I’ve been quiet for so long!! I made all these ambitious commitments to myself about this blog, how often I would write, how often I would post and I will admit here and now, that I have totally dropped the ball.
But there is a reason. A reason I have been so distracted, a reason why anything I tried to write sounded jumbled and confused, a reason why everything came back to one thing and one thing only.
In November 2016, our little family of two, will become a family of three! We are getting ourselves ready to welcome the world’s very first ThomChom (Thomson-Chomolla)!! WHAT?? Yep, you read that right!
We met this news with elation – we were ready for it, we wanted it. I stood in our bedroom holding the positive test and did a little dance and screamed. My bedridden malaria-infected husband sat up in bed and did his darndest to work up as much excitement as his sick body could manage. Okay, so the timing of the test was not ideal, but who cares, it was positive – we’re having a baby!!
I rode the high for about 48 hours before the weight of what was happening fell over me.
It reminded me of a rollercoaster ride. As you stand in line, you look ahead at everyone coming off the coaster, they’re all a little shaken but ecstatic and laughing with each other, remembering the best turns and twists of the ride. You think, this is going to be great and damn it, I’m ready. You get on, lock yourself in and with a big thumbs up to your friends in front and behind, you begin the slow click-click-click up the first hill. You’re still feeling great as you start, thinking yes! I waited a long time for this; it’s going to be amazing.
But then something happens, halfway up the hill, your blood goes cold, your breath catches in your chest and you think WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING??? I’m too old for this shit, this is crazy, I can see the drop after this hill and I don’t think I want to do this anymore. You whip your head around to find the man in the control room, thinking with utter futility, that just maybe you can signal him to stop the ride and let you off. But as soon as you turn, you realize this is never going to happen and you are in now… all in. The click-click-click continues upward toward the impending drop and you find yourself unable to breath well, a scream rising in your chest.
This was me after my positive test 48 hour high.
I am going to bring a tiny human into the world. And even more terrifying than that, I am going to be that tiny human’s Mama. WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING??
I remember when Amani and I were talking about marriage, I had a similar but less intense feeling of overwhelm. I remember thinking, how do people do this? Walk down an aisle toward another human being, commit to love and care for that human being, through the good stuff and the bad, for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. It’s incredible that humans are capable of making a commitment like that to each other. It’s incredible that humans do this every single day as if it’s a normal thing to do. Yep, here’s my whole life, from this day to my dying breath. No biggie, I’m in. WHAT??
But now I am really in, all in. In my view, marriage is a forever thing (see rest of my life thoughts above), but as much as we are loathe to admit it, there is still an out. And thank God there is, for those men and women who end up in desperately awful relationships, suffering abuse and mistreatment at the hands of their partner. If it really goes south, you can get out.
But with a baby? I will be that baby’s Mama until the day I die, like it or not, no outs. Even if it all goes completely to shit, I can’t ever become ex-Mama. I will become a Mama the day s/he is born and I will die a Mama, never my pre-parental self again.
And the really scary part, the part that I can hardly say out loud because it’s just too much….? We’ll screw it up.
I want with everything in me to be, from this day forward, the perfect Mama, to never give this baby any reason to feel disappointed in how I’ve behaved, to be angry with me, to be hurt by me. But it will happen. Hopefully, most of it will be resolvable; we’ll practice forgiveness and live in the mess and all that business. But some of it might sting a bit. I am doing my very best, but I am also a wildly imperfect human and this little life is coming into mine and I am tasked with being one of its closest role models. SHIT.
This little love will hear my voice in their head when they get older. When they sit through their post-adolescent, early 20s therapy sessions, they’ll talk about me, and where I messed up. Fingers crossed, I’ll only give them enough content for a few sessions… maybe I should start living with my fingers crossed. And stop saying shit…
I’m sure we will figure it out, that’s what everyone says. They tell you that you just do it, because you have to do it. That little life is looking at you from the change table with all the dependency it can muster and you have to do something. You try things, you take advice, you refuse advice, you move forward.
With all the optimism I can muster, baby will be just fine. S/he will grow into a toddling human, will some day start school, will some day finish school, and if we play our cards right, will grow into a decent, kind, funny human being. Fingers crossed… again.
But what I love most, and what helps me to keep calm, is that this baby already has this incredible tribe of humans that Amani and I love and value. Grandparents and aunties and uncles, and not all of the blood relation type. This baby will have cousins and teachers, mentors and people who inspire them. Thank God it’s not just me who has to shape them into the decent, kind and funny human I so hope they’ll be. We go into this with our community all around us, from all corners of the globe, and my friends, there is not much that comforts me more than this.
The control tower is out of sight, the guy running the ride is drinking his Coke and we’re in. Click-click-click, the wildness and the wonder are ahead and we’re both terrified and ecstatic. Send advice, send food, send us your very best energy and love, we’ll take whatever we can get 😉 And know that if you are a part of our lives, you are in this too, this little one needs to be held in many hands and told stories from many lips, many more than just mine and Amani’s.