Too good to be real. I find myself using these words to describe life’s little (and big) moments these days. We never guessed we would have a ‘pregnancy story.’ We knew we wanted to be parents, but had no idea the struggles we would face in trying to have children. Our difficulty was not with getting pregnant, but rather with staying pregnant. For anyone who has experienced miscarriages or stillbirth, you know the sorrow – the unbearable, gut-wrenching pain – that ensues. While we do heal and move forward, part of us – our very being – is forever altered.
Too good to be real. That’s what I thought when the home pregnancy test read “pregnant.” With our pregnancy history, I was so afraid of losing this baby, I didn’t tell a soul – not even my husband – that I was pregnant. If this was going to be another painful experience, I didn’t want to inflict it on anyone else. After several doctors appointments and tests verified that my body was in fact doing what it needed to do to maintain the pregnancy, I shared with my husband our unbelievable news. Even as we neared the end of the first trimester the joy in my heart was accompanied by a fear I couldn’t shake. It was about that time that I found myself reliving the nightmare and back in the emergency room expecting to be told we had lost another baby. Masking his own disappointment, my husband held my hand and comforted me on the ultrasound table. And then the technician said, “Do you see that? That is your baby’s heartbeat.” We cried. It was too good to be real. As my belly grew and I felt his first kicks, I was overwhelmed with tears. That was my strong, growing baby, letting me know he was thriving. Still, I was afraid. It was too good to be real.
After a long night of labor, my beautiful, healthy baby boy was born. The nurse laid him on my chest and I held his tiny body, gazed into his huge eyes and watched as he gripped his daddy’s finger. It was too good to be real. Every day since his birth, my baby boy has challenged me, amazed me, and humbled me. So many times when I watch him sleep peacefully, see his daddy toss him up in the air, or hear his joyful laugh, I find myself thinking, “This is too good to be real.” But it is real. The joys and sorrows, the laughter and tears, the fleeting moments and treasured memories – it is all a part of the story of Motherhood. And Motherhood is as real as it gets.