When I found out I was pregnant I almost fainted. I remember reading the test results. I recall the overwhelming sense of wooziness as I placed the wand on the counter so I could sit before I fell over. Never in my twenty-nine years had I given one thought as to what it would be like to carry a human being. I was at that instant overwhelmed with emotions. Emotions I felt unprepared to understand. The videos in health classes presented mostly technical information. The technical I could handle. The emotions I could not. My parents had plenty of cute cuddly stories about my sister and I as babies, but the social acceptance of discussing “private” emotional experiences were kept silent. I never knew how my mom felt when she was expecting me. I never knew how she felt when I kicked or hiccupped. I know I asked her on a few occasions, but the answers I received were vague, and she simply stated, with a cute giggle, that she did not remember. I never gave much thought to this lack of information, until it surfaced the moment the wand turned positive.
Once the wooziness and shock subsided I had no choice but to ignore my fears. With my guy by my side I jumped fully clothed into the experience that lay before me. My baby would know what it meant to carry her, as this was the motivation which allowed my fears to diminish. This experience was for her, and that made all the difference. She would eventually know what it felt like when she kicked and hiccupped. She would know exactly how weird it looked to see the bottom of her little foot press up against my belly, a story to which she still breaks into fits of giggles. I would take in each day as a completely different experience, using baby sites to see how she was developing. I took side pictures of my belly so she could one day see how snug she fit. Her daddy and I would talk and sing to her, hoping our off pitch melodies would not alter her ability to know good music. She’s into One Direction, aka One D currently, but she likes the Beatles too so there is hope.
When she is older I plan to tell her she sat on my bladder and kept me awake ALL night long. She will know that for the first time in my life I had no appetite and the doctors were forcing me to drink protein drinks. She will know that her daddy kept asking the ultrasound technician at every visit if she was sure the baby was a girl, as he knew he was already wrapped around her little finger. The technician annoyed by his pressing inquiries asked him why he was nervous about having a girl. “Oh, man. I don’t know if I can handle two princesses”, he stated. “Oh. Well how old is your other little princess”? She asked. “29” was his response. She’ll know how we tried to avoid everything pink, and somewhat succeeded, even though her cutest outfits were in fact pink. I’ll tell her about the parties thrown in her honor and how she was showered with gifts and well wishes. I’ll tell her how in my last month of carrying her our new bed (manufacturer unmentioned) deflated in the middle of the night, and how I called the company in tears apologizing the whole entire phone conversation for being so emotional about my deflated bed. I’ll re-enact my pregnant waddle to make her laugh, and show her how I had to tie my tennis shoes on the sides. I’ll tell her how she loved to play at night and sleep during the day, which made mommy VERY tired. I will tell her (at an appropriate age of course) how in my emotional pregnant crying moments, her daddy would make me laugh by telling me to create a soap-opera story for the tears, like how my sister’s dog’s vet’s Siamese-twin ran off with my husband. I will tell her that even though I was excited to be a new mom I still worried every single day because the moment a woman becomes a mother there is a switch that gets turned on and NEVER shuts off.
I hope that if she finds herself on the journey of motherhood many (many many many many many) years from now my experience will provide her confidence, comfort and love.
(Did I mention MANY years?)
If you’re interested in reading an introduction about Ana, please see “Introducing the Ana Begins Series”.