I’ve waited my whole life to be a mama.
For many women, life changes the very moment you see that little plus sign. For me, that positive test result was only the first step toward believing this was real. Once I believed the black and white truth — yes, I’m actually pregnant — I had another journey to take. This path has led me toward the idea that this could end well, that at the end of this long, long road to mamahood is my own little child.
This last journey has been complicated for me.
Ryan and I didn’t buy ANYTHING for the baby until I was very nearly 7 months pregnant. We didn’t rearrange our house, didn’t make moves to build a nursery, nothing. Though we didn’t discuss why, I think we both just simply didn’t trust this unexpected stroke of luck.
Many people have told us that we “deserve” this… that it was just “God’s time…” that this pregnancy was “meant to be.” We both, I think, appreciate and love the intention and sentiment behind these platitudes, but none of them resonate with us.
Sometimes I think of this experience like the “Big Bang” of our lives, a miracle that reflects the intersection of science and divinity, but not predestined, not promised, and not deserved. Cosmic luck. Beautiful, cosmic luck so powerful that it has changed the course of our universe.
As I write this, I am in the middle of my 35th week, just a few days shy of nine months pregnant. Daily, I go through an exercise of acceptance and faith. Hope is a beast I’ve long starved for fear it would destroy me. And now, that is my job. I must allow hope to flourish. I must convince myself to believe and trust in this inexplicable event. And, I really, really have to stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Today, I sat at the clinic through another test — for this one, they monitor the baby’s heart and movements. For thirty minutes, it was just me and my sweet boy’s heartbeat, sometimes steady, sometimes frantic as he tried desperately to push, kick, or punch away the stretchy belt that was monitoring his heartbeat, putting pressure on my belly, and apparently quite dramatically crushing his whole world.
His efforts and intolerance of all these tests is amusing to the staff and to me. But, also, I realized today that to him? I really am the whole world.
My constant fear, my incessant anxiety is like the Earth worrying itself over whether it is balancing perfectly on that wire between the sun and the moon: Am I doing this right? What if I just suddenly stop turning?
Right now, I am more than I have ever been. I am two hearts, two bodies, two souls sharing this space. It is a crushing responsibility and an overwhelming privilege. And, well, that is parenthood, is it not?
Perhaps if I write it, I will believe it.
I am the mama I have waited my whole life to be. Right now, I am that mama.