MY PREG­NANCY... AND OTHER SUR­PRISES!

Jour­nal­ist Re­becca Ho­ran is in the last third of her first preg­nancy. So what does it hold for a ca­reer- driven woman who is ex­cited, anx­ious – and has never read a baby book in her life?

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - CONTENTS - Re­becca Ho­ran is a dig­i­tal pre­sen­ter and jour­nal­ist for Ex­tra.ie. Fol­low her on Twit­ter @Ho­ranBex

Re­becca Ho­ran on her un­ex­pected news – and how she’s cop­ing with it

Iam well into my third trimester at this stage and this week I was caught off-guard by my ‘past life’. There I was, pre­car­i­ously perched on my big pur­ple gym ball, with an as­sort­ment of snacks in my swollen mitts and try­ing in vain to con­cen­trate on se­ries 5 of The Good Wife when a no­ti­fi­ca­tion lit up my phone. It was a Face­book mem­ory from a year ago and all of a sud­den my screen switched from my baby scan screen­saver to a bronzed, toned, sand- cov­ered me.

I blinked and looked at it again. It was def­i­nitely me. There was a Coors Light in one tanned hand, a colour­ful beach bag in the other, the sun was shin­ing, the weather was good – you get the idea. My tummy was look­ing up at me, I was look­ing back at the hol­i­day snap and that’s when the tears started to fall.

In­stead of putting the phone away like I should have, I then de­cided to tor­ment my­self and scrolled through my other mem­o­ries. Two years ago I was hav­ing fun at surf camp while my friends posed up a storm in the back­ground . Four years ago, I was cel­e­brat­ing a work mile­stone, my first of­fi­cial re­port from out­side the Dáil for a well-known ra­dio sta­tion. I looked very im­por­tant, quite smug ac­tu­ally. Then my first morn­ing de­bat­ing the sto­ries of the day on na­tional TV ap­peared, I was all coiffed hair and red lips, ooz­ing con­fi­dence.

Then our wed­ding day popped up – look how young we were, look how de­lighted we were with life and look how blue the sky was? Then seven years ago, prob­a­bly just three weeks to­gether and we were sit­ting star­ing at each other in a Mex­i­can restau­rant with Ca­jun sauce smeared across our faces like lovesick fools. Eight years ago, and I was sur­rounded by large an­i­mals on sa­fari and again look­ing like I was hav­ing the time of my life.

That was my limit. I locked my screen­saver and up came the baby scan again, the baby that’s kick­ing and punch­ing me and re­mind­ing me how im­por­tant she is, how the tequila shots and the busy ca­reer will just have to wait.

You see most of us re­tain mem­o­ries of a uni­corn­filled past. We think school- days were the best days of our lives, that col­lege was un­for­get­table, that that trip to Syd­ney was life- changing, that our first job was ex­cit­ing, that our bod­ies were bet­ter. But we don’t like to re­mem­ber the falls, the heart­break, the empty bank ac­counts, the exam cram­ming and the myr­iad fat days. We for­get the emails we sent beg­ging our par­ents for $50 just to get out of the rat­in­fested hos­tel in the Bronx, the break-up by text from the love of our lives, the ter­ri­ble, soul- crush­ing jobs and the first time you said good­bye to some­one you re­ally loved.

Nowa­days I won­der if in a year ev­ery­thing will have changed for us, but I fig­ure in a year I’ll still see Face­book no­ti­fi­ca­tions or old re­minders of my ‘past life’ and I will still ro­man­ti­cise and fan­ta­sise about how per­fect things were.

The past can have a funny way of mak­ing you feel proud of what you have ac­com­plished but also sad for what you’ve lost.

But the funny thing is that if you were to look at real-time tapes of your old life, you’d no­tice the sky wasn’t quite so blue that day and that in fact the rest of the hol­i­day was a washout; that liv­ing out of a back­pack can be slightly un­hy­gienic and can cause ran­dom itch­ing; that the surf in­struc­tor you flirted with for the en­tire week turned out to be more in­ter­ested in your hos­tel room­mate; that just af­ter that night­club selfie you had an almighty row with your then boyfriend; that all the won­der­ful job posts usu­ally came from work­ing 14-hour days for min­i­mum wage, liv­ing off a diet of chicken Pot Noo­dle with a narky boss to an­swer to.

Though these mem­o­ries took me back, my at­tempt at liv­ing in the present is go­ing a lot bet­ter. I try my breath­ing and mind­ful­ness with the dog on the yoga mat and I’ve de­cided the now is good. The fu­ture is full of prom­ise.

One mem­ory I do know will never pop up on my Face­book feed will be my labour. That lit­tle beauty won’t be on so­cial me­dia.

I also know that my tummy will go back to nor­mal, the ex­haus­tion will sub­side, there will be other beach days and nights out and ca­reer vic­to­ries, but all with an ex­tra room­mate – the bump.

That Mark Zucker­berg has a lot to an­swer for...

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