When I found out I was pregnant I was literally the happiest I’d ever been; I was overwhelmed with joy, with expectation with pride. I was also completely and utterly underwhelmed. I stood in the bathroom grasping the stick I’d peed on three minutes before looking at it. I had told my husband moments before who jumped out of the shower to give me a big, wet, soggy hug…and then he’d just got back in the shower.
Just like that. He just got back in the shower. As if I hadn’t just given him news that was going to turn his whole world inside out. He got back in the shower and continued as if things hadn’t changed.
Where was the fanfare? Where were the celebratory trumpets? The tickertape? The huge, rousing round of applause? Nowhere. Instead there was a resounding silence, louder than any fanfare, echoing around me as I stood in the bathroom grasping and staring at the flashing ‘Pregnant 1-2 weeks’ while my husband finished his shower.
I prodded my belly and felt my stomach with the vain hope that something, anything would feel different but nothing did. I felt exactly the same. I didn’t feel a little seed of virgin life growing inside me, I didn’t feel sick or tired and my boobs were only sore because I’d grabbed them so much to see if they were sore. They weren’t.
Once my husband was dressed, we sat down to talk it over a cup of tea.
“Can I even drink tea?” I asked (suddenly remembering the Bikram Yoga session that morning, the bottle of wine with my best friend the week before and the sneaky cigarette that followed it).
“I’m sure you can,” my husband said confidently. “Google it.”
And there it was. The moment that my pregnant addiction to Google started. From that moment forward, my iPhone’s only use was as a gateway to Google.
Google very quickly became my best friend. It also became my worse enemy. As a newly pregnant woman, you Google everything. I Googled almost every food I was presented with. I Googled every weird physical symptom I felt. I Googled buggies, cots, SIDS, scans, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, NCT. I Googled things that can go wrong in the first twelve weeks. I convinced myself I was suffering from them all. I Googled and Googled and Googled and when I could Google no more, I shopped.
I bought baby books, pregnancy vitamins, chemical-free shampoo, conditioner, washing up liquid. I stacked my virtual shopping baskets full of onesies, muslins, slings, blankets, iddy-biddy hats and gloves and snow suits. I was getting deliveries almost twice-daily from Amazon, Mothercare and Mamas & Papas. I researched buggies until I was cross-eyed; I read endless reviews about which was the best bassinet. I was addicted to pregnancy and all things baby and I could not stop.
And, when I finally gave birth, it didn’t stop. If anything, it got worse. It’s one thing Googling possible outcomes, but Googling actual, real-life happenings (my baby sleeps all the time / my baby never sleeps / projectile vomitting / how much should my baby weigh / how much should my baby eat…the list goes on and on and on) is was more satisfying. Of course, you never EVER get an answer. You get all possible answers…most of which you knew already. It doesn’t make you feel any better in fact, more often than not, it makes you feel worse because you’ll read something terrible that you didn’t even know was possible.
And the shopping? Holy shit, the shopping. Those first few weeks are so frickin’ tough that you’ll buy just about anything in the vain and unfounded hope that it might, just might, make your baby sleep, or eat, or latch on properly. You will hand over inordinate amounts of money in an attempt to try and control the chaos that is going on in your house, your life, your head.
In the end…this all comes back to one simply truth: You are built to do this (without Google & Amazon).