I wish I would have loved it more. I wish that I would have documented my feelings, in the moment, of the first ultrasound where I cried hearing his heartbeat for the first time, of the first flutters that I thought were muscle spasms that turned into kicks that were too strong to ignore, of the first time I saw that he had a face and was no longer a tiny gummy bear. Though I remember them now, I didn't cherish them in the moment the way I do now.
Growing up, I never thought I would be a mother. I was an only child (in Arizona), only seeing my siblings in the summer, and was never around babies. The only pregnancy I saw in my entire life was when I was thirteen and my mom was hospitalized with my baby brother and almost died giving birth to him. Not only did I not imagine being a mom, but I was traumatized by what pregnancy had done to my mom. Being the spitting image of her, all I could do was imagine the same thing would happen to me. My solution was to not ever become a mother.
Then I joined the LDS church. The plan of salvation was so real to me, and I knew that having a family was something I wanted, even if I still couldn't picture myself being a mother and was terrified of being pregnant. Then I met Kendall, and I could see the future father of my children, though I didn't know how I could be brave enough to have those children.
Throughout my pregnancy, those feelings and insecurities did not go away. Before each ultrasound I had extreme anxiety about hearing the heartbeat. As my belly grew larger and my hips wider, my fear of labor increased. Not only had I never seen someone have an easy pregnancy, but I was a complete wimp when it came to pain tolerance. I was frightened of hospitals, needles, and pain.
I hated being pregnant - and honestly, there was no reason for me to hate it. I was extremely lucky when it came to pregnancy. I had no morning sickness - I only threw up 3 times due to nausea my whole pregnancy! I had an aversion to sugar, so I gained very little weight throughout my pregnancy. I slept like a champ. I had no mood swings and wasn't overly emotional. Kendall told me at one point that he liked me better pregnant, which I understand looking back. I was calm, cool, and collected throughout my entire pregnancy. But, when people asked, I still couldn't bring myself to say that I enjoyed any of it, or that I could ever imagine doing it again.
As my belly and tiny human grew, and I became closer and closer to meeting him, I was also keenly aware that not every pregnancy ends with a baby in your arms. I was afraid to become too attached to him in case I had to say goodbye. As irrational as it was, I held off naming him and nesting for fear of loving him too much. What if something happened? What if I'm not strong enough? What if?
The months came and went, and our tiny human continued to grow and grow at what seemed to be an exponential rate. Kendall saw him move in my belly one night as I was sitting on the couch before he felt him. I had been feeling him for weeks, but he had this funny way of stopping each time Kendall placed his hand on my stomach. Kendall finally felt him kick a few weeks later, by then his kicks were seemingly constant and strong. We started to notice little quarks about him - like how he stopped kicking for minutes when someone would try to feel, or how he only laid on one side, or how he would stick one foot straight out and leave it there as if he started to stretch but forgot to finish.
I think it was around Christmas that I finally started to give in to the strong pull I felt as a mother. At Christmas, I was 7 months pregnant and I knew these were our last holidays as just Kendall and I. I felt so strongly that the next year we would have a tiny human at our feet and all our love would be poured into making him happy. The fear of losing him was still very real, but I could no longer hide the love I felt for him growing stronger each day.
We named him Harrison that month.
By January, my belly bump was large and in charge, as they say. I had started a new job and was feeling great. I had finally named my little boy and was finally feeling like nesting. I bought his first outfit and knitted his first blanket. I was becoming more comfortable with the idea of having a baby, becoming a mother, and knowing that it was all going to be okay. I was starting to think that being pregnant wasn't so terrible, after all.
I was so very happy!