He nods his head, unfazed by my ability to state the obvious.
“And our life will never be the same,” I add.
He thinks I’m a bit dramatic.
But the death-to-self required by parenthood seems unreal, the lack of sleep exhausting, the opportunities for screwing up unlimited. As absolutely amazing as I’m sure motherhood is, I can’t help but think it’s also the most terrifying experience of one’s life. First the pregnancy, then the labor and after that the endless task of parenting.
“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ~Elizabeth Stone
I can hear your kind thoughts wanting to softly suggest I stay calm and carry on, everything will unfold perfectly.
And I believe it will unfold perfectly because it usually does. But not until after I panic, cry, scream and lose my mind a tiny bit at a time. That’s pretty much my M.O. for any change. So I’m not overly optimistic that, assuming I become pregnant, the transition into parenthood will be easy. For one thing, being relaxed isn’t my strong suit. I am so much better at worry. Ask anyone.
If I’m not thinking, “What will we do if this doesn’t work out?” then I’m thinking, “What will we do if it does?”
Today my sister described to me the home remedy for a clogged milk duct. It involves sterilizing a needle and pricking your own breast. My whole body shuddered. Then later I could hear my 5-month-old nephew laugh as the dog tried to share her toy with him. We’re talking seriously cute stuff.
Maybe it is the promise of cuteness that allows people to take a fearless leap into parenthood. I, for one, have never done anything fearlessly and, as it turns out, that includes this trying to conceive business. I think fear is one of the reasons I stuck to my old-fashioned laissez-faire approach to getting pregnant for as long as I did.
Now that we’re really trying, with the supplements and monitor and book in hand, the fear is still there. The thought of either outcome – becoming pregnant or not becoming pregnant – scares me. That said, I’d rather be scared in the company of a cute laughing baby.