I think I just started to pop! The last couple of weeks have caused me to move more and more pants down to storage so that I am now left with just maternity and my trusty yoga pants. Or as Jason calls them, “My Uniform” because I wear them so often.
Baby is kicking like crazy – which is no surprise because from the beginning ultrasounds he was roly-poly and waving to us. The movement no longer feels “alien” to me but has become natural and part of my own body rhythmn. That’s a phenomenon in itself to me.
I am amazed every morning when I wake up and feel this firm bump as part of who I am. Over the last 16 years I have often wondered if I would ever be a mother. People would ask me, “Do you ever think about having children?” If only they knew that I thought about it every day. But with Jason’s car accident and the challenge that it would be to get pregnant, I taught myself to push it to the side of my thoughts and not dwell on the hope.
I know how it feels to want something and not get to have it. I know how it feels to not have a clue what “24 Weeks” means. I know how it feels to have to suppress that sense of longing that rises when others say, “We’re having a baby!” I know how it feels to not have anything to contribute to a conversation when mothers obsessively talk about their children. I know that every new person you meet invariably asks if you have children and how it feels to always say, “No.”
However, I decided long ago that I would be happy for people who had babies. I would love other people’s little children. I would not allow my own yearnings to create sadness or negativity for those who got to be parents. I would celebrate with them even when sometimes it was heartbreaking.
I also know that we are lucky. Even after all this time, we get the chance to be parents. Many people who want it do not have that opportunity – we recognize that. I never want to forget how it felt to not be a mother so that I can be sensitive to those who are going through what I felt all those years.
I hope, though, that if you are struggling with the situation of not being a mother when you want to be that you will embrace life anyway. Love whatever circumstances you have. There are many things I have done in my life that I could not have done as easily if I had been a mother. Do those things. Develop who you are and become better. I know that I will be a better mother because of the things I have done in my life up to this point. I will be more patient. I will be more adaptable. I am smarter and hopefully even more wise.
I’m grateful that I am entering a new phase in my life – the lifelong phase of motherhood – but I count myself blessed to face it as the person I have become while I’ve waited for it to happen.