Knocked Up

Yesterday I visited my GP with some questions. Specific questions. Like, I’m thinking about having children questions. After some vitamin advice and a bunch of blood tests and a couple of pointed comments about my age (bloody hell, I’m not that far past 30!), I was sent on my way with my head spinning.

I then made the mistake of Googling the topic. Ladies, don’t google. Just don’t. The vitamin advice and raft of blood tests was plenty. Sure if you’re a smoker/heavy drinker/recreational drug user/overweight/red bull junkie then you might need a bit more information, but good lord, if any topic proved that opinions are like assholes….

I’m not that person. I’m not that belly hugging air sniffing Mommy. The term ‘yummy mummy’ makes my skin crawl. I’m a person first and a woman second. It took me this long to even decide that kids are what I want because I finally feel like I have some wisdom to pass on. And every time I make dubious food choices or sit on the couch instead of exercising or lose my temper, I think, how on earth can I teach my kids (should I even be lucky enough to survive all the things that stand in the way of conception) not to do these things if I can’t lead by example?

Then I had a dream about the world being flooded by the ocean, which is the dream I always have when I’m feeling overwhelmed. And do not even get me started about the Sea of Opinion. There is nothing like motherhood to give everyone else a seemingly free license to police you, your body, and your child. Suddenly your breasts and what you choose to do with them become a topic of judgment. You get death stares like you’re a baby murderer if you use a dummy. Or don’t use a dummy.

I did admit some of this to the GP, and in spite of her judgment of my old age, she had a couple of pearls for me. One was that we’ve been doing this for millions of years. I’ll manage. The second was not to get too overwhelmed by all the information, because it’s mostly instinctive.

At the end of the day, instinct and a strong evidence base wins. I don’t care about a random busybody on the street’s disturbing opinion about the choices I make with my boobs or whether or if I’m a baby-killer because I’m drinking a black tea or eating salt. I’ll stick to my GP and a good journal review search engine.

And by god if someone polices me on the street I am going to ask them what their evidence is, what journal it was published in, the number of study participants, and the p-value of the results!

(P.S I’m not actually knocked up. Just thinking bout it. Maybe too much. )


  1. Hi! Really enjoy your blog, I’m a med student (and also a new mum).

    I think it’s normal to feel apprehensive about having children, and feel overwhelmed by all the opinionated ”mummies”. Here’s a post I found when I’d just had a baby that I agreed with –

    I stopped going to my mothers group because there was so much competition and, sadly, misinformation and I didn’t want to be the annoying med student challenging all the things they had googled and took as fact.

    I like your gp’s advice!! As a relatively anxious person (type a med student) I have found some aspects of being a parent challenging but I think it’s just part of learning about what works for your child and using your own judgment.

  2. So glad to find you blogging again. I love your gift for bringing clarity to thoughts and issues that have been preoccupying me. And this is one such issue…

    I think I understand some of your reticence. In the middle of O&G, I’m feeling somewhat alienated from womankind. I know we’ve got a choice how much attention we pay to competitive motherhood, but it’s sometimes hard to avoid – and I’m not even nearly a mother.

    So much of O&G makes me feel somehow less a woman – like I’m definitely not cut-out for this exclusive club called game. Thoughts of family and children have been foremost in my mind for a while, but this experience is definitely feeding a lot of self doubt.

    Whatever happens, I hope we can all learn to trust our instincts and have confidence in our decisions. Good luck.

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