Embarazada: A Truly False Cognate?

No one likes to be contradicted – least of all by oneself.  But that’s what I’ve unwittingly done within the confines of this very blog.  Looking back at certain older posts from this blog – even ones written just before this pregnancy – I spoke of ways my life was altered by motherhood and ways it might expand as time went on.  There were posts lamenting the fact that I’d never have the chance to do mommy and baby yoga; pondering grand dreams of what I’d do with my life now that my babies were more self-sufficient; worrying that I still hadn’t fully recovered from the postpartum mood and anxiety disorder that had started six years earlier.


Jennifer Butler Basile

Looking back, with all of the facts and the whole picture visible, it’s easy to cringe.  But if nothing else, I’ve dedicated this blog to my true state of mind at a given point in time.  And those feelings were true at that point in time.  Did I foresee this new off-shoot of our family tree?  Absolutely not.  Was I closed to the idea of new life and growth in our lives?  Absolutely not.  So the before and after of this point on our timeline are equally authentic.

Still, it’s hard to reconcile drastically unexpected turns of one’s life on a public stage. Would people always wonder whether this child was the ‘surprise’?  Would they ask whether his or her birth followed a remarriage, creating a second little family after a longer span?  Would the silver strands that seemed more plentiful than my dark tresses make me look like even more of an old mother than I felt?

It was when I found a white eyebrow hair that I had a small fit in front of the bathroom mirror.  How could I be making this journey I’d first started as a much younger woman once again?  How could my body do this (and to me)?  After a moment of reflection, however, I realized I wouldn’t be pregnant if I was too old to conceive and carry a child.  My body was ready – even if I was not.

That’s not to say I can expect to let my body do all the work it did effortlessly the first time all those years ago.  I need to exercise and modify and hurt more than I ever have before.  I need to quantify and reconcile and deconstruct all my fears and thoughts.  I also need to embrace the wisdom and experience my three previous journeys have given me.  I have been on both sides, mostly all sides, of the multifaceted sphere that is motherhood.  I’ve not always been on the right side, but I certainly have perspective.

Perspective can affect outcome and attitude on any given day in many different ways.  As with any life change, it will not always result in a positive outlook.  If I ever had rose-colored glasses, they were shattered some dark night of some postpartum period.  There are and will be days I discuss those jagged images.  However, there are some positives I never would have claimed had there never been this pregnancy.

For my previous three babies, I did not know how to knit.  This time, I am able to create a blanket for my baby.  With all three older children now in school, I will be able to rest and ruminate with this child like I did my first.  I’ll get to try ‘wearing’ this child with one of those chic wraps you need to be a ninja to tie that caught on as my youngest aged.  And maybe I’ll even make good on my long-held desire to practice yoga with my infant at some sun-soaked studio.

My most fervent hope is that this pregnancy will wipe clean a slate sullied by my mental and emotional anguish surrounding the process and act of childbearing.  Even saying that worries me that I’ve set an unrealistic expectation – one of the paths to pmads – but I cannot deny the hope that struggles to blossom and grow.

Before or after; Expected or pleasant surprise; Prepared or brilliantly bewildered – Gracias a Dios for another chance at life.


What is a false cognate?

False cognates are pairs of words that seem to be cognates because of similar sounds and meaning, but actually have different etymologies; these word pairs can be within the same language or be from different ones. This is different from false friends, which may in fact be related but have different meanings. (wikipedia)


Leave a comment


  1. Beautifully said. One of the things I love about your blog is how real you write, while managing to create art with words. I hope you’re well and I can’t imagine the numerous emotions you’re experiencing. I absolutely love this last line: “Before or after; Expected or pleasant surprise; Prepared or brilliantly bewildered – Gracias a Dios for another chance at life.” You’re a pro and I have no doubt you’ll get through whatever is thrown your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Butler Basile

       /  February 25, 2016

      Thank you so much, Jenni. You’re eliciting even more emotions 🙂

      I will be well with such wonderful support as yours!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Little Mighty

     /  February 25, 2016

    Wonderful and beautifully written. You are truly blessed to be able to have another opportunity to have another little one ready to blossom and arriving soon to be welcomed into your loving arms. Your little one will be very lucky as you will have the experience envied by many first time mothers and you will have more time with your other children away at school during the day. I wish you good health and joy in the excitement of a new path to be taken in your life. It will be a journey of great expectations, wonderful surprises and most importantly, it will be one of love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, I too had an unexpected child after I thought I was done- I spent my pregnancy saying: “I’m too old for this sh*t!”

    Liked by 1 person


Throw Another Potato in the Pot

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: