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Baby Fever / Fever Dream

Something crazy has happened. I started growing a life inside me.

Is there anything more impactful I could say than that? Literally everything is changing, and I feel ill-prepared. I at once want to announce it to everyone and keep it a secret for as long as possible. I’m already noticing people staring at my belly – probably playing a game I invented myself called “Fat or Pregnant?” Pregnant, thanks. But I see why you wonder.

I have so many worries. Will I be a good mom? My heart says yes, my brain says probably (but maybe not). What if my kid is a jerk? My heart says it won’t be, my brain knows that sometimes it will be. What if I get tired and lose my temper? What if I do something wrong? What if I cause irreparable harm? I mean, I am responsible for (at least!) 18 years of molding a respectable, productive member of society. And what have I done myself to prove that I’ve accomplished that for myself?

These are the things that make me nervous, crazy, angry, even. I question myself constantly: my selfishness, my pride, my ambitions, my age. These are all things I thought I’d be a bit beyond when it came time to become a mother. I’m even having trouble admitting it – “I am a mother now.” I don’t feel like it yet – I’m too busy dealing with my own emotions to take on the emotional needs of my future (really, current) child. I’m scared of the pain, I’m scared of not having enough time to get it right, I’m scared, period. But I’m hopeful that when the time comes, something in my brain will kick in – some sort of evolutionary switch that will turn me into an amazing, doting mother. People have been doing it for zillions of years, right?

I am lucky to have a super supportive partner, an incredibly enthusiastic family, and a great support network overall. So many people don’t have that luxury, so I am thankful for that so many times over. It’s one of the things that makes me know this experience will be a good one, overall, despite some shitty days that are sure to occur. I know the coming months and years will hold plenty of contradictions and emotions and surprises. And though I don’t feel “ready” – I hear most people are “never really ready,” or at least that’s what my mom says.

For now, I’ll keep feeling the life inside of me wriggle around like a sea monster (or a fart? Sometimes it’s hard to know). I’ll rest my hand on my belly, roll my eyes at the lady gaping at my small but noticeable “bun,” and wait on some cosmic revelation to come streaming into my brain that tells me, “Okay, you can do this.”

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