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Got a bun in the oven? Does it fill you with a sparkling glow or make you feel as swollen as a blowfish?

From morning sickness and food cravings, to weight gain and weak bladder control, the ins and outs of pregnancy are sure to keep any woman on her toes. Meet New York City based comedian, Carolyn Castiglia, as she takes us on a laugh-out-loud ride through the hilarious realities of Lamaze class, the joy of anesthetics, and spread-eagle hospital bed contraction pains.

What happens when baby is unwanted? Meet Austrian-born Andrea Huber, a single mother-to-be who faces pregnancy alone and seeks to deconstruct society’s glamorous ideal of what it means to be pregnant. What if pregnancy is not an option? Read Tertia Albertyn's story as she copes with depression after nine failed in-vitro fertilization cycles. What will she do when her first successful pregnancy yields Ben, a baby born too soon weighing less than a packet of sugar

Join the conversation and get involved through our Take Action! page as women around the world share their thoughts on this nine-month endeavor of body and mind. Through inspiring stories and a mosaic of multi-media exploration, we gather to reflect on the joys and challenges of conception, childbirth, and the long journey in-between.

Upasana Wangnoo Saigal
After giving birth to my beautiful daughter in the month of December 2003, the meaning of the word pregnancy changed forever for me. My choice to bear our child, the child of someone I found complete faith and love with, was culminated in those precious few months before giving birth to Lyla. Never before did I feel ‘full’, like a pot of water on a really hot day. There was a feeling of fulfillment and completion. Pregnancy as my grandmother would say – cannot be put in words but felt and experienced in skin.

What were your experiences of pregnancy like? I invite and welcome you to join this conversation and share your thoughts on pregnancy
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51 - 32 of 51 Next | First
katie l hebert
United States
Posted on Sunday, December 02, 2007 6:05 AM
i'm pregnant with twins girls and i'm due december 25 07
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Mari Gallion
United Kingdom
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 7:24 PM
I am so happy to see so much love and support for single mothers-to-be in this discussion. This is the exception to the general rule, as those women who continue with what I call "unsupported" pregnancies (planned or unplanned pregnancies in which the natural father has abandoned the mother, the child, or both) still have a long way to go before they achieve treatment and enthusiam equal to that of mothers-to-be who are married or partnered (another social stratification issue). When we add the component of often having to endure inhuman treatment at the hands of our children's natural fathers, only to be told that we are doing our children a disservice in the event that we excuse this man from the picture is another sociological minefield that single mothers-to-be have to navigate. I too was pregnant and single in 1998, (recently celebrated by son's 9th birthday), and wrote a self-help book in response to the lack of empowerment and support for single pregnant women who planned to be parents, as our culture seems to support the idea that adoption is the "more correct" choice. Although we are "warned against" single parenting of an infant in our society with the fallacious and statistically incorrect tenet that children who lack "father figures" will end up deficient, the more I learn about other women who have gone through this, the more I see that decent, committed mothers and emotionally healthy children of single mothers are the norm rather than the exception. Thanks to all the single pregnant women, single mothers, their children, and those who give them love, support, and encouragement from outside.
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nievel maigida
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 8:44 PM
I couldn't agree more with jenny that women are dependable when it comes to parenting cos even if anyone forgets the child the mother will never forget. women who have not been able to keep their unwanted pregnancies will always wonder what that child could have become.So i say kudos to all the single mothers out there who have braved the world and had their babies despite what the society thinks.
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Upasana Wangnoo Saigal
Posted on Saturday, June 09, 2007 8:44 AM
Could not agree more with the last comment.
May all the mothers out there single or not, have the gift of letting their children bloom and in return be loved.

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Jenny Aquino
Philippines, the
Posted on Friday, June 08, 2007 6:21 PM
Some women have different views about pregnancy and motherhood. Some women enjoy it, some women don't. But if there's anything that's constant - women are always dependable when it comes to parenting. Its a matter of mindset. My salute to all the single mothers in the world. May your hands always be fruitful, may your hearts always be overjoyed and may your kids realize what a wonderful person you are.
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Rachel Sarah
United States
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2007 7:13 AM
Wow, just wanted to say that I love the photos of/by Andrea Huber, single mother-to-be in Austria. Bravo for being so brave. I'd love to hear what your life is like now, and how you're doing.

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Shahzada Sher
Posted on Sunday, May 20, 2007 12:37 PM
Translations of the Qur'an, Chapter 4:
Total Verses: 176
Revealed At: MADINA
Maududi's introduction


In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

YUSUFALI: O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you.
PICKTHAL: O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you). Lo! Allah hath been a watcher over you.
SHAKIR: O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; surely Allah ever watches over you.

YUSUFALI: To orphans restore their property (When they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your own. For this is indeed a great sin.
PICKTHAL: Give unto orphans their wealth. Exchange not the good for the bad (in your management thereof) nor absorb their wealth into your own wealth. Lo! that would be a great sin.
SHAKIR: And give to the orphans their property, and do not substitute worthless (things) for (their) good (ones), and do not devour their property (as an addition) to your own property; this is surely a great crime.

YUSUFALI: If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.
PICKTHAL: And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice.
SHAKIR: And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one or what your right hands possess; this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the right course.

YUSUFALI: And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, Take it and enjoy it with right good cheer.
PICKTHAL: And give unto the women (whom ye marry) free gift of their marriage portions; but if they of their own accord remit unto you a part thereof, then ye are welcome to absorb it (in your wealth).
SHAKIR: And give women their dowries as a free gift, but if they of themselves be pleased to give up to you a portion of it, then eat it with enjoyment and with wholesome result.

YUSUFALI: To those weak of understanding Make not over your property, which Allah hath made a means of support for you, but feed and clothe them therewith, and speak to them words of kindness and justice.
PICKTHAL: Give not unto the foolish (what is in) your (keeping of their) wealth, which Allah hath given you to maintain; but feed and clothe them from it, and speak kindly unto them.
SHAKIR: And do not give away your property which Allah has made for you a (me
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Upasana Wangnoo Saigal
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2007 1:07 AM
My first and last faith is in myself and not external.
I do not need another 'divinity' or god so thanks but no thanks.
Excellent if it works for some of us but please, let this conversation not be about god.

'Each human has several different humans inside of themselves.
Being a mama helps you explore another one of them...
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Susie Palmer
United States
Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 10:48 PM
Let everything that you do be done with love.

1 Corinthians 16:14
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Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 5:26 AM
The feeling of bringinging someone to life and nurturing life in one's body is one of the greatest feelings. That is the beauty of Motherhood
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Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 5:24 AM
Be Thankful to Lord, that after Divinity We as Women have been given the Power of Creation.
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Upasana Wangnoo Saigal
Posted on Monday, May 14, 2007 12:21 AM
Here is a funny qoute I read in the morning papers today-
'is'nt it amazing how from a 9-5 working woman I
became a sun up to sun down, no vacation mom!'
It is actually fantastic to observe how women magically transform themselves into the role of a caretaker (of a life withheld and then nourished in front of their eyes).
Honestly perhaps with much more dignity and love after becoming mothers and encompassing and experiencing life within.
I went through gruelling labour and C-sec. An experience of course I would not like to repeat.
I look at my 3 and a half year old and find myself in love. I cannot wait to extend my family with a better choice (hospitals, nurses, epidural all the way-no natural birth with a mid wife, sorry but cant do that again!)which is just around the corner for me.
Now I work to balance home and love. How about you?
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Elsa Gebreyesus
Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 3:14 PM

It is a season of vulnerable waiting,
a cycle of excitement and worry.
A transformation into womanhood,
defined by nine moons of naked growth.

Roundness growing like a ripe watermelon,
a dome shaped abode,
a pregnant Goddess .

One small potent seed
searches the physical imprint of its other self,
in the oceanic dreams and whispered wishes
of the mysterious underworld.

Secrets of the universe unfold
within the boundary of my stretching skin.
I hear the pulsating rhythm
muffled by the waters,
not the slow beating I imagined,
but a rapid drum.

Pregnant, I am heavy
with blood and water and life
Warm, wet and slippery,
the soul finally becomes.
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ioana novac
Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 9:55 AM
I encountered a very (I don’t’ even know how to call it) “interesting” situation during my pregnancy. In Romania, even if we lived in a big, beautiful and civilized city, I was surprised to find out that the doctor who supervised my pregnancy wanted to be in control of me giving birth as well. Not only by assisting me (with I found OK), but also by forcing me to choose a natural birth, without anesthesia. Why? Because, in his opinion, I enjoyed conceiving the baby, I’m going to have now to enjoy giving birth. Later on, I discovered an extra explanation to this fact: not all hospitals have the necessary equipment to monitor women during labor, so they have to stay near the soon-to-be- mother all those hours of labor, in order to supervise the contractions, etc. And if the mother in under anesthesia and can’t feel anything, it only makes their job more difficult.

So, I choose a different doctor, who did not mind to assist me all the way during labor and birth and am now happy to say I took the best decision under that circumstances. I gave birth having an epidural done, have beautiful memories from that special moment and am not afraid of repeating the experience.

Talking to many other mother, I realized that the percentage of women whose right to choose is limited by their doctors is way to big(at least in Romania) I only can encourage them to stand up for their believes, to understand that, in most of the cases, they do have a choice. Giving birth is one of a kind experience, you have to enjoy. It only happens once or a few times in a life and we should take advantage of the progress and technology the 21st century gives us.
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Betty Kehrle
United States
Posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2007 3:58 PM
It is interesting that you bring up the topic of work in relation to pregnancy. I was working during my first pregnancy and the shifting hormones sometimes was difficult to deal with because I was a lot more emotional and had trouble some times being professional, but I kept working. Three months after he arrived in the world I returned to work part-time. I found this very difficult because I felt like I should be home taking care of him. After 3 months of trying to make it work, I discussed it with my husband. We agreed that I should quit. I went from being very independent, career minded, no way could I ever handle being home taking care of children and cleaning, to a stay at home Mom :) Even now I'm not sure I could go back to work because I love being there for my two children and being a part of their lives. Pregnancy definitely changed my view on work.
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Upasana Wangnoo Saigal
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 9:01 PM
We live in a world comprising of all situations and circumstances.
There are people with mixed reactions and commitments.
It is interesting to note how a topic like pregnancy is so interlinked to sexuality for some. And perhaps rightly so.
There are parts of country like India that are ‘medieval’ but a bit more exposure would also tell you how the same countries are nonetheless emerging as a fast growing urban power. And this power may I mention is the same shared world over with developing countries. A lot of women are getting what they want and the way they want it. Unfortunately as in many cases there will be casualties of a nation growing whether they are children, women or even men.

Pregnancy is something extremely intrinsic and personal to every woman. Be it in remote corner of Africa, a home in Netherlands or in a private hospital in States.
It is fantastic to have strong and talented women like Ms. Huber who share their strengths and give a very positive vibe to individualistic women all over the globe.

It would also be interesting to know how your qualtiy and attitude towards work changes during and after pregnancy. Does the quality of work suffer or does it in some cases hone itself?
Learning to adjust to our (mine and my daughter’s) schedules I find myself a better organizer and less preoccupied by not so flattering self-interests!

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Posted on Monday, May 07, 2007 11:06 AM
Dear Andrea The lives of wome are all about understanding each others reality. i am happy we are begining to understand each others reality. To understand situation of women in India better I recommend you to watch a movie WATER by a female Director Deepa Mehata which was number two in OSCAR nominations. It is strong comment on condition of Hindu widows and the situation of women. The director was first banned to shoot the movie in Inda and she was enforced to do its shooting in SriLanka. then it was banned in India becuse it is directly challanging Manu Smriti which are ancient code of law for women. The film went for OSCAR nominations as a canadian entry and not an Indian entry. I hope it will make you realise the situation of Women in India. Muslim women are even worse than that. Whenever you enter any shrine in Kashmir there are big sign boards written WOMEN ARE NOT ALLOWED TO ENTER THE SHRINE. You can come across ridiculous remarks like "What is the need for women to go to mosques?" And there is hardley any mosques for wome to pray. People here are still in medieval ages.
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Andrea Huber
Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2007 9:49 PM
Assabah-ul-Arjamand Khan: Is there something specific you would like me to comment on? From what I understand and have been educated about women in India, is yes, there is a lot of stigma attached and there is also an etremely different social structure and idea of morality. What I mean to say as a result of my experience and personal story I have shared with everyone, is that I came into a very difficult situation and did what I could. I took my circumstance and difficulties, much like you have your own in a different way - and tried to make the best life I could, and so far I have made a life that I enjoy. Becoming a single mother was not a plan for me, it was not like I felt empowered by my society to go and have this child, it just so happens that in the U.S. we have social systems which provide support and offer aid to women in my situation. Our democracy has realized that women having children without being married is a reality and they need help, it is not a perfect world. I speak from my heart, from my life - perhaps my situation could never exist in your country, but I still think you can learn something about courage and strength from my story that you can apply to your own life in a different way. I really feel that this life is about learning from your expereince and the world around you, learning what you can from others so you can enhance your life in a way that is accessible and meaningful to you. I think what you mean to describe as a man controlling a women's sexuality is referred to in sociolgy as gender roles and gender codification. This is something I am personally very interested in and have studied about here in the U.S. The ways our society, which yes is largely dictated by men, has been set up to provide the "proper" roles for women, expectations from women, ways of advertising to women......there are so may issues the list goes on. So yes, I do realize what is going on in your country, and I think in some ways we still struggle in the same way against issues like gender codification, but on such extremely different levels given the history and development of our individual countries.
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Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2007 8:36 AM
I would really like Andrea to react to my comment.
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Posted on Thursday, May 03, 2007 8:34 AM
I have gone through the comment of Andrea Huber of Austria and she has been talking about the strength of single mother and the joys which a child can bring in a Single mother's life. But I want to make Andrea Realise that in our part of the world women are considered to be the honour of family and there is no question of talking about single motherhood. Social structures are so rigid that men want to control women's sexuality at every cost. By sexuality I dont mean controlling women's private parts I mean to control her mind. How she should behave with men in society. She and the world will be quite surprised to know that recently one of the lecturers was taking class upto 5:00 PM in the college where I work. authorities did not view it in Professional way , they were looking at it from moral point of view and the poor guy got a good bashing from the dean for taking extra class. So world can imagine when conditions are such when boys and girls are hardly allowed to interact, there is no question of single motherhood. It is so orthodox and interpretations are so rigid that such issues like single motherhood cannot even be dreamed by women not to talk of implementing it on the ground. She is lucky that there is no social stigma attached to it but whatever I have mentioned is the hard reality of our part of the world. I hope she will understand our reality as well
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