It doesn’t matter how used to the idea you think you are. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve gone shopping for baby clothes or how long you’ve been picking up newborn nappies at the supermarket to store away. There comes a day where you wake up, feel this overwhelming power within you, and it hits you harder than a tonne of bricks- “I’m having a baby.”
For me, I think, that day just arrived. And I feel like I’ve just been woken from a crazy dream into an even crazier reality.
In September last year a boy bought me a ticket out of town. I boarded a bus with many other women just like me. Some were old, some were young. Some had been waiting a long time for this busride, while others had been thrown on against their own will. Some had boarded the same bus many times before and for others it was their first. This was my fourth time stepping onto this same bus, though I’d never made it to the last stop.
There was a lot of motion sickness at first and we didn’t all know what was going on. We kept going for a few weeks on that bumpy ride, til one week the driver pulled up at a crossroads and shouted down the bus, “This stop, Termination Lane! Last chance to change your mind, Ladies!”
My eyes glanced over through the glass. There, arms folded against his chest, was the boy who bought me my bus ticket. I waved out to him but my smile was met by a fierce look which swept his stern brow as he gestured for me to get off the bus. He wasn’t kidding around. His eyes were threatening, but I couldn’t argue with my heart. I knew what getting off at this stop meant and although the travels ahead terrified me, it’s something I was here to do.
I watched a few of the younger girls exit the bus and run as soon their feet hit the dirt, never looking back once. This saddened me deeply, and I knew, shaken with fear, that I was stuck to my seat, for God had bigger plans this time.
The weeks went on and I sat alone. Parts of the ride were uncomfortable and I found it hard to sleep. I grew tired and hungry very easily. Every now and then I’d see other women being thrown off the bus in tears. Pieces of my heart were thrown off with them, for I remembered the hurt and confusion I was witnessing. I could see myself in their puzzled expressions. I could remember the grief they were experiencing. None of them had seen it coming, poor things.
“Wait, please! Not me!” One woman cried out as the driver grabbed her by the shoulders. “My husband and I… we’ve waited so long… Please…” But the driver paid no attention to her desperate cries. She was thrown out the back door of the bus where she lay wailing, clutching herself and rocking violently. As the driver closed the doors he turned and looked towards me for a moment. My heart stopped for what felt like forever, but he shook his head and returned to his seat. The bus drove on.
It wasn’t long before I found others to sit by and I no longer felt so alone. This bus trip was starting to look a little more promising and everyone was in high spirits as we traveled on.
“What do you think it will be like when we get there?” I asked a girl who looked around my age. “I’m sure it’ll be fabulous!” She squealed. “All my girlfriends are waiting for me there. I can’t wait to join them.” I heard a snort from a few rows back where a woman in her late thirties sat knitting a pale yellow blanket. “Don’t get your hopes up, Kid. It ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Get ready to lose that nice body of yours. Partying? Forget it. You’re not getting any sleep for a while though, either. And what’s everyone gonna think of you? I’m sure Mum and Dad won’t be too impressed. There’s no way you’re ready. In my opinion, you don’t deserve to be here. It’s a nightmare. Take it from me; this is my fifth ride.” She placed the unfinished blanket on her lap, lit up a cigarette and blew small clouds carelessly in our direction.
I slumped back down in my seat. “Don’t listen to her,” I told myself. “It’ll be everything you hoped and more.” But I couldn’t stop the anxious thoughts from creeping in. What if she was right? What if I wasn’t meant to be on that busride? I stopped myself. God wouldn’t have chosen me if He didn’t think I was capable, right? I could’ve jumped off six stops ago, but I had decided to continue on out of love, determination and faith. Shouldn’t that count for something? Oh well, either way it didn’t matter what anyone else thought. We were on the same trip but all on entirely unique journeys. And mine would lead me to my final destination in 100 days. I could almost see it now. It wasn’t quite the end of my journey. In fact, I guess this was just the beginning.
Almost there. Don’t give up. You’ll be great.