It starts smaller than the eye can see. A zygote, they call it. You feel nothing. Motherhood is imperceptible in the beginning, a mere microscopic event.
Month by month the process becomes perceptible in increments, now filling your mind, your emotions and literally your body. It is you, but not you? How can this be?
You have doubts. Me? Can I do this? Is this normal? More thoughts than you thought possible. You have hopes. This will be the perfect child and I will raise it so.
More doubts. What if I can’t?! The child’s welfare along with your own, a running litany of anxiety, lurks behind every thought.
And still, it grows.
Then one day, just when you think it will never happen, the child is delivered. Or are you delivered? In any case there is no question that deliverance has occurred. The end of the first stage, incubation. There’s a small unexpected sadness, or a big one for some of us. Not that we want to put the child back in, but it was easier than we realized to care for a child on the inside. Now we truly are responsible.
A blur of days and nights ensues. You fall deeply in love with the one little person who makes your life both unbearable and exhilaratingly validated. No one can prepare you for this life altering process. The process itself changes you. Few things matter as much as they did, but you do not care. You have one consuming passion: to ensure this child’s well-being.
We have just begun the wild ride.
—-To be continued.