As a child, I dreamed of the day I'd become a mother, but on the day I discovered I was pregnant with my son, all I felt was apprehension.
I think a small part of that apprehension probably stemmed from the fact that I was a slightly older first-time mom: I was thirty-four when my son was born and thirty-six when my daughter arrived. I realize that many women are waiting until their thirties and even later to have children, but most of my friends had had their kids in their twenties, so compared to them, I felt ancient.
The larger reason for my trepidation was fear. In all of my daydreams about motherhood, I had never envisioned myself being single and pregnant. I had pictured the white house with the picket fence, the successful career, the husband--and then the children. But that vision didn't turn out to be my reality. My life ending up taking a different path that meandered through marriage and divorce, then a move across the country to be with a man I had met in a chat room online. I moved in with him in November of 2004, and our surprise son made himself known in June of 2006. So even though I wasn't truly single--I was with a man that I loved and would marry in just a few months time--on the day I found out I was pregnant I felt single, and that was scary. I don't know if that will make much sense to anyone on the outside looking in, but for my life to have veered so far from the course I had set out on was terrifying for me. I welcomed the pregnancy, but the questions still nagged at me: What happened to my plan? Where did my life get off track? How did I end up here?
As my pregnancy progressed, however, much of my fear disappeared. I loved being pregnant; it had been my dream for so long. And when my son was born by emergency C-section on February 21, 2007, I couldn't have been happier or felt more blessed. I don't even know how to describe the peace and overwhelming love that came over me when I was finally able to hold him, the sense of comfort, the certainty that everything was going to be all right.
Even though my life didn't take the path I had dreamed it would--and perhaps no one's life does--I'm grateful to have gone through all the things that brought me where I am today. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful kids. Things happened differently than I thought they would, but I'm now living a life that's better than anything I ever dreamed.