They are surrounded by love and know how to return it. As preschoolers, they practice with baby dolls they treat as if they were living, breathing children. They name them, dress them, change them, even pretend to nurse them. Some little girls are born knowing how to nurture, and when instinct fails them, they use their own observations to fill in the blanks.
When the time comes for some little girls to have their own children, they know what to do—emulate their own mothers and fathers. When they doubt themselves, they have role models to fall back on. Ultimately, they are able to dismiss their fears because they know how to raise a child to be a functional adult. The idea that they are turning into their mothers gives some women reassurance.
Five years into our marriage, Edward and I agreed it was time. His residency was beginning to wind down, and he was slowly getting some free time back. We’d worked out most of the kinks in our relationship, and we were closer and more bonded to each other than we’d ever been. The day I went to my ob/gyn to have my IUD removed I was excited—almost giddy—at the prospect of trying to conceive. The only thing left to do was go home and have lots and lots of sex, something we did anyway.
Except now making love had a purpose beyond our own gratification. Pregnancy was my goal, and I didn’t look much beyond that until the day my period was late. I ran out and bought a pregnancy test, which I took the second Edward returned home from the hospital. A plus sign formed in the results window, and Edward and I were ecstatic. It wasn’t until I lay in bed that night, my hand resting against my stomach, that it hit me. Having a baby meant becoming a mother.
My single greatest fear was that I would turn into mine.