I was surfing Facebook and I came across an interesting post. A few women in one of my Facebook groups had posted ‘then and now’ photos, which showed what they looked like a year ago and what they looked like now. It began a great discussion about how much can change in a year.
I’m not saying that my life has changed more or that I’ve struggled more than someone else. I just feel like it has taken a turn I hadn’t counted on.
One year ago, I hadn’t met my ex.
One year ago, I was working seven days a week so I could save money to live in Auckland (and not drown in debt or stress).
One year ago, I was researching graduate jobs and further study opportunities in Wellington.
One year ago, I was preparing myself for a heavy course load so I could (attempt to) graduate within the year.
One year ago, I was ‘casually seeing’ someone, and we were both aware that it was only a matter of time before it crashed and burned for good.
Now, I am done with studying.
Now, I am living at home again.
Now, I am working online because my body refuses to be upright for more than an hour at a time.
Now, I am organising a room that is half mine and half his.
Now, I am washing baby clothes and hanging them on the clothesline.
Now, I am figuring out what the best move is for him. Not for me.
One year can change everything.
If I was to tell past me what was happening now, I am sure I would be laughed at.
My twenty-one year old self never planned for children to factor into her life. Ever. It was so far from her radar that she almost blocked them out. Now, after holding a baby exactly once in my life, I’m going to be having one of my own. Between 32 and 42 days. How crazy is that?
There have been a lot of pinch me moments. I’ve thought that I’ve been dreaming and I would wake up at any moment.
There have also been a lot of nobody pinch me moments. This last year has been full of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Seeing this little nougat wriggle about on a screen has become the best part of my life.
Has it been hard?
Of course it has!
Try telling any twenty-two year old that they’re going to have a baby and see what happens.
I went into absolute denial for a few weeks. It felt like a childlike daze of ‘if I can’t see it, it isn’t happening’. Of course, that all changed when I went to my first then second ultrasound. It changed when I began telling more and more people I was pregnant. It changed when I started making plans to move home indefinitely. It definitely changed when he started kicking the crap out of me and hanging out by my ribs.
I just hung a basket of baby clothes on the line and I had another one of those ‘holy crap’ moments. I’m well aware that he’s going to be here soon, but it still feels a little surreal. In a good way, if that’s possible. I’m sure the wonder of it all will wear off when his baby clothes aren’t so new and they’re covered in all kinds of bodily fluids. And when he’s screaming in the middle of the night and I have to get up for the millionth time in a row.
Right now, I’m not worried about the logistics of who is going to do the laundry or get up in the middle of the night or go with me to appointments.
Right now, I’m realising that holy hell, I am going to have a person. Not a full-grown person. A baby. One that is going to rely on me for the rest of his life
because we all know men never truly grow up.
People are asking me if I’m ready for him to be here.
Some days I reply with hell yes. That response comes from the days that have been full of pain. Nothing and no one has been able to fix the ache in my back, the nausea, or the constant cramping and feeling of painful pressure that is suddenly everywhere.
Some days I reply with hell no. That response comes from the days when people have given me the side eye and passed judgement without opening their mouth to ask me a single question. Those are the moments I want to protect him from.
I am getting a little impatient. We’ve had our fair share of rushed trips to the hospital, only to be sent home again a few hours or days later. Phew.
So, am I ready for him to be here?
Yes, but I am happy to wait a little bit longer.