Courtesy of Kate Brierley
When I was a first-time expectant mom, I found myself re-thinking everything, which left me feeling like I was cast into a raging sea of self-awareness without so much as a life vest to cling to. Even though I had dreamt of motherhood many times, I had never navigated these waters before.
Sure, I had experienced many monumental moments in the 28 years before I learned I was expecting a son, but they didn’t feel so permanently impactful. They didn’t come with the pressure of an entire existence that would cease to be without your own. I had a cat, but I didn’t birth her. I could go away for days at a time knowing she’d be fine on her own! I had a husband, but he was his own man. But now, I couldn’t stop thinking about how anything I consumed would be passed along to my little guy in the making. My state of mind, stress level, and my emotions would impact him as well. The weight of learning that I was responsible for growing and raising another human pulled me under strong currents that made the world — and my impact on it — feel much bigger than it ever had before.
I had experienced many monumental moments in the 28 years before I learned I was expecting a son, but they didn’t feel so permanently impactful.
Without a baby on board, I forgot my vitamins more often than I remembered them. I used whatever hair and beauty care products I’d always used. I’d look at the pricing, but ignore the ingredients label. I drank diet soda with aspartame, and ate deli meat with reckless abandon — and all without a second thought. If these things were safe enough to be mass produced, they were safe enough for me to use, I figured. I’d be fine! But once I learned I was pregnant, my baby unknowingly changed my thinking entirely. There is a significant list of no-no’s for pregnant women. But why were those things considered safe and healthy for non-pregnant women? Or… were they?
This new little being was a part of me. Heck, he took up room and board inside of my belly. Talk about an existential experience. I needed to know that I was making the best home for him that I could, and it was time to rethink what was good for my baby, for myself, and for my family.
It’s not entirely accurate to say I was excited about this voyage into…