There is a lot of skepticism before you have a child. Don’t get me wrong now. The actual baby itself is a wondrous occasion. You have a tiny person whom you somehow made from your own body and even though you may not understand all of the science and the distribution of genetic materials, you will love that little thing more than you ever loved anything before.
Being pregnant means getting advice whether wanted or not. Your mom tells you the horror of your own birth. Warning you of the impending bodily destruction that will soon be yours and you cringe at not only what you did to her but also at the payback that will soon greet you head first. Your mother in law then adds to the mix by letting you know that your darling husband cracked her pelvic bone with his abnormally large head. She couldn’t walk normally for weeks. You hold your breath trying not to loose the sigh of fear from your lips.
Fear is seething inside you, somewhere. Although at this point the fear itself doesn’t exactly have a lot of breathing room. That fear is still there though. Nestled sweetly between your darling baby and the compressed organs that are doing their own number on your ability to breathe easy.
So you take the stories as warnings and advice and hope for the best. Then one day you are out shopping and a lovely old lady comes up to you and rubs on your belly like it has a sign stating that you are Open to the Public. You are awkwardly staring at her with that half smile filled with niceties and respect while your eyes glare deeply into her soul, warning her that the immense hunger that you have been gifted with could consume her too if she isn’t careful.
She lets you know how lucky you are and to be sure to get plenty of sleep because soon enough you won’t be getting any at all. You nod politely and take mental note that you need to invest in a sleep bank so that you can store all those extra hours of sleep for later emergency use. So you add that to your list of advice and start to count down the days to the demise of your freedom and sanity. Strangers must be concerned for you if they are letting you know how little you will sleep soon.
As the advice grows you start to lose track. Sleep seems to top every ones list. There is making sure you are eating right and watch how much you eat. Make sure you are exercising every day but don’t overdo it. Make sure you buy the baby this item because your friend’s cousin’s niece just couldn’t live without it. Then come all of the old wives tales. If you hold the ring on a string and it turns this way it’s a boy or is it the other way? I can’t remember. Oh, and most important are all of the doctor’s orders. Which tend to be catered to each of us in our own way.
The advice and fear are mingling now like two singles at a mixer. Part of you is screaming a silent warning at them. You think back to how you got here and it was so easy. Alright, let’s admit it, it wasn’t exactly something that took a lot of thinking but now you are over thinking enough for every mom who has ever shed an egg on the planet. You have foods, clothes, books, toys, necessities, and every other inkling swimming around in your brain like a beached whale.
Anxiety and apprehension and appetite. Don’t forget that last one. So what do you do? You figure it out. You sit down, stand, or lie for that matter and realize that You can do this. Babies were born long before you and they will be born long after you. Moms are made every day, but YOU are your own my dear. You have a history and lessons of your own to impart.
Let me tell you this: it doesn’t matter. None of it. The worry and the fear are nothing. They are and will be fleeting. That moment, and you will know it Exactly when it happens, but that moment that you see that beautiful baby is Everything. All of the rest will fall away like dead leaves in autumn. You will lose yourself to the beauty and in that abandon you will forget yourself. There is no explanation. There is no way to impart this feeling but through experience. I can guarantee you will find something that no other relationship before has granted you. There is a warmth in it that stems out from the core of your very being and it reaches into the core of that tiny person that you breathed life into.
So put it aside. Place it in a box and push it under the bed. The sleep will be gone but pure moments will fill those gaps. Your body will recover and if it doesn’t so what. You don’t need every fad that comes and goes. The ring on the string can’t tell you what absolute love truly feels like. No doctor can prescribe you anything that will come close to this feeling. Relish this but prepare yourself for nothing because NOTHING can compare to what lies ahead of you.