A common adage advises us that whenever life closes a door, it also opens a window. This past July, a prime example of this came to me in the form of a pregnancy test I took at my workplace.
Two thin blue lines have never said so much. Positive.
My mouth dropped open and my limbs went slack, like a hand puppet that had been suddenly dropped. I’m surprised I’m not still there in that bathroom, frozen in place, struggling to grasp the immensity of how much my life was going to change. Doors closed, windows opened. Everything changed—all because of those two blue lines.
At 31 years old, I’m certainly not the youngest or most senior expectant mother the world has ever known. But the road to motherhood has been long. It had been years since my husband Alan and I first began trying for a baby, and along the way, we’d considered various avenues—everything from adopting a child to fertility treatments. Then, all of a sudden, we got our wish.
Now it’s for real, and I wonder if we’re ready. We’re both excited. But I’ll admit it—I’m scared. It’s a strange new world, this motherhood world. There’s a lot to take in.
During my fifth month I visited a local retailer to register for my baby shower. There were so many products on the shelves that I momentarily wished I was a mother kangaroo rather than a mother human. That way, I’d require no special products to care for my young. “No, I don’t need a baby swing or a car seat, thank you. I have my pouch,” I’d say, and then bounce off into the sunset.
Impending motherhood comes with so many things to consider. Cloth diapers or disposable? Cesarean section or no? Everywhere I turn there are people with opinions on breast feeding, vaccines, screen time, day care, co-sleeping—all topics sure to start trouble. Discussing motherhood, it sometimes seems, is a verbal minefield.
Then there are the people who have asked me if feeling my baby move makes me feel like I’m incubating an alien. My little one has also been called a parasite. I know they’re just trying to be funny. However, I can’t help but internally roll my eyes as I answer, no. It’s not like having an alien in me. There is only one experience I’ve had to which it compares.
There was a manmade pond in the field behind the house I grew up in, just outside of Troy. In the spring, the neighborhood kids and I would crouch at the grassy edge and submerge our hands to hold the clusters of tadpoles that swam in the shallows. The way the tadpoles felt when they bumped into my cupped palms, trying to make sense of their world—that’s what it feels like when my baby moves. It feels like I’m holding a little spit of life, and that life is bumping and shifting inside his cocoon, learning what he can before a window into this world opens, and the first chapter of his life begins.
Two months to go, little tadpole, until you come and everything changes. All the advice in the world can’t answer all our questions and no product will do the real dirty work. Yes, I am scared. But man, I can’t wait to meet you.
Kelly Gallagher is a first-time expectant mother from Scotia. She’s excited to share her new adventures with readers.