Since I decided to open my calendar back up for those having 2018 babies, I figured it was time to update my website a bit (specifically my kid count from two to three). I realized that I conceived shortly before my last blog post. For the briefest moment, I thought I missed an opportunity to share my pregnancy experiences as they were happening. Then, I remembered how much I enjoyed keeping that time close and shared only with those I wanted in my bubble.
Even though I was happy for my growing family, I had some concerns. My “babies” were 11 and 15 years old when I found out I was pregnant. What would this look like for our family? How would our kids react? How will it change my relationship with them? After all, raising teenagers is hard enough without changing the dynamic once you've found your footing. I wanted this baby. I didn't know the answers to all the questions I may have had, but I did know the answer to that one. I also knew that I wanted this baby to just be ours for awhile. I didn't know how long, but I wanted to let it be something that we could keep close and daydream about for awhile without all the outside noise, so we lived in this bubble for a bit. We told only our closest relatives and friends. We asked them to keep it quiet. They did and it was lovely.
We did of course eventually tell people, but did so face to face. I have to admit that sharing this news in person was so much better than a social media post....especially when I got to show up to something with a big ol' belly and saw surprised but excited reactions. Facebook likes don't replace that. Eventually my invisible child made its way onto my social media feed, but on my terms and not until I was ready. I never shared our due date- only our due month (ok, maybe like 5 people knew the actual date). It was absolutely fantastic to not be bombarded with "You haven't had that baby yet?!?" "Hurry up and have this baby already!" or "I feel like you've been pregnant forrrrever!" I was still in a bubble, just a slightly bigger one.
It's easy for people to simply view you as a vessel for this new life, to forget that you're not just a belly, and that you might actually value your privacy and personal space. Dear stranger, that pregnant person you're passing on the street most likely does not want you to rub their growing waistline. No, woman ahead in the checkout line, that pregnant person behind you doesn't want to hear the horror show of your best friend's cousin's baby's birth. I hear these kinds of things all the time from clients, so when I say it's OK to have a birth bubble I mean it. Enjoy this time. Shape it the way you want or need to. It’s your time and even if you plan to have more children after this, it’s still time that you will never get back.
Cristina Evans is a Mother of 3, Wife, & Birth Doula