Do I want to be a mom? Am I ready to be a mom? Questions like these flood your heart and mind as you consider becoming pregnant.
On a warm spring evening five years ago, I was standing in my bathroom, heart pounding, hands shaking as I saw one tiny digital word appear on the test balanced on the sink’s edge – Pregnant.
I was shocked, in awe, and honestly terrified. For most of my 36 years, kids were not part of my plan. When I dreamed about my future, I envisioned a career, a loving partner, and lots of travel. I grew up the oldest of four siblings, so I had been around plenty of babies and did not recommend it. To me, being a mom meant stretch marks, sleepless nights, early mornings, and a messy car. Who needed all that? Not me.
And then came the big C. My partner was diagnosed with cancer five years into our relationship. Before the start of chemo, his oncologist asked if we had considered plans for fertility in the future. We took the cryobank brochure along with all the other related paperwork. That night at home, we talked it over. Did we think we’d want kids in the future? Probably not. Maybe not. But the idea of not having the option didn’t feel right, either. What did that mean? Did it mean we did want kids?
Three years, one clean bill of health, a wedding, and an epic honeymoon trip later, we had the discussion again. Were kids going to be part of our life? This time we were open to it, but I was 35. According to Dr. Google, I was practically ancient in terms of fertility, so I was fully prepared for it to take time. “Let’s try for a year,” I suggested, “and if it doesn’t work, we’ll take it as a sign that our first instinct was right, and it’ll be just the two of us.”
That conversation took place a mere two months before I found myself sitting on the bed when my partner came home from work. There was no cute pregnancy reveal like the ones I’d pinned. Just a shell shocked, “It worked!” as I held up the test. The look on his face was no less surprised. We sat together hugging, and contemplating this new chapter for our family. “I’m going to be a mom.”
I’d like to say all of the worries I once had about what it meant to be a mother evaporated in that moment. But really it was just the start. Then being a mom meant taking my prenatal vitamin and reading everything I could get my hands on. I still worried that maybe I wasn’t ready or just not cut out to be a mom. Honestly, there are still days I wonder (quarantine day number who-even-knows-anymore, anyone?). But even on the days that they make me crazy, my amazing, effervescent daughters make up for the mom bod, crumb-filled back seat, and lack of sleep. Being a mom is somehow both every hard thing I imagined it would be and so many beautiful moments I never expected. I may not love every minute, but I definitely love being their mom.