I’ll never forget the night you “announced” to us you were pregnant. I’m sure it’s stuck in your brain too, lodged deep in your mind with things you would rather forget.
Not because it wasn’t the most exciting and special news and not because the occasion wasn’t lovely and perfect but because I went a tad crazy. (If you dare to remember). I can remember the moment when I looked at you and after half an hour of arriving you still didn’t have a drink in your hand. And so the penny dropped. The guys started making suggestions you were in fact pregnant and the more they did the quieter you got. What followed was not my calmest moment. I walked (ok stormed) over to you sitting on my couch, looked deep into your eyes and shouted, “Say it. Say it!!! I want to hear it from you first! Say it.” I was already crying before the words made their way onto your tongue. Before you even said what I hoped you were going to say, my stomach was doing somersaults, my heart was exploding.
At the time I wasn’t sure why this news effected me so deeply. I mean yes, it was expected that I would be over the moon, jump–up-and-down excited for you both, but my reaction was scary enough to make a grown man cry. I think your husband did. The only way I can attempt to explain it is to compare it to when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. All common sense left me, all appropriate responses vanished and all that was left was this intense emotion that, well, took over. I blame it on you. I blame it on that cute little baby. Finding out you were pregnant was just as special, as exciting and as emotional as when I took that test four years ago in a public toilet and came out waving the stick in the air for all to see. Again, it seems I’m just very inappropriate when it comes to things of this nature.
It’s been four months since I hijacked your announcement and I’m starting to make sense of why it is I may be a little overexcited. A big part of it is probably the knowing it was all going to happen but just not knowing when. The dreaming and talking about you having your first child and the anticipation of all that it would bring to your life, your marriage and your relationships. The chats we had over wine and envisioning our kids playing together. Finally that day has come. And soon our children will hold hands while exploring your garden and my boys will have a friend to look after. Finally that dream will be a reality and we will bear witness to a friendship between our children. Our sons!
The other reason I’m just so over the top thrilled is because now you are going to experience first hand all the things I have only been able to tell you about. You are going to be a mom and know how it feels to love someone so much it takes your breath away. You are going to feel the joy of looking into your son’s eyes and knowing there is not a single thing you wouldn’t do for him. You wont need me to explain these feelings anymore, because although you experienced joy seeing me with my children (and all your beautiful nephews and nieces), nothing can prepare you for the profound impact your own child is going to have on you. You will finally get what all the fuss is about. And yes you will find how easy it is to talk about baby pooh, breast pads and nipple cream. You will be surprised at how much you want to. You my friend, will never be the same.
But above all it’s the knowing that you are going to be a wonderful mother. It’s the knowing you are going to be all that this little boy needs and more. I’ve known you a long time now and in all that time you have proved to be so many things. Kind, gentle, patient (except when you are hungry and waiting for food), determined, fiercely loyal, creative, hungry to learn, playful, open minded, strong, brave and lets not forget the added bonus of being a darn good cook. All of which are going to assist you on your new journey. While all these things are not crucial and not ALWAYS present, I know you posses them. So don’t forget to draw from these gifts and qualities and always remember who you are what you are capable of.
Motherhood can be hard and there will be days where you wonder what you gave it all up for. But there will be days where you wont want to be anywhere else. There will be lonely ones too. Days where you will be surrounded by a dozen people but still feel deep in the trenches of isolation. But your son will fill a place in your heart none of these people will. In the early days, nights will be long and days short and you will know tiredness like no other. So sleep whenever you can and allow others to help you. Its possible you may doubt yourself a thousand times a day, something you have never done before. But trust instincts. At times you will wonder if you are enough. Know that you are. At times you may feel guilty for no reason. Brush those feelings off. Prepare to face some challenges in your marriage but know you will come out of it stronger, and know each other in ways you never imagined. Remember who you were to each other before he entered your lives and find ways to show your man he is still your main guy. You will have to make sacrifices, put your passions aside for a season, but you will find a deeper joy and satisfaction in your new role. A job with the greatest reward. Your body will not be your own for a while (longer), but take joy and pride in nourishing a precious little life. When you cant fit into your jeans after a month, don’t be so hard on yourself. Motherhood is hard, but the indescribable joy that comes with it is stronger.
I know that you are a little nervous for the actual birth, but every part of me knows you are going to be great. While I know your fear of the unknown may cause some anxiety, I know that your gentle strength will see you through. Trust your instincts with what you feel is right for you and your baby and always remember what you will be walking away with.
I’m so proud of you my darling friend and I cannot wait to meet this little soul, to watch you become a mom for the first time. Always know that I’m here for you, only a phone call away, day or night. May it be as exciting, as magical, as life changing and as beautiful as you ever imagined. May your journey into motherhood be just how it should be- your own special story.
BY: LEIGH GEARY