A year has passed, and I’m still sitting at the kitchen table, working on the computer, with only the cat keeping me company. My heart is still trilling with excitement, my stomach still churning with anxiety. At first glance it might seem nothing has changed.
But, really, everything has changed.
A year ago I made the decision to start this journey toward single motherhood. I spent countless hours researching fertility centers, reading blogs of other single mothers, finding books on raising children conceived with donor sperm. My excitement stemmed from knowing I was making a decision that would forever change my life. My anxiety stemmed from fears of finances, worries of whether my closest family and friends would be supportive of such a decision, and, yeah, the realization that I was making a decision that would forever change my life.
While part of me thought things would move much faster than they did, the other part of me couldn’t fathom that I’d be sitting, as I am now, at this same table, just a year later, entering my second trimester of pregnancy. But here I am.
Already I’m amazed at how much I’ve changed, how pregnancy has altered my fears, aspirations, and emotions.
Most days now, my whole tiny universe is focused on the little boy growing inside me—his safety, health, and happiness. (Yes, I learned last week that it’s a boy!) He is the first thing I think about in the morning and the last thought I have before falling asleep.
The abstract anxieties I felt before conceiving, such as how to explain to him or others about his donor or how to give him the best life without a second parent, are now very real, yet in some ways they seem less complicated than before. I’ll be honest, and I’ll love him in the best ways I know how—just as I’m doing already. And if I ever worried about whether that would be enough, it was because I didn’t know, couldn’t know, just how strong that love will be. Already it takes my breath away to hear his heartbeat or to think about holding him in my arms, and I’m still months away from first feeling his tiny hand clasp my finger.
Pregnancy has also changed my prospective of what’s important. I still have dreams of my own, but now they’re a bit more balanced. I don’t feel like a failure because I’ve gone a couple weeks, okay months, without starting my next novel. My writing is still important to me, but I know those naps of the first trimester were more important. And the papers that need grading will get done. Or maybe some won’t. Either way, it will be fine. Maybe it’s nature’s way of assuring our babies get what they need, or maybe I never really needed to wash the hardwood floors weekly to begin with, but it seems like growing this baby inside me has reminded me of what’s really important on the outside. Spotless floors do not even make the list anymore.
Perhaps the pregnancy hormones are starting to ramp up, or perhaps knowing the gender and making it out of the first trimester with a healthy baby has finally allowed me to take this all in at once, but already I’m in awe of this process. I’m amazed at the new depths my joy and, yes, my worry have reached in just a few short months. And I can’t wait to see the changes the next year will bring!
Photo credit: Viktor Hanacek