One minute you are young, remarkably wrinkle free and sailing through life on a breeze of blissful irresponsibility. Then you decide to become a parent. How hard can it be you chuckle as the two lines appear on the supermarket pregnancy test (carelessly thrown in with a bottle of wine, soft cheese and some extra strong espresso – what are the chances after all that it will happen so quickly). You partner seems oddly silent but gamely tries to show no fear (the sweat on his forehead is a dead giveaway). He will later drink the wine himself and devour the soft cheese while you watch jealously drinking your decaf tea. This will be just the beginning of the many sacrifices of motherhood.
As the months fall by (and that date on the calendar looms closer to reality than ever before) you begin to realise that life will truly never be the same again. It’s not just that you can no longer sleep or that you count your cups of coffee or that the stairs has now taken on Everest proportions…it’s that feeling that you are no longer really alone in your own mind. Every thought is overshadowed by The Baby. Will this help The Baby? Will this harm The Baby? What is the best thing to do?
It is no longer just your own life you are living; it as if you are living (not just eating) for two. Your body holds two people; two hearts beat in that body and two brains work away at keeping everything ticking over as it should be (one of these brains is very tiny and underdeveloped but then the same could be said for your brain some days). It is a great responsibility to live two lives at once, sometimes you don’t feel up to the challenge and consume a vast amount of calories as food is now a substitute for everything you are denied (wine, sex – too uncomfortable – and a decent night’s sleep).The months drag by, your feet ache, your back has given up the ghost and people joke that you must be carrying twins.
Then the day dawns when this girl’s life becomes this mother’s life and the world as you know it morphs into an alien landscape, a sparkling riot of colours; love has never felt this deep or scary before. A soft smelling bundle of warmth is placed in your arms and life will never be quite as free or as easy again but with your price of freedom comes a love you have never known before. There will be struggles ahead and sleepless nights and days when you just want to cry but…you will be rewarded with sticky kisses, warm cuddles and a life rich in meaning. You will still carry that girl in your heart, she will never be left behind but the joys and sorrows of motherhood will strengthen her; they will mould her into a woman and this life will be something totally unexpected but very much worth every ounce of pain.