and I imagine I’ll miss these feelings that I couldn’t have fathomed I’d love so much.
The Unexpected Empowerment of Post-Natal Hair Loss
Terra McBride, founder of Love Nothing More
Creator of a rockstar named Stella, age 7
No book or parent, friend or colleague prepared me for my hair loss post-pregnancy. It was devastating. Once I stopped nursing, the luscious hair that extended passed my swollen breasts began falling out in ropes. Every morning, my chest and self-confidence deflated with each pass of my fingers. I was disappointed to realize how much of my femininity I had wrapped in my hair. Ultimately, I chopped it all off. I worked through my feelings to become thankful for the experience. Long hair was a chain that restrained me from realizing how strong and sexy I am.
Happy to be Sick
Zoë, founder of Zoë With Love
Currently 23 weeks pregnant and creator of rockstar named Adoni, age 3
To say the thought of morning sickness (or sometimes all-day sickness) is a relief might not seem to make much sense. But when you crave reassurance and it’s all you can get, you aren’t too picky. When weight gain starts, and your body rapidly changes, you tell yourself not to worry about getting bigger, because you know you’ve been waiting longer than you remembered. Then the back-pain sets in, and really just about everything else too, and you remind yourself not to complain because it’s a gift that can be taken for granted.
A House United
Ben Gibboney, coach and parent-to-be
We couldn’t get pregnant. Jessie and I tried for some time. This was it, our night. It was Super Bowl Sunday! We are confident of our conception day. It wasn’t any Super Bowl, but the Eagles’ first Super Bowl Victory! My wife was thrilled and proud. Our dual sided Eagles-Steelers blanket has been showing Eagles side up since Feb 4th. No compromise for shared time. What my beautiful wife doesn’t realize though that, in the Steel City, every newborn is cloaked in a Terrible Towel (even if it’s me doing it). An Eagles victory baby wrapped in black and yellow.
Vegetarian for Two, Please
currently 29 weeks pregnant
I am pregnant vegetarian. Meat refuses to stay down. The smell and look of meat – no thank you, hard stop. I made a meal which settled well before: stuffed peppers. I had a 7pm meeting to talk self-publishing. The nausea triumphed at 6:37pm. The toilet was my date for the next hour. There was no number to cancel. Ben offered to attend the meeting to explain the situation. My vomiting fog lifted around 8:02pm. Ben walked through the door, “I should take your meetings more often.” His smile exceeded the corners of his mustache. Sickness no longer prevailed. Gratitude reigned.
Thank you to Colleen, Terra, Zoë and Ben
for sharing their thoughts on this rollercoaster of a time.