My skin was stretching and my insides were temporarily misplaced. Each time I walked by a mirror, I couldn’t help but gaze over the small bump I was carrying around. It fit perfectly into the palms of my hands, while still large enough to reveal itself through the wardrobe I refused to let go of. A burst of happiness sprouted over me and I finally felt like I was glowing. While I was still recovering from a pregnancy that abruptly came to an end, sheltering myself from all harm seemed like a choice I was willing to make. I was desperate to escape from the arms of my anxities. The stress, alone, was something I was most fearful of. There was only so much convincing I could do before my mind exposed the joke at hand… the joke, being me.
My shopping cart was filled with sizes I never imagined to be in my posession, and my hair was sometimes too often thrown into a bun. I was struggling to find the me I was before I got pregnant. As hard of a fight I tried to put up, the hate I began to feel was massive. My body was overrun by stretch marks and I loathed the reflection in the mirror… one that I used to run to when taking my weekly pictures. I was experiencing a change that I always told myself I could handle. Why wouldn’t I be accepting of my baby making room in the only home he/she knows of? The guilt continued to multiply and I was shameful of the thoughts pouring out of my mind. All I wanted was to smile for the simple reason that the clouds shifted, just enough to shed some sun on my gloom. Why was it so hard to be happy?
My boyfriend and I were sprawled out on our bed when I came to a simple conclusion. Finding out the sex of our baby was something I was waiting for since the beginning. My heart ached for a true connection. It was like I needed an alternate confirmation… one that would remind me of my motherly duties. I dialed the number to a local studio that conducted ultrasounds specially for gender reveal. A (very) last minute appointment was made and it was essential that we show up on time, otherwise our turn would be used by another couple. The sweat beads outlined my forehead and the thrill spread throughout my body. In the blink of an eye, we went from standing in our bedroom to anticipating the sound of my name being called.
“Courtney, we’re ready for you.”
The room was beautifully set up for all parents to be. There was a light melody playing in the background, which only added to my elation. My boyfriend and I agreed that we were both ready to know more about the baby sitting comfortably in my belly. My entire body felt warm to the touch as I streamed with an enormous charge of emotion. Within a short moment, it had become more real than when I saw a positive pregnancy test. My baby was still so tiny in the womb, but big enough to steal my entire heart. The dim lights above allowed the calmness to surround my body as I awaited the sonographers answer.
“Are we having a boy or girl?”
And then it hit me… all the worry, doubt, and guilt I had about my body changing… the stretch marks, the aches, the oversized clothing. It was all for good reason.
All for my babygirl.