The memory of the realization of your conception seems so faint in my mind. It’s like the morning sun peeking through the curtains, soft and hazy. Yet some aspects are as clear as crystal. When I think about you, I think of the first moment that I knew I was going to be a mother.
It was the night of October 29, 2014. It was cool out but still slightly warm. The stars were barely visible and the moon was just a tiny sliver, like someone had drawn a line in the sky. Standing on my tiptoes, in my pajamas, I kissed your dad goodbye as he headed out for a late night emergency call. I didn’t have the slightest indication I was pregnant but decided to go out and buy a pregnancy test, just because. I slipped into a dress, the striped body-con dress that I ended up wearing my entire pregnancy because it showed my growing belly perfectly and jumped into the car.
I stood in the pregnancy test aisle at Walgreens for what felt like ages. I didn’t realize that there were so many options. I continued to stare at the wall of pink. I never did really decide on which test to choose. In the end, I just grabbed a random box and headed home. When I got there, I pulled the little stick out and read the directions probably half a dozen times, trying not to miss a single word. I waited. And waited. And waited. I flipped the test over for the moment of truth. My eye caught the very bright pink line… not pregnant. I wrote the date on the back and shoved everything in the bottom of my drawer.
I changed back into my pajamas and sat on the+ bed. I plopped by head onto my pillow and looked up at the ceiling. My mind kept wandering to that test. Not pregnant. Really? Not pregnant? I dug through my drawer and pulled out the test again. This time, I didn’t let my eyes wander to the bright pink line. I looked over at the lighter side. An extremely faint line stained the strip. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t nervous. My heartfelt still. It felt complete.
Now, here at 33 weeks, I hear the faint sound of your heart beating. The non-stress test in some ways soothes me. The constant pounding of your heart, quickening when you move, is a reminder of the sweet life within me. This time though, it’s different. The room is quieter this week. You’re not as active. I hold the buzzer in my hand, waiting on edge for any sort of movement from you to warrant my buzz. You move but not much. The nurse bounces in and grabs the paper from the machine. “Okay! How are you doing?” Her voice is peppy. “She’s not as active as last week.” I say. The nurse starts moving the monitor along my stomach. Your beat is still barely audible. “Hm.” Her bright smile turns into a frown and her forehead crinkles. “Is your stomach always this hard?” She presses on my stomach without it giving in. Her questions start to allow fear to creep into my mind. “I’ll be right back. I’m going to go get the doctor.”
My fear heightens with that phrase. When the doctors lost your aunt’s heartbeat during labor, they told my mom the same thing. The doctor rushes in only a moment after the nurse leaves. “Okay Kaitlyn, let’s take a look at this test.” She studies the readings and moves the monitor along my belly. Your heartbeat suddenly becomes loud. “There we go. So we’re going to start the test over and see how you do. Sound good?” I nod. The doctor smiles and walks out of the room. My mind races. What probably is 20 minutes, feels like 3 hours. The doctor comes back into the room and looks at the trail of paper that’s been printed out. She nods and tears it off. “This looks much better. So we’ll see you next week!”
That’s it? No explanations or reasoning? I follow the doctor back to the nurse like a puppy following its owner. Confused and startled, yet trusting that the doctor would not send me home if we were in danger. I take my appointment card and walk out the door.
So this is motherhood.
I wonder if I’ll ever get to a point where I won’t worry about you. It’s frightening knowing that I have no control over anything that happens. I won’t be able to always catch you when you fall or hold your hand. I won’t be able to dry every tear or keep you from making bad decisions. You will continue to grow beyond my control. Just like I saw that positive pregnancy test and then blinked, now I am 8 months along preparing to meet you face to face. I know that it will be the same as soon you leave the haven beneath my breast. I will close my eyes and kiss your newborn forehead and then pull away and see you holding your diploma in hand.
Miss Addison Rose, I love you so much. Please be kind to my heart. Grow slowly. Let me soak it in. Don’t do anything too crazy that will make me turn to your father with frightened eyes. I always pray for you, knowing God will take care of the pieces I drop. When it comes to you, it’s difficult for me to remember that God is not the supplement to care I give you, but rather it’s other way around.
I will love and take care of you the best I can. But I will make mistakes and I will fail. Keep in mind that I can’t see your future and don’t see the path ahead. I only put together the pieces God gives me and He doesn’t tell me what the puzzle’s end result will be. Know that only God knows the plans He has for you. He will be there to hold your hand in your times of trouble. He will never leave or forsake you and He will take care of your far better than the birds in the sky or the lilies in the field. Your future is secure in Him.
Only 7 more weeks, Addi! Grow, baby, grow!