There’s a moment of all the moments in my life that I remember as if it was this moment. This one right here, vivid and now. I remember it with the shock-clarity of jumping into a stream that has wended down a mountainside, water of melted snow bracing, carrying you along. Trees are zipping past, river stones clunking, birds wheeling, but you are just numbed by the moment, unspeaking, surreal, peering out from your body.
It’s a moment of knowing and not-knowing.
Because you’re pregnant, and that word means a myriad of things to a myriad of women. Yet, mothers all experience that moment of looking at the faint line turning darker, of looking at our life and realising it’s about to change significantly.
And for me, it wasn’t a matter of deciding but of jumping in.
And jump in I did.
What did that feel like?
It felt like a giddy mix of fear and freedom, bubbling into faith that things would knit together in the end. Because I am capable, strong, able.
It felt like falling, flailing, falling into an enormous hammock strung out just for me, where friends and family could lace fingers in support of all of this; the changes.
It felt like the first day of school; of promise and opportunity. It felt like lollipops, sprinklers on hot summer’s days, doll houses and Lego; welcoming childhood back.
It felt like newness; the smell of a new book, freshly baked bread, white sneakers.
Yes, it was all of that. Both weighty and weightless, the moment I jumped in.
We’d moved house the day before and there were cardboard boxes stacked in every room. So busy. Unpacking, shifting, arranging. And somewhere amidst it all I wiped dusty hands on ripped jeans, closed the bathroom door and watched that line become stronger. Could it be? Looking in the mirror, I imagined a child already growing within me and the way it would stretch me outwards. And probably stretch me inwards too. Stretch my character.
Was it a decision, to say yes to what was already there?
Perhaps it was, in split-second, but I jumped in. Because I was never going to be that woman who said, “What if…”