Today was one of the most life-changing and beautiful moments I have ever experienced in my entire life.
I got to see my baby for the first time.
A year ago (heck, even six months ago), if you would have told me I would be carrying my first child right now, I’d probably tell you, ‘Nah, give it like three or four more years!’ Growing up, I always imagined kids came after you had the world figured out, a wallet flowing with cash, and a house out in the country sitting up on a hill. Now that I’m a bit wiser (kinda), I have come to learn that a) very few, if any, people actually know what the heck they are doing in this crazy world. And b) Being out on your own isn’t as easy as you always imagined it. A wallet full of cash is hard to come by in today’s world, no matter how hard you work. That country house up on the hill is probably going to have to wait a few decades…
After learning about being pregnant, I was terrified, embarrassed, and admittedly a little bit resentful. Adulthood is a lot harder than I ever could have imagined and I still feel like I walk along a path of unknown. I anxiously wondered to myself, “I don’t have any clue what I’m doing, how am I supposed to bring a child into this world?” I had just finished up my degree at John Wood and had fiiiinally decided I wanted to become a teacher. I was offered an amazing scholarship to Illinois College and was so excited to be back at a university. Ultimately, the news changed all of the plans I thought I had, and I was bitter about it. I wondered what everyone would think about me and who of my “friends” would slowly start to weed themselves out. That’s why I kept the news to myself for such a long time. In the end, I knew I couldn’t truly enjoy such a beautiful experience if I was trying to live it in the dark. It took a some time for me to finally accept the changes life had hit me with, learn to be happy about it, and then publicly share it with others.
Bear with me. That was only the beginning and I’ve changed so much in just five short (and fast!) months.
Choosing a doctor was a big deal for me. I wanted someone that would make me feel cared for, as if I were the only patient they treated in the whole world. I know that that sounds like pretty high expectations, but in all honesty I found a doctor that does just that. I think the first appointment was when I finally started to believe that I was going to be okay and everything would work out.
We shouldn’t have to live in a shadow of worry, wondering if the life we lead measures up to those around us. Everyone’s story and timing is different.
One of the most exciting things about pregnancy is seeing your baby for the first time and finding out whether you’re having a boy or a girl! Today I did both. I’m not going to share what the gender is quite yet, but I do want to **attempt** to describe the absolutely incredible and wonderful feelings I had while looking at that screen. For about two weeks now I’ve frozen any given moment I even thought that it could be the baby moving. Turns out, I was probably right when I suspected him/her of moving around in there because during the ultrasound he/she was moving nonstop! I got to see Baby close and open its fist and move all around. How crazy is it that women grow full humans! I saw little baby hands and little baby feet. A little, beating, four-chambered heart and a strong spine! Beautiful lips and a tiny kidney… I have butterflies just thinking about it. I GREW THAT! The images I saw today were of a child that is growing inside of me. A child that I get to help mold into a loving, compassionate human that is accepting of those around him/her. A child that will run to me after both crying and laughing. A child that will make me fall in love and break my heart, all in one. A child that is already loved more than it could, or will ever, fathom.
And that same child has taught me the most important life lesson of all. And that is the remarkable feeling of genuine and unconditional love.