I always wanted to be a mama. As a little girl I would daydream about someone leaving their baby for me to raise on my family’s front doorstep. I started babysitting when I was 10 years old…I made a whopping $2 an hour. And I remember, as a preteen, hoarding all the little babies when I volunteered in the nursery at church on Sundays. I loved kids so much I studied child development in college and made a career out of working with children and their families.
When I was 23, I got married. We were young and we both knew we didn’t want to have kids right away. At first we said we would wait for five years. Five years came and went and it was never discussed. There were times when people would question us about it, usually wannabe grandparents or friends who were taking the plunge into parenthood. After five years, people stopped asking, they probably assumed we were having trouble getting pregnant, making the subject off limits. In my mind, I told myself I was ready when he was ready. But after eight years, we started seesawing back and forth about the topic…I would be ready, he wouldn’t and vice versa. I knew in my heart a day would come when we both would feel right about it. And sure enough, one day in May 2011, my husband said, “well, should we try to have a baby?” I nervously replied, “sure.” And so it was. One month later, I found out I was pregnant.
I never really wanted to be the one who knew first. I wanted him to have the joy of knowing our secret, if only for a few seconds, before I officially knew. So, our agreement was that I would take the pregnancy test and leave it for him to check. Over the course of eleven years, we had had a *few* occasions where I had nervously taken a test, knowing if it was positive, we would be all in…but deep down, praying it would be negative.
So, when I woke up on June 26, 2011 after a dream where I found out I was pregnant, I decided to take a test. I was a couple days late and had just spent the weekend drinking cocktails at every meal during a random getaway staycation. I needed a little peace of mind I hadn’t already damaged an unknown baby with my careless drinking. I got out of bed, cracked open the test, peed on the stick and left it on the bathroom counter. I then walked over to his side of the bed and whispered in his ear, “I had a dream last night I was pregnant so I decided to take a test this morning. I’m going to go walk the dogs.” About one minute later, as I opened the door to take one of the dogs out, he came around the corner, wide-eyed, and said, “it’s positive.” In total disbelief and awkward giddiness, we hugged…and then I took the dog out. It was too much information for me to take in at six o’clock in the morning. I remember walking down the street with our dog, trying to process with her what just happened. I was so relieved that we didn’t have any trouble getting pregnant…but had kind of banked on a few more months to settle into the idea of starting our family. She just looked at me, with knowing eyes and a touch of reproof, like, “well now you’ve done it.”
On my way to work that day, I called the birthing center to make an appointment. I remember feeling a little sheepish when I talked to the midwife. I could hear my voice saying, “I took a test this morning and it was positive.” The lady on the other end of the line congratulated me and then started asking some very personal questions. It felt odd to me to be sharing this experience…and information…with a complete stranger. We weren’t able to determine how far along I was, which could mean I was either 5 weeks along or *cringe* 11 weeks already. She nervously said, “well, we need to get you in soon then, just in case you’re already at the end of your first trimester.” My first thought was, “wait, wait wait…not only am I trying to wrap my head around this news, but I may only be six short months away from being a mom?” It was too much. I cried the rest of my drive to work…tears of joy, tears of fear, tears of excitement, tears of worry. Life changed that day.
I assume my husband was also feeling the same way because by the end of the day, on my way home from work, he sent me David Gray’s song, “A Moment Changes Everything.” Cue the tears again (further affirmation that the pregnancy hormones were fuh-lowing). At least we were on the same page!
A week later I had my first prenatal appointment. It’s amazing the midwife could just touch my belly and know that I was 6 weeks along. Phuuuuf…in my mind I was just given an extra 5 weeks to comprehend our new life and embrace it. Just to make sure she was right, the she did an ultrasound…and it was at that very moment that I truly became a mommy. Right there, the size of a sesame seed, was our baby…heart beating like a hummingbird and moving around like a jumping bean. All I could do was laugh…excited, nervous, and in total awe at the miracle of life.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.