pregnancy

"You’re trying to find where you belong": Nobody tells you about the pregnancy limbo.

It hit me a few weeks back. 

I was at a girlfriend’s long-awaited hens party in Surry Hills, knocking back my sixth mocktail, scraping cheese off the delicious pizza boards I would’ve previously devoured and rubbing my peek-a-boo pregnancy belly whilst chatting to friends about the ins and outs of the second trimester. 

Whilst it was nice to see everyone before the COVID crazies hit, my feet were aching, my lower back was throbbing and my heart was racing (because of said mocktails) as I mentally pat myself on the back for, what felt like, a really late night. 

As everyone got into the shots, I quickly glanced at my watch to check the time – it was only 9pm (which is midnight in pregnancy time). 

Watch: Things pregnant people never say. Post continues below.


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One comfy couch and a bowl of sweet potato fries later and I called it a night, curling up in bed with my digestive tea by 10pm.

The girls at the hens, on the other hand, most definitely didn’t with a flurry of Instagram Stories dancing, drinking and taking selfies as they moved from pub to club to bar the following morning.

And while I was happy that the hen had the night out she deserved, the new 'pregnant me' felt so left out of all the fun. 

It was in that moment it hit me. The pregnancy limbo.

While we all know the feeling of FOMO, pregnancy limbo is tenfold (especially when you’re the first to fall pregnant in your group of girlfriends). 

For the foreseeable future, you’re no longer the jeans-and-cute-top wearing, wine-swilling, cheese-eating cool girl that knows how to make a mean margarita on weekends... but, you’re also not the baby-carrying, milk-pumping mama who can change a nappy one-handed.

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On a more serious note, in pregnancy limbo, you’re trying to find where you belong whilst struggling with a loss of identity, 24/7 morning sickness and a much small social circle because of it.

I miss my old body.

I’m at the stage of pregnancy where hair removal is a workout. 

The other day, I spent 45 minutes trying to wax my legs, and it was so painful I ended up with rib bruising the next day.

And although I knew the weight would come, I thought I would’ve dealt with it far better than what I have – gradually getting used to the bump, as well as the stretch marks, hormonal body acne and hyperpigmentation that is starting to show. 

Whilst I feel guilty for complaining about weight gain during pregnancy, it would be nice to whinge about your new body shape without feeling so bad, and know that other mamas were worried about how many kilos they’d gain and how much exercise they should do to maintain their new kind of normal, too.

Listen to Mamamia's podcast for pregnant people, Hello Bump. Post continues below.

I miss my old mind.

Being a journalist in a past life, I’ve always had this ability to recall full conversations by memory (it truly was my party trick). 

After three months of pregnancy, however, I realised that baby brain was not just a fleeting moment of mental fog – it was also memory loss, poor concentration, and absent-mindedness reported by many women during pregnancy and early motherhood. 

This really impacted me in my current role, working in a male-dominated industry and forgetting simple tasks I’d promise to finish, dropping the ball on work I’d committed to and completely missing meetings due to first trimester fatigue.  

I momentarily feared I’d lose my job, even before having the 'maternity leave' conversation, for being a shadow of my former self in the workspace (lucky for me, I actually work with a bunch of legends that would do no such thing, but instead, encourage me to take time out to focus on my mental and physical health and wellbeing). 

I miss my old career plan.

I remember a few years back, chatting to my husband about my career plans and realising that one day, they’d be put on hold for pregnancy. 

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I truly didn’t mind – we’d always wanted multiple babies and I was excited, and grateful, to have the opportunity to raise our own little fam. 

But actually applying for maternity leave made me feel vulnerable and frightened of the unknown. 

Everything from my personal finances to my future was fully dependent on what kind of baby we’d have, how I’d feel on maternity leave, how much help I’d get from husband, family and friends, as well as my workplace’s need for me upon my return.  

I miss some of my girlfriends.

I have lots of girlfriends who aren’t pregnant and are perfect all the same, sending me care packages during COVID, cooked meals to curb my cravings and check-in texts, just because. 

I have, however, noticed the gap between some of my single friends and I widen as we struggle to connect or find common ground due to being in different life stages. 

The calls have slowed post-baby announcement, text messages to 'see how I’m going' have completely disappeared and general love, life and latest purchase updates have come to a halt. 

After initially feeling quite isolated by the freeze out, I’ve come to realise it’s no one’s fault – it’s not theirs for carrying on their merry way, and it’s not mine for doing the same. 

I miss having one mood.

Times are tough right now. Not just for mums-to-be, but for everyone.

I expected emotions to run high at puppy ads, bizarre songs like 'Sweet Home Alabama' and basically everything considered newsworthy right now. I did not expect to bawl my eyes out over a closed restaurant or the comments Dr Kerry Chant was copping during the morning presser. 

While there’s a lot I’ve missed, the amount I’ve gained is indescribable. 

The sweet kicks from my baby as he moves around my belly, the tears in my grandparents' eyes when we told them the news of their great grandchild after years of illness and misfortune, and the miraculous moments where you rub your tummy and everything feels perfect (yep, happy hormones are pretty good too). 

For now, I’m happy to sit back and enjoy a few more months of stretchy jeans and conversations with mum friends as I pregnancy limbo into the next phase of my life – motherhood.

Feature Image: Getty.