'The Most Positively Challenging Rollercoaster You'll Ever Be On': Here's How These Three Women Are Experiencing First-Time Motherhood

Keara James and her husband were long distance for three years when she got pregnant in October 2019.

“He didn’t move up to Seattle until March. So we combined lives,” James said. “Cohabitation was one thing, then I was pregnant. Six months later we had a baby. So we just had a whirlwind for 2020.”

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The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country also happened in Washington state right around the same time.

Brianna Dickens and her husband were two weeks into quarantine when they found out she was pregnant last March, while Jennifer Perry—who is a senior producer for our sister site, Jezebel—and her husband discovered she was pregnant on Father’s Day 2020.

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All three of these first-time mamas will celebrate their first Mother’s Day on Sunday and spoke with The Root about their motherhood journeys thus far.


On telemedicine

“For most of my pregnancy, I made this joke all the time that it felt like I could have been going to a kiosk to get checked for some of my visits because it was all over the computer. I remember there were actually actual moments where I’m telling the doctor, ‘This thing didn’t work. You know, this still hurts.’ And she’s like, ‘Oh, so you’re saying it worked?’ I’m saying, ‘No, I’m saying this is not working for me. Are you listening to me?’ Things like that. I wanted to be surprised by my baby’s gender and they sent me the paperwork in my health system. So it wasn’t a surprise. So it’s just like little mix ups like that that sort of made the experience a little impersonal. But I always tell myself at the end of the day is a healthy baby and having a healthy baby. And that’s what I got, so I’d say in the end, the good outweigh the bad.” — Jennifer Perry

On other’s opinions

“There’s a lot of opinions around what motherhood should look like, what you should and shouldn’t do. And the No. 1 thing I’ve embraced is I’m doing what works best for my family. And that’s my answer to everybody. You’ll get questions—and whether just curious or judgmental, whatever—I’m doing, what works for us. Nobody can tell you what’s going to work best for you and your family.” — Keara James

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On motherly instincts

“I’ve never been, I would say, the motherly type. I would never ask can I babysit your babies? I wasn’t really a kid person. I do have a younger sister; we’re 12 years apart. And so I feel like I did help raise her in a way, but I never had to watch her alone as a baby. People always say those instincts hit right when the baby comes. I never really, truly believed that until it actually happened.” — Brianna Dickens

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These first-time moms share takeaways from their early days of motherhood, what they’ve learned in the process and how their babies are sometimes mini versions of themselves in the videos above. Consider this your cute baby warning.

Jessica Moulite is an award-winning Video Producer at The Root passionate about dismantling unjust societal power structures and all things Black culture. She's also probably watching “Living Single.”

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