Monday, 21 January 2013

with child

Hello my name is Ariel and I am with child.

This is not news to you.
It is news to me.

Until quite recently, Saturday evening in fact, I was well aware I was pregnant, but it really hadn’t clicked that I was already a mom.

This is an identity I had been avoiding for about as long as I had known I was pregnant.  I wasn’t feeling connected to this experience or this ‘thing’ I was gestating.  I was afraid of it.  Sometimes I resented it.  A lot of the time I wished I didn’t have to deal with it.

I hated talking about it.  I hated pretending to be excited.  I hated trying to think of things to tell people when they asked how I was feeling or how it was going.

I was annoyed by other mothers pushing their pregnant or new mom friends on me.  I was tired of hearing stories of difficult births or assertions of ‘you’ll see’ and being told to get annoyed by XYZ.  I was annoyed by the assumption that I had names and nursery colours and schooling plans all picked out.

Truth be told, it is a lot like planning a wedding.

Being pregnant was becoming my defining personality trait and I find that really annoying.  I’m Ariel.  I just happened to be knocked up as well.  I didn’t suddenly change personality or interests because we made the decision to ‘do it’ without prophylactics.

On December 19th, a very distinctive and very tiny fist reached out and punched me.

It wasn’t a lightening moment of sudden ‘mom-dom’ and it wasn’t the first hint of movement, but it did stick in my head.  A very clear feeling of a miniature fist reaching out.  Like that movie poster for ROOTS (without the chain) or any student activist group anywhere.

Power to the People.
Or in this case…to the Pruin.

Around Christmas I popped.   My body suddenly had a very distinct pregnant look.  Pruin began to respond to Pete’s voice and touch.  A very cheeky personality seemed to form.  Slowly, I began to change my eating habits and start exercising again.  The more my inability to get off the couch and tie my shoes increased, the more I began to believe that this pregnancy thing was real.

However, it was still just an idea that it might be real.  That in about four months there might be a screaming, wriggling thing in the mix.  It was all still very abstract.  The slight changes I made were made for selfish reasons connected to body image and a real annoyance with heartburn.

Friday the snow started to fall.  I was so excited and was out in it walking to my chores with more enthusiasm than I have felt for anything lately.  Pruin wriggled and punched and kicked all day long.  To the point that it became really annoying and I may have directed an ‘Ok. I get it. You can chill out now.’ toward the bump.

Saturday seven hours went by and I didn’t feel anything.  Not one hiccup, or squirm, or readjustment.  As hour eight came along Pete and I spent a feverish 20 minutes prodding the bump, talking to it, playing loud noises and sitting in uncomfortable positions trying to get a response.  Pete got out the Ukulele and strummed loudly for a good five minutes, something which always gets a response.

Nothing.  Nothing was happening.

Finally, in a last ditch effort, Pete got very close to the bump and gave Pruin a very stern talking to.

…and got kicked in the ear for his trouble.

Pete looked up and smiled with relief.  I started crying.

I think it was part relief and part realization.  This isn’t just anything I am gestating.  Despite my annoyances and resentments and name-calling, I care about this little thing even though it gives me nothing but grief.

That’s parental love, isn’t it?

Hello my name is Ariel and I am with child.  


  1. This is amazing! I'm sure it will be the best experience for you! :)

  2. Ah, I love this post. Very honest, and a lot how I think I would feel if I ever was pregnant... I resent all the girly things usually anyway, and I think that's exactly how I would feel about 'mummy' things and being persuaded and pushed into it. Everything comes in its own time))