As I lay in bed last night listening to the sounds of the hubby, Beans and Porkchop snoring, the reality that I’m going to be a mom hit me. Literally.
I thought the first time I felt my daughter kick it would be delicate, a light flutter. But no, not our baby. It’s fitting that the first time I feel her move it was more a jolt akin to a “hey, mom get up” than a slight touch, a whisper.
It was almost as though she’s known that I’ve spent the past 5 ½ months acknowledging that she’s taking up residence in my stomach but now really believing it. Yes, I understand that the second the plus sign popped up on the pregnancy test(s) that my life—our lives—were about to change. But the first trimester was all about excitement and learning to navigate morning sickness, fatigue and eluding family and friends in fear of divulging our secret. Mr. Brody and I wanted this baby for such a long time that we obeyed every pregnancy superstition out there and the hardest one was not telling anyone until the second trimester. Once we spilled the beans, the reality began to sink in. We were going to be parents! And we were (still are) ecstatic. But even with everyone asking questions about the baby and congratulating us, the actuality that our world was going to change forever did not set in as quickly as I thought it would. Maybe that’s because we busied ourselves with training two new puppies, settling into a new house and becoming acquainted with our new surroundings. Or maybe it’s because accepting change is difficult and scary. It’s probably the latter.
I know that feelings of concern, excitement and utter panic are not novel first-mom emotions but sometimes they’ve felt that way. Almost as though I’m the only person who vacillates between bursting with excitement at becoming a mom to breaking out in a sweat with concerns that we aren’t ready.
Then there have been days when I’ve cried in front of the mirror because I have no control over what my body does. A lot of those tears have also been from fear that I will never wear any of the clothes in my closet again. Silly I know, and I’m lucky to have a husband who gently pulls me out of delusional land and back to reality. It’s temporary but it feels oh so permanent.
Then there are days when I’ve stared at my changing body in the mirror both in awe of the way my hips, breasts and stomach know what to do in order to provide the best nest for the baby. The bigger my stomach gets, the more maternity clothes that hang in my closet and the tougher it is to work out only helps to reconfirm that yes, Amby, you’re pregnant.
“I feel like I’m wearing a costume,” I told my husband last night as I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror.
“Like a costume where you have a pillow stuffed under your shirt?” he asked half-jokingly.
Mr. Brody has been an awesome companion through this whole thing. He’s helped keep me grounded when the hormones have gone a little bonkers (who cries when the dishes haven’t been washed? This preggo!), or the nights when I’ve woken him with questions that run the gamut of “will I be a good mom?” to “what if the dogs don’t like the baby?” Ridiculous, I know.
I’ve never been good with change. It can take me a day to make a decision and most of the time I second guess if it was the right one. That’s where I’ve been for the past few months, questioning everything.
This is all so surreal. Maybe it’s because we’ve talked about starting a family as early as our second month of dating and since we’ve been married have been patiently –at times impatiently—waiting for a positive pregnancy test. (I won’t share how many tests I purchased before I believed that we had done it. I’ll just say I spent a lot of time in the bathroom.)
But last night the surrealism of it all kicked in. I know that a kick is not going to stop me from worrying about my parenting skills or how we will handle it all, but it does answer the most important question: are we meant to be parents?
The first kick caught me off guard. Maybe the pulsating sensation in the corner of my stomach was my imagination, something that I dreamt. It had stopped by the time I rolled onto my back and slipped my hand onto my belly, hoping that it wasn’t an illusion. Several seconds passed before I felt it again. A strong pulsing in my lower abdomen. My daughter was there, alerting me of her presence. Pulling me through the fog of uncertainty and crowd of questions clouding my mind. This time when I began to cry I knew that it wasn’t the hormones but it was unexplainable happiness. The miracle that we’ve been waiting and praying for is here, in my stomach, listening to the sounds of her father’s voice when he talks to her.
In those few moments as I lay in the dark next to my husband, the worries subsided as did any questions of uncertainly. Baby Brody has always been with us, in our dreams and hopes for the future. She’s meant for us and we can’t wait to meet her.
The enthusiastic parents.