A few of my friends are about to become parents for the first time. I now feel that irresistible urge, that my friends-with-kids obviously felt when I was pregnant with my first, to inundate them with valuable advice to help them through those nightmare first few months. I found, however, that although a lot of advice proved useful at some point, in general nothing helped to soften the blow of suddenly having to take care of a tiny baby. Basically, all I can say is that you will probably feel like you’ve been hit by a truck and like life as you knew it has ended – and that it will take a month or two or three before you come to think that perhaps what you got in return was worth it.
So instead of advice, I thought I’d share a poem I wrote when I was twenty weeks pregnant with the Toddler. Here it is, especially for my pregnant first-timer friends.
The moment before
In my dreams it happens sometimes
The rite of passage
The moment that changes
everything that went before
A confused kiss with a stranger;
Our child, in our arms, but talking already
and bossy at that.
No dream can prepare us
No stories, no good advice
Twenty more weeks till you arrive
and change our lives
in ways we can’t imagine.
The cliff seems too steep,
the gulf too wide to ever cross.
I can barely see the other side –
just shadows of our future selves,
their shouts of encouragement
lost on the wind.
(c) Judith Kingston, 2010