Family life

Why What's Brewing is more important to me than ever

Katie Dupuis has big news, and What's Brewing has helped make her brave enough to share it.

Photo: Second Cup

Photo: Second Cup

Today’s Parent managing editor Katie Dupuis likes structure and organization. A lot. Now, imagine this Type A editor with a baby. Funny, right? We’re sure you’ll love Katie’s musings on life with Sophie and husband Blaine.

With my first pregnancy, I all but retreated into a cocoon of anxiety. I didn’t talk about the baby; I didn’t buy anything until my husband said, “We have to have a car seat or we’re not going to be allowed to leave the hospital;” and I refused to have a baby shower. (Yes, I am actually a superstitious Nonna in a 32-year-old’s body.) The thought of celebrating a little life that wasn’t yet in my arms was overwhelming. I figured it would get better after Sophie arrived, but I’d fed the anxiety monster so much that it took months (and a few trips to the doctor) to get back to a baseline.

Read more: Prenatal anxiety: Tips and treatment >

With that in mind, I’ve made a decision to do this differently. (Deep breath.) I’m pregnant. Nineteen weeks and three days, to be exact. (I may or may not be shaking as I write this.) And there’s one reason and one reason only that I’m able to announce this publicly, and it’s the What’s Brewing meetings we host in Toronto every month.

On the first Thursday of each month, I get to visit a Second Cup café in a different corner of the city, meeting parents from east to west. The women I’ve met (and their beautiful children) come out to offer their thoughts and feelings, to ask questions and to support each other in this crazy parenting journey. And, somehow, in the six months since we launched this program, having the opportunity to meet other parents who are just as much fish-out-of-water as I am has made me brave(r). Hiding my bump for the next four months because of my own fears seems unfair to this little one I’m carrying, and I’ll bet you the women at this Thursday’s What’s Brewing (happening at 10 a.m., 537 Bloor St. W., where we’ll be discussing sex and relationships after baby) will agree.

Read more: 5 ways to get happy>

There are 145 days until my due date of August 31. This marks the first day of Operation Joyful. Every day I intend to find something blissful to focus on (and I’ll share as often as I can), rather than my uneasiness and fear; What’s Brewing tomorrow falls on Day Two, which seems only fitting given its surprising impact on me. (I can only hope that our participants get as much out of the meeting as me, the facilitator!)

OK, the shaking seems to be subsiding. Operation Joyful underway.