Growing up, I was never sure I wanted to be a mother. In my town, it is common to marry young and have kids young. I didn’t want that to be me. But I quickly realized that life doesn’t always go according to plan. I fell in love and married young. We spent the first few years of our marriage discussing kids, but we never felt ready. We weren’t even sure we wanted children at all. We talked about it a lot and we both agreed that if we didn’t ever have kids that we would still be happy. We were content in our relationship together and enjoyed the freedom we had. We liked spending time together and we worried about how much our lives would change once we brought kids into the picture.
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant. When those two pink lines appeared in that little window, I couldn’t believe it. My initial reaction was that it had to be wrong. So I took another test. This test was one of those fancy ones that actually said Pregnant or Not Pregnant – the pregnancy test for dummies. When it read Pregnant, the realization hit me. This was real. We were having a baby.
To be perfectly honest, my first feeling wasn’t excitement. When I had envisioned this moment, I had pictured myself tearing up and feeling an immediate rush of love. I pictured telling my husband with a giant grin on my face as he picked me up and spun me around the room. I thought we would be immediately filled with joy like they always show in the movies. But my first feeling wasn’t joy or excitement or happiness – it was fear.
Were we really ready for this?
Was this a mistake?
Will I be a good mom?
Do I even want this?
This rush of emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. I wasn’t supposed to be feeling this way. I should’ve been happy. All of this was making me feel guilty, which in turn, just piled on to my already heavy load of emotions. And more than that, I was scared.
I spent the next few weeks feeling like maybe this was all too much. We weren’t ready to be parents. This was all a mistake. Then we heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time. It was an amazing moment for us. But yet again, it was a moment that didn’t meet the vision I held in my mind. I pictured it being like the movies – with tears, hugs, and smiles all around. But while I enjoyed seeing my baby and hearing his heartbeat, it was not an overly emotional moment for me.
As time went on, I started to feel like something was wrong with me. I wasn’t connecting with this pregnancy the way I thought I should. I wasn’t bonding with my baby and spent my days battling thoughts of inadequacy, fear, anxiety, and regret. I was questioning our decisions and dreading our future. I didn’t know how this little one was going to fit into all of that.
And then it happened. I was laying on the couch one night, probably eating a pickle and watching TV – to be honest, I can’t remember. What I do remember is the flutter. The foreign sensation rippled through my lower abdomen and immediately caught my attention. I sat up quickly and placed my hand on my stomach. Was that what I think it is? I shouted for my husband and he came over to me. I placed his hand on my belly and we waited. And then it happened again! My baby was moving. He was inside me and he was making his presence known. Giant smiles crossed our faces and we couldn’t quite believe what we were feeling.
Over the next few months, my son made himself at home. He lodged his knee right into my belly button. He stuck himself in my ribs and used my bladder as a punching bag. He twisted and rolled. He practiced his somersaults and his best dance moves. And he started to develop a pattern. He decided that my bedtime was his time to party. He made it clear that he hated spicy food and got the hiccups on a regular basis. He loved my husband’s voice and the music I played on my commute. He made himself known to me and to the world.
Over time, we became closer. Over time, we became best friends. Over time, we became mother and son.
Looking back, I laugh at my initial reaction to such great news. Looking back, I can’t believe that I ever felt anything other than the ultimate love I feel for my baby boy now. Looking back, it all feels surreal, like a prank gone wrong or a funny story someone told me at lunch. It doesn’t feel like real life; It doesn’t feel like my life.
Those first few months were terrifying. Those first few months were filled with so many emotions – mainly fear. I was scared for the future and how our little baby boy would fit into it. Now, I can’t imagine a life without our little guy. I can’t imagine a stronger bond or a deeper love. And I can’t imagine ever not being Mom.