What to Expect
For those of you who haven’t given birth, known someone who has given birth, or been a partner to someone about to give birth, perhaps you have never read What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Both a reference book and unspoken bible for first-time expectant moms, if you have never had the opportunity, you may want to head over to Amazon when you’re done here and grab yourself a copy. If you do not finish with a renewed appreciation for mothers, you may at least find you have additional birth control.
If, however, you choose not to take my advice and invest in this gem, here is my brief synopsis:
· If you are not scared, you should be.
· You’ll get heartburn so bad it feels like Satan himself has taken up residence in your stomach, mood swings so rash you’ll want to murder your partner seconds before crying on their shoulder, and cravings so strange you’ll feel the need to closet eat except you won’t because you’re so ravenous that all of your pride is gone. You will have pains in areas you didn’t know existed, sleeping is a thing of the past, and soon a miniature human will destroy your body.
· If, by the way, you are lucky enough to survive labor, the next 18+ years are even harder.
· Congratulations; what a beautiful time.
I started wondering why we put ourselves through reading things that terrify us and I could only come up with one reason: because the unknown is far scarier than any reality we need to face. No matter how ugly the picture, we simply can’t bear what we do not know.
I found myself feeling similarly about the launch of this web site. Thoughts such as what should I expect, will it be successful (however that’s measured), will people like me or, more importantly, my writing, what will readers expect, what if I can’t write as often or as well as they want?
As these thoughts repeatedly swirled around in my head, the anxiety grew each time with the realization there is no guide to predict what will happen here. I have none of those answers. The only thing I can have is hope.
The truth is that my very first post on this site was written 1.5 years ago for a site that did not yet exist. It came somewhere from the deep unknown in my mind, the place where what may happen is defined more by hope and possibility than fear and skepticism. The other truth is that I allowed fear to stop that post from posting for 1.5 years because I didn’t know what to expect, all the while expecting to have the perfect formula for success. It never came.
As you’ll find out here, I’m far from perfect and certainly have no formula for success. I’m a hurting, healing, (sometimes) hopeful human just like you.
Ultimately, I have no answers of what to expect here so I have changed my motto to What to Expect When You’re Hoping. I am all too familiar with the feeling of hopelessness; that deep dark place where mental/spiritual/emotional paralysis takes hold. When we expect certain things to happen, we oftentimes are left with disappointment when our plan doesn’t go exactly as we wanted. But if we have unrelenting hope rather than expectation, there is always a reason to keep trying and to keep going. It is in hope where we can expect the light to get in.
What can you expect here as a reader? I only ask that you continue to be hopeful in me and if you do, you can expect the unexpected. Those who know me will know me in ways like never before and those who don’t will get to know me far better than if we had first met in person; and if I’m lucky, I’ll make some new friends along the way.
So here I am, 1.5 years after that first writing, still not sure what to expect. But I’m hoping. And for now, that’s the only guide I need.