Before I met you I was positive I’d never want you. While others dreamt of picket fences painted white and living room walls adorned with family photos I was dreaming of Pulitzer Prizes and a best seller’s lists and a paperback book with my name on the cover.
Before I met you I just knew your father didn’t exist. My collective dating history read like a masochist’s manual and while I wholeheartedly believe I have loved a few men dangerously close of becoming great, creating life with them was never a wishful thought. In fact, the threat of possible procreation was enough to unravel more romances than either party would care to admit.
Before I met you I was terrified of you. When a pee-covered stick loudly announced parallel lines and an uncomfortable ultrasound solidified the parallel lines, I began to hate the very concept of parallel lines. What if I’m not ready and what if I my dreams fall apart and what if I lose sight of who I am? What if I can’t do it all and what if resentment becomes my only ally and what if the love your father and I share diminishes?
Panic, my love. Before I met you I felt panic.
Before I met you I could see you. Glimpses of your growing life were revealed in black and white and an intoxicating heartbeat quickly captured mine and soon I was infatuated with every blurred line and confusing image and printed portrait. You were real and you were my reality and you were an unknown love realized.
Before I met you I could feel you. You pushed lightly against my skin and hiccuped furiously in the middle of the night and stretched effortlessly into my ribs. When you were monitored I felt you fight and when you were measured I felt you squirm and when I wanted to rest you wanted to kick and punch and turn. All too quickly I realized that even your simplest movements would be monumental to me.
Before I met you I knew you. Your personality would shine through layers of a growing belly as I followed your feet with my fingertips. If I pushed you’d push back and if I talked to you you’d respond and if I moved you away from an aching ribcage you’d burrow further. I knew you’d be strong like your father and stubborn like your mother and live vivaciously like both.
Enchantment, my love. Before I met you I felt enchantment.
Before I met you I sacrificed for you. My favorite drinks were too dangerous and my favorite meals were too questionable and my favorite past times were impossible. My mornings grew nauseous and my nights grew sleepless and my days grew tiresome. My body swelled and gained and stretched until it wasn’t just myself I saw in the mirror. I saw you too.
Before I met you I feared for you. Routine tests revealed concerns and concerns lead to invasive tests and invasive tests revealed an anxiety I never knew existed. When a needle traveled through my stomach it was its proximity to you that I dreaded. When I bled more times than once it was your health that held my worry. And when the unimaginable happened it was your continued existence that became my only focus.
Before I met you I wanted more for you. My dreams of Pulitzer Prizes and a best seller’s lists and a paperback book with my name on the cover weren’t just for me. My fears of not being ready or not doing it all or not staying true to myself diminished as you grew. My success will make a better life for you and my failure will be momentary because of you and all that I do will not only benefit me. It will benefit you.
A mother, my love. Before I met you I felt like a mother.
I can’t imagine what will happen when I finally meet you.