That journey is unfolding one day at a time. Rihanna had assumed that she would suffer from morning sickness like her mother, but so far so good. The mood swings have, mercifully, also been easier to manage than she had anticipated. “I was bracing myself for something insane because I knew I wouldn’t have my usual coping mechanism: I can’t just go and smoke a joint right now,” she says. “But I was pleasantly surprised that I’ve been able to manage.” Still, there will be times when an innocuous Instagram post will trigger a flood of tears.
When it comes to the actual act of giving birth, Rihanna betrays little apprehension, partly because she’s supported several of her closest female friends and family on their way to motherhood. “She made time for me when I was having my baby,” says Sonita Alexander, one of Rihanna’s best friends since childhood, a doctor who lives in Barbados. “The baby was sick, so she came back three weeks later and was supportive the whole time. I would say it was the most important moment in our friendship. She’s a great auntie.” Rihanna wishes all of her nearest and dearest could be in the room with her, but with COVID restrictions that seems unlikely. “Maybe I’ll just have a party bus parked outside or something,” she says, only half joking. After learning about the benefits of breastfeeding, it’s something she’s ready to try. “I’m praying my body allows me to,” she says. So what frightens her the most? “Postpartum depression. Will I feel out of control emotionally? Those are the stories I hear from other women that scare me.”
There’s also childcare to figure about—but right now, she and Rocky can’t think further than the idea of asking her mom and his mom to help, though she’s reluctantly put a night nurse on hold at the urging of friends. “I’m sure that will be helpful, but they’re going to have to fight my mom, because I can’t imagine anyone telling her how to put her grandkid to bed,” she says. And where in the world does she want to raise the child? “That gets difficult to say,” she admits. “Rocky asked me recently if I had a dream place, where would it be? I told him home, Barbados. I always imagined it being that way. But realistically it probably won’t be.”
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