They say that ‘life will never be the same’ and they recite it over and over again to young men and women who are considering sex, marriage, whatever it is that leads to a baby. But what do they know? No one takes that seriously until life is never the same already. Until you look down at that face you made and see those eyes. Until all the seconds after that moment are dedicated to that face, to that little person who wasn’t a person before. And there’s no looking back, nothing will ever be the same, and you get it. You understand completely why they say what they say. Life will never be the same. Ever. Not another single moment of your life will occur without this new little person in your mind. No matter what.
I never understood, and neither will you, until you go through it. Until the hours or minutes of screaming, the pain, the surgery, whatever it takes for that moment to come when this new person who wasn’t a person, wasn’t an anything before your body worked its impossible magic and created something so over-the-top perfect…until this little being is crying, or looking, or lying in your arms, you’ll never know what it’s like. Love. Pure, completely unfaltering love. And fear. An overwhelming love mixed with an overwhelming fear and worry and joy and terrifying, breath-stopping fear. This perfect little gorgeous and incredible being is here now, and completely reliant on you. And you’re completely reliant on her, or him, but in my case, just her, times two.
And then the days are revolving around something else other than you and you wonder things like ‘why did I ever complain about being bored’ because boredom is a word stripped from your vocabulary for the foreseeable future. There might never again be a time where I sit and think ‘I have nothing to do’. And things you may have thought were disgusting before have become a numb part of your everyday routine. I say numb because you don’t think twice about smelling a wet spot to see if it’s poop, or spit up, or vomit. You just do it.
Sleep has become so scarce that you consider your ability to function normally without it as a strength in your new lifestyle. Your new lifestyle, of course, being one that revolves around something else other than you. For the rest of your life.
You’d do whatever it takes to keep that new person thriving and even when you have no idea what to do, you do it. You listen to all the advise, you follow your instinct, you call the doctor, you call your mother, you call your friend who’s a mother, you express your concerns to the world and listen to the feedback, you wonder every moment of every day whether what you’re doing is the right thing or if you should be doing something else. And it’s never the right thing, but then you tell yourself, that’s not a bad thing. Or is it?
Where are the answers? Why haven’t we figured them all out yet? We’ve had millions of chances, billions of experiences with this, why isn’t there a concise list of undeniable answers to all of the questions I’ll ever have about how to do the right thing so my perfect little being can have the perfect life? Because we don’t have control over everything…anything. And that’s where the fear comes in. I can’t control the outcome, so my pure joy is always tinted a little darker with fear. And that’s okay, the trade off is totally worth it.