I could never have imagined that a visit to the ladies’ room would trigger such a barrage of self-doubt.
But it did.
As I sat there with the little box on my lap, my hands trembled. I fumbled with the packaging, and scanned through the cryptic-looking directions.
I didn’t actually need to read the directions. Or take a test. I already knew.
But still, I waited. For five minutes. 300 seconds that seemed to drag on forever.
When the pregnancy test came back positive, my mind became saturated with a potpourri of emotions.
I was ecstatic. It was what we had dreamed, schemed and planned for. But I was also overwhelmed. And scared shitless.
I was immediately flooded with doubt, uncertainty and worry. For most of my adult life, I had worked hard to build up the confidence and assuredness that had served me well. I had built up skills, poise and savvy. But when that line turned pink, all of those things toppled like dominoes.
Would I be a good mom?
Was there enough capacity in my selfish little heart to give to another human being that much?
Did I have what it took to balance a career and motherhood?
Would my marriage suffer?
Was my life as I knew it completely over?
Was I good enough? Smart enough? And doggone it, would my kids even like me?
Holy crap. Is it really not just about me anymore?
Those doubts and worries stayed with me throughout my pregnancy. In the subsequent five years, they’ve always been present. Some have dimmed, some have morphed, and some have festered. But they’re always there, lingering in the back of my mind.
And they all began to manifest with that pee that rocked my world.
Parenthood didn’t begin for me when my daughter was born. That event was just the flesh-and-bones materialization of the hopes, fears and dreams I had birthed nine months earlier. As soon as that faint double pink line appeared, I became a mother.
I peed on a stick.
And then the whole world shifted.