Content And Community For Black Moms


Our first-time moms answer what’s probably the most common question asked of pregnant people everywhere.


There was a common thread to how each of our first-time moms felt about their second trimester: A return to the normal.

“I feel like things have leveled out,” Patrice King explained to us. “Things are nice and normal again.”

In part two of this month’s “Chronicles of a First-Time Mom,” we talk about the things that are way different from what the moms’ lives were before: Namely, their babies’ genders (Editors’ Note: !!!), pregnancy brain, and their husbands’ pregnancy side effects.

Now that your belly is visible to others, are you experiencing any pregnancy perks?

Patrice: Lots of people have asked me if people have started giving up their seats on the train for me, but they haven’t. Then they say maybe I’m not playing up my pregnancy enough. But what do they want me to do? Fake contractions? Maybe if it wasn’t winter and you could actually see my belly more under my winter coat they would. But right now nobody cares… I’m standing with the rest of them.

Patrice King and her husband Errol
Patrice King and her husband Errol

Nic: I’m still sort of not showing, which is interesting. I think if you knew me from before, you would know something was going on, but if you’d never met me, I don’t think you would look at me and think, “Clearly, she’s pregnant.” I have a friend who’s due a day after me, and she’s visibly pregnant, but I’m still wearing my clothes from before. So I haven’t really experienced the perks yet. I’ve been in yoga class and told my instructor, and then they’ll pay extra attention to you and they’re really encouraging, but that’s about it.

Rochelle: Lots of people say, “Oh, be careful” and “Watch out” when I’m walking outside in the ice and snow. I had a client tell me that I have a glow, that my skin looks really good. So those are all nice things to hear. But then I hear some weird comments, too. Some people have said my face is fatter. Someone told me I was shaped like an eggplant. I figure these are just people who don’t know what to say.

Have you experienced the phenomenon known as pregnancy brain?

P: Probably? I don’t know. I dont remember! I don’t know that it’s so much forgetfulness as it is lack of focus. There’s so much that you’re thinking about. So it’s not necessarily that you’re forgetting anything, it’s just that maybe something isn’t at the top of the queue right then.

N: I don’t think so, but maybe other people would say differently. I think I’ve been ok.

R: Yeah, unfortunately. I’m just not as focused as I used to be. My sister and I were having a conversation the other day, and I, supposedly, kept going off topic, and started talking about things we’d talked about a while ago, and she couldn’t follow me. For some reason in your mind you think you’re on track, but people are like, “No.”

Sometimes I can’t remember words, it’s weird. I’m also a little extra emotional. I’ll be watching a TV show, and think to myself, “That really wasn’t that sad. Why am I crying right now?” It’s funny because when you read all the books, everyone’s telling you that all of these things are going to happen, [and] you think, Yeah, ok, whatever. But then it actually happens to you! It’s so out of your control, it’s crazy!

Has your husband experienced any pregnancy side effects?

P: He claims that his weight gain is because of my pregnancy. I think his activity levels have shifted, but sure, we’ll attribute it to me being pregnant. I think that’s the only thing though. Just a couple pounds of sympathy weight.

N: I don’t think so. I think he’s been sticking to his same routine. He’ll eat random things here and there, but I think that would have happened regardless.

R: He’s been eating a lot more than usual. He claims it’s because he’s been working out, but he’s always worked out.

Are there any food cravings you’re having, or have you found yourself disinterested in foods you used to love?

P: No, not really, but the baby does not like artificial sugar or any sugary stuff, which is unfortunate because I’m a dessert person. But the baby is clearly not a fan. I can eat a little bit, but if I eat too much, I get really queasy.

N: I haven’t really, but for a while I wanted little pickles and salted kettle chips. Sometimes I crave watermelon Sour Patch Kids, but that’s pretty much it. Occasionally I’ll have a craving for apples or strawberries, which I welcome.

Rochelle Dorset and her husband Delon
Rochelle Dorset and her husband Delon

R: No cravings actually, which is really weird. I expected that I would have them. I’m eating a lot more [and] snacking, but no particular cravings. I was getting ready for Christmas dinner though, and I was peeling garlic. The smell of it was so strong. It made me really nauseous. It was too much for me to handle.

Do you know your baby’s sex? Would you mind sharing it?

P: I’m having a boy! I didn’t really have a preference either way, so I think I would have been just as excited no matter what. I think I was more blown away by seeing his heartbeat and his blood flow, and all of his little fingers. He kept covering his face, and kicked the ultrasound technician.

N: I’m having a girl! I was really happy. I would have been happy either way, boy or girl, but from the beginning I always thought it was a girl, until I would run into people who would say, “It’s clearly a boy.” They’d get me thinking maybe it is a boy. I’m very excited. I’m looking forward to doing all these fun, cutesy things.

R: It’s a little boy! We had no idea. Actually, I said it was a boy, and my husband said it was a girl. So really it was just confirmation that I was right. Now we can think about names, color schemes, and focus our efforts.

Join us next month as we talk to Nic, Patrice, and Rochelle about finding their doctors.

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Satya Nelms is mater mea’s managing editor. She is a writer and community builder. She lives with her best friend and four littles just outside of Philadelphia.


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