So everyone has been going nuts over Beyoncé’s pregnancy announcement photo.
You know, the one where she’s kneeling amongst a bunch of flowers while wearing silky pants with a piece of green tulle draped over her head.
As you do.
She looks great, of course. Totally weird, but great. She’s Beyoncé – of course she looks gorgeous even with a giant belly full of babies.
Clearly, I’m no Bey. My pregnancy photos looked more like this.
Rather than exuding glamour, I exuded fatness and frustration. I was wearing this dress in almost all of my pregnancy photos, the most boring and unflattering maternity dress that I could find. I grew weirdly attached to it and even tried to wear it post-baby, but it just kind of hung like a sack around the middle where my ginormous belly had been.
There seems to be a trend for announcing your pregnancy in cute, socially-sharable ways these days. Couples post photos of their feet next to tiny pairs of baby shoes, or share a photo of an actual bun in an actual oven, or put their older child in a shirt that says ‘Big Brother’ on it. Cue likes, comments, Facebook ‘wow’ faces, etc.
And that’s cool, if you’re into that. A pregnancy is a big deal, and you want to share the news with your family, friends and that girl who sat next to you in biology class in high school. I get it.
But I still couldn’t do it.
I never made any sort of public pregnancy announcement. I told close friends and family, obviously, and colleagues too once my fatness demanded an explanation, but I never put anything out on social media. Most of my friends had no idea that I was even pregnant until my husband posted a photo of our daughter on Facebook a few days after she was born.
There’s a good reason for that: I was terrified.
Some people claim that they loved being pregnant. I don’t understand those people. For me, pregnancy was nine solid months of straight-up anxiety. What if something happens to the baby? What if I eat the wrong thing or move the wrong way? Is this twinge in my abdomen normal? Is she moving enough? It wasn’t something I felt like sharing with my entire social circle.
“Ooh, congratulations! You must be so excited!” they would have said. And I would have had to stop myself from responding with, “Excited? Are you kidding me? I’m shitting myself over here.”
Maybe Bey is shitting herself too (and who could blame her – she’s having twins, FFS), but she’s just hiding it really well. Maybe all those mothers who post those cute pictures of little baby shoes are also shitting themselves. After all, social media is a great place to say, “We are incredible grateful that our family will be growing,” and not such a great place to say, “I’m totally freaking out about the fact that I’m about to become responsible for a very small and vulnerable human being.”
Maybe it’s time for that to change.