The Next Adventure

{Protection bracelet, in Greece}

Back when I finally made the decision to start this journey, which seems simultaneously lifetimes and moments ago, I wrote in my journal, “A baby could be the next big adventure, not the end of adventures.” I also quoted Caitlin Moran in one of those journals, saying, “In the twenty-first century, it can’t be about who we might make, and what they might do, any more. It has to be about who we are and what we’re going to do.”

And now, after a bit of a winding, emotionally complex road, I’m almost exactly twenty weeks pregnant. Halfway.

{Protection bracelet, 19.5 weeks pregnant}

And it still matters a hell of a lot to me what I’m going to make and I’m going to do.

First, as you can probably guess from the timing of this announcement, writing about conception was never going to happen, and I’m not going to be writing extensively about pregnancy. In fact, I haven’t talked extensively with almost anyone about pregnancy. Pregnancy has felt like something personal to me, something temporary, and not something I want to make part of my identity. Which is funny, because the number one work related question out of people’s mouths is, “Is A Practical Baby next?” And perhaps sadly, it’s not. There are a ton of reasons why, but most clearly, I know that I want to give this tiny, brand-new person a chance to grow up mostly offline, just like I did. But it’s more than that.

As a blogger, there seems to be an expectation that once you get pregnant, you become a mommy blogger (troubling term notwithstanding). That, much of what you have to write about is going to have to do with pregnancy and parenting. But the trick is, unlike what the whole culture told me to expect, I still feel like exactly the same person now as I did before. The same person, with roughly the same interests. Turns out I’m not very interested in researching items to be purchased for the baby. (I hate researching items to be purchased.) Turns out I am very interested in decorating the baby’s future room (I love decorating rooms), and buying toys (I love toys). But mostly, I’m interested in things like vintage heels, food, excellent TV shows, making jokes with my husband, and my work. In fact, I’m really, really, interested in my work. Turns out, all that cultural messaging I got about how everything would change and all my opinions would all shift after I got pregnant was wrong. I’m still just me (now more easily trapped by the couch).

But I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you. I had expected my whole life that I would be someone who loved being pregnant. I admired pregnant women, and it seemed so magical. But it turns out, on most days, I don’t like being pregnant very much at all. Pregnancy has been hard for me. I don’t like to dwell on it, because let’s face it, physically, pregnancy is hard for almost everyone. But for me, pregnancy has also been emotionally difficult, and physically alien. And it turns out this isn’t even rare; it’s just a closely guarded secret.

For a long while, I was eaten up with guilt. I have so many friends who deeply want to be pregnant (or, perhaps more properly, would like to have babies), and now, I’m the one that is. So shouldn’t I pretend to love it, out of simple gratitude? But the interesting thing has been that my friends struggling with fertility have been the ones who have most readily accepted me, wherever I am on any given day. They know more than anyone that this whole process is difficult and fraught with societal expectations of how we should feel. They know that societal expectations will screw you, every time. They tell me to just show up and be me, and if I don’t like pregnancy most days, so be it.

And as I’ve started being more honest about it, I’ve had numerous conversations with women who said, “Are you just so happy? Are you loving it?” And I said, “No. Sadly, not really.” And then they whispered, “Me neither. I thought the whole thing was totally weird. I just thought I wasn’t supposed to say that to you.” Solidarity fist bump ladies. Being a woman is complicated.

So here I am, at twenty weeks. What I can tell you about my pregnancy is that it’s been an adventure. It’s been a Team Slow and Unsteady adventure and an adventure into my own internal geography. But it’s also continued to be an outside adventure (at least when I’m awake and not napping). Here is me at fifteen weeks:

What you can’t see is that I’m standing on the arm of an unsteady couch, at an APW Hair & Makeup shoot, trying to get the shot (I did), and that several people around me are looking slightly freaked out. That’s the best sum up of my pregnancy so far. Me, out there, doing my normal thing, terrifying onlookers.

And thus it will continue. Onwards to November. Onwards.


P.S. While I feel strange accepting congratulations on something so far outside of my control, and something I have such complicated feelings about, I will absolutely accept solidarity fist bumps from all the ladies, wherever you are on your journeys. Being a woman is complicated, and I hope that we can all share that complication together.

Photos: First photo by me from my personal collection, second two by Emily Takes Photos

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  • Huge solidarity fist bumps to you! You are beautiful and wise, just like all the best mamas xx

  • Mayweed

    Wowsers. Congrats Meg! And I hated being pregnant too. Hated it.

  • Erin


  • Sniff. I love you. You are doing just excellently. And I’ll take your 15 weeks pregnant on the arm of a sofa and raise you a church pew at 25 weeks pregnant with twins. Eyebrows were raised at THAT wedding. x

  • Did you know that we are almost the EXACT same amount of pregnant? Solidarity fist bump indeed.

    • meg

      I did know, actually :) SURPRISE!!!!

      • I’m excited about it & excited for you & actually just really freaking happy for myself that I’ll get your occasional insights into being a new mom while I’m learning how to be a mom too. I shall devour them greedily every time they appear.

        • Hey, me too!! I’m 20 weeks exactly tomorrow. Yay for third-week-of-November babies!!! Major fist bumps to Meg, and if anyone knows of some sane places to get some baby/child-rearing advice (outside of the Off-Beat Mama suggestions below), please make it known!

          • SarahToo

            I did childcare for years, mostly with babies and toddlers ranging from 6 months to 2 years, and one of my favorite resources is a book called “How to Talk So Kids Can Listen and Listen So Kids Can Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish (I know, somewhat unwieldy title…). This book saved my sanity, and helped me to connect better with kids, minimize conflict, maximize cooperation, and ride out the tempests with grace. A lot of the tools (slightly modified) work great with adults too!

            Also…just a reminder that while sometimes we want advice from the “experts”, listening to one’s inner voice can be great. As a parent (or other loving adult caring for kids) everyone–and I mean EVERYONE–will have tons of friendly-meaning “helpful” advice for how you should do your job. Take what’s useful, and don’t think twice about jettisoning everything that doesn’t work for you. Everyone’s different, and there’s no One Right Way to raise children. If you feed them, clothe them, love them (in non-manipulative ways), and show interest/care for them, chances are they’ll turn out great.

          • caitlanc

            Me three! (Four?) Well, I’m one week ahead of you ladies but I haven’t discounted the little one taking his or her own sweet time and becoming a 3rd weeker.

            Fist bumps to all! So excited to have such awesome company!

          • Yay for November babies! (We’re due 11/3/12) So happy for your baby family!

            Meg, do you remember when I asked you at your Austin book tour if there were any plans for A Practical Baby because the existing stuff is kind of awful? Little did I know that we’d both start our new adventures later that month! Love the coincidence.

            I know APW can’t become a parenting blog, but can we maybe have a section about “reclaiming motherhood” every now and then? There is almost ZERO sane advice about how to do this and stay yourself, and private, and whole.

            And if you haven’t found it already, Aubrey Hirsch’s recent post, “On Pregnancy, Privacy, and Fear” is breathtaking:


        • Me six! Really good thoughts and fist pumps for all your November babies.

  • Sarah O.

    Mazel tov! This brand-new person will be lucky to join your family. Stay strong & healthy.

    Selfishly, please don’t a) stop-or-even-slow-down on APW, or b) entirely rule out APB (in fact, I think you should incorporate, trademark, and set up a skeleton website rightnow – even if brand-new person isn’t featured on it!). On a day we remember Nora Ephron, I couldn’t imagine losing your voice, too.

    Rock on.

    • meg

      Oh, GOD I’m not quitting. Trust me I own APB, and a bunch of other stuff (though I couldn’t trademark it, complex trademark law here), but I don’t intend to use it. While I’ll keep talking about my life, it turns out I don’t even read parenting blogs, so I’m not a candidate to write one.

      • MDBethann

        Meg, I appreciate your desire to NOT blog about your pregnancy and raising a small human. However, I second the motion by Sarah O. and think the world could definitely use a good dose of A Practical Baby (or A Practical Parent) with all of the helicopter parenting, attachment parenting, baby books, etc. out there, hearing what real parents are doing and how they are coping with the ups and downs of parenthood would be great for those of us looking to expand our baby families.

        All the best to you and your husband as you grow your baby family. No wonder you guys wanted to move to a house with a yard!

        • Ambi

          Oh, I want to say “congratulations” so bad!!!! Well, I’ll say huge fist bumps, and I am SO happy for you!!!!

          I 1000 times agree with MDBETHANN about A Practical Parent! I completely respect (and agree with) your viewpoint about mommy blogging, but I think you have the potential to turn it into so much more. Just as you have done for Reclaiming Wife, I feel like the world needs your perspective on parenthood. I get that, in a sense, you are giving your perspective by continuing to focus on your pre-pregnancy passions rather than suddenly making every aspect of your life all about baby. To me, it echos the the wonderful Felicity Huffman quote we’ve talked about before about how she said it is sexist to assume that a woman’s children are her greatest life accomplishment. BUT, I feel like so many women need and want and would respond to discussions of motherhood that are outside the MIC box (motherhood industrial complex, anyone?). Your post here is exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about. If you ever decide to blog about parenthood, I imagine it would be a lot less about researching products to buy and a lot more about the emotional, spriritual, and political issues you are encountering on this new journey. So, please, don’t rule out blogging about these new stages in your life – you would obviously do it in your own way, and it would not necessarily have to be a “mommy blog” any more than APW is a wedding planning blog.

          Also, just a side note, but I suddenly feel incredibly lucky. Almost all of my girlfriends have had babies, and they never for one second sugar coated any of it. We have always talked openly about how weird, alien, and just plain miserable pregnancy can be. I was a bit surprised, honestly, reading this post that other women aren’t talking about it. I am having drinks tonight with my girls, and I will definitely be toasting to them for being so honest and candid about relationships, pregnancy, and motherhood.

        • Agreed! Someone should do A Practical Baby because that is another area that is so full of lies and pushes to spend money you don’t have to and society pressure. Makes me exhausted just thinking about it.

        • Lana

          Being someone who doesn’t read parenting blogs might make you the perfect candidate for facilitating a forum for open discussions on different parenting techniques (like Mdbethann noted), and also discussing balancing the new life of a parent, the old life of an individual and couple, and work. It doesn’t have to be a sea of cute baby pictures, shopping for the newest and most safe crib, and poop discussions (although they may be useful too), but ones like you just started here (disliking pregnancy, struggling with the choice to work or not, how a baby will change a mothers life…or not, the way society treats a pregnant woman or mother vs how it treats just a woman, feminism & being a mom). It could be focused on being a parent and the adventure that is, not necessarily babies. You know, the kind of blog that someone who’s still on the fence about the idea of having kids might get a little insight and knowledge from as well–without being overwhelmed (and if I’m being honest, annoyed) by people with baby brain (’cause I could use that).

          Not saying you “have to” or you “should”, because I applaude your desire to raise your kid offline (like I was), but if anyone could do it, it would be Team Practical.

      • hanna

        I wouldn’t rule anything out yet though, I didn’t read any parenting blogs while pregnant, and I still don’t read many, but it could be that after the baby is actually here and so much more real, that it becomes something that need to be read about and written about. Of course, it might not, but in my (personal, solitary, everyone’s different and all that) experience, being pregnant and having a real laughing crying sleeping eating baby are two totally different worlds, and there is no way to predict what one will need or want or feel in advance.

        • meg

          Well, look. Getting pregnant and having a baby might have prompted me to start a blog. But the blog I run now is actually very huge and very public. So I am very clear that we are not ok with putting a tiny brand new person out there in a big way for the very wide world to see and comment on. That person isn’t my person, they are their own person, and while I’m sure I’ll talk about parenthood and my life now and again, I’m not going to share their story on such a huge platform, before they are old enough to make their own choices on that. Parenthood may change things, but my basic value system is going to stay more or less intact. I’ll find ways to write, but that privacy is very important to both of us.

          • Gillian Carter

            Absolutely! Well said! In the day and age of blogging and facebook, I think it is important to try and retain privacy in our lives! Also, big congratulations and fist bumps all around!!

          • I completely agree with your approach

      • I can understand that “A Practical Baby” isn’t your thing … but I’m holding onto a glimmer of hope that we might one day get to have some insight into how impending parenthood affects APW and how you run the business.

      • RFG

        Perhaps you can talk Alyssa into running APB/APP? Or some other fabulous parent you know and trust?

      • Meg, APW is just such an amazing brand. When I see the posts/debates in the comments on other blogs, particularly women’s blogs, I just think, “Gosh, this would never happen at APW.” So while I respect (and get!) your desire not to write APB, I personally hope that one day there is A Practical Media Empire with you steering, and a whole bunch of talented writers and editors making all the branches happen. I really feel like you’ve created something so incredible and special with this website, and I’d love to see it expand because frankly, I don’t know how I’m gonna get through pregnancy and parenthood without this community.

        • meg

          Trust me, we’re working on it and then some, though APW is growing so fast right now that expanding beyond it is not something we can take on right this second. But, we’re working on all of it, trust me.

          • Rachel Wilkerson

            PS Meg, I hope my comment didn’t come off as demanding you add more to a plate that is likely more full than I can even imagine. I think everyone is just excited by this conversation because we love APW so much. But I can be the first to acknowledge that APME is a totally selfish desire and I know that whatever your vision for APW is, it will be awesome when it plays out, whether now or in a decade.

  • Alicia


  • Aw fantastic – Solidarity fist bump! Thats lovely news :-) xox

  • Solidarity fist bump it is, then! Being a woman is awesome. And tough as shit. Much like getting married. But you made it possible for a lot of people to admit those truths and talk about them. You just keep on being awesome, Meg, and your daughter or son will be a lucky kiddo!

  • Amy March

    Will you accept congratulations on a post well written instead? Thanks for articulating something that’s been nagging at me for a long time – not just how I will/may feel when/if pregnant, but how I will feel about how I feel.

    • meg

      I will accept congratulations on the post. That was totally in my control and I worked on it for a week (plus weeks of worry). Thank you.

    • Julia

      Yes! I am bookmarking this page for however many years down the line we start a family. I want motherhood, but I am not looking for a transformative experience. And pregnancy just sounds like 10 months of discomfort on a varying scale followed by several more months of other kinds of discomfort. Props for telling it like it is as usual, Meg.

      • I agree with Amy!
        I have several friends who are stuggling to become mothers, and they have all said that a woman who is pregnant should NEVER complain / mention that they dont like being pregnant, because there is always a woman associated with her who would love to be in her shoes.

        I think thats unfair. Pregnancy is not a soft option. Its hard work, and some women have an incredibly tough time of it. Some want the baby dreadfully, but just hate being pregnant, and now we are being told we cant admit that we dont like being pregnant? Not fair or cool.

        Meg, I’m thrilled for your news, and I am glad to hear you admit that sometimes you dont like being pregnant. It will make life easier for the rest of us one day (perhaps).

        And I just cant wait to see where else APW goes over the next year or so, heres to the continued development of APME – with or without a practical parenting page. Anyway, parenting stuff *could* be included every now and then in Reclaiming Wife. Because RW is not only about being a wife and not a mother – its about making being a wife what you want it to be. (or at least, thats my take)

  • kathleen

    I think I love working with pregnant women for the same reason you love your work— getting to be around women in the liminal moments is the best, as it means being around women bravely re-figuring and/or re-confirming their sense of self.
    fist bump. and healthy thoughts. and happy adventuring.

  • Pregnancy terrified me, plus I was pregnant with twins, 14000 kms from my family and had just arrived to a new country. I didn’t enjoy it either, firstly because it is phisically uncomfortable but mostly because I felt inadequate. I was deeply scared that I was not going to be able to “measure up”, to be a good mother for my children. And I felt I was disappearing: that me, the woman I had always known as me, the one I had somehow become with much effort was fading away at least from the perspective of others. It took a good two years after the babies were born to integrate the woman I had been and the mother I had become, and it wasn’t easy. There’s a book from an Argentinian author that is called “motherhood and meeting our own shadows” that speaks about the complex emotions that come with babies.

    Anyhow, congratulations! May baby practical continue to grow full of health and may his life be full of love, joy, prosperity and laughter.

  • North Star

    Solidarity fist bump! It’s nice to have the reminder that it’s ok if your feelings don’t match cultural expectations. Also, I’ve always enjoyed your reflection posts and hope they’ll still continue.

  • It always be a journey, that much I understand. At times with joy and times with terror. There are the happy times, the bored times, the what the hell were we thinking times. It is always moving. There isn’t a perfect way of doing it. There is a lot of advice, some of it good and some so terribly bad that it’s good. The sleep deprivation is real and powerful but it does sort of end and definitely gets better.

    Watching a person become herself (in my case) is a damn amazing thing. Watching my partner become a dad has taken my breath away. Life will change because it just does. I am so happy for you, Meg and David.

  • Solidarity fist bump, Meg! Thanks for keeping it real for us!

  • Fenn

    I have had many LONG conversations with friends about what is normal in pregnancy and after…about bonding or not and everything else. Sometimes, I think I’m the only voice of reason…maybe it comes from never having had a baby, only caring for kids for over 20 years…or maybe I’m just that rational. I hope this baby brings happiness and adventure into your household, and you can feel however you want about the pregnancy and everything after!

  • Congratulations, Meg. I wonder, is it too much to ask for a post on how you and David made the decision on whether to have children? (I nearly said ‘start a family’ then, but I checked myself!).

    I know this is something that a lot of women (myself included) struggle with. I would love children, but I can’t reconcile that with my struggles about over-population and the consumption of resources. ‘I want them’ just doesn’t seem reason enough to me… (not for other people. I am so happy for people who know their own mind! It just doesn’t seem reason enough for -me- to have them).

    Of course, I totally understand if you don’t want to share your reasoning, and of course there are no right or wrong reasons (except the right ones for each of us as individuals).

    If anyone did want to share with an anonymous wedding graduates or wedding graduate returns post on the subject, however, I would dearly love to read it.

    Keep up the good work, and, you know, nap lots.

    • Anon

      What about adoption?

      • KTH

        Yes, or fostering children. I definitely want some of my own (maybe just 2 — keep the population even when I die) but have been thinking a lot about the children in America who don’t have a family.

    • meg

      Oh, no. I can’t imagine I’ll ever write about that in detail. Some things are not for the world. But we do totally run posts on that now and then, and that will continue.

      • anon

        don’t worry Meg– we didn’t mean adoption or foster care as subjects for you but as ideas for My Honest Answer

        • meg

          I’m aware. I’m responding to My Honest Answer’s request that I write about deciding to become parents.

          • I’m sure there is someone else out there who could write that post.
            In fact, if we ever make that decision for ourselves, I’ll volunteer it as a Reclaiming Wife post. :)

  • Annika

    Enjoy your new adventure!

    I’d love to see more posts about women deciding about kids (maybe not ABOUT kids, or being pregnant, or whatever) but there are so many cultural expectations about when, how and how many kids to have. In my demanding career path, most people are expected to have 0-1 kids, and if you have a kid, before tenure track. Meanwhile my family hope we have many kids and my church culture says marriage without kids isn’t really marriage at all. I’d love to hear from women about their choices, why they made them and what they say to all the naysayers (both the kinds who ask why you’re not pregnant yet and the kind who ask why on earth you’re having a second child).

    • meg

      We run these posts when we get them, and we’ll continue to :)

    • Megan2

      You don’t have to tell them anything. Q: “Why aren’t you … ” A: “Because I’m not.” (Or on the having more kids question, because I am.) The more firm you are with your choice, the less they will think they need to talk you into something. Let them know the contents or non-contents of your lady-areas, is NOT up for discussion.

      I don’t get asked, but I’d probably also tell the truth, if they aren’t rude or pushy about it. I never got the have-to-have-kids feeling. I figured I would, I figured it would just happen, but it didn’t & I’m not into trying to make it happen. I’ll be disappointed if I never see Rome, but never have kids, meh, shrug.

      It’s nice that other people do. It’s nice when other people do it because they really! want to. Not because they have to. Or because that is what people do.

      And . .. FIST BUMP MEG!

      PS – edit – OK, not the whole truth. Because the real reasons are my own & wouldn’t be helpful to anyone. ;-)

  • ka

    thank you for still being the exact same person, and in doing so giving all of us permission to keep being the same people, and not a gender defined by their child-bearing and rearing activities.

    and also: “For a long while, I was eaten up with guilt. I have so many friends who deeply want to be pregnant (or, perhaps more properly, would like to have babies), and now, I’m the one that is. So shouldn’t I pretend to love it, out of simple gratitude?”

    could not have more perfectly stated my long term relationship/marriage guilt around my single friends. which is not to say that i’m not glad to be married, just that a relationship or marriage doesn’t magically create everlasting happiness the way some people expect it to, and i imagine pregnancy is quite similar.

    here’s to your next great adventure! woot!

  • Liz

    Wonderful news, congratulations! So happy for you.


    (In which post-bump hands swim away like jellyfish and mouths say woouuuoooouuuooooooooo.)

    • Don’t forget the fireworks fist bump.

      (In which post-bump hands rise into the air and open, then do spirit fingers all the way down.)

    • Taylor

      Jellyfish fist bump is my favorite! it is even better when you offer a consolation hug immediately afterwords, and jellyfish away from the hug with your arms. same sound effect required of course.

      (And a jellyfish fist bump followed by jellyfish hug to you , Meg)

  • Cameron

    While I respect your desire to have a private pregnancy and motherhood, Oh please, please consider opening up APW to more discussions about motherhood. I think APB would be a mistake, because it would be dominated by posts by mothers and not women who purposefully decide not to be mothers, but maybe “APB or not to B”? There is so much SHAMING going on (I call it woman-on-woman crime) about the decision whether or not to become a mother and I think the world at large would benefit from an open dialogue about the choice. Being a Purposeful Non-Mom myself, I feel like most mothers I talk to glorify the institution of motherhood so much and keep all the real knowledge bundled up and locked securely in the You’ll Find Out When You Get There lockbox. Share the wealth and let us Non-Moms make an educated decision! I’ve also been hurt by digs at my femininity for choosing a high-powered job and adventures with my fiance and world travels over choosing to have a baby (because, after all these years post Rosie the Riveter, work is still gendered male??!?). There is so much fodder here! Thanks for a glorious post and enjoy your journey.

    • meg

      I’m sure I’ll find a way to touch on those things in a not too personal way, somehow or other, either on APW or some other project. Because I agree with you. And yeah, I still have a career, and we’re still planning to travel, so that particular bit of cultural noise can shove it :)

      • MDBethann

        Fist bump on the still planning to travel and have a life. As we were getting ready to marry, my DH and I had discussions about those sorts of things, and our honeymoon only confirmed that we LOVE to travel and we don’t want to put off seeing things like the pyramids, or Tuscany, or Paris or Ireland until the kids are grown and we’re older. We want to travel while we have the endurance and physical ability to enjoy it. Having kids doesn’t mean you stop having a life apart from them. We’ve promised each other to take not only family vacations with our kids, but “parents only” vacations around our anniversary each year. I used to spend a week each summer with my cousins at my grandmother’s house and LOVED it – why can’t my kids do the same thing???

        • Class of 1980

          It is weird. Maybe it’s difficult with babies, but they don’t stay babies very long.

          Why do people think traveling with kids is so exotic? Don’t people do family vacations anymore?

          Me no understand.

          • We travelled with babies, we now travel with children, and we wonder why there is no Disney Airlines. Why, oh why haven’t they created it yet?! I WANT DISNEY AIRLINES!

          • Two trips to France and three to London (with twin babies) later and I can tell you it’s really not that big a deal. Seriously people, it’s just travel.

          • MDBethann

            My parents drove me all over New England (from Pennsylvania) when I was a toddler and after a few summers at Mid-Atlantic beaches when my sister was little, we took 2-week drives down to the Carolina beaches every summer for many years. It probably helped that my sister and I enjoyed car games and, as my mom pointed out, did not often ask “are we there yet” (unless we weren’t feeling well). We even did the Disney thing a few times.

            I think if you drag a lot of “stuff” with you, traveling with small children becomes a pain. But if you pack intelligently with the things you *need* (i.e. favorite stuffed animals that they can’t sleep without), family vacations are doable. I’ll just drive them places until they can walk on their own – really don’t want to carry a kid through airport security and have them search my kid’s diaper. Ick.

            I just think that we shouldn’t limit ourselves to only family vacations once we have kids. As Meg pointed out, you still have the same interests as before and you do have another relationship – with your spouse – that needs care and nurturing too. I think kid free time (date nights, vacation, etc) is a good idea because it gives you a chance to be just husband and wife for awhile, and a break from being mommy and daddy.

          • One More Sara

            So kind of unrelated, but my 3 yr old has more stamps in his passport than most American adults I know. Travelling (long distance flights) is easy with infants/babies until they learn to walk. Age 2 is the peak of airplane awfulness in my experience. As soon as the child can be distracted with electronics, flights get SO MUCH EASIER. And fair warning: newly-potty-trained toddlers want to Pee In All The Pottiezzzzz.

          • ruth

            My parents waited to travel internationally as a family until my youngest brother was a preteen, figuring that it didn’t make sense to spend the cash until we were all able to appreciate it. That said, we traveled a lot domestically, often long road trips that involved stopping at battlefields and national parks, and we flew some places, too. I hope to travel a lot with my potential offspring. I so value the experiences I had with my family.

        • I first visited the pyramids when I was three years old. When I was six, I remember it being great, because as I excitedly raced through the narrow, short passageways, my dad followed behind me, sweating profusely and crawling on his hands and knees. There are a lot of things I think you can’t do with kids, but traveling isn’t one of them.

          • MDBethann

            But there are also a lot of places in this world that aren’t kid friendly, like Venice, for example. Lovely city, but the museums and sights aren’t really geared towards kids and despite being a lovely place to walk, the bridges aren’t conducive to strollers. I *hope* my kids will enjoy museums and history as much as I did as a kid, and I plan to show them as much of the world as I can, but I also want to be able to go on adventures with just my DH too.

    • Daynya

      I would love SOME sort of reference for these types of things! I am currently in the APB or not to B category, and it’s driving me crazy. The only role models I have in my life are ones who chose to have kids. I really struggle to find people who purposely chose not to to discuss these issues with. Good for you for standing your ground Cameron!

      • Try:
        It is full of discussions one couple is having about whether to have kids, what it would impact, how they think they could mitigate it etc. A very wise community of people on the fence :)

    • “APB or not to B” is the best blog name ever. If you ever decide to do a parenting blog, that must be its name.

      Also, a post about traveling with kids would be amazing. I recently discovered a blog written by a woman who moved with her husband and 2 small boys to Paris for a year. They’ve been traveling all over Europe, and I find it fascinating because no one ever talks about that. Everyone says you have to sideline your life and desires for 18 years when you have kids, and I have a really hard time believing that to be true.

  • Steph

    Congratulations to you and David! and thank you for again being a honest voice that helps us to know that its ok to feel what we are really feeling, even when its counter to what society’s expectations are. There is so much power (and freedom) in just saying it and hearing it.

  • Janet

    Motherhood suits you well, you totally look dewy and lush in that second picture. Seriously though, thanks for keeping it real and speaking the truth. I have yet to to experience pregnancy myself, but have watched several friends struggle with their own feelings on their pregnancies. They are torn between being thankful at being able to get pregnant while so many other women struggle to get pregnant and totally not enjoying the “its like an alien is growing and moving inside of me” feeling.

    Here’s to the future of APW and ALL your future endeavors and where ever this blog and life takes you!

    • meg

      HA! Pregnancy has nothing to do with being dewey and lush. My vanity didn’t give you the best picture there ;) That’s a bit of makeup and a good photographer, I think. But YES to everything else.

  • Jacque

    Double bump! Thank you for your constant honesty, its refreshing to check APW day after day and feel like there is a small corner of the world where intelligent, funny, and unapologetically feminist women can gather and just acknowledge the myriad complexities of being a woman. Your baby is already very lucky to have such a wise mother. So once again, thank you.

    • meg

      Awww. Sniffle.

  • Laura

    Congratulations! The last part of your post is so universally applicable and powerful. I look forward to your future insights!

  • Rasheeda

    Solidarity Fist Bump! and a WOOT WOOT (thrown in for good measure)!! Amen to the pregnancy thing feeling not so awesome…I felt like I was in a minefield, every step/comment/thought was tortured with ‘oh, should I feel this way, I’m about to be someone’s mama’ , ‘oh, should I ______, I’m about to be someone’s mama’…and then the body parts moving all around and generally doing things I wasn’t fond of. Well, yeah, I’m right there with you girl. Here to Here to keeping it honest and real, the way you always have.

    • meg

      Mmmmhummmm. You and me, girlfriend. It’s. Fucking complicated.

  • Peabody_Bites

    Fist bumps ahoy! And thank you, thank you, for sharing what you feel able to share, particularly since you have already articulated and eased one of my greatest fears, that I will cease to be ME – bolshy, ambitious, tricky, funny ME – when (if?) I am pregnant.

    • meg

      No way!

  • Mollie

    This was so… comforting for me to read. I’ve been contemplating pregnancy and parenting a crap ton lately. I have so! many! adventures! to! have! and don’t want to be defined just as a mother (though raising little people and incorporating them into said adventures does sound pretty cool).

    This is how I definitely imagine my possible future pregnancy to be: “Me, out there, doing my normal thing, terrifying onlookers.”

    Thank you for your voice, and your honesty. I am really excited for you guys. Here’s to more sharing of truths, and less cliched bullshit spew.


    • meg


    • MDBethann

      Exactly a hundred million times.

  • Cassandra

    Solidarity fist bumps! I was also not the biggest fan of being pregnant. It felt alien. I always secretly suspected women who gushed at the wonder of it all were protesting a bit too much. Eight and a half years past the pregnant part, though, I hardly remember the weirdness and discomfort, because most days this new person takes my breath away.

    You look beautiful – both in the glowy-smiley-there’s-a-new-person-inside-of-me picture and in the I’m-still-doing-my-thing-like-always. Life will change, evidently, but who you are doesn’t need to.

    • meg

      Protesting too much. Ha.

      (The dewy part is just hastily applied makeup, before that I looked sort of puffy and sad. Just keeping it real over here.)

  • Proud of you, Meg. Thank you for sharing.

  • Rose in SA

    Wonderful news – so happy for you and David.

  • nicole

    Oh hooray, Meg! Pregnancy and motherhood are full of the highest highs and lowest lows. Having a strong partnership to back it all up makes all the difference. Hugs!

  • Fermi

    Holy Shit! I haven’t even got passed the part where you said you’re pregnant, congrats!!!!!!!! let me go finish reading the post now!

  • Wow! I was not expecting (heh, pun) this news at all this morning… fist bump to you, indeed!

  • solidarity ftw!

    And because no discussion of societal expectations of pregnancy is complete without it:

    Pregnant Women are Smug

    • Mollie

      I LOVE that video :)

    • Hils

      Since I’ve been SO tired so far this pregnancy, we now sing “Pregnant Women Are Sleepy” around my house. (Though this morning it was “Pregnant Women Are Wearing Purple.” It’s a versatile song.) I play it for everyone I know, especially as a reminder that I intend to remain unsmug for the entirety of the time the baby I generally refer to as the “parasite” is in my stomach.

    • meg

      I love that song so much. It’s true way too often, says I, as someone who’s quit her pre-natal yoga group because quitting seemed preferable to homicide ;) I played it just two days ago and laughed so hard I cried.

  • Shiri

    Huge solidarity fist bump with a big side of mazel!! Be safe and healthy.

  • Laurel

    Hey kick ass! Best best wishes to you and the tiny human (and David, of course) in your new adventures.

  • melissa

    pregnant bellies are adorable

    that is all

  • Umpteenth Sarah

    I am actually HAPPY to hear that you are going to try to keep your baby and personal life out of the blogosphere! Not because I think that’s the wrong or right thing to do, but because it seems like the world of woman bloggers goes: “single blog, married blog, baby blog” and it’s kind of nice to have a space out there where the FOCUS is on marriage and womanhood and so on, without the child part being highlighted to the front. Not that those blogs and spaces aren’t useful or wonderful, because I devour them as much as anyone, but because it can remind people that it’s totally ok to just be where they are at that moment.

    And, obviously Gigantamundo Congratulations, and thank you for being so publicly honest about something that I always assumed was probably going to be relatively unpleasant and challenging but something about which I’m supposed to wax poetic. Sort of like… engagements.

    • Umpteenth Sarah

      Oops, didn’t read the PS about fist bumps/congratulations. So, not Gigantamundo Congratulations, but Gigantamundo fist bump instead!

    • meg

      SO much like engagements. Actually.

  • This is a great post! No matter the subject, I always appreciate APW’s willingness to say, “I am not completely enamored with X thing that I am supposed to be head over heels about”. Fist bump for that one.

  • Hils

    I’m sitting here at 14.5 weeks pregnant thinking I’m such a good candidate for the poll: Fat or Pregnant? (Today, I believe I’m on the fat side of things.)

    Point is, man oh man I’d love APB. The baby sites are worse than the wedding ones.

    Congrats on making it to 20. May the weeks speed by.

    • “The baby sites are worse than the wedding ones.”


    • Elsie

      Indeed. If you ever change your mind and want to blog about babies (perhaps on a sister site), you’d have plenty of appreciative readers, I think. There’s a lot of baby craziness out there, and a dose of sanity would be good.

    • Anon

      Fist bump from 9 weeks!

      And I agree that someone needs to create a sane baby site – I’ve completely avoided that part of the internet so far. I would love the baby/childrearing equivalent of APW (although I’m not saying it needs to be you, Meg).

      Hils, no one would ever guess pregnant for me on that poll – a fist bump to you, too!

    • marina is heavily moderated and therefore relatively sane. :)

      • Heather L

        Offbeat Mama also advertises and practices a lot of woo and tends to obsess over how awesome being pregnant is. I stopped reading there for that reason. The fact that they used to link to a lot of crunchy anti-vax sites for suggested reading made me feel really uncomfortable.

        • Hils

          My issue with the OBM site — and all parenting/mom stuff I’ve found so far is very much wrapped up in the word “Mama.” What happened to moms?

          Moms who are sensible and normal and confused and into their kids but also their jobs and want to not fuck up their children but would also like to trust that not every single thing has to be figured out and over analyzed. (And not apologize for using child care or giving birth at a hospital.)

          That’s what’s been missing for me so far. Until then, I am trying not to bite off the heads of well-meaning women who send me “mama” shit.

          (This comes with the disclaimer, that being a mama is a fine choice for many. I just don’t want people to assume it’s what I’m going to do.)

    • meg

      Here is the thing (or a few things):

      – People get very yelly about parenting. I have nice clear ideas about kids, after a life time of caring for them, and most people who run parenting sites are like “Oh EVERYTHING is wonderful, ALL parenting choices are magical.” I’m not really that person at my core, so running a parenting site seems like a disaster to me. Better to just do my thing quietly.
      – Also: turns out lots of us who are not reflected on parenting sites are not reflected on them because we don’t read them. There are some GOOD parenting sites out there. I thought I’d be reading them right now. Nope. Not interested. I go find the exact info I’m looking for and then stick my head back in New York Magazine, or the New York Times, or Esquire. And that, I think, is the fundamental problem with creating a new kind of parenting site, and why I’d rather work on broader projects that occasionally talk smartly about parenting.

      So. There we are :)

      • Well, I would love to read a parenting site that tells the truth: that not everything about parenting is wonderful and that parenting decisions can be a real struggle because babies and kids have an innate capacity to challenge all our pre-babies parenting beliefs ;) I suppose it would make me feel less crappy as a parent…

        • rainy_day

          Have you seen

          • meg

            Which is exactly it. I know Heather and respect her immensely, and I can tell you right now I don’t have the ability to take the horrific treatment she’s taken publicly for years, writing honestly about parenting. Know your limits.

          • I have, and I don’t like it.There’s a fine line between honest and depressing and she depresses me.

  • mimi

    Solidarity fist bump from this pre-engaged lady with lots of pregnant friends and family. Best wishes on wrangling wiley ducks of a different sort entirely.

    • Claire

      Wiley duckling wrangling! Love it!

  • Chch

    This is such a good post. I had my baby ten years ago, as a single mom. I loathed being pregnant for all sorts of reasons, physical and metaphysical. All sorts of people explained to me that I was *becoming a mother now,* and that meant life as I knew it was over.

    I started college while I was pregnant. Graduated. Went to law school. Spent a summer doing international human rights work (with my seven year old along for the ride). Graduated with a JD and an LLM in three years.

    I’m soon to be married to a guy I met studying for the bar.

    F*** those people who told me life was over. A solidarity fist bump indeed. Motherhood has been one of several magnificent adventures for me so far. I send you and yours very good wishes for many magnificent adventures. :)

    • KTH

      This is so, so awesome. One of the things that terrifies me about getting pregnant is the idea that I can’t do things I want to do anymore! We don’t have a ton of family close by, and child care is expensive, so I’ve been hesitating. Would love to read a post about the support system folks have used.

      • Caroline

        One thing that has been really interesting to me lately has been reading about and talking to folks who didn’t let pregnancy and being a parent radically change how they lived their life. I kind of always dreaded that once you have kids, you’re done for socially. My parents ha almost no social life or very little after we were born.
        But I’ve talked to a friend who grew up playing and falling asleep on spare beds at folk music gatherings at her parent’s friends houses and loved it (not every night of course but very frequently) I’ve read about parents who continue nomadic living afte they have a child, parents who continue to throw awesome (adult not kid oriented) parties, people who’ve moved to other countries. My own parents took us to live in another country, which was awesome for us, although it didn’t last as planned because their marriage was falling apart before we left. Obviously, there may be changes in how you do the things you do but I’ve learned they don’t have to be as radical as the cultural narrati e suggests.

      • meg

        I’m going to be totally frank, because not enough people are: we’re using childcare. I don’t want to in any way give the impression that I’m somehow going to magically keep doing my work with a baby on my hip as well. No: childcare. It’s expensive, but I’ve been a childcare worker, so I also think it’s worth way more than we’ll probably be able to pay. Also, one of us not working would be more expensive (not that it’s a financial decision).

        Anyway, there is no one right answer to this, but I’m speaking up because I have encountered a LOT of shame around using childcare. This is the kind of not-too-personal thing I’ll have no problem keeping you posted on later, but while I might be emotional about it some days in the thick of it, I don’t for a SECOND feel bad or guilty about it overall.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          May I congratulate you on your healthy attitude towards this issue? ;-)

          • yes yes yes to what Elisabethjoanne said. There should be less guilt all around.

            And fist bumps. Loads of fist bumps.

        • YES!!!!!

    • Cassandra

      Love hearing stories like this – I finished high school, got my BA, went off to do international health work for a year, and am now halfway through my PhD (and am getting married to a guy I met in my program), all as a single mom. I rather regularly send out a quiet f*** you (in my mind, of course) to everyone who told me I couldn’t do it.

      • ChCh

        Awesome. Solidarity fist bump to you, too. :)

  • To Meg and David, congratulations! May the rest of your pregnancy go well. I respect your reasons for not wanting APB —
    On an aside, it’s interesting to me the way some people phrase questions (“Are you just soo happy?”) and that when the response isn’t the standard, they actually seem to be expecting that or at least aren’t surprised by it and perhaps can commiserate. We aren’t all buying into the standard way of feeling about a given situation, yet it seems the wording that implies that we are keeps getting used.

    • Yes! My husband and I really appreciated this essay on those weird questions:

    • meg

      I could write a whole ragefull post on the ‘Are you SO excited?’ question, which is such a dangerous thing to ask.

      • That’s such an American thing to ask. No British person would ever ask that. Ever.

        • untrue. All of my British Doctors have asked me that, or rather they have said “you must be so delighted” & I have looked them square in the face and said “are you kidding? I’m terrified!”

          • ‘You must be so excited’ and ‘you must be delighted’ are totally different! I was delighted to be pregnant and not so excited. More like so worried.

          • I’m still learning how to speak British then. Because to me they mean about the same thing, & in the face of both of then I felt only fear – though I confess that now that I’m almost 20 weeks I’m feeling a bit more excitement & delight.

          • I promise you, no British person ever said ‘Are you SO excited?’

            But people do have a propensity towards suggesting that you’re at least happy about it, for some reason ‘are you shitting your pants?’ isn’t considered polite.

        • meg

          That’s it. I’m moving to the UK. Though frankly, here, often people skip the question and just tell you what you think. “You’re so excited, I can tell.” I think it’s the sickly pallor, look of terror, and tear marks that gives your excitement away.

          I mean, I can only guess.

          • CBaker

            HAHAHA. Thanks for the laugh. The TEAR MARKS give it away. Obviously. : )

            And if I’m allowed to say congrats on choosing child care (a choice within your control?) then, CONGRATS! I worked for years in a Montessori early childhood center and the support, love, and joy the children had in that environment was astounding. Go childcare! And GO GO GO for choices that fit you and YOUR family!

        • Molly

          British people have explicitly said that exact phrase to me. ‘Are you SO excited?’ was equally frustrating and equally well meant when said in a British accent.


        • ‘You must be delighted’ is more of a polite statement than a question I think. Like saying at a wedding in a receiving line ‘you must be very proud’ to the parents. A response isn’t needed, it’s just something to say. A bit like when at a bus stop one might comment ‘lovely weather isn’t it’ or ‘looks like rain’!

          It’s hard to find the right thing to say to people when they announce a pregnancy, as it means so many things to so many people, and one doesn’t want to put their foot in and offend. I’d hope a dr had got it right though.

        • meg

          “How are you feeling?” does wonders. Hat tip to Kristy.

          Or as David said to the nurse, “Do you ask the pregnant 16 year olds if they’re excited too?”

          • KTH

            This is the question I always ask, for 2 reasons: 1) concern for my pregnant friend and 2) curiosity about how it will feel.

          • I love David more and more all the time, as you share his wonderful one-liners :)

  • Lynn

    Thank you for articulating my worries about pregnancy (said as we decide to “damn the green week” and let whatever happens, happen…or not). I don’t know if now is the time, I don’t know if next year will be the time, I don’t know if there will ever be a time but I do know that I’m running out of time and it’s something my husband wants so very much (& honestly I do too, which is something I never thought I’d say). But because I worry…I worry about it all and I worry about losing myself on this new adventure.

  • To your next adventure! Thanks for writing honestly about the complexities of being pregnant. It’s strange how being pregnant is such a public experience because of the physical nature of it even though what’s going on inside is so intensely personal.

    Throughout pregnancy and early motherhood, I have been again and again so frustrated with the cultural “script” surrounding having a baby. “Are you getting any sleep?” “Sleep now!” “Enjoy your freedom while you still have it!” “Better travel, because you won’t for 18 years!” It feels like it reduces the experience so much and limits genuine conversation about the joys and struggles of parenting (and how to maintain yourself in the process).

    On being driven to work: we welcomed our daughter into the world in March, and as a teacher, I don’t go back until August, and I’ve been so surprised at my immense desire to get back to work outside of my little family. Especially with the Slaughter Atlantic article, I have been thinking so much about the micro level of being a mom in my home and the macro level of being a strong woman in the world. These are complex, important issues, and I hope you’ll share your thoughts on them because I enjoy reading your perspective so much. Happy thoughts to you and David and the little one!

    • meg

      “I have been thinking so much about the micro level of being a mom in my home and the macro level of being a strong woman in the world.”

      Mmm. True. One of my problems with that article was actually that I don’t want my parenthood self a public part of my professional life. It can be important, but on a private level. Quick sum up of a long thought there. But anyway, I’m sure I’ll write about these things now and then, particularly as they are about ME not about this other tiny person.

  • So this kid has no option but to be a total badass, right?! Congrats!

    • meg

      I hope so. With good comic timing.

      • Class of 1980

        If YOUR child isn’t funny, I’ll suspect a mix-up at the hospital. ;)

        • meg

          Especially since David is as funny as I am, just differently funny :) I’m hoping for preverbal comedy (the best kind).

  • Erin


  • Sara

    Hearty congratulations to you, Meg! I just gave birth to my first child three weeks ago, and pregnancy terrified me, especially when I was sick for five straight weeks in my first trimester. But being a mother is a beautiful and a maddening thing that I wouldn’t trade for anything! Since having our son, I am more selfless – that I know for sure, but your post encouraged me to think about how I haven’t changed, about what is still the same. So, thank you for that.

  • A ginormous fist bump to you guys. Yay to your pregnancy, and double yay to the continuing honesty and realness you provide us with. xo.

  • Megan (from Nova Scotia)

    A big old fist bump to you Meg! Part of me wonders if I’ll feel guilty for feeling bad during pregnancy, but then mom pretty much told me that she didn’t enjoy being pregnant but the result was worth it. Also, I’m very happy, but not surprised, that you’ve just continued on living your life in an authentic way. We should never have to feel like we *have* to push what we are passionate about to the wayside, and suddenly never love heels, or writing about politics etc just because we’re brewing a little one. Sure, passions can change, but they don’t have to, and we shouldn’t feel like we are any less of a person either way.

  • Stephanie

    Fist bump!!!!!

    While I loved my first pregnancy (gave baby up for adoption), I understand why anyone would not love being pregnant. :) It IS weird. But I am trying to be patient until I can have my first “real baby,” one that I get to keep. And I am so happy for you! Motherhood, I hear, has its awesome moments.

    Yay!!! Babies!!!!

  • Yay, Meg! Fist bumps to you! What exciting news!

  • Amanda L.

    SFB, Meg, SFB! My husband and I are getting ready to start the journey down the road towards (hopefully) pregnancy. Part of me is thrilled, part of me is terrified. Will I totally lose myself in this process? I hope to be a strong, independent role model for my (hopefully) future child to look up to. Your post gives me hope, as always, that I don’t have to lose myself just by taking on the title of mother. Here’s to a relatively stress-free next 20 weeks!

  • Congratulations!! And solidarity fist bumps all around.

  • Sophia

    I’m so excited for you and David!
    Pregnancy was weird for me also. I didn’t look or feel like myself and never got comfortable with all the unsolicited advice and comments about my appearance. Luckily, pregnancy is nothing like being a mom (much like being engaged is nothing like being a wife). I don’t doubt that there are women who like being pregnant but for me, it was a means to an end. Now, I love having a little person to guide through his milestones and watching his personality blossom.

    • meg

      “Luckily, pregnancy is nothing like being a mom (much like being engaged is nothing like being a wife).”

      (I also love this thought because there are so many ways to end up as a mom, so I think it’s really important to note that pregnancy isn’t the same thing as motherhood….)

  • I have no strong thoughts on how APW should integrate parenting/babies into the site, but I know that whatever happens will be awesome. Even if it’s just periodic posts like this from Meg or other people — this is already so much more feminist and amazing than 99% of all the other pregnancy posts out there.

    I see APW as using marriage/weddings as a jumping off point for celebrating and discussing the world of possible experiences for women. Not everyone on the site is going to get married. Not everyone is going to have kids. But we all live in a world in which society has serious expectations laid out around those things. And having a place where we can discuss them is huge.

    • And not all posts, by far, are about weddings. For instance, some are about entrepreneurship or writing. That doesn’t make this an entrepreneurship blog, though. It’s just something Meg posts about some days, and we like reading it because she’s an insightful lady. So while I totally understand her desire to let her offspring grow up mostly offline, I do hope that we get occasional peeks into the mind of Meg-as-mom.

      Enthusiastic fistbumps, Meg!

    • Claire

      Amen! I’m so thankful that APW provides a safe place where strong, thoughtful women can sit around the virtual campfire and have real, honest conversations about life and our experiences as women, and talk openly about cultural expectations vs our own experience. I love learning from the journeys and struggles and triumphs of other feminists. Its powerful to feel supported and validated when you share something and to have a chance to offer that virtual encouragement to others. Name notwithstanding, it’s not really a site about weddings. At least to me. That’s why APW is still relevant to me, almost two years after my own wedding, and long after I’ve unsubscribed from all the other wedding blogs.

      I suspect that’s also why I find posts like this so interesting, even though neither pregnancy or motherhood are on my own radar. I’m still interested in the experiences and perspectives of other amazing, feminist women. It’s still such a valuable conversation to have and it’s totally awesome that I get to be included in this conversation, regardless of my own path. I can’t think of anywhere else, real or virtual, where so many different voices and choices are highlighted and examined and celebrated and discussed respectfully.

      So for me, its not so much a post about pregnancy as it is about being a woman and navigating the expectations and owning your experience and living your authentic, kick ass life. Congratulations on all those things, Meg! And best wishes to you and David on this exciting new adventure!

    • meg


    • Mmouse

      I second the no strong feelings about a APB sister site (although I would read the heck out of that site), but when I read that Meg is staring the parenthood adventure I was so thrilled. I’m 28 weeks and find myself wishing that APW ran parenthood posts more often. So much of what’s out there is full of shaming or just doesn’t provide the thoughtfulness that APW brings to the table. I’m happy for Meg’s new journey and I’m happy to think that this site will get occasional posts that are meaningful about the ways that parenthood interacts with being a women.

  • Here’s a fist-bump for a beautiful post, and the continuation of a journey!

    You’ve been running a company, creating and collecting content, managing a staff, and (apparently) shooting models on pony farms, all while also growing a tiny person? Rock on!

    • meg

      I have been! (And also sneaking in some napping and vomiting and crying, then back to the gig of life).

  • Solidarity Fist Bump, for sure! I was also one of those folks who expected to love being pregnant. I think pregnant women are so beautiful and strong and amazing and it was one of those life experiences I was excited to have. And then… I didn’t like it much. I was thrilled to be having a baby, but I felt uncomfortable and nervous and out of sorts. It wasn’t bad, just not my favorite period in my life.

    Likewise I didn’t love being a parent of a newborn. She was tiny and helpless and not very interactive (although super, super cute). Breastfeeding was hard. I wasn’t getting much sleep. But I love, love, love being a parent of a 5 month old. She is a riot and it’s so neat to get to watch her learn and grow up.

    Enjoy this adventure (and know that at the times when you are not enjoying it, there are plenty of us with you in solidarity!)

    • Ditto.

    • Kimberly

      I’m going to ditto, too. Newborns are cute, but hard. Breastfeeding can be hard, too. And birth plans can be derailed by doctors, which can really derail your whole first few days.

    • Solidarity Fist Bump! I really, truly disliked being pregnant, despite the fact it was miraculous I was even pregnant and I’m crazy grateful for the little goober in my life. I was nauseous, anemic, and had to have progesterone injections twice a week to keep from miscarrying and blood draws every other week. Not Fun. Newborn phase? Also not very enjoyable. Current nine month old phase? Friggin’ awesome. Enjoy the new journey ahead of you, Meg and David. We’re all rooting for you :)

  • While I’m still pretty sure I don’t ever want kids…thank you (and all the other Practical ladies) for busting up stereotypes and expectations all day long! I always thought people became totally different when they had children, but now that some of my actual friends, not just people who I went to high school with or vague acquaintances, are having children, I realize that while children change people, they don’t change who that person intrinsically IS. And that I have badass friends. :)


  • Huge solidarity fist bump to you. I’m 17 weeks along and have had everything “easy” (in terms of symptoms as well as conception) but it still sucks. I realize how lucky I am but I feel really alone and hate the feeling (coming mostly from outsiders but also just from the nagging symptoms I do have) that my body is not my own. I’ve written about how pregnancy is liminal and this bizarre state of being in-between and how that alone is enough to really alienate and screw with a person’s sense of self.

    I am also nervous about what this will mean for my career (I’m an academic and for all its alleged lefty-friendliness, academia is not very welcoming to women who choose to start families while on the tenure track). I’m nervous about what this will mean for my body and life logistics and finances. And yet this is all still very much wanted. I feel like a living contradiction. And I’m glad someone with a widely read platform is brave enough to talk about it. So thank you!

    • meg

      God, I would like to just echo how profoundly isolating (and hence terrifying) the experience of pregnancy can be. One of my friends battling infertility issues was like “MOTHER FUCKER” when I started talking about that, because serious infertility is so isolating, and she was so horrified that it doesn’t ease up. Her perspective is that society puts such clear and huge requirements on women fo feel and live in particular ways, that when our internal geography fails to live up (as it almost always does) we end up feeling so tremendously alone, and like we can’t talk about it to anyone. Also, the pitting of women against women sucks, and contributes to the isolation. As a pregnant woman, I have to worry about seeming different from single women, not understanding mothers, causing pain to women who want to be pregnant, and not being as excited and happy as other pregnant women. It’s a bullshit rigged game, to leave you totally isolated.

      • C

        mother fucker indeed. when do we get to the part when we just get live and emote without giving a fuck about how we’re *supposed* to feel and how we’re supposed to make *others* feel in our presence?

      • Off topic: this is the first time I’ve ever seen Meg write “fuck” without putting an asterisk in it, and I love it.

      • Yes yes yes. Pregnancy, like so many lived experiences for women, is a state in which people have deeply defined expectations for how women are *supposed* to be/act/think. And when our internal geography (as you worded so beautifully) doesn’t produce the expected it’s hard not to feel like a great big disappointment (and/or like we’re being pitted against other women in some symbolic competition we never intended to enter, where everyone loses).

        I remember vividly feeling like I didn’t live up to the “bride-to-be” role when I was planning a wedding and now I feel like I’m not living up to “mom-to-be.” I’m so tired of so many states of womanhood being fraught with rigid expectations.

        Though I will say that it isn’t only isolating. Even if I feel like the corporeal aspects of pregnancy are annoying at best and hugely uncomfortable at worst (and that my male partner will never know the depth of these discomforts and annoyances), I have had a few quiet and unexpected moments with women (mostly those I barely know) who exhibited the most sincere nostalgia and enthusiasm for me that it was almost contagious. So while I mostly loathe pregnancy, I do think that on some psychic level it has led to a subtle bonding that I cannot help but appreciate and enjoy.

  • Caroline

    B’shaah tova. And fist pump for continuing your awesome work of busting rigid cultural narratives. I totally support keeping your kid off the net, but I would love the occasionally apracticalparent posts like this one about talking about real experiences and emotions about parenting. I feel like parenting also has very rigid cultural narratives, and love that this post talks not about what is expected of you to feel but where you are really at. I’d love a few more posts like this although not so many they take over the blog.

    • Kimberly

      “I feel like parenting also has very rigid cultural narratives, and love that this post talks not about what is expected of you to feel but where you are really at”

      YES YES YES. Practical Parenting is, sadly, not as prevalent as it should be. And there are those of us who are offbeat but not exactly Offbeat Mamas. It would be very, very refreshing to have a viewpoint such as Meg’s in the scary world of parenting blogs.

  • Jashshea

    I just love the honesty. I have 20-odd cousins and I’m one of the oldest, so I saw lots of pregnancies, miscarriages, babies, etc. I always thought pregnancy looked pretty uncomfortable and, frankly, awful. I assumed since I thought that way that I probably should just never get pregnant or have kids. I assumed I was missing the mom-piece.

    It wasn’t until my friends (who are like me for the most part) started to have babies that the tide turned. I was genuinely over the moon for them. They, in turn, told me the truth about how they felt – how scary it was, how public it all felt, how they felt like a host.

    So, it turns out I was 50% right. Pregnancy can be awful (or scary or unpleasant) but that’s okay.

    Love it, Meg. Thanks for sharing.

    • meg


  • Big fist bump to you, and best wishes for the road ahead!

  • Courtney

    Congratulations! I loved this post. My cousin hated being pregnant, my BFF loved it… I feel ambivalent towards the idea, although I suspect I’m not going to like it very much. And cue my BFF’s husband who made judgy comments about how he didn’t understand why women wouldn’t LOVE being pregnant. Why would I want something taking over my body for 9 (I guess technically 10) months?! And I try to reconcile my vague ideas of having a baby *at some point* (although let’s not get into my anxiety death spiral of timing) with my ambivalence towards actually being pregnant… well. Anxiety death spiral.

    It was really good to hear (really, to reinforce) that you can make a choice to have a life that you want, but not necessarily always enjoy the ride.

    • meg

      Ha. It’s funny because David says, “I don’t see how anyone could love it. It sounds AWFUL.” He thought that was the standard male perspective. Interestingly, most guys in my life have been way more open to me not liking pregnancy (Them: well YEAH) than women.

      • Jamie

        Praise all things good and holy for supportive partners! I might’ve killed a thousand people while pregnant if not for Max. I hope David “makes you” rest and take a break when you really need one. It was hard for me to recognize when I needed to due to years of just going, going, going all the time.

      • In the first trimester, when I was throwing up every day and crying every day and sleeping most of every day, Nye said to me ‘but it still feels amazing right, being pregnant?’ I looked at him and told him he was a fucking idiot.

        • Other lady

          Word to that. I’m in the middle of the first trimester myself, and it’s about as fun as one would imagine having “motion sickness + PMS nonstop” would be.

          Which is to say, not very fun at all.

          I expect this little bugger to pay me back (plus interest) in oxytocin later.

        • meg

          We only forgive Nye for this because he stayed up for nine months with the baby at night. That makes him just squeak by. The first trimester feels amazing. That man is a comedy routine ;)

          I now feel like an aquarium, which at least feels like something. But the first trimester just felt like the flu.

  • Fistbump.

    Hopefully someone will be giving me fistbumps some day in the not too distant future (oh, the complications of being a lesbian woman who wants a baby).

    And thanks for your honesty.

    • meg

      Oh, fistbump to you too. No matter what anyone tells you, it’s a (sometimes awful) journey, it’s not a destination. I mean that as someone with her own, but different complications. I suspect you never really arrive, so encouragement, slushy lemonades and fistbumps are distributed all along the path for for cheering along.

      • Class of 1980

        I for one totally believe that no one ever arrives. This makes slushy lemonades and other enticements all the more important.

  • Lady-Bro fistbump!

    To great adventures!

  • YAY! I’m excited for you in this next step :-)

  • Sharon L

    Meg, congratulations to you and David! I really loved your thoughtful post on pregnancy and expected feelings, mommy blogging, and the sometimes murky waters surrounding fertility. It seems like there is so much expected guilt these days for everything that happens (or doesn’t happen) in a woman’s life whether it’s marriage, career, becoming a mom, etc. Little by little we’re trying to tell each other it’s okay to let go of it, and FIST BUMP for that!!

  • Solidarity fist bump times infinity! :-) I am so excited for you and David and your next adventure.

    And thank you for being honest (as you always are). Many of the blogs I read are exploding with pregnancy announcements and weekly bump updates and such. They’re all glowing and all exuberantly positive and sometimes I just sigh and think “Will someone be f*cking real with me for just a moment???” And then along comes Meg to acknowledge the real-ness. Still glowing and beautiful but still herself too. And making us all feel part of your journey, no matter where we are on our own.

    As someone still trying to navigate this whole process, still deciding if kids are in my future, still trying to reconcile all of the things that I want to do in my life and feeling the pressure of well-meaning friends and family, I appreciate that you are still you and make no apologies for it.

    • meg

      The glowing bit is TOTALLY makeup and a good photographer. We’ve been documenting at home week by week, but some of those smiling pictures are taken after I stop sobbing and fix myself up. HONESTY, y’all.

      • Class of 1980

        I remember one of my best friends crying at the drop of a hat during her pregnancy. And she was never one to cry easily. It’s just the hormones and … this too shall pass.

      • One More Sara

        I was pregnant in college and felt like a whale surrounded by a sea of skinny people. If my friends ever told me I looked pretty, I thought I probably actually looked grumpy and they thought I needed cheering up. But they really DID think I was pretty (they may have said glowing, but I think that was just sweat). Despite being miserable 90% of the time, pregnant women really are pretty, and you are no exception. We won’t think you’re snobby if you just said thank you ;)

  • Marie

    Solidarity fistbump! Transitions are complicated. Wishing you and your family all the best!

  • Lady-Bro fistbump!

    To great adventures!

  • solidarity fist bump! thank you for giving voice to all the unspoken secrets of pregnancy. i haven’t been, but each of my dearest girl friends have had similar struggles with personal/societal expectations and it means so much to see that experience expressed so eloquently. you’re doing great, meg! hope the next adventure is grand and glorious.

  • Solidarity fist bump it is! Here’s to your next – sure to be fabulous adventure you two!!!

  • Wow, what an interesting post. This is how I think I’ll feel about pregnancy. And lots of my friends confided in me that pregnancy sucks. You sound like you’re doing just fine :)

  • Granola

    Yay Meg and David! Solidarity fist bump!!!!!

    Congrats on the post. As soon as I saw the headline on Facebook I thought “Oh man I think there’s a baby in this one….”

    Also, I went to a wedding last weekend and a friend, who’s about 6 months pregnant, attempted to swing dance her a** off. Firstly, it was awesome, even if she was sad at how difficult it was. Second, I told her “Years from now, I’m going to tell your kid about this moment, that I was here, at this wedding, watching you dance when this baby was growing, and it’s going to be an awesome story.” The thought of getting to tell that to a new tiny person in the future was an amazingly powerful realization.

    Also, yay for passing down torches….

    • Mmouse

      I’m also about 6 months pregnant and went to a wedding a few weekends ago. My husband and I are both big time dancers (I will dance at every given opportunity), so we danced. It was fun, I was comfortable, and I felt like my non-pregnant self for the first time in weeks! I was shocked by how many people commented on my dancing. No one said anything rude and some had positive comments like yours, but I was taken off-guard. Just because my body is busy doing this pretty amazing thing I’m expected to not be myself? I wasn’t aware dancing was on the “don’t” list (let’s not even get started on that damn ridiculous “pregnancy don’t” list!)

    • Kat

      These things do make awesome stories. My mother went water-skiing when she was 6 months pregnant with me, and I love the story :)

      • Not Sarah

        My mom went golfing on her due date with me. (I arrived a few days after the due date.) I find it pretty awesome that at 9 months pregnant, my mom was still going golfing. She was making tee times, just not knowing if she would miss them!

  • Kimberly

    Solidarity fist bumps! And guess what? I’m 27 weeks into making baby #3 and it sucked the first time, sucked kinda less the second time, and still sorta sucks now. The reward is the baby at the end, but I won’t sugarcoat that for you, either: it can suck at times, too. But since I’m on #3, I think you can safely assume that it most definitely doesn’t suck most of the time! :)

    The suckiness was totally why I wanted to write a counter-book to the What to Expect franchise (ew, a movie?) called: Pregnancy Sucks and So Can You. Someday, I shall write it. Someday.

    • Madeline

      LOVE the book idea! I sincerely hope you do write it.

    • meg

      PLEASE DO.

    • One More Sara

      In my opinion, The What To Expect books are pregnancy’s version of the kn*t. I would LOVE to see another side of it!!!!

  • First bumps and happy thoughts and kisses and hugs. I feel like getting married was less scary, less intimidating because of the Older Sisterhood of APW, because you guys had all gone before and done it and come out the other side. Now babies will be less scary because of the smart, sassy woman who have come before.

    • meg


  • Margaret


    You’re so eloquent about such big, difficult topics. I’m just grateful you’re out here writing and producing all the marvelous content that you do.

    I want to share this poem with you, even if it doesn’t line up exactly with news of pregnancy, but I thought you might like it. It’s “The Writer” by Richard Wilbur and it’s just something I tend to reread when I think about family and transitions. Best of luck navigating this liminal time in your life.

    • For totally unrelated reasons, I need this poem in my life right now, and would never have found it or even known to look for it if not for this comment. Thank you!

    • The Writer is my favorite poem. One of my law school professors read it on the last day of every class he taught. The last line “I wish what I wished you before, but harder,” is such an amazing affirmation of love and encouragement.

  • PA

    Meg, I am wishing you, David, and the little one (and of course your greater family) all the best!

  • Elly

    A giant fist bump (and mazel tov!) to you, Meg! And thank you so much for this honest, lovely post and for setting an example of continuing to be exactly who you are while you head off on this new adventure.

    As someone in the pre-engaged state who has been kind of freaking out over the idea that sometime in the next fairly smallish number of years I am likely to be married and having kids and what about my WORK that I love so much…hearing what you have to say is really good and making me a bit teary-eyed. So thank you.

  • Bethany

    Wow, congratulations Meg & David!

    I’m now 33 weeks pregnant with twins; surprisingly I’ve found almost the whole experience enjoyable. Perhaps it was the two years of trying beforehand (plus IVF) or, more likely, I’m just lucky to have a semi-easy pregnancy and to enjoy the way it makes me feel (it helps that I don’t mind being the center of attention or feeling like community property). A couple of younger women have asked me about pregnancy and I have wholeheartedly endorsed it. This post makes me think that I should have added some caveats lest they expect that it’s good for everyone. I really appreciate Meg’s openness that it hasn’t been much fun for her.

    I completely understand why some people don’t like it either because of the physical symptoms or because of the emotional issues that come up (what kind of mom do I want to be, who will I become, etc.) The feeling of potential loss of self is huge. And I can’t predict how I’ll feel after they come out– will I be overwhelmed, will I miss my job (I’m taking a year of maternity leave). I’m guessing in retrospect (for me at least) the pregnancy will seem like the easy part.

    Meg, I respect your decision to want to let your baby grow up offline, but there are so many potential topics/reflections that might come up on your journey, selfishly I hope you might be inspired, occasionally, to let us in on your adventure. I wish you the best of luck for a smooth as possible pregnancy.

    • meg

      Occasionally, I’m sure.

  • Kathleen M

    Solidarity fist bump!
    While I’d love to hear your counter-cultural thoughts on motherhood, I’m relieved that you won’t be focusing on that. I’ve seen lots of blogs turn into “mommy blogs,” as you describe, and it would just be weird if that happened to APW. But let’s keep the conversations on motherhood going! Not thinking about it for a few years, but it’s always good to hear from (HONEST) women who go there before me.

  • Jamie & Max

    Wahoo! How exciting! How terrifying! Pregnancy is so amazing and scary all at the same time. There are so many weird things that happen to your body and brain, and so many of them are a surprise because nobody talks about this shit! While I was lucky in that the physical part of pregnancy was not too bad for me, the emotional exercise was overwhelming sometimes. Preparing your mind to be a parent is SO MUCH HARDER than decorating a nursery (or a baby closet, whatever). But you can do it, and you will do it, and you will be awesome almost all of the time. In my short 11 weeks of parenting experience, I’ve learned that none of us are awesome parents *all* of the time.

    For me, having a baby has been a little bit like getting married. Sometimes hard, sometimes logistically difficult, always fraught with emotions. Also, like getting married, it changed a lot of things in my life, but not EVERYTHING. Which is comforting in that parenthood didn’t take away all of the other things I like to do, and troublesome in that having a baby did not magically make me good at things I wan’t good at before (like getting up in the middle of the night).

    But, back to solidarity fist bumping, this community of people is SO HAPPY for you – even though it’s hard and complicated thing to be pregnant and to raise a child. I love that you’re climbing on a couch pregnant. I moved furniture in the first trimester and went to a water park in the second, and I’m glad I did the things I wanted to do (carefully, of course). I’m also glad for you and your babe’s privacy that you’re not going to abandon APW for a mommy blogging site, but I look forward to seeing how parenthood shapes your view of APW and marriage going forward. And maybe getting a glimpse of your cute little one every now and then (if that feels right for you).

  • Yay and a HUGE fist bump to you Meg! And I know you’ll bring to parenting the wonderful sanity you brought to the crazy wedding world — whether in something like APB or just your thoughtful reflections in APW. Looking back at pregnancy from a 30-year (eeeeeeeek!) perspective; it was that unexpected feeling of OCCUPATION that got me, but in the long run I kind of RE-occupied myself and can say that every minute, month and year of this incredible life has been worth it. And I AM still here, ME not a Mommy, just me still here. And you will be, too — I can’t imagine you as anyone else but MEG.

    BTW, must have been channeling you as I’m about to launch a line of baby announcements, etc. Ha ha ha ha!!

  • Solidarity fistbumps to you, lady! These things are complicated, and I am personally delighted for you that you are able to do this as you wish. I am particularly heartened by your description of your interests pre-pregnancy not being subsumed by OMG PREGNANT INTERESTS ELEVENTY!!!1!!! It very much echoes my own experience with people’s expectations that I only care about wedding planning now, and that I shouldn’t continue to be interested in the things I liked pre-engagement.

    Stay down with your bad self.

    • meg

      If you ask me, lots of pregnancy interests are boring as shit ;) I mean, I’m trying to find a glider I like right now, which is something I’m slightly more interested in (if I never had to think about diapers and someone just told me what to buy, I’d be so down with that) and it’s STILL BORING. Newsflash: it does not have to be interesting, and this too will pass (I hope).

      • CBaker

        My dream glider is not a glider. It is an Eames Lounge chair with a matching ottoman. I can still love old-school style AND nurse a baby, right? Plus, they are super comfortable and some great knock-offs are way less expensive than those gliders.

        Something else not often mentioned in mommy-land, but some babies DON’T EVEN LIKE GLIDERS but prefer rocking, or bouncing, or not moving at all (or only being rocked, bounced, and squoze whilst the adults is standing, never sitting). The darndest thing is you won’t even know till the wee one is in your arms.

  • marina

    Solidarity fist bump! Add me in to the club of people who thought I’d love being pregnant and actually hated it. Having an actual baby is so much better. And gets better and better as she gets older, too.

    In a way, I think being pregnant made me a more active feminist. Because I have a lot of privilege in my day to day life, the way our culture reacts to pregnancy was a surprising pump in the nose of a lot of the ways women and ALL our choices are totally marginalized. Plus I was very, very easily angered–yay hormones. :) I think I’ve been way more willing to speak up about feminism and for myself and for other women since I got pregnant.

  • Elemjay

    This is wonderful news.

    My daughter is 2 next week. Being a parent is great, much better than I had ever expected. Whatever the cultural “noise”, I have found that being a mummy has not fundamentally, radically changed me – I have new or sometimes different priorities, but I am still very much the same person.

  • Madeline

    I hate that I feel I need it, but it’s like this post gives me permission to go ahead and feel the way I feel about pregnancy (among other things). Which for me is mostly terror at the mere prospect of it. Thanks, Meg, and best of luck on your adventure!

    • Madeline

      P.S. On a totally unrelated (and sort of shallow) note: I’m really curious about the origins of the bracelet in the pictures. I have a certain fondness for evil eyes, and that’s one of the most beautiful I’ve seen.

      • meg

        Greece! I got it in Greece (I’m afraid). It’s a traditional bracelet on the Greek Islands, normally with a tiny cross as well. (I saw it on a stylish lady, and asked her). David was like (cough), “YOU CANNOT GET IT WITH THE CROSS.” So we found one without and he bought it for me. For protection, obviously. He said his grandmothers would have approved.

        • Madeline

          I knew it would come with a good story attached! I will have to remember this if I ever get to go to Greece. :)

        • elyse

          my grandmother gave me a red ribbon that i was supposed to wear while pregnant to ward off the evil eye. your bracelet is way better! (and while i didn’t wear the ribbon, i did keep it tucked in between some clothes. because i guess i was at least a little superstitious!)

  • Hannah K

    THANK YOU! This made me so much less scared. I have this feeling that I’m not going to loooooove being pregnant (but will probably try to have a kid at some point…) and it’s nice to hear that that doesn’t necessarily make me a monster.

    • meg

      Monster. It’s crazy how often that word comes up when you’re having complicated feelings. It’s totally the worst.

  • Congratulations, Meg! I can only imagine that parenthood will be a definite adventure with ups & downs. My husband & I have been trying to have a baby for a year & a half &, sadly, our one pregnancy ended in a miscarriage a few months ago. I appreciate your honesty on your pregnancy. May your pregnancy be healthy & uneventful!

    • meg

      Love to you. Fist bumps and encouragement along the road. It’s a perilous journey this one, so much love.

  • Fist bump!! Go Meg!

  • I was just wondering the other day if APB existed. I’m not pregnant, but I’m checking things out. I have yet to find anything that matches how awesome I think APB would be. Maybe if it’s not your wheelhouse, it will eventually be someone’s. I sure would like a sane voice in the storm.

  • Genevieve

    Best of luck to you, Meg! I look forward to reading (even just occasionally, on APW) about your next adventure.

  • Rachel T.

    Sometimes I feel like you (plural for all APWers) are in my brain, thinking my thoughts. With the whole getting married soon thing, I’m STUNNED at the number of people asking me when we’re going to have kids (three people this weekend at my bridal shower.. wtf). I’m not even married yet… wedding is still four months away. Why is everyone rushing me down the heteronormative life path?!?!?! Why can’t I saunter, wander into the forest, pick some berries, and maybe come back to it if I feel like it??

    So, I’ve found myself thinking about whether or not I want kids, want to be pregnant (I see those as two different things), and what kind of parent I would be/want to be if we do this. As a teacher, teaching high school, I’m pretty nervous about the type of child I will raise. So many of my students are just MEAN; I worry about raising a mean child. (On a side note, I just read this New Yorker article and enjoyed the part about us screwing up our children far less than we think we will –

    I’m really relieved to see someone like you confess that pregnancy doesn’t have to up-end parts of myself and who I am, and more importantly, I like the idea of someone like you being a mom, someone who (to me) encompasses a variety of contrary identities that push back against the single story of different “types” of women, wife, mother, motherhood, etc. Perhaps you could do APP (A Practical Parent) and have other women do it, if you don’t feel comfortable giving your own voice?

    Above all else, solidarity fist bump!!! Cheers to being strong and confessing your honest feelings on the subject instead of feeling pressured to “glow” all the time. And above all, I wish you and the baby health and wellness.

    • meg

      Oh God. As a realist, I ask David all the time, “What if we have a kid who’s just an asshole?” He thinks the odds are low, but that’s another thing you’re not supposed to think about that I, at least, do think about. (Though I have some faith that I’m not going to raise any fools.)

      • I alwaysalwaysALWAYS think about this and had no idea it was something people just didn’t discuss. Now I know why everyone I mention it to gives me a weird look…

      • Mmouse

        I’m 28 weeks and my husband & I were talking the other day about what the future may hold for our baby. Will he like sports? The arts? Music? We settled on “as long as he’s not a jerk, we’ve done our job”. It’s got to be a more common thought, but definitely not talked about a lot. I, too, feel confident that we can have a least some hand in raising a kind person – I hope!

      • This is probably my #1 fear in life. Right after biking across bridges. (My fears are 100% rational.)

      • Ha ha ha ha. Duncan is a total asshole. But he’s my little asshole. And we’re working on it. :) At least I know he’s a Democrat.

  • I’m only 2 weeks behind you! I also hate it so far, and also felt guilty about it coming easily to us when I’ve always been ambivalent about kids (until several months ago)! Solidarity fist bumps all around! <3 <3

    • meg

      AMBIVALENCE! Let’s here it for that. (My OB says it’s more common than not, so feel free to borrow her wisdom.)

  • Solidarity fist bump. Thank you for this post. It seems to fit with all the other posts on here about not feeling what you are told you should be feeling and that being okay.

    I really respect your plans to keep on keeping on too.



    • Also, when I saw that this was Adventure Week, I thought to myself what an adventure A and I are on right now with little H, every day watching her grow and just navigating our mornings! So, I’m kinda not surprised by this announcement. Super excited for you, yes!

      • meg

        That was the secret plan, to slip this post in there :)

        • Liz

          SNEAKY SNEAKY.

        • H

          Yeah, I read this post. And went. GAHHHH!!!! How freaking genius is she. Meg planned this alllllll along.

          Solidarity fist bumps anyways!

  • So, as I scroll through the comments and read all the pro-APB/APP stuff popping up, I can’t help but think, “Yes, this would be an awesome site! But just because Meg is smart and funny and insightful doesn’t mean she has to write the whole darn thing… if we want it, let’s make it!”

    I bet if readers here send in enough posts about pregnancy/parenting/etc. the APW staff just won’t have a choice but to give them their own category, at least ;) Maybe one day it can be its own site with its own editor under Meg’s Practical Umbrella, but many good things start out small. Like babies.

    When I get to the whole baby thing, I’ll totally write a post for y’all.

    PS–This is another discussion, but having my own mini-business draws a lot of suggestions from people on their great ideas of what I should do with it. Most of the time, I agree that it’s a wonderful idea, but it’s just not something I’m interested in pursuing. I like making bow ties, but I don’t feel the need to embroider onsies with them, or also produce cummerbunds, or any number of other projects.

  • Danielle

    Can I just EXACTLY this whole post?? Like I always want to do with everything you write, Most Amazing Miss Meg!? Congratulations to you and David, and thanks for making me feel like I don’t have to be excited about babyness either. I’m still going to do it (hopefully), and be happy, but I don’t have to revel in all the gross babyness! Thanks for your sane and grounded opinions always.

  • Daynya

    Wow, MAJOR fistbump action coming atcha! So happy for you, and so inspired by you.

    As my wedding draws near, my thoughts on having children have done a total 180, and are now teetering somewhere in the middle. I knew I wanted at least one, and so did my fiance. Then, we started thinking about what else we could be doing. Obvious stuff, but there are a lot of trips we both want to take, I want to see lions in Africa, and swim with whales, and I want to paint, and I want my me time. I’m scared sh*tless that if we decide to have a baby, all will be lost. I know very well that we can work hard enough to make it all fit, but I’m more afraid that I won’t want to. That I’ll be content going to play groups, or watching movies in my pajamas and never going anywhere again, that I won’t mind watching myself slip away. And that I’ll hate being pregnant. I’m so scared of all of these options, including regretting not having kids while I was in my early 30s. I’m not sure how to reconcile all of this, but I am certainly inspired. It’s magnificent to watch you not be completely swallowed up by baby blogs, shopping for all of the baby things, and a complete obsession with your offspring. It gives me hope that we can travel for a year or two, try to have a child, and make sure to carve out time for ourselves, and continue our lives after a child might arrive. It might not be the easiest plan, but thank you for giving me hope that it can work!

    • meg

      I’ll keep you posted, but I find the idea of not caring about the stuff I cared about unlikely. I’ve already seen lions in Africa, but I want to see a lot more of the world, and I don’t see that desire going away any time soon. (Also, we traveled like CRAZY people during our first 2+ years of marriage). I think giving everything up would actually be harder for me, so there you go.

      • Daynya

        I definitely want us to travel like crazy people as well. That will end up putting me mid thirties if/when we decide to give it a shot. I sure hope we can cram a lot into a couple of years!

  • A hearty solidarity fist bump from me! This post, as so many of your posts do, seem to came exactly when I needed it. Having just moved to a small town where people find it really weird that I’m 28 and don’t have kids, I’ve been really freaked out about the whole question of children. I worry that some how the minute I become pregnant I will morph into someone who isn’t me anymore, or that someone this small town and it’s conservative and unquestioningly traditional ideas will leech into my skin and I won’t be able to be the parent I want to be. I’m afraid I’ll take the easy road and just be the kind of parent and person that fills this town. (Not that there is anything wrong with people or parents here, they’re just not me or how I want to be.) Thank you for reassuring me that I will still be me, and will still like the same things and won’t instantly changing into the stereotypical pregnant woman who is nothing beyond her pregnancy. Thank you. (My husband will thank you too ’cause now I can stop stressing about it so much.)

  • Krystal

    Definitely a solidarity fist bump! When I was pregnant (unintended pregnancy, open adoption now) I had to deal with a ton of people being very judgemental about my choices. I for one, continued to rock climb and go caving until I was too big to do it comfortably. I did it safely, with doctor’s approval and special “abdominal protection”, but I still had to deal with a lot of people telling me that it was the wrong way to do it. So, good for you carrying on your life the way you and your husband want to! Just remember to keep that attitude after your child is born. :) One of my best friends is a single mom, and my favorite thing about her parenting style is that she does all the same stuff she normally would, and doesn’t let the fact that she has a one year old with her stop her in the least. Her comes with her to dinners and parties and our occassional runs around the park. Heck, he’s even coming on our bachelorette trip to the Grand Canyon! I have no doubt that it makes both their lives happier and more fulfilled, and I have always respected her attitude about it.

    Best of luck, and congratulations!

    P.S. – When I was pregnant ginger was my best friend…raw ginger to nibble on or make tea out of, and hard ginger candies to suck on…

  • Woooo! I hope this next adventure is everything you hope it to be, and then some.

  • Frannie

    Congrats Meg! Fantastic news from a fantastic lady. So happy for you. Sending you glad tidings from Boston. xx

  • Class of 1980

    Well, I AM going to shout …CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Not because you are pregnant, but because of what it means … that you will be welcoming a new family member into your life. And this tiny person is a mystery right now, which is rather fun to think about.

    That’s a beautiful photo btw. So what if you don’t enjoy the state of pregnancy? Some do and some don’t, and it affects everyone differently. Besides, it’s a limited engagement. ;)

    One thing I do know … you and David are on solid footing and this lucky baby will have a wonderful family.

    • meg

      LIMITED ENGAGEMENT. Or as David keeps saying, “Only temporary.”

    • Mmouse

      “…CONGRATULATIONS!!! Not because you are pregnant, but because of what it means … that you will be welcoming a new family member into your life.”

      You put into words exactly what I couldn’t figure out about how I feel about the “congratulations” thing. I get that people feel strange being congratulated on something they had little control over, but I also feel like its not inappropriate. Now I have words to describe why I feel that way: I take it as an expression of excitement over what’s to come for our family and not un-earned praise.

  • KB

    “Turns out, all that cultural messaging I got about how everything would change and all my opinions would all shift after I got pregnant was wrong. I’m still just me (now more easily trapped by the couch).”

    This made me laugh out loud. Solidarity fist bump like whoa!!! And good for you being strong in your choice to not shift the perspective of your work just because you’re having kids. I personally thought it was SO WEIRD when The Knot started doing The Nest and then The Bump (I’m sorry, THE BUMP???). I mean, A Practical Baby would be a very interesting site (maybe a future partnership?) because lord knows there are way too many people out there who buy into the Ooh Shiny and All the Things when a baby comes into the picture. But I think it’s great that you can recognize and articulate why that person is just not you right now. In the end, you gotta roll your own way – and many fistbumps to you for doing so!

  • Fist bump!

    Just shy of 20 weeks over here too. I go back and forth between being excited and really nervous. I don’t even know any lullabies. I know, super silly, but it’s one of those random things I worry about. That and feeling inadequate since I don’t intuitively know if it’s a girl or a boy. And we still call the baby it or just “baby” and haven’t come up with a cute nickname. Of course that’s the small stuff that’s rather irrelevant. Overall I think I’m in some sort of pregnancy middle ground. I haven’t felt it being this super spiritual thing nor have I hated it. I’m just sharing my body with my baby and doing my best to take care of us both.

    The real stuff I haven’t really touched yet besides reading birth stories. I loved Peggy Vincent’s “Baby Catcher” book and would highly recommend it (though just as an interesting read since I haven’t gone through birth yet).

    And may you enjoy (and not feel guilty if you don’t) the second half of your pregnancy!

    • meg

      Does anyone really intuitively know if it’s a girl or a boy? Or do they just get lucky 50% of the time with the guess?

      I figure our lullaby will be Summertime. David want’s to raise a kid that understand’s melancholy right away ;)

      • I’m going with lucky. I was CONVINCED I was having a boy and we chose not to find out in advance. I was so surprised when my wife announced, She’s a Girl!!! I just couldn’t believe it. It was the most awesome surprise ever.

      • Kathleen M

        Hah! I think I like your husband.

      • Class of 1980

        I don’t know. My mom did say that she knew. She said she was never surprised by what sex we were when we were born.

        Funny thing is that my mom isn’t “woo-woo” whatsoever. She’s a skeptic.

      • marina

        My father in law is six for six with guessing his grandkids. It’s a little spooky.

    • Jashshea

      I call all my friends pre-birth babies “the human” until I know the sex for certain. And sometimes I still call them the new human after. It’s not done to be cute, but rather to remind myself that they’re going to be full grown humans some day and I have to play nice. I don’t anticipate feeling differently when/if I’m harvesting my own human.

    • Mmouse

      Oh my gosh, my coworkers flipped when I called the baby “it” for so long. What am I supposed to say – “the fetus”? Even now that the ultrasound said he’s a boy, I still say it sometimes. Im just not a cutesy nickname person. The things people focus on is nuts.

  • Elena

    Wow! Great post. I immediately flashed on a post by Ariel of the Offbeat Empire entitled, “Being a mom isn’t my most interesting feature.” Very good reminder that while having a child is a huge decision and certainly life-change, it doesn’t negate the other amazing parts of a parent’s life.

    Also: can we make fist bumping the new norm for women as they announce their pregnancies? Because it’s amazing. Fist Bump!

    • meg

      Indeed. I love that post by Ariel.

  • JenMac

    Aaaw! Huge fist bump to you!
    And thank you for writing this wonderful, true post.
    It made me tear up because all the honesty here at AWP has helped me so much in my own process of becoming engaged and starting to plan my wedding; without it I don’t know what I would have done with all the people asking me, “Are you SO happy? Are you just loving it?” Because while I am happy and I do love aspects of it, there’s also a lot that’s totally freaky (change!) and my feelings are complicated. And because of you and the many wonderful people here, I not only feel comfortable with my true reaction, but I really value it and value sharing it.

    I love that you’re sharing your true feelings about the experience of being pregnant, and that in doing so, you’re getting honesty back from people. I so appreciate how much you value and promote honesty about the complicated experience of being a woman. Thank you so much for it.

  • Stephanie

    fist bump!

  • Fist bumps for sure!

    It’s funny. I genuinely loved being pregnant, despite the 6 months of terrible heartburn. Even now, with a 4 month old baby, I miss being pregnant with a physical pang. Which makes me feel silly at times, but there we are.

    However. Once Jess was born, people kept asking me how much I loved her and how great I though motherhood was. And most of the time, I said the polite conventional answer, but it was a total lie. PPD kicked my ass starting from the first day – it was so bad they wouldn’t let me leave the hospital. It was six weeks before I stopped crying constantly, and months before I love my baby. And feeling like a failure for the birth experience I had and for not feeling the right things for my baby just made everything worse.

    This is no a ‘you”ll see”, I promise! It’s just my own experience and one that I couldn’t find when I was sad, and hope one day Practical Family or the like could become a venue for more honest stories. And if so, I have a post about how pregnancy and engagment are exactly the same thing, in the eyes of the world. :)

    • meg

      Fistbump, girlfriend. In more ways than you know!

  • NB

    Meg, I’ve been following APW for a long time, and all the while admiring you from that weird, internety space that the internet writer/reader sometimes inhabits: somewhere between “I would totally hug you if I met you in person” and “But really, you only know my online presence, homeslice.”

    Anyway. I think APW is every kind of rad and inspiring, I think your writing is every kind of rad and inspiring, and as a young woman trying to figure out how to get all of my ducks in a row, marching neatly from Here to Whatever The Future Holds (How do they get there? Can you take ducks on the Metro?), I’ve admired the work you’ve done and the alternately terrifying, courageous, and inspiring choices you’ve made that have taken you to the career you have today (and to the one that you’ll have tomorrow).

    Weddings are awesome, kids are awesome, but pregancy scares the everloving beejezus out of me. Still, knowing that you’re going about being Meg, Pregnant-Style, is weirdly calming to this particularly neurotic corner of the internet, even if we never hear another peep from you about it. You’re a role model to those of us who are coming up after you, and I hope you know that some day, if I am ever in your shoes, I shall look out from the paper bag that I am hyperventilating into and say to myself: “Hey. Cool Meg from the internet made it through this. It’s gonna be ok.”

    So: Yay for you! Yay for David! Yay for Baby TBD! And thanks for just Being, in a way that the rest of us can concieve of a way to be that is ok, even if it doesn’t always track with Great Aunt Lola’s second cousin’s expectations for it. You’re rad.

    • meg

      Thank you. In a lot of ways.

  • Fist bumps to new adventures! Thank you for being so honest. :)

  • I wanted to flail and give you a HUGE virtual hug and several solidarity fist bumps.

    And thank you so, so much, for continuing to foster this community.


  • Brefiks

    Wonderful news! Thank you for representing on the women who still want to be themselves while parenting tip (which, by the way, no one ever assumes men WON’T do.)

  • Here’s what I want to say: it stays this complicated and strange and familiar and peculiar and confusing. It will never be what you expect it to be. Knowing you through this blog, Meg, and of course not even a tiny bit beyond this blog at ALL, I also want to say that for you, and for thoughtful, conscientious women like you, it may always be even more bewildering that you think seems possible or appropriate.

    Also, fist bump. And congratulations. You’ve got my email address if you want to commiserate, question, or clap, or cry.

  • Dutch

    Oh lord have mercy, THANK YOU for being so honest about pregnancy. I too am just past 20 weeks (22 weeks and 4 days to be precise which is apparently what people are looking for when they ask how far along you are because when you wave your hands and say “Ummm… 20ish weeks? Or something?” and then look at your partner for guidance, you are immediately cast into this weird category of very naughty pregnant ladies – “I can’t believe you don’t know that!”), and I’m so exactly with you on the whole “pregnancy? Is WEIRD.”-thing. I too always thought, as a liberal arts, yoga teacher, kid/baby-loving person, that I’d be more of a mother-earth-type pregnant lady. I thought that I’d be happy and glowy and just beaming with LIFE but dude, migraines everyday? Near-constant nausea? And then when I’m not nauseous and I can finally eat something, I either get terrible heartburn for hours afterwards or I feel so huge that it’s like everyday is Thanksgiving and every burp is a Vurp??? UGH! And I particularly hate that people are keeping track of how much my boobs have grown! When did this become okay???

    It’s so complicated to try to explain to people that while I love making this life and I (mostly) love (while simultaneously being a wee bit terrified) the fact that we’re going to be parents, I’m also really not enjoying being pregnant. For me the whole experience has actually been eerily similar to planning our wedding – everyone around you has these grand “best time of your life” expectations and for me, just keeping my head above water is hard enough without also having to smile and pretend to enjoy it.

    ::FISTBUMP to the Baby Bump!::

    • Mmouse

      I’ve got to exactly the not being fully aware of my “weeks”. It’s hard to keep track unless I’m close to a milestone week. In the beginning someone asked my due date, I said “um, sept 20th? I think?” People stared at me like I had two heads. Oh my stars, how could I not know the due date!? Gah, it’s not like he’s really coming out that day! I just need to know the general area, right?

  • C

    I saw the title of this post and I knew it was going to be a pregnancy announcement. I decided not to read it at my desk because every time I read a pregnancy announcement I spend all of my energy trying not cry at my desk. Infertility. It turns goodness sour. But when I found a quiet spot alone to sit and eat my lunch, I opened it up and read it. And it was wonderful. It was honest and pure and it made me feel like we’re all still on the same team. I usually feel like I lose someone to the other team when I read their bursting with joy announcements. Not that they’re not genuine or that they shouldn’t be bursting with joy. I guess I just want to say thank you for being you, for staying you, for being on the team. I don’t know what the team is. Team Woman. Team Life-is-Complicated. Team Practical, I guess. Go Team.

    • As someone else in your boat, I can echo that this post was so thoughtful and wonderful to read, even coming from a place where these things are not always so nice to read. Sending much love to you Meg. (And C)

    • meg

      The best comment of a horrible day. Love. Hugs. Slushy lemonades along the way for encouragement. The secret is we never really seem to arrive, so the best we can do is share hugs and refreshing beverages and snacks. Trust me, I’m still on the team too.

      • C

        Oh, also, I’m going to see a friend of mine tomorrow for the first time since she had her baby. We became friends via APW and I was a little nervous about what it would be like between us now that she has a baby, I guess I bought into the whole having-a-baby-changes-everything narrative. But after reading your post today I’m not nervous anymore. She’s my friend, the same friend she was before the baby. The same practical, snarky, cynical lady she was before. And we’re going to continue our beautiful friendship. Of course. :)

        • meg

          OF COURSE!

  • also: bracelet, mentioned twice in captions. details, please? so delicate and pretty

    • meg

      It’s from the greek islands. It’s a traditional protection bracelet there (often with a cross as well, but I didn’t get that one for obvious reasons). I saw it on the stylish young local girls, and asked about it. Then went off to find one.

      • thanks. that was going to torture me. : )

  • H

    Also, I think what we’re responding to in the great picture of Meg is not how amazing Meg looks, but how much she looks like herself despite her being pregnant. Which is kinda the point of the post. Ah. So much love.

    • meg

      Ah, well, THAT’s a complement I’ll take. Weirdly, it takes some work to keep looking like yourself during pregnancy. (Particularly given that most pregnancy pants for sale are for some reason wide legged capris? OMG WUT.)

  • I can’t even tell you how much of a relief it is for me when pregnant women say, “Hey, I still feel like exactly the same person I was before.”

    I remember you running around on the day of the photoshoot reminding everyone taking Instagrams that you weren’t “pregnant on the Internet yet.” It was a funny phrase, but I think an apt metaphor for how you’re approaching the public/private divide with your family. You’re pregnant, but not “on” or “for” the Internet.

    Mazel tov again!

    • meg

      Exactly. Thanks Sharon, and thanks for co-starring in the picture. The instax I took of you is gorgeous.

  • Madeline

    Meg, you’re a legend. Onwards!

  • Alice

    Meg and David,

    Congratulations to you both on spawning new life.

    Many fist bumps to you. Thank you for articulating many of the real life parts of real life. I have always figured being pregnant would feel quite alien as you lose your primary ranking as your body’s life conduit while you prep to bring another into the world. Still, it’s a relief to know that you can still be the same person you’ve always been.

    This is indeed the beginning of a new adventure. Good luck and godspeed! Onwards!

  • Skip

    big fistbumps from a new reader who has just spent a week combing through all the archives.

    Its interesting how many commentors have shared their fear/worry that in having a baby they might lose themselves. I felt that way too when I was pregnant, and in the 6 years since I have found myself snarkily replying to people who suggest I’m selfish for still having my own personal goals and dreams: “Apparently I failed to get the mandatory lobotomy before getting discharged from the Obstetrics wing”. I am a mom, but I’m still a person too, and I’m glad but not surprised that you knew that from the very beginning.

    In fact that sense of personhood is what drew me into APW in the first place, as a divorcee, as a woman who called off a wedding, as a single mom and now preparing for a new wedding, I have the same fear about marriage that many people do about motherhood: can I do this and still be me? That first marriage was misery, that aborted engagement had felt like drowning, and now, engaged to someone who is a true partner I feel the old sinking fear: in amongst the tulle and the which-ring-best-represents-our-inner-selves-while-fully-reflecting-our-shared-values I worry that I have lost the sense of my inner self. I came to APW not for advice on how to conduct a wedding, but for thoughts and explorations about what weddings mean, what marriage means, what life means, and how we can all still be People: male, female, a bit of both, neither, whatever: *people*. That sense of personhood is missing from so much of the WIC/”typical” wedding blogs/sites, its missing from so many parenting sites, its missing from a lot of cultural experience. We are people. APW has become for me a quiet place where I can meditate on what all of this change means in my life, without having to cling to my personhood with a death grip, and I thank everyone here for that.

    One of the most (maybe only) helpful words of wisdom for me on parenting was an old fragment of a legend that states that each child consults with God and they jointly choose the mother that is right for that child’s own personality, needs, etc. In that sense having a baby is very much like getting married: spouses choose one another not because they think the other has the right look for some eternal commercial of domestic bliss, but because they feel the other has the right qualities to build a loving comitted bond, and to weather the inevitable storms. I believe this in regards to my son, that I am the right person to mother him, because of who I truly am, and not because I had the right chromosonal mix to produce offspring. Thanks to all of you here, and especially Meg for starting it in the first place, I’m coming to feel more comfortable with marriage too, that I am the right person to go through life with my fiance, simply because of who I am.

    Which is a very long way of saying: thank you, and warm wishes for your growing family, and big, big fistbump!

    • meg

      Bach atcha!

  • Kate

    Solidarity fist bump for sure! And I’m right there with you in the “pregnancy has also been emotionally difficult, and physically alien” camp. Currently I’m in the home-stretch with 4 weeks to go (In July. In DC. Can we all say “unplanned”?) and every time someone tells me I’m glowing, I am happy to correct them with “No, actually, I’m sweating. Sweating like a toilet tank in Tijuana!” So, here’s to you and here’s to both of us finding a sanity-preserving childcare worker! All the best :)

  • Lovely news! Congratulations on the honest, thoughtful post and fist bumps all around for this adventure!

  • cef

    fist bump! I’m six-almost-seven weeks now and “surreal” is the word I use most. whats interesting to me is how little i want to tell people– my parents, friends, i would be fine not telling anyone until baby arrived. pregnancy feels so personal that telling people seems… wrong. it feels like it shouldn’t be a public thing. so thank you for speaking to the real feelings of pregnancy not the feelings that the world seems to think i should have. i found myself nodding along to everything you said.

    • meg

      Agreed. To be frank, I never would have announced the pregnancy if I didn’t feel like I had to.

    • Other lady

      Extra-special fist bump from someone who is also starting the seventh week and still not quite sure what to make of all this. :)

      What I get the urge to say right now is more along the lines of, “No really, I’m not angry with you or anything! I look so zonked out and grumpy because my body is just kicking my ass right now.”

  • I was pregnant once, for about ten weeks. I hated every moment. I was puking for most of that time, and could hardly keep anything down. (And then I had an abortion, which was an enormous relief.) I do hope to get pregnant again someday, and have a baby. I don’t expect to enjoy pregnancy any more the next time around, although I do hope to have better access to meds that will keep back the nausea. I expect to be exhausted and to have joint problems, at least. It’s an experience I want to have anyway, just to have it, to have the experience of being pregnant when I wanted to be pregnant.

    I was actually dreaming about pregnancy just before I woke up, come to think of it.

    Congratulations. Fist bump.

  • Emily

    Gosh, what an amazing outpouring of support! Here’s a teary-eyed fist bump!

  • Mazel tov! I look forward to your occasional future posts about parenthood and how if affects your life and your marriage. Your baby is so lucky to have such a fantastic mother who will teach him/her how to see the world with an open mind.

  • Zoo

    How exciting! Good luck on your newest adventure.

    I’m actually quite glad to hear that A Practical Baby isn’t in the plans – there are plenty of places on the good ol’ internet where I can find parenting and baby information, but APW is a really unique feminist voice. I would, however, be really interested in anything you (or other APW readers) have to say on the parenting/marriage nexus. How do you nurture your marriage while going through a major life change like having a baby? How does parenthood affect your marriage? What does our cultural dialogue tell us about marriage with kids? It seems like the only message I hear is “After you have a baby, your marriage will crumble and your life will be over. So, when are you two finally going to spawn?” And that just can’t be right. I’d love to hear from other people who are willing to speak honestly about the challenges and rewards of expanding your family. And thank you, Meg, as always, for setting the example!

    • meg

      Yeah. THAT I’m pretty sure we’re going to talk about.

    • Jennie

      This. The thing I’d love to hear from this community (and in our culture I think needs to be talked more about) is how bringing small person(s) into a relationship affects said relationship.

      As someone who works with pregnant and newly parenting families, I get told regularly what a fantastic and well prepared mom I will make. MAYBE. But what about my partner? How will our relationship look when we add a small person?

      Thanks for an open and honest post Meg, I respect you setting your boundaries from the beginning. Big Fist Bump to you on your new adventure.

  • Lauren

    Solidarity fist-bump, Meg!

  • Mmouse

    Excited fist bumps! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on being pregnant. Ive been reading for almost 3 years and kind of assumed you’d tell us if you had a baby once it was already here. I’m glad you seem like you’re looking for a comfortable balance between posting about how parenthood interacts with life and letting your child grow up “offline”. I do hope we’ll get the opportunity to see more thoughtful posts surrounding parenthood in the way that APW always delivers thoughtful posts about marriage and weddings. Mostly because this community is such a loving, respectful, wonderful place for women to share their experiences and I feel like much of what I’ve seen for “mommies” isn’t so kind.

    In the vein of actually being pregnant (I’m about 28 weeks) and feeling “not discussed” feelings – I’m so there! I feel guilty sometimes that it’s been easy. Easy to get pregnant, easy to be pregnant, easy to make some of the Big Decisions of Parenting. And, since it’s been so easy, I feel bad telling people I’m ambivalent about being pregnant. I’m as happy as I was before getting pregnant. Some parts are cool and I love this thing I’m helping to grow, but I don’t think about my baby all the time and I don’t particularly feel this crazy connection to him. It’s great to have a place where women can share their true experiences.

    • meg

      I would have told you about the baby only when it arrived if I thought I could get away with it (and I would have spared myself a lot of misery today as well). But it was getting HARD, you guys. I speak, I get photographed, etc. The past month I’ve had to ask people for “shoulders up” photos so many times I can’t count. So I knew the jig was almost up ;)

  • Jennie

    Dear Meg,

    I love you and all you do! I’ve been watching a lot of Feminist Frequency videos lately and feeling kinda bummed that women’s REAL stories are left-out of mainstream media…that there’s no public forum for people to connect to and understand the internal emotional struggles women deal with. But then I read a post like this and I’m reminded — “Oh yeahh, that’s why I love A Practical Wedding so much!” I come here to see how other women are living their lives, choosing their partners, and handling difficult times. We usually don’t feel the way society expects us to feel about things — and that’s okay!

    Well, I do hope you post more about your pregnancy and being a mother. I’ve reached the time in my life where I REALLY want a kid, but there’s so much internal struggle I wasn’t prepared for. For example: how will I leave and then reenter the workforce? what if I WANT to work? that makes me a bad Mom, right? what if I don’t want to work? that makes me a bad engineer, right? I wish my body didn’t have to be hijacked for a 1+ years, and yet I also kind of look forward to it. Like you said, it’s complicated…

    Anyways, I wish you all the best throughout your pregnancy. Double fist-bump!

  • As prescribed, no congratulations on the tiny human, BUT thank you for writing such an honest post. Last week hubs and I had a Big Baby Talk that wasn’t a whole lot of fun. I haven’t figured out how/if I should write a post about it, but I do want to thank you for specifically talking about the weirdness that is pregnancy. And how it doesn’t necessarily have to change your whole Awesome-You thing you’ve got going on.

    Also, I’m really glad you’re keeping the tiny human private. and tiny. and it’s own offline self. BIG fist bump for that! (not that I don’t want to see a cute pic once in a while)

  • Chi

    I heard from a pathologist that the fetus taxes its host’s organs by 30%. Not sure why having to function at 70 percentile is supposed to be a wonderful experience.

    Healthy and happy wishes to mom, dad and child!

  • Elaine

    Yay to staying Meg! I spent the first year of my marriage totally unsure I wanted a kid, ever, largely because I’ve seen a lot of people totally consumed by parenthood in a way I knew I didn’t want. My best friend went from super social, workaholic attorney to stay-at-home mommy blogger who refuses to leave her kids with a babysitter. Ever. (I say this in a totally nonjudgmental way, btw. She is a super intelligent, kick-ass lady who LOVES being a parent and is happier than ever; being a SAHM is truly her bliss. I just don’t think this is right for me). However, recently, I’ve met a number of awesome mamas of young children who travel, have vibrant careers, run marathons, go on crazy adventures, have amazing relationships with their significant others, actively pursue non-kid interests, etc., and it’s seriously made me want to cry with relief. As other posters have insinuated, it seems like society tells us that, to truly experience motherhood, we have to lose our former selves, and while I can buy into growing and changing, I just can’t buy into that. Major fist bumps, Meg, for your honesty!

  • Amber

    Man this is one lucky baby. Excellent news!

  • I cannot even tell you how much I love this post. I, too, get super creeped out/discouraged when I hear from mom-friends that I will completely change when I have kids. I like who I am, and feel like I’ll be me, maybe just more so me, once I get pregnant.

    I need a tatoo that says “being a woman is complicated…” Maybe a shirt…

  • Angela

    Meg, thank you for putting yourself out there and doing your normal thing! Here’s a fist bump to solidarity and not being afraid to terrify onlookers.

  • Melissa

    Fist bumps all around! Thank you for sharing your wonderful news and your experience from your perspective. It’s reassuring to me, even though I am far from being ready to attempt pregnancy and motherhood. APW is just that–reminding us all to join practicality to the rest of our lives and to work at being grounded, aware, and happy. Your experience of being pregnant and becoming a mother and a bigger family will only broaden all of this.

  • This post….ah. This post is so great on so many levels, but mainly because it’s so much of what I feel about engagement. I’m sure it’s even more obnoxious and “SQUEE!” when there is a baby involved. Also, I’m sure it involves WAY more unsolicited and unwanted touching, loss of control, and FEAR, and I respect that you are going to honor that, and honor your family’s privacy. I have no doubt you will handle these life changes with your signature grace.

    Instead of congratulations, can I say, “Best wishes!”? (This is not entirely a rhetorical question…what IS the right thing to say to big announcements like pregnancy and engagement that isn’t annoying/presumptuous/stereotypical? I felt super weird about being congratulated on my engagement and I am never sure what to say about new pregnancies until I know how the parents-to-be are feeling about it. Perhaps Team Practical can help.)

  • YAY! I was in a lousy mood at the end of this work day, and now I am positively glowing for you. :)

    As much as I see your very valid point about not wanting to transition to “A Practical Baby,” you’re already mentioning things that blow my mind. And I want to know more, and know that, just like with wedding planning, There Is No Normal.

    Congratulations and Fistbumps and Big Mushy Hugs.

  • Melissa the Researcher

    Fist bumps for your new adventure!

    Solidarity for feeling however it is that you feel, full stop!

    Many, many good wishes for you and your family as you go onwards to November (and beyond)!

  • virtual high five!!! very exciting!

  • Solidarity fist bump and a hearty cheers on the good news. And a simple congratulations on being brave.

  • Marisol

    Big ol’ fist bump to you! I’m looking forward to my own experience, whatever that may be and I’m comforted whenever I hear women being truthful about their own experience. I hope I am so lucky to do the same.

  • one soul

    Absolutely with you on every step of the way through this new adventure, my dear. The only certain thing in life is the uncertainty of where it will lead us, but regardless, in your company, it’s guaranteed to be one hell of an amazing ride.

    • meg

      Sniffle sob.

  • JT

    Loved this post more than I can say. I always assumed I would have kids, but now that it’s actually time to start thinking about it… I’m totally freaked out by the idea of being pregnant, giving birth, and giving up too many other things I want to be a parent. It was wonderful (as always) to get your perspective, Meg, as well as the many insights offered by the wise women of the APW community in the comments.

    Wishing you the best on this great adventure.

  • Lisa B.

    I have a friend who is currently pregnant with twins. She’s super excited to be having babies, but all we do is talk about how gross and weird it is, lol. She’ll be sitting on the couch, and one of the babies will move, so you can see her arm poking out of her belly, and we’ll both squeal disgustedly. It’s like a little alien. But! We are both counting down the days until they’re born. :) I am very happy for you.

  • First off, congrats!

    Secondly, I am SO glad that you wrote this. I have been completely guilt ridden lately about working too much and not spending more quality time with Aiden. But the thing is that I wasn’t feeling guilty about what I was doing, I was feeling guilty because everyone around me is expecting me to feel guilty for working so much. This made me feel ok about everything.

    Thank you.

  • There is so much goodness in this post – the baby of course, but the honesty and emotions (good, bad and ambivalent) are just so good. Thank you as always for sharing just the right amount of personal stuff and opening the door to new conversations.

    Cheers to the new adventures this takes you on, beacuse what is life without LOTS of adventures!

  • Melissa

    Oh man, I’m a constant reader and never poster, but I’m feeling inspired. Huge Fist Bump! For being pregnant and still being you! I’m at almost 27 weeks with our first, and run a summer camp 4 hours away from my husband (my busiest time of the year in my third trimester, huh). I constantly want to shout at the top of my lungs, it’s okay, I’m still me! A hearty thank you for making me feel not so alone.

  • Sheesus, how did I miss this???? Anyway. A belated solidarity fist-bump to you. Maybe not in exact solidarity, but well, being a woman is complicated, and we all could use more fist bumps with each other, I think. Here’s hoping that the rest of this journey goes smoother for you, before the next one begins.

  • Victwa

    Just finished “The Mask of Motherhood”– somewhat deeply troubling, but the premise of the book is that there’s all this cultural stuff around women not being really honest about their experiences of motherhood. At 36 weeks and counting, it was good and worth reading. I kind of think the cultural stuff around motherhood might just make the WIC look like small potatoes.

    While I’m totally looking forward to meeting this small person inside of me, I’m REALLY ready to have my body back. I don’t like not being able to put my shoes on easily, or go for a run, or eat as much as I want to, and I’m OVER THE HEARTBURN.

    That said, welcome to the adventure!

  • LBD

    Late to the party from a busy busy day off-nets, but totally coming in for the solidarity fist-bump!

  • blimunda

    Also late to the party. Been offline enjoying my day off from work, baking a pie for my craving halfway pregnant sister :)
    Want a piece?
    Hugs and fist bumps. Thank you for the good news. It’s nice to hear you’re always you and your baby will be him/her, not public property.

  • Nye

    So very happy for you Meg and David. I cant wait to meet the little and see you guys again of course. Congratulations and love.

  • Emily Elizabeth

    Huge fist-bumps for you both – I look forward to reading whatever you do choose to write about!

  • Meghan

    B’sha’ah tovah! All the best to you, David, and baby!

    This site is super special to me in that it helped me decide to get married to my long term partner and for that I thank you, Meg (he thanks you too after 8 years of lobbying!). Watching APW become a place to talk candidly and thoughtfully about being a woman in society today has made me feel like I had a community of link-minded people working hard to find their happy medium. I am sure you will find ways to incorporate this new life adventure that we’ll all appreciate and hope they are ways that make you comfortable. Thank you again! Congratulations!

    • Meghan

      OH! And I JUST graduated from law school and resurfaced the beautiful post about you and David sharing it for my partner to read. So double solidarity fist bumps all around!!

  • Another fist bump for you- from one mama to another, I can’t wait to see where it takes you.

  • Kari

    I’m due in November as well, and I like reading APW way more than thinking about baby stuff. Also, I liked registering for wedding presents way more than registering for baby stuff. I’d almost skip the baby registry all together and let people buy whatever the heck they want but people seem to depend on registries these days. Wedding presents are lifetime gifts, to be used daily or monthly or on special occasions. They’re the practical parts of the life my husband and I now have together and the life we are sharing with our friends, our family, and now our child.

    In contrast, the baby phase is short, and baby things are not what I am eager to be surrounded with, so it’s hard to get excited even though I am excited about the baby itself, just not the things. So, fist bump to you, Meg! I’m sure our babies will turn out just fine with the inadvertently 2nd-most-safe stroller we purchase when we don’t want to read one more over-dramatized online review.

    • meg

      Well I like *writing* APW way more than I like reading stroller reviews, so we’re made for each other!

  • Adi

    Meg, I have SO MUCH RESPECT for your decision to not let your womanhood be overtaken by motherhood. Motherhood is an incredible thing, but I strongly believe that you can’t be a good mother if that’s all you are. And keeping your bellybump personal and off the blog? Fist-bumps to THAT. If baby ever makes its way on here, whatevs, but doing what’s best for your family right now, despite what I’m sure us a huge push for you to lead us into mommyhood as you did into wifedom? Strong.

    But most importantly, I LOVE THAT BRACELET AND WHERE DID YOU GET IT?? Sooo delicate and beautiful!!

    • meg

      The greek islands, I’m afraid (or maybe it’s just an excuse to go there?) It’s traditional there.

  • I am excited to see where your journey takes you. I know that you and David will be amazing parents. It’s reassuring to think of you being pregnant and having a kid in your own way…being honest and staying true to who you are in the process. Makes me feel more confident that it is possible to raise a child in a way that is not too represented in what I hear and what I see when I look around at many of the parents around me. So thank you for sharing some about what I imagine must be a complex emotional and physical journey. Sending you all the best and lots of naps.

  • Angie

    I felt lucky to have several friends who were either recently pregnant or half-way through when I found out we were expecting. They became much more honest when I started asking “Is this normal? Cause this normal is weird and kind of sucks.” I keep telling myself the end product will be worth the effort. In the meantime, I just finished “Great with Child” by Beth Ann Fennelly. It’s fantastic, poetic and incredibly down to earth. No scare tactics or sugar coating – just a collection of honest experiences with a little bit of wisdom. Definitely worth the read.

  • Meg,

    Thank you so much for sharing your feelings about the societal pressures to get pregnant, being pregnant, and becoming a mother (or female parent :)) I have been struggling so much with the thought of my life changing in a way I’m not prepared for, or that I want for that matter. It feels reassuring to know that other people feel this way too and that you’d rather shoe shop than read baby blogs. I’m there with you girl! I too rarely worry about screwing my kid up but rather, how will this affect me. And it makes me feel guilty.

    We are individuals before we have children and I feel like there’s an unsaid societal rule/role that once you become a mother, that’s all you are. Like I should forget about the things I enjoy, etc. because I’m a mom now.

    I’ve just decided that it’s up to me to make parenting/motherhood etc. what I want it to be. I will make a conscientious effort do what works for me and my family and not be swayed but what I feel like I “should” be doing.

    Meg, you’re never afraid to speak your mind and I value that!

    • meg

      Female Parents FTW!

  • Solidarity fistbump and a step back.

    I really hate questions that, in the wording of the question, assume the asker knows exactly how I’m feeling. Don’t ask me if I’m happy, ask me how I’m feeling. One of the most annoying questions when we were engaged was “Are you beginning to get excited?” Because I wasn’t. I was CONTINUING to be excited, the beginning happened a long time ago. But being honest to the question and explaining all that always got awkward. Well, awkward for them anyway. I always had a lot of fun with it.

    • meg

      Fist bump lady, fist bump.

  • Morgan

    I loved this post. I connected with it in some very big ways. Thank you.

  • Meg, this blog changed the way I think about marriage and relationships by keeping it real, keeping it honest, keeping it judge-free, and keeping it “you can do this your way and it doesn’t have to be as terrible as people say”.

    So I’m excited to see you do the same for motherhood. NOT that you need to start a separate blog or even talk about your child…at all actually. But just because I fully expect you to keep being you, doing your thing the best way you know how and not because it’s what other people tell you.

    Fist bump!

  • Kory

    Total solidarity fistbump! I’m scared to death of having kids and I’ve realized over the last two years that being pregnant is fairly awful. These insights came from some honest pregnant friends and my husband (an anesthesiologist in training who spent two months on the maternity unit). I love the idea of having a child with my wonderful husband, it’s the reality that I’m terrified of. Thanks for showing us a little piece of your reality. And good luck!

  • Jill

    Three things:
    1) I got married four years ago today and this is the only wedding blog I still read because it is so well put together. I love the dialogue you’ve inspired between women and even between couples (my husband and I have often debated over posts). In a world where there is so much crazy judgemental blogging, it is so nice to read so many awesome respectful people in one place.
    2) Congratulations on the new edition to your family! That is very exciting news!
    3) I am 12 weeks pregnant (January mommas represent!) and can I just say amen to the pregnancy kind of sucking part? Like yes, baby, an awesome person made from my amazing husband and me, I am on board. But when you are feeling sick and tired and alien in your own body and people expect you to be some glowing beacon of motherhood? That is bull$h!t. To those people I say: Get. Freaking. Real. A magical pregnancy unicorn I am not and as excited as I can remember to be in the moments where I feel okay, I think it’s kind of important to address the not so fabulous moments too.
    Anyway, cheers again. I look forward to continuing to read what you’re putting out there. :)

    • kayakgirl73

      Amen sister from another January mom to be.

  • Meg, I’m more of a chest bumper than a fist bumper, but given the circumstances a chest bump would be logistically complicated and probably a little painful. So solidarity fist bump it is! :)

    This may sound a little weird, but I always wondered what it would be like on the day you announced your pregnancy on the site. I imagined it would be big (big like the day you announced that APW was your — only– full-time job, and I was all, “No way..she did it! She really did it!!”). I get so much from everyone’s posts and from the community here, so it feels like we’re all in this together, right here with you, even if we’re not pregnant ourselves (but occasionally wear maternity pants with the stretchy waistbands just because they’re comfy and our weight fluctuates a lot. Cough, cough.)

  • Michelle

    Meg, you are like the girlfriend that most of us wish we had in real life and know well enough to cherish if we do. Thank you! And best wishes :)
    Also, I have to brag that I totally called it from the DIY out takes post. I have enough friends who have been not pregnant on the internet to recognize the props-in-front-of-the-bump photos when I see them!

  • Dearest Meg,
    While I have never posted on here, am not pregnant and have yet to be wed (we are engaged and in the planning stages!) I loved reading this post. I come from a line of hard working and determined women who did lots of things while raising their families, including working in offices, working on the family dairy farm and working on home improvements – I just found out that my grandmother re-shingled her roof in the 1960’s when she was eight months pregnant, terrifying their neighbours and any number of onlookers in the process. I’m sure she would have loved to have a solidarity fist bump with you!

  • How in hell did you have such a cute bump at 15 weeks? I just looked like a FATTY until I was, literally, 7 months pregnant. No one got up for ME on the subway. You gorgeous thing you.

  • I tweeted you congratulations half way through reading your post and deleted them when I got to the bottom. It’s against my nature to not offer congrats. So I’m here fist bumping you through the next 20 weeks. And whoever congratulated you on the fabulous post, yeah I’m seconding that. So congratulations and fist bumps to you!

  • Meg! this is so late to comment, but congratulations! I know you said you are already amazing with children, which I completely believe, because I can’t imagine anyone in this world more fit to be a mother than you. You have always presented yourself as wise, creative, thoughtful and compassionate, and for that I am thankful from afar. I can only imagine you to be as amazing a mother as you are a woman. And I absolutely appreciate your honesty as far as the pregnancy ambivalence goes. As always your voice is so strong, I can’t help but admire you. I send you so much love! (arms crossed, Jeannie bobs head).

  • Congratulations and thank you for this post! As someone who is deeply ambivalent about procreating, I am always so grateful when people talk about anything that is pregnancy/baby-related with honesty and a perspective that breaks from the it’s-just-the-most-wonderful-thing-ever orthodoxy.

    But it *is* wonderful! and while I TOTALLY understand the decision not to do ‘a practical baby’, I look forward to some pithy discussions on identity/motherhood/non-motherhood/womanhood/work and family policy and all that good jazz! I can’t get enough of that stuff right now.

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  • Congratulations Meg! Every time I read an article where someone talks openly about how it feels for them to be trying to conceive/pregnant/looking after a baby I want to bookmark it for future reading if (fingers crossed when) the time comes, I’m adding this one to the list.

  • kayakgirl73

    Wow. I’m late to the party. Vacation with no Wi-fi in the hotel, I miss technology sometimes, but I also sometimes need the break.

    I’m 13 weeks right now and it’s been a journey. I’ve felt like crap, nausea, tired all the time and scared out of mind at times and this was a very planned baby. I.E. we went thru fertility treatment, but I sometimes think oh what have we done, we’re going to ruin our lives or ruin the baby. I feel guilty for even thinking such thoughts, I feel like I can’t talk about it especially due to the IF treatment.

    Other times I’m really happy and zen thinking oh it will all work out.

    I’m also scared to tell work, other than my immediate supervisor who knows because of the incredible amount of appointments involved in the IF treatment and the resulting extra early monitoring that got me once I was pregnant. I don’t want them to think differently of me or to stop giving me opportunities.

    I’m also scarred of finding daycare in the DC metro area where it’s crazy expensive with long waiting lists.

  • KT

    Meg, I’m so happy for you! I’m about two weeks behind you with my first. I remember thinking not too long ago how wonderful it would be to hear this news! Best wishes for a comfortable pregnancy!

  • Rachel

    I won’t write “congratulations” but instead “b’sha’ah tova”, the traditional Jewish response to hearing someone is pregnant. It roughly translates to “may it happen at the right/good time!” – which is very much what I wish you for your baby, your work (current, future, and all possibilities in between), and all emotions about pregnancy. Everything should happen at the right time for YOU! B’sha’ah tova!

    • meg

      We’re Jewish, so I’ll take it :)

  • RJ

    Meg and friends, you may like Lagliv’s response to the Marissa Myer matertnity leave. It fits right in with being the same person after a baby than before – it’s ok if we are, and also if we aren’t.

  • *fist bump*

    I kept my pregnancy secret from my family and friends for 6 months, only telling people then because my husband was DYING to tell people. I didn’t tell people at work until 8 months (I barely showed my entire pregnancy), heck, some didn’t even know until I was on maternity leave! I did this for three reasons. 1-I didn’t want people to treat me differently (“oh, you can’t lift that!”). 2- I didn’t want to hear about random person X’s terrible experience with labor or how they didn’t get to sleep a night through until their kid was 2. I guess I just believed that my experience would be better than that (and it was) and I didn’t want other people’s experiences to taint my own. And 3-After finding out I was pregnant I had terrible anxiety attacks and severe depression. I even contemplated abortion, this is how deep down I was. Physically I felt friggin fantastic but emotionally it was hell for me.

    I talk about how I felt pretty openly now but I didn’t feel like I could at the time. Every persons experience with pregnancy is different and everyone has the right to deal with it in a way that makes them comfortable. Just stay true to yourself and everything will work out just fine!

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  • Very good post. I definitely love this site. Continue the good work!

  • Andrea

    I wish I had read this when I was pregnant. I gave birth to my 1st child in late Sept. 2012. My feelings on pregnancy echo yours; I felt a little alone and a lot guilty. Thank you for writing this post.

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