Some moments occur in your life when you feel like everything has shifted. A shift that changes you, where you know the next day when you wake up nothing will ever be the same. Sometimes these shifts happen when something overwhelming or sad occurs, like losing a job or the loss of a parent. Other times these shifts arise during moments of excitement and happiness, like marrying the one you love or like what occurred for my husband Bernard and I on January 11, 2018, when a stick asked the question, Pregnant? And the life-changing screen showed, YES.
We were not shocked, becoming parents was something we had discussed that we wanted. I even wrote a post last year titled, Am I ready to be a Mom where I acknowledged my hope for this outcome. However, we were surprised at how quickly it occurred. I felt someone with my constant struggle for patience and the need to be in control would surely be tested. Bernard, I think anticipated more time to get our house in order. Nevertheless, we are fortunate and excited to begin this journey of parenthood in 23 weeks although the preparation began as soon as we saw that “Yes.”
How are you feeling?
It is the question that everyone asks once they find out the news. They want to know if I have been getting sick (not really, just nauseous and that has subsided), or, if I am exhausted (I was, but now my energy is coming back), or if I feel hungry (all the time). They want to know my cravings (lemonade and sour cream and onion Pringles) and how I am sleeping (like a baby until I must wake up and go to the bathroom then I struggle to fall back asleep). They want to know if I am excited (on a scale of 1 to 10, 20) and is Bernard happy (beyond measure). I do not mind these questions in the least; it is all a part of the experience of a growing belly.
What I do not say when people ask me how I am feeling, because it sounds somewhat cheesy is that I feel blessed. Women miscarry, Women struggle to conceive, Women cannot conceive, Women don’t have reliable partners by their side, those are just some of the struggles women face. I feel blessed by this experience and being given this beautiful gift from God. It is an experience and gift that is not afforded to everyone, and because of that, I do not want to take it for granted.
How has my life shifted?
Just like I said in the beginning, a shift occurred and on January 12, 2018, when I woke up my sense of normal changed entirely. Now I was growing life, a human within my own body. No one tells you that parental worrying begins the moment you see “Yes” and I know from conversations with my mother and grandmother that it never stops.
I worry about the here and now, am I eating and consuming enough proper nutrients? Am I getting enough sleep? Am I exercising enough? Should I be gaining more weight? Should I be gaining less weight?
I worry about the future; will I be a good mom? Parenting books (which I have been pouring over since I found out I was pregnant) emphasize the challenges of parenthood, I know it won’t be a cake walk but will I be able to manage it well? What sort of mom will I be?
I am blessed to have a husband who calms and consoles me when my worrying gets to be a bit much. Bernard says things like, “No you will not infect our child with listeriosis if you ate a piece of feta cheese in your Greek salad.” Or the other day when I was reading a parenting book, and I said, “Parenting is going to be so hard, what if I am bad at it?” And he said confidently, “You won’t be.” I further pushed, “How do you know?” To which he replied, “Because you care.”
What am I most looking forward to?
I cannot wait to meet this little one. I’m anxiously awaiting to find out who it will look like, what its personality will be, what sort of person it will become. I eagerly wait for the first smile, first laugh, first word, first step, first curious question, first I love you, and all the other firsts. While I am worried at times, I am more than anything excited for the challenges that lie ahead. I am not anticipating simple, I am expecting difficult but also monumental moments that I’ll never want to forget.
Let the Adventure Begin.