It all started with a sickness that wouldn’t go away. I had tonsillitis, followed by laryngitis, and then bronchitis. After a month of being on antibiotics, and still feeling vaguely ill in ways that I couldn’t really name, I decided to take a pregnancy test. It was only a precaution. I knew that the Doctor would make me take one later. There was no way it was going to be positive. Three minutes is an awfully long time to wait. And then two pink lines made their appearance.
My head began to spin. My heart stopped dead, and my stomach fell away from me, as if the floor had disappeared from underneath my feet. Suddenly I was having trouble breathing, and my whole body started to shake. I could barely dial Shannon’s phone number to ask him to come home. We drove an hour and a half into Emerald to have a blood test done. I lived in a haze until I got the phone call. My blood work confirmed that I was pregnant, and we needed to go back to Emerald for a dating ultrasound.
So many things ran through my mind on that trip. So many fears. What if I never lose the baby weight? How was I going to afford my clothing addiction? How could I possibly go back to university to study photography now? What if I ended up stuck in Clermont forever? The waiting room, with all the advertisements for 4D ultrasounds, and photographs of babies terrified me. Then we went into our ultrasound appointment, and I saw the tiny flicker of a heartbeat on the screen for the very first time.
After I saw it, I was terrified in a different way. What if I was a horrible mother? What if I couldn’t take care of this baby? What if something happened to my baby before we ever got to meet? What if I had already done something to hurt my baby? It was such a little thing up there on that screen, and it frightened me more than anything ever had before. I carried that ultrasound image around in my wallet for weeks. Every time I opened my wallet and saw it I felt a ball of anxiety tighten in my chest.
It’s now months down the track, and I’m preparing to meet the little man that I first saw on that screen at any time. That little thing is much bigger than it was, but the fear hasn’t gotten any smaller. It’s always there, in the back of my mind. But, if being scared every moment of the day is the trade-off for getting to meet the person who has spent the last eight-and-a-half-months growing inside me, then I’ll gladly take it. Fear isn’t always a bad thing.