precious cargo

25_weeks_mirror2.jpg
self-portrait, 25 weeks, San Diego, Canon Digital Rebel

As a pregnant woman, I have become fearful of things I don’t normally think about. I’m afraid of knives, or rather, people holding knives. Even if someone I love and trust is holding the knife (ie. Matt) I will casually make my way out of the room.

Then there are dogs. Big dogs. I am a dog person! and will normally ask the owner if I can pet their dog at any opportunity. I especially love “leaners.” But these days if I see a dog, I immediately cross the street and try not to make eye contact. Or I plan my attack and contemplate how I would take them down if I had to.

And then there are the dreams. Sometimes there are sharks. A few weeks ago it was a mountain lion. I am always trying to protect myself/my baby in these dreams. These dreams feel primal and powerful, like a warrior part of me is rising up. A part of my fierce womanhood I have not known yet.

Oh yeah. And the dreams about Matt leaving me. A few weeks ago I woke up in tears and exclaimed, “You left me in my dream for three wives!” He responded, “Oh honey, I wouldn’t leave you for 8 wives!” and hugged me close.

I have never felt quite so powerful in my life and vulnerable at the same time. I feel precious and sacred, like precious cargo in every vehicle. I also feel very conspicuous, like I could be a target for a variety of bad things. I am the opposite of invisible. I can’t even go to a public restroom without thoughts of kidnappers running through my brain.

Did any of you have this? Does it just get worse when the baby arrives?

Follow on Facebook Follow on Instagram Follow on Twitter Follow on Pinterest

Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ME >

82 Comments

  1. kat coyle

    i didn’t experience the fear rush so much when I was pregnant. Well, thats not exactly true; but it was more a fear that the baby wouldn’t make it to full term. I did however experience rushes of fear after he was born. I find myself imagining all sorts of catastrophes. I try to let it go, sigh. Go easy on yourself. THeres a lot going on inside you.

  2. melissa

    I definitely had that at various times during pregnancy, and now and then while those post-partum hormones were still coursing through my system (we’ll try to forget that time when the baby was 4 weeks old and I woke up hysterical after having a very vivid dream where I accidentally basted and started to put the baby in the oven….scary scary scary). It does get better, though, so hang in there. Although I’m still much more cautious (not afraid, but mindful in a way that I wasn’t before) about potential dangers. When we’re walking with the stroller, I – also a dog lover – will slightly steer out of the way of any dogs passing by; some dogs just don’t like kids, and I don’t want to risk setting off the dog in an uncontrolled situation. So, there are little things, but it does get easier to return to relative-zen once the baby gets bigger.

  3. Heather

    No, I didn’t have many fears while pregnant. Strange dreams, yes, usually involving forgetting the baby somewhere. I imagine the fears must add a constant level of anxiety to everyday activities. Be kind to yourself, trust that Matt and those you surround yourself with will not hurt you or the little one.

  4. deb

    i had many dreams while pregnant…most were about forgetting the baby. the fears subsided once the baby was born, but as my girlies started toddling around i began to feel more vunerable again and things like riding an escalator with baby would cause panic…i have learned though that those fears and anxiety tend to be more from lack of sleep and rattled nerves at the end of the day. keep communicating with your partner…that is really important. and by the way, i love your blog…it is lush, inspiring and so life affirming…

  5. Tiff

    I am 20 weeks now, and have dreams similar to yours regarding your husband.
    For a solid week I dreamt of my husband every night – dreams of him leaving me, dreams of him cheating on me, dreams of him missing, etc…
    My husband is the sweetest, most loyal person & I know in my heart of hearts I am safe with him.
    Those crazy pregnancy hormones of ours!

  6. deezee

    When I was pregnant, I one time dreamt that my child had six arms, but it wasn’t a scary dream. I told my husband upon waking, and he said, “We’re having a Buddha.” (and we kind of have!)
    The vulnerability kicked in later for me. I took my first self-defence class when my son was two. I had never worried about my own safety and had been daring, but suddenly I hated that his room was between me and the front door, that ‘someone’ could get to him without passing me. The class helped my confidence somehow.
    But the main way I remain vulnerable is my awareness that I must stay alive for my son, for as a single parent, I feel I am all he really has, am the one who knows him in and out.
    Each day as he grows (he’s 13 now) I feel more confident in his ability to know himself and protect and care for himself. And now the greatest shift is that I can feel that he can sometimes be there to protect me.
    It’s a long and changing journey. Buckle up.

  7. katherine

    I’ve never been pregnant, but I can definitely say the fears are intense for me as a mama. When our sweet boy came home with us from the hospital at just one day old, I was terrified that something would happen to him. No joke, I made a friend come over and listen to his heart! We’re coming up on two years later, and I must say the anxiety is still here. I vividly imagine terrible things happening. I worry a lot. I am a walking tv commercial for SSRIs in the treatment of anxiety. But, when I admit to these thoughts, my mama friends admit to them too, so I don’t feel like as much of a freak. I think it is primal, even without the hormones and the pregnancy. Mothering is primal. It is deep and messy and very emotional. Acknowledging this helps me. Not judging myself for it is a challenge. But, most importantly, I work to feel this anxiety so that he doesn’t have to. I want him to go into the world with a fierce sense of courage. When he looks into my eyes, I want him to see his own courage reflected back and to know that he is safe. You look wonderful, Andrea! Keep up the great work and take lots of deep breaths…

  8. Chookooloonks

    Yup — can’t speak to pregnancy, but definitely have those fears since Alex came home to us at 2 days old. I have daymares of my flipping the car when I’m driving with her. I hate being apart from Marcus and her, either when they leave me to go do something, or I have to travel without them. And whereas before, I never feared dying, I’m petrified now that I might die before she becomes an adult.
    Welcome to motherhood, dear friend.
    The good news? You will spend far more time reveling in the good that has come to your life than worrying about the bad things. Promise.
    K.

  9. Christine

    oh, andrea. you’re too incredible for words. i love your worry, and how you worry. i think im going to be just like that if i ever carry. and your dream, and matt’s response. what a sweet man.
    your beautiful belly is so beautiful.

  10. Michele

    I’ve never been pregnant either, but I’m always evaluating the possibility of danger when it comes to my daughter. When we get in the car, it makes me nervous…I’m now terrified of every time she gets in the car. Just the other day my daughter went with my husband to the store. They weren’t home in 30 minutes and I began to panic.

  11. Christine

    i just said your beautiful belly is beautiful. haha. im a moron.

  12. ejjjik

    Thank you, Andrea, thanks for sharing this. You made me smile.

  13. jill s

    i too have intense dreams when i am pregnant! and i just want to hang out with my hubby as much as possible…hate those dreams that make you wake up in tears!
    the worrying definetly doesn’t end when the baby arrives…but there is so much happiness and overwhelming love…which takes up more space in your heart than the worry.
    you are beautiful.
    thanks so much for continually sharing your soul with us.
    peace. jill

  14. Trasi

    Yes, the worry continues once you have the child. You worry about how you can now not go to Africa until she’s out of college, else who will take care of her if something happens? You don’t drive fast anymore, because you could get in an accident. Not only do you worry about her safety, you worry about your own and your husband’s safety even more than you did as an invinceable single/married person, because you know how much it would screw up your child to lose his/her parents at a young age. And nobody could love them as much as you. Yes, get comfortable with your friend Worry. She’ll be with you for a long long time. But it only shows you how much you care and what an enriching experience it is to care that much.

  15. amanda

    hi, andrea. i have never been pregnant but the sense of power and vulnerability you describe makes sense. i can relate to the strange new fears, though. i grew up in a family of neurotic scaredy cats and promised myself i would not allow my irrational fears to dictate how i would raise my own children. i got a taste of what those fears felt like when i started babysitting my little cousin, melissa (you met her at chochmat).
    we went to duboce park and i held her hand the whole way there, not for her, but for me, because i felt like someone could just grab her and go! when we got to the park, i sat down with my book and she went off the playground, but i didn’t get any reading done because i decided that the minute i took my vigilant eyes off her, something would happen. i was like this all weekend.
    strangely, it wasn’t as stressful as it might sound. i felt like someone’s safety was entrusted to me, and until i got a better feel for how much i could trust the world with her, i wasn’t taking any chances. my guess is being a parent is always a balancing act between who you intend to be (chill, positive, relaxed) and how intensely protective you become out of this immense love. my parents erred on the side of too much caution, and i ended up being a scaredy cat myself! but i’m a scaredy cat with a strong sense of her place in the world, who knows she is always loved, supported, and protected. and that gives me a special kind of courage and trust in the world.

  16. Leah

    I have those kinds of vulnerabilitt thoughts now; I can’t even imagine how bad they’ll be when I’m pregnant/a mother.
    It’s good to hear, though, that the anxiety is matched by feelings of great power. A mountain lion would be no match for Superheromom.

  17. cyme

    Sirens. Wait until you are not with your child or husband. I never really gave a thought to a screaming fire truck or ambulance until I had my babies. Now I pay mind of which direction they are headed. And give a sigh of relief when they are going the in opposite direction than our home.
    Water. I am a hawk at the pool. Even though there are lifeguards. I fear the toilet seat being left up with the baby walking now. I have to make sure the hot tub is locked. I sat in the bathroom and read magazines as my oldest son bathed till he was almost four. I’ll do the same with this one. I can’t get the image of a head hitting the side of the tub and a little body slipping into the water.
    I had a dream once that I left the baby sleeping on the bed and ran to the store. While at the store it occurred to me what I had done and I was in a panic to get home. It felt like I was walking in water, I had to work so hard to move. I woke up in a panic.
    I was so scared someone would drop my newborn. It was difficult to let people hold them- even people a love and trust.
    I know I am not crazy. All the other mothers I know confirm this and more. Welcome Momma.

  18. Leigh

    My “baby” is 19. I had intense dreams when I was pregnant and still worry about my son. He lives at home while attending a local college, and traveled by car to visit some friends in another state last weekend. I didn’t sleep well the entire weekend and then, when he was delayed on the trip home and didn’t answer his cell phone (had the music too loud and couldn’t hear it), I was just about hysterical. Normally I am rather matter-of-fact during emergencies. This wasn’t even an emergency–just my worry getting out of control!
    If my mother is any indication, it’s hard not to worry about our children, no matter what their age. Our worries and fears for their safety change according to their ages and circumstances.
    I think all the worries and stress have to do with being more physically vunerable when pregnant or when you have a small child in tow. You learn to cope, and your child will have a wonderful example of a strong, caring Mom.

  19. blackbird

    I had forgotten that powerful/vulnerable feeling, this post really took me back.
    I remember being afraid of things and feeling so so strong…
    I think it eases up after you give birth, and changes.
    As a mom we often feel powerLESS and fierce.

  20. cindy

    About the knife thing: Since I had my son, sometimes when I see the big kitchen knife, I get quick thought where I imagine getting cut. Yuck. It’s a primal, subconscious thing that comes with motherhood: a biologically-based heightened sensitivity to things which might hurt us or the child. You can’t turn it off, but sometimes it’s a burden!
    I feel it’s the same emotionally speaking… Here’s a quote you may have seen:
    “Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.”
    Elizabeth Stone

  21. stef

    Yes, I’ve had a lot of the same feelings. Especially dogs, and the dreams. Dreams about something happening to me or the baby. I think it is about being very protective of this being inside of you and yourself. It did get better over time but what you’re feeling is totally normal…

  22. jen paddack-hyde

    I had these same type of dreams when I was pregnant and I can tell you that now 12 years later I still…occasionally… have a dream where I have to protect her. It’s perfectly normal…motherly protection:)

  23. amy j.

    Oh, yeah…it’s just a glimpse of what’s to come. That mama bear thing you’ve heard of is NO lie…you’ll get it with anyone, even your husband or your family members. I don’t know how moms are not just crazy nuts overall (perhaps we all are) due to the worry we have for our kids. The things you worry about…did they eat peanuts before their third birthday, could they have brushed up against a bird at the pet store and therefore get bird flu. Is that spot on their skin cancer. And when they are newborn…the fear for weeks is whether or not they are breathing. Don’t know how many times I’ve woken a sleeping baby to make sure they’re alive. It is like that quote above about walking with your heart outside your chest…the MOST amazing love you’ll ever know…and the most insane amount of worry. Ying/yang…such is life. You’ll be fine. A believe me, you are all powerful. Mothers truly make the world go around, I feel anyway. Ok, my two are throwing sippy cups at each other…gotta go.

  24. Beth

    Yes. And yes. 🙂

  25. kristine

    beautiful belly!
    A friend of mine once remarked, ” I could never be one of those moms wearing a shirt with my mid-drift showing while pregnant.” I asked her why, thinking it was possibly a body image thing. She said, “I need my baby to be sheltered. I need to feel like I have some armor around me. That’s why I cover my belly and you might catch me holding my arms around me belly. I am too worried that something might happen…”

  26. ephelba

    I found myself feeling superstitious, although usually I am bunkum proof. I gave up a perfectly lovely name for her because I’d heard of a girl by the same name who died a horrible death. After she was born, I’d want to hoard her little fingernail clippings so nobody could do bad magic on her. It gets better, but you’ll still have triggers. The Dr’s office does it for me. I know it’s full of nasty germs and I can’t SEE them and I’m terrified she’ll pick one up.

  27. betsy

    When I was pregnant last year I had a whole “big cat” theme to my dreams. I dreamt of mountain lions, tigers, jaguars. Once I had a dream that I gave birth to a black cat. It’s a good energy. Fierce. Protective.

  28. Shannon

    I am right behind you at 24 weeks, and I too have had some interesting maternal urges. Mostly I’ve been shocked at how outspoken and protective I am of the baby and my body. It’s pure instinct, I don’t even think about it…sometimes I surprise myself at how direct I can be in handling difficult situations and people (I’m typically a very laid back person). I always imagined motherhood as very soft and sweet, and I’m sure some aspects of it are that way…but so far the changes I’m noticing have to do with becoming a little more bad ass. Not a bad thing, I think.

  29. Sally

    When I was pregnant with my first, snipers were terrorizing the area where I live. I felt more vulnerable than I ever had. Pumping gas was an ordeal. I rarely saw sunlight, as I kept the windows covered at work and home. The snipers were caught the very morning (the very hour!!) I gave birth to my huge, healthy son. Talk about a sense of relief on both parts! But I will never forget that feeling of vulnerability…it’s very intense, but remember that it serves an important purpose.

  30. scoutj

    Do you want the truth? I’ll wait.
    Okay. It gets worse! Especially when they are old enough to either be watched by other people, driven by other people or go to school. Then you just have no control over what happens to them. I’ve worked really hard to try and not be such a catastrophist but it’s hard. Like, Superboy is late from the bus. My first reaction is that something horrible has happened instead of just thinking, “Oh he’s just late…” You know?

  31. Boho Girly

    these thoughts and feelingds definitely sound instinctual.
    i really loved what you said here: “…feel primal and powerful, like a warrior part of me is rising up. A part of my fierce womanhood I have not known yet.”
    a beautiful image there. something so sacred and as i said in the beginning, “instinctual”.
    i love Matt’s reaction to your dream. he is so adorable and perfect for you.
    you will be such a powerful and amazing parent. you are already.
    love you…call me if you need me.
    xoxoxo,
    denise

  32. bluefaery

    yeah I had many dreams when my baby was newborn that my lovely husband went to see prostitutes. gross. I mistakanly joked with my in-laws about this dream momentarily forgetting that my father-in-law is a psychoanalyst who takes ANY dream very seriously. they weren’t laughing with me.
    What is Matt dreaming?
    I ask because my husabnd had many a dream while I was preganant that were prophetic while I had all the weird dreams.
    yeah my baby is 18months and I still have a ‘dog thing’ which is hard cos he loves dogs. Every time I hear a story on the news about a dog attack it feeds this dumb fear.

  33. nadine

    This photo of your beautiful belly has brought tears to my eyes (good, happy, celebratory tears). The joy of this little one radiates out of you!

  34. mareshia

    i’ve never had a child. i’ve never been pregnant but i am a worrier. i worry most that i’ll be a single mother living in the ghetto too proud to seek public assistance. i’ve resolved that i can’t have a child until i’m independently wealthy.

  35. Hillary

    ah yes, the pregnancy dreams. I also dreamed that Raph cheated/left/was horrible when I was pregnant in addition to having dreams that the baby was either a tiny version of our cat (?) or born wrapped in a ziploc bag. Wow … I just remember thinking in my dreams that the baby couldn’t breathe and I was terrified. I suppose that is our psyche working through all our jitters about caring for a tiny infant. It’s interesting that someone mentioned a recurrence of the dreams as her toddler started walking because I’ve also recently started dreaming that I’ve left Esme somewhere or that I haven’t seen her for a while and I wondered what it must mean.
    I don’t know that the fear goes away, but I have to say that after having actually given birth to Esme that I feel a strangely centering sense of power and strength that I don’t recall having before. For myself, the strangeness of the pregnancy dreams and the fear/strength dicotamy was nothing compared to the sense of power and strength of having given birth and the simultaneous avalanche of helplessness and terror at holding our day old infant. Those days were hard for me to get through but as everyone has said everything does get better and every day/week/month will have its highs and lows.
    you will be amazing and draw on wells of love and spirit and knowledge that you didn’t know even existed.

  36. lisa

    I’m at 33 weeks, and last night on my way home I chose to drive the freeway instead of the beautiful twisty deserted canyon road, because I was convinced I would break down and someone would kidnap me for my baby.
    So far, this motherhood thing is very weird.

  37. Sarah

    When I was pregnant, my recurring dream was: I had had the baby but every once in a while I would forget that I had her. Several days would pass and I would be eating dinner or reading and I would suddenly remember I was a mother. Then there would be this horrible panic. I had to find the baby and hope it was still alive after being totally neglected for 3 days. They baby was always fine, but rather hungry. I would pick her up and nurse her and admonish myself for shirking my duty. I have four children and I had this dream when I was pregnant with each one. I enjoy your blog and wish you and Matt all the happiness in the world with your little one. You will be a great Mom and I guarantee that when the baby comes, you won’t forget you have him.

  38. liz

    yes- totally normal. your purpose on this earth right now is a vessel for this precious creature- your value has more than doubled cos if something bad happens to you, it would effect a helpless life that isn’t ready to have harm or trouble yet.
    I double checked every decision from food to walking to breathing to make sure it was a safe decision for me and the baby. no one else can protect it right now but you. that’s a huge responsibility.
    it changes after you give birth- it’s entirely different -the worry/ concern- and a sliver of thought compared to all the other things going through your mind emotionally. so it’s not a ‘worse’ it’s just a different. you are changing as a person in the process, mothers have to change their mindset because priorities shift that never existed before.
    It reminds me much of the process of changing from a caterpillar to a butterfly. you see the tops of trees and sunlight in a new way, in addition to the dangers on the ground.

  39. krista

    uh, when I was about 8 months pregnant with my firstborn and was a Vet-Tech, I actually decided to find a home for my pit-bull mix that I adopted when we lived on Kauai. She was a hunting dog with some very unpredictable behaviors.
    When we would walk the cane fields she would run ahead and almost every time come back with a wild chicken in her mouth to show me how proud she was of her catch. Well, I started to get these awful thoughts and I am 100 % sure I made the right decision. It broke my heart to let her go but,she was a bit skitso. We still don’t have a dog, but for other reasons now. Our kids get all our available time and our traveling is hassle and kennel free. I think you are going to be a great Mom Andrea….naturally.

  40. Pascale

    andrea, that and then some! when i brought my first baby home from the birthing center and had to walk down the stairs WHILE HOLDING HIM (egad!) i stood there paralyzed from an intense fear and actually vision I had of me falling down the stairs and crushing his tiny, vulnerable little body. It took me about 5 minutes to work up the will and nerve to do it, ever so slowly, one step at a time, holding him tightly at my chest and not breathing the entire time… three kids later and i still feel a tiny palpitation in my heart when i’m carrying my latest baby (20 months old) down stairs… the mama bear thing is HUGE. the path to motherhood is a metamorphisis of the truest form. You are at your strongest and weakest at the same time. You’d take down an armed kidnapper with your bare hands if you needed to and those stories of moms lifting cars off their children are not urban myths… You are your strongest because you would and will do anything to protect your child. You are at your most vulnerable because the love you feel is so intense that you can’t imagine the devastation that would be should anything ever happen to that child. It all balances out though and the ferocious mama bear moments are tempered by the desire to create a warm, gentle and nurturing environment for your precious child. Everything that you are feeling is normal and healthy. You are just on that unpredictable, delightful and anxiety ridden path to motherhood! Ain’t it grand?! 🙂

  41. Sophie

    God, Andrea you are way to PARANOID.
    Get over yourself. Please.

  42. Leonie

    you beautiful woman
    bless your tender warrior heart
    and your willingness to embrace yourself
    just where you are right now
    i honour you

  43. wendy cook

    oh yes…weird wild things happen when you’re pregnant. it’s different for everyone. the wacky dreams are quite normal. and for me, i suddenly remembered all the crappy things from my childhood with excruciating detail…and it was as if i became a mother wolf protecting her pup. i was fierce about boundaries.

  44. maureen

    andrea-
    you ARE precious cargo in every vehicle!!!
    xoxx,
    maureen

  45. nina

    Let’s see…There was the recurring dream of giving birth to a kitten; leaving the carseat with baby on top of the car, not realizing it until I was on the highway and taking forever to stop while huge trucks barreled past; being in a car accident and not being able to undo my kids’ seatbelts while flames engulfed the car.
    Then the car accident fear stayed with me in my waking life. I kept a note taped to my driver’s license that read: “I’m not fat. I’m pregnant. PLEASE SAVE MY BABY!” So glad no one discovered that note! And during each of my pregnancies I was afraid my husband was going to die.
    Is it hormones? Hmmm. My oldest son and his wife are expecting their first child in February (my first grandchild!) and I have dreams that their baby is in the middle of a maze and I can’t get to it.
    It’s all just a mom thing, some worried and over-protective state that’s part of who we are. My youngest is 5 and she recently had her first ear infection. At first I was sure it was a brain tumor, then meningitis, then TMJ…I really am a calm person outside of the mom role. Honest.

  46. Michele

    Andrea, I love your belly shot. What a beautiful baby in there and a beautiful YOU!
    I am not pregnant, but I can understand how you are protecting yourself and your baby. It makes sense that the mothering instinct is kicking in at full force. I hope you find peace in your dreams soon.

  47. linda

    You may need to wear 2 superhero necklaces during this time–“Joy” for you, and “Cotton Candy” for Baby.

  48. erina

    How fascinating that our biology works in ways that we may not understand, and simply cannot control. That your mind is preparing you for motherhood is promising that your body is exactly as it’s suppose to be… creating life… what a beautiful process!

  49. punky

    I wish all women could have big, beautiful, round bellies all the time and feel as gorgeous as you look. We could all embrace are fullness and not suck in, tighten up, or hold in our breath in an attempt to hide what is often our natural shape and curves.
    As for the fears, it helps to repeat to yourself over and over “all is well … all is well”

  50. janharp

    Welcome to the wild ride! There can be so much hormonal craziness, and it helps to just go with the flow, knowing that it’s temporary, and bound to change. Everything changes once your baby is born, because your body is still changing and adjusting, and there are two people (yourself and the babe) you are taking care of. Being sleep deprived accentuates the hormonal shifts, but that, too, is temporary. I have no doubt that you will honor each passing stage. I think the first pregnancy is uniquely magical, and am so happy for you to be there now!
    My dream was that I went back to work immediately after giving birth, and realized after 6 or so hours that I had left him (the baby) on a bed, without feeding him or arranging for ANY TYPE of childcare..ack! Such a panic-y feeling waking up from that one!

  51. Katie Flindall

    Hi Andrea (OK – hope I’m right on your name here – couldn’t find out what it actually was on your site – so I just looked at some other persons comments! Hope I’m right!)
    Anyho – Got onto your blog from Penelope Illustration and just wanted to say how beautiful that photo of the baby belly is! I’m looking forward to that time in my life (although I’m not pregnant now – I hope to be in a few years), I always get dreamy when I see other women already there! But….lot’s of time to just spend time with my honey and myself – so no rush. Anyway, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed that! Also love that pictures of the clouds in one of your earlier posts. Although I live in Vermont now, I was raised in KS and really miss the wide open vistas of the sky above the prairie. Enjoyed it! Thanks and I look forward to keeping up on your blog from now on! Take care – Katie Flindall

  52. Katie Flindall

    Hi Andrea (OK – hope I’m right on your name here – couldn’t find out what it actually was on your site – so I just looked at some other persons comments! Hope I’m right!)
    Anyho – Got onto your blog from Penelope Illustration and just wanted to say how beautiful that photo of the baby belly is! I’m looking forward to that time in my life (although I’m not pregnant now – I hope to be in a few years), I always get dreamy when I see other women already there! But….lot’s of time to just spend time with my honey and myself – so no rush. Anyway, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed that! Also love that pictures of the clouds in one of your earlier posts. Although I live in Vermont now, I was raised in KS and really miss the wide open vistas of the sky above the prairie. Enjoyed it! Thanks and I look forward to keeping up on your blog from now on! Take care – Katie Flindall

  53. Katie Flindall

    Oh gosh – sorry I just left that post about 3 million times! My computer is acting up! Sorry!

  54. natalie

    You look GREAT!
    My mother and I have always had this bizarre ability to wake up terrified from dreams just like yours. We both dream about my youngest brother, Blake. I think it’s a maternal instinct for sure. Odd that I have no kids, my brother is my “kid.” In any case, I think this is what makes us so powerful as women – our intense need and ability to “care.” It’s definitely a beautiful, sometimes frightening thing!

  55. Beckik

    sorry to say but yeah, it gets worse, or at least it did for me, especially those first few weeks at home with the new babe, which is why its probably a good reason not to leave the house and why I felt all comfy and cozy and safe in my house bundled up with my bundle of joy! You look wonderful!

  56. MARYBETH

    “I have never felt quite so powerful in my life and vulnerable at the same time.”
    Andrea,
    THIS is PARENTHOOD!!
    IT is the willingness to embrace BOTH that springs us into a Journey of Love more profound then any words can adequately describe.
    When the fear of everything and anything that could harm baby come to mind.- let your LIONESS or whatever ANIMAL you identify with , loose!!
    It was and still is, a real challenge to my previous identity as a loving pacifist-
    as Mother Bear will ‘take out’ anything that hurts or threatens to hurt my babies (now grand baby)!
    Embrace all of it. In my opinion there is absolutely nothing greater then this LOVE.
    Namaste,
    MB

  57. nadine

    Am listening to Rebar interview on npr as I write this!
    So great!

  58. lena

    hey, rebar and NPR girl!
    and please don’t worry about strech marks. that seems a bit more vain than i imagine you are…i am 5’6” and 125 pounds (fairly thin size 4) and I have cellulite and stretch marks and so what the hell, not much i can do now…

  59. lena

    hey, rebar and NPR girl!
    and please don’t worry about strech marks. that seems a bit more vain than i imagine you are…i am 5’6” and 125 pounds (fairly thin size 4) and I have cellulite and stretch marks and so what the hell, not much i can do now…

  60. Katrin

    Hej Andrea,
    thank you so much for this entry (and I also want to thank your readers for their helpful comments). I am pregnet too at the moment (with my first child, I am about one month “behind” you) and I enjoyed reading your posts about your pregnency very much. I think I feel the same, I am scared of soo many things (of course of my boyfriend leaving me or having some sort of an accident, of walking home alone in the dark, dogs, strange looking men in the tram, even bricks when I walk along some construction work…). I felt really bad, because normally I am not so easily scared and I really could be alone and feel good with it(at the moment I am kind of clingy – don’t know how to spell this – and I am soo ashamed of it). Sorry for all the words, I just wanted to say, you made me smile and feel kind of normal again. Thank you so much for that (and the others are right – you look soo beautiful on the picture). Katrin
    P.s. Sorry for my bad English. I hope you could figure out what I wrote about. I learned English at school and I never lived in any English-speaking country… hmhm

  61. fern

    Ah, the original, primal superhero shines through!
    Your glowing super powers are all the “protection” you need…you already knew that though.

  62. Julia

    I adore your gorgeous baby belly. How I wish I looked like you when I was pregnant. I ballooned up and have seen pictures taken of me at nearly 8 months along, sitting in my recliner, and I looked like a beached whale. I felt well, but looked awful. Now about all the fears….I had the crazy hormonally driven fear of being hit by a car if I even stepped into the street. And I had the “knife phobia” and sharp object fears you are having right now. So yeah… you’re normal. However I’d like to tell you the irrational fears all disappear about the time the baby comes…But you are talking the the QUEEN of all over-protective mothers here! I really have to work to keep myself in check, and not keep my daughter from enjoying being a kid, or turning her into a fearful child. I don’t imagine it will ever get easier, for me at least, but the fears seem to be less far fetched as my daughter gets older. Yes you will always want to shield and protect your baby from the big bad world…And there’s nothing wrong with that. I know you’ll find a balance that works for you and be an awesome, protecting , loving and nurturing mother. Blessings. 🙂

  63. hannah

    oh, love the belly 🙂 it makes me so happy. i completely understand the worrying thing (although probably not COMPLETELY since I’ve never been pregnant), I’m a natural worryer, and while children are the best in so many ways, it’s the scariest, most precious thing, I’ve been thinking about that vulnerability lately- when/ if I ever am pregnant, will I feel like a power woman, or will I feel vulnerable and in need of protection? I guess both. As for the dog thing, I never thought of that one until today- my dog is an absolute sweetheart, will cuddle with you on command (hers or ours), but I went to my mom’s today and a neighbor kid had his crazy dog (off leash) that sniffed at my dog, but then went after my mom, nephew (turning 2 tomorrow) and her puppy. I just never thought that could happen- luckily my nephew is fine, my mom got the bite in her arm, and the puppy is ok. I helped them with the aftermath, and my mom was so shaken up. I know there is no way to anticipate or prevent everything, and I think that was part of her guilt/ upsetedness- part of Jordan losing his innocence, and feeling completely powerless. It was a new scary feeling for me- my mom and nephew under attack. I’m definitely NOT trying to scare you, it’s just strange that I felt the loss of control today.
    There is this great quote that I love:
    “Making a decision to have a child- it’s momentous. It is to decide to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone
    (Complete sidebar- heard the Rebar piece on NPR today!)

  64. Abby

    Welcome to motherhood!!

  65. beckka

    I don’t quite remember how I came across this and I don’t take it all that seriously, but whenever there’s an unusual sort of animal appearance in my life, I like to look up totem animals and their meaning on sites like these: http://www.southwestblend.com/Healthy_Living/totems2.htm
    http://www.crystalinks.com/totemanimals.html
    It’s kind of a fun thing to think about, and maybe some of those fears aren’t bringing doom, but are trying to teach you something.

  66. Boho Girly

    i don’t think i mentioned in my previous comment how adorable your belly was. so i wanted to say that it is so fricken yummalicious, hot mama. xoxo

  67. Sandy

    Welcome to the wonderful, scarey world of motherhood. It’s so weird…I was just thinking about this yesterday….my kids are 16 and 19 years old and to think back when they were little, thinking about oh, once they’re done with *this* I won’t have to worry about them anymore…but hey, once they’re done with what you’re worrying about at that moment, there will be a new thing to worry about…so it’s nonstop vicious cycle…lol. AND YOUR BELLY LOOKS BEAUTIFUL!!!

  68. Piper

    Hi Andrea,
    I’m not a mom so I don’t really have any experience to share. I just wanted to write a quick note to say how beautiful your belly is!!! You look amazing pregnant! I’m still so very happy that your hopes came true. If I do become a mom I will need a donor egg, as I am infertile, so reading about your struggle (even though your situation is different than mine would be) gives me hope. Thank you for sharing your journey on this blog. Please keep it up! Your honesty, positivity (not mention wonderful photography) brings me cheer and lifts my spirits. It is so nice to know that there are such ***GOOD*** people out there in the world.

  69. umber

    The first few days at home with my baby I stared at her every second and heard her every breath. I never slept deeply– there’s something about hearing their breath that mom’s just have to do. My husband finally yanked me out of the house after a week and I thought I was on acid. We went to a park and I realized that the hormones had changed the way I see the world. I had not focused my eyes on anything farther than a foot and a half away from my face for a whole week! The colors of the trees looked so delicious I felt like one of the rainbow goblins. That all happens to connect you to your baby in an amazingly profound way as well as to protect him/her. It’s the craziest thing you’ll ever know. It does ease up! I used to worry about my husband being killed in a crash every day and having to raise the little one by myself, that was my biggest fear.
    Also, at the time we were living and working in a developing country where it is the custom for total strangers to hold new babies and it is terrible to stop them b/c they might give the baby the “evil eye” and the baby supposedly dies. A homeless man started talking to us as were dining outside one day and he reached out to hold the baby. My husband, who had her in his arms, looked at me and we both shared the same thought, “how can you treat someone differently just because they are poor?” I probably would have declined anyway, but he handed him the baby and the man actually licked his finger and stuck it in her mouth! She was 4 weeks old. I share this to make everyone out there feel like a better parent than we felt ourselves to be that day. And to let you know that my little girl is now four years old and fine. She made it. In spite of everything you worry about, you and your family will too.
    You look beautiful!

  70. Tanya

    What a beautiful post, Andrea
    I am not a mother, nor have I been pregnant, but I do become very protective when I am near children, including children I do not know.
    It is as if my senses are heightened, and I am aware of everyone around them.
    What a beautiful process you, your body, spirit and mind are going through.
    <3

  71. jus

    When I was pregnant, I became very fearful of driving – well of other people driving, I still drove crazy. I couldn’t eat anything in the fridge that I knew to be more than 3 days old fearing that I would kill my baby with some weird strain of bacteria. Those are just a few, oh and cigarette smoke…
    It’s just the protectiveness kickin in.
    You look absolutely beautiful 🙂

  72. martine

    ANDREA…..wow, you look amazing…I want to pet your tummy…
    love from up here in Eugene!!
    See you soon
    XXM

  73. Lesley

    YES! I worked at a coffee shop my first preganancy and walked 2 miles to work very early in the morning five days a week. I loved the walk and did not want to give it up simply because I was pregnant. But as I got bigger I became more and more fearful that someone was going to kill me (knives were the main weapon used in these horrible thoughts). Until they became every day. I had to use a lot of force to push them from my mind. I was really, truly scared.
    But I made it through and did not let it stop me from walking. After my babe was born the thoughts went away – (at least until he turned about 8 months old, only to return in new more “realistic” fears!) – motherhood is like that, it makes you feircely protective and hyper-vigilent and just so much more aware. It’s bittersweet all the time.

  74. petra

    Sounds like your instincts are flaring up. Try reading “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

  75. Kristen

    First off, way to have abs and be 7 months pregnant. I hate you.
    Second, your fear of knives probably has to do with the not one, but TWO stories about the pregnant women having their babies “taken.” Derek and I were just talking about this yesterday. The last time I was pregnant with Ethan the same thing happened. It hasn’t happened in almost 2 years–until I got pregnant this time around with Baby #2. I swear it’s a plot to drive me insane. I find that carrying my own knife provides its own measure of comfort. But I think you are probably safe with Matt. I think.

  76. Caroline

    I love that you took the photo on your unmade bed!
    As for the pregnancy “weirdness” — all par for the course. I read somewhere that (here is a “woo woo” explanation)it is caused by the fact that two souls are sharing a body; both having their own thoughts and feelings. I kind of liked that. On a physical level, the body is doing an incredible balancing act so there is bound to be some strange byproduct reactions. It’s akin to being on a carnival ride, scary but thrilling all at the same time!
    What worked for me: sweet music–early Bruce Cockburn is great, baking muffins, making pots of soup…. anything nurturing and loving.
    Caroline

  77. Carole

    Dear Andrea,
    Although I’m a woman who in general trusts my intuition, I found myself pooh-poohing various fears or intuitions when my son was born: I didn’t want to come across as paranoid or over-protective to my husband or to other people. Then (just a small example), there were moments when I flash-thought “Is Adam going to fall and hit his head on that?” and I ignored it – and there he was, hitting his head exactly as I had predicted. And I can’t protect him all of the time – I truly realize this, and I think children do learn important lessons from some of their bumps and scrapes – but I am learning that mommy intuition is a powerful thing!
    There was a women’s event at my church, and I left Adam in the nursery because I thought I “had to” or “ought to”, but started to cry as soon as I sat down next to my girlfriend (who has three kids). She said, “Carole, trust yourself. If you don’t feel ready to leave him there, it is totally okay! Just go get him!” She had her daughter (same age as Adam) with her, too. Sometimes it just helps to have a friend there to confirm that what you feel as a mommy is okay, plus I enjoyed that event far more than if I’d been worrying about him the whole time.
    I figure we’re entrusted with these precious little ones, and I’d rather be labeled “over-protective” for not wanting my son to pet a strange dog than have him be in the hospital getting stiches and scared of dogs for the rest of his life. As it is now, he loves dogs and happily pets ones we know – big or small. I did have to yell at a huge roaming pit bull once that came up to Adam’s stroller during a walk in our neighborhood – I was terrified but felt enough power to rip that dog apart if I needed to! We still go for walks….I don’t want to be ruled by fear either. Complex issue, I think! No wonder there are so many comments here!

  78. Jen

    Hi Andrea,
    I remember this. I felt like it got better after I had my two sons (each time). Once they were out in the world I could see the effect of things happening to them and see them surrvive. It is more difficult to feel that way when they are on the inside. Now when my nine month old takes a fall he cries but soon after I comfort him and he is okay. When I was pregnant I could only do my best but my belly was so big. I would run into things and I felt clumsy and there were so many hidden dangers. I think once my children were out in the world I also felt like I had to give some of it up to their own course of life too. So I do my best and I read a lot but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t fight off a bear if I had to.
    Love,
    Jen

  79. leesa

    yes, yes. andrea. i did the same thing both times i was pregnant. and it didn’t really GO AWAY when my babies were born…it just SHIFTS…and it’s less about me now and more about THEM. it’s just the mama bear thing. the growl and scratch of being a mama. a mama who ferociously protects her babies.
    ohgoodnessme you’re gonna be such a good mama. IT’S ALREADY BEGUN.
    <3 and prayers,
    leesa.

  80. tracey

    It’s gets better and it gets worse. That’s the truth as crazy and confusing as it is.
    And I’d say lay off HBO’s Big Love for a while. At least until the new season starts.
    Been thinking of you sweet girl. You look radiant and round. What a wonderful self-portrait.

  81. Neil

    Is worrying in the contract when you decide to become a mother?

  82. laura

    Hi, i just ‘googled’ this topic as I thought I was going mad. I have recently separated from my 17 month old daughter’s father and am now feeling as though I am flooded with the responsibility of stopping her from any harm. Can’t tell you how many times I check the door and window locks before turning in to bed each night…. oh after checking she’s breathing for the 19th time of the evening. I too have the awful visualisation of knives and hate even having to use a carving knife for anything.
    I love the quote posted earlier telling how having a child is like having your heart walk around outside your body… you feel THAT vunerable. It is just that it hurts sometimes to love something as much as you love your child. I wouldn’t have it any other way though! Good luck with everything x
    Laura, Perth, Western Australia

Ready for your next creative adventure?

Download the Mondo Beyondo dream generator!

Latest from the blog

Some of the best books I’ve read this year.

Some of the best books I’ve read this year.

  Some of the best books I've read this year The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You by Karla McLaren This book travels through a whole vocabulary of emotions and truly celebrates them - showing you that each one (even the so-called...

read more
CSP #48: The Language of Emotions with Karla McLaren

CSP #48: The Language of Emotions with Karla McLaren

Karla McLaren, M.Ed. is an award-winning author, social science researcher, and empathy pioneer. Her lifelong work focuses on her grand unified theory of emotions, which revalues even the most “negative” emotions and opens startling new pathways into self-awareness,...

read more

Ready to add color to your life?
JOIN OVER 5,000 INSPIRED GRADUATES IN AN ECOURSE

Camp Wonder-Seeker

30 days of ease, joy and cultivating wonder

Creative prompts, stories and secret missions that will bring you help you wake up your creativity, invite you to see the world in an entirely different way + celebrate ordinary beauty and magic.

Capture the Magic

Rock your camera-phone - and discover that beauty and joy are everywhere.

The very best camera is the one that’s with you! I’ll show you how to get on your own path of joy and delight while learning photography skills along the way.

Brave Blogging

30-days of breathing life & inspiration into your blog

Blogging is still the best way to grow your audience and find your tribe, while connecting to your voice and your spirit!

VIEW MORE COURSES