I haven’t met him yet, even though he hasn’t left my side these past 5 months, but I know this little boy is going to be the love of my life.
I wasn’t expecting all these feelings, both overwhelmingly physical and emotional at times, and I don’t think watching any movie, reading any book, or listening to any parent’s story could have prepared me for the journey that I’ve been on.
There is a lot of joy, and a lot of tears of happiness. Lying on the examining table at my doctor’s office and hearing my son’s heartbeat fill the room as I watched the father of my child eyes begin to water as mine did. Laughing at my silly son as he practiced yoga in my womb during his ultrasound. Falling asleep against the man I love with his arm wrapped around me and our hands stroking my belly as our little boy squirms and kicks.
There is a lot of fear too, and no way of calming the fear but hope and prayer. So many nights in those first three months, Chris woke to me crying, for no reason other than that I was afraid our baby was not well. Now, long past those frightening early months, Chris and I are busy reading, trying to absorb the most we can, and trusting that we will do right by our son. I worry and wonder about his birth: is this the best way to bring him into the world? Will I be able to be the mother he needs me to be?
As the first of my friends to be starting a family, the journey has been lonely at times. I am fortunate to be with a man I love, who loves me, and our child and works so hard to take care of his family. We made the choice to enjoy our baby by ourselves, as a couple and growing family for the first half of my pregnancy, and now that the news is largely public, find ourselves with so much love and support all around. So the loneliness comes not from being alone or feeling abandoned, but rather, from feeling in between places. I don’t yet feel like the mothers I see, but perhaps that is because my baby isn’t born yet, and at the same time, feel like I’m falling behind all my peers who seem to be conquering the world. I have to stop myself from thinking that I am sacrificing one dream for another, but rather, to see that I will have another person to share my dreams with when I get to them.
My daydreams keep me company for most of the day; I daydream about my little boy a lot, and Chris often comes homes to me full of stories I hope will one day come true. I’m looking forward to meeting my son’s eyes for the first time; already the thought brings tears to my eyes, because I can’t imagine eyes that I could find more familiar or beautiful than his. I stroke Chris’ face and hope our son looks like is father, and wonder which of my features he will inherit. My heart warms at the thought of seeing his first smile, and even the act of changing his diaper for the first time. I can’t wait to watch him yawn in his father’s arms, or hold a finger in his tiny fist. I imagine him learning to skateboard with his father on the big hill outside our house where all of East Van comes to skate. I wonder if his first crayola drawing of our family will include his daddy’s bright red hair, a bright blue eye and his tall mother with white glasses. I wonder if he’ll draw the undercut and have difficultly imagining his mother any other way, the same way I thought my mother was the most beautiful woman in the world as a child.