(I wrote this last August, it’s a little unfinished, but nevertheless, I should publish it. Here it is now.)
How do you describe the moment you become a parent?
For me, when I found out I was expecting, there were emotions ranging from utter bliss to sheer terror all in the space of twenty seconds. And then one day you have an ultrasound and you see the screen and think, “There’s a baby in there!” and then you don’t want to admit to anyone that the picture the ultrasound tech gave you makes it look like you’re housing a tiny scary alien. Nevertheless, you can’t describe how much you love this alien baby.
Then a few weeks go by and you’re cleaning some windows and you think, “I just felt him.” Another week goes by and you’re watching TV and you see a tiny *bump, bump* from the outside. You tell your husband, “I can feel him from the outside!” He moves over to you so fast and lays his hand on your belly. *Bump, bump* He looks at you with a huge smile. The look on his face is priceless.
Pretty soon you can’t even drive because your belly is so big. You’ve taken to sleeping on the couch because it’s the only relief you have. Bending over is a process. You have a baby shower and feel completely overwhelmed by how much people love not only you, but a tiny person they haven’t even met yet.
Then one morning, you wake up at 4:30 and you and your husband drive to the hospital. On the way you talk about the dog and how you can get her to stop eating poop. Park your car and realize that when you leave you will be a family of three. Registration desk, hand over your insurance card.
Bracelets put on your arm. Change your clothes. IV’s and monitors.
Walk to the room. Lights. Drapes. Oxygen tubes.
Husband is there.
I can touch a tiny warm hand.
“Eight pounds, three ounces!”
He is mine. He’s always been here, he’s always been part of us. We just didn’t know him yet.
That is the moment I became a parent.