Motherhood is a Two-Week Wait

One mom explores the emotional windfall of the waiting periods of becoming and being a parent.
Lindsay Tigar and her daughter Josefine.

I don’t always know what day of the week it is—a Monday? A Tuesday?—but from the moment I wake up, I think in numbers. Today is 11 Days Post Ovulation or 11DPO, I say inside of my head as I climb out of bed. I go to the bathroom and awkwardly hold the urine sample cup to gather my pee. So much of conception is the opposite of sexy—and most of the stress is put on women. I am utterly annoyed I know the ‘DPO’ acronym so intimately, and also the fact that the complexity of female fertility has been minimized to a three-letter description. 

I will myself not be disappointed if I don’t see a super-dark line when I turn that tiny strip over. I know I’m in the home stretch of the in-between period, where I might be and I probably am not, and having that glass of wine was most likely okay last night to calm my nerves. 

Will I be greeted with a positive pregnancy test—the grand prize from continuous, anxious tracking that only yields a 15 percent chance of success—or will my heart sink as I swallow my disappointment because as we’re all told, it takes time. It’s normal. Everything is normal. But it’s hard. 

Motherhood is a two-week wait.

Months are now not months but weeks. Broken down into seven-days segments, fractions of time that pass by impossibly slow when you’re a first-time mom. Or a woman pregnant again after loss. A positive pregnancy test is not always a symbol of relief and happiness—it’s merely step one. 

The weeks should bring you joy, and maybe they do, but they sometimes feel like ticking timebombs, leading up to the first ultrasound. Where you’ll take off your pants and open your legs, brace yourself for the transducer to be inserted. Hold your breath as a technician you just met moves it around until they find the microscopic embryo that means something much bigger than you could ever explain. You try your best to remain calm as you pay attention to every twitch of their eye, crease in their lips, wondering if they’ll give away the information you desperately need. 

Is there a heartbeat? Please let there be a heartbeat. And later with every ultrasound, is everything there that’s supposed to be there? Does the baby look healthy? Am I okay? Is this normal? Everything is normal. But it’s hard. 

Motherhood is a two-week wait.

I’m 38-weeks pregnant and I have the due date circled on our calendar with little hearts drawn around it. But, I do, not in fact, love being pregnant right now. Everything hurts, everything is swollen, everything is so emotionally charged, I can barely hold the pressure while also holding my baby. She sits low in my pelvis, and her constant movements are both a beautiful reassurance and uncomfortable, heavy reminder I still have to deliver her. 

Her eviction notice is in motion, and I can feel as she prepares for her dissent. I’m filled with the hope and anticipation of Christmas morning and yet, the fear of what I will soon go through. I’m ready for her to leave but I want her to stay safe, right where I can feel her, right where she hears my heart beat from the inside, where I know she is receiving everything she needs. 

Like contractions rippling from belly to back, from body to the earth, I remind myself to breathe, that this time will pass, that I will meet my child. That it’s okay. That the complexity of mourning and longing for the vacancy of my body is something all mothers endure. Everything is normal. But it’s hard. 

Motherhood is a two week wait.

I wish someone would have told me that when you become a mom, going to the restroom becomes an anxiety-inducing experience. Though periods may be temporarily on hold, that doesn’t mean you aren’t bleeding as your body recovers from the aftermath of birth. That you change your infant’s diaper—and your own. What you thought would come absolutely natural, like breastfeeding and being a mom, may be painful, may take time to figure out, and all of it would challenge you unlike anything else in your life. The moments may feel fleeting as they are enduring, and at times, excruciating. You may not recognize yourself and you may miss yourself, all in the same breath. 

I fantasize of the days when my daughter can talk and tell me what’s wrong, where she’ll have head control, where she’ll walk, where she will sleep on her own, where I can leave my house without her, where I have an hour to myself. I wonder if I’m a bad mom for mourning my social life, my marriage, my everything-I-was-before-her? For wanting time to speed up because the ‘right now’ is rightfully awful sometimes. Am I okay? Is this okay? Everything is normal. But it’s hard. 

Motherhood is a two-week wait. 

I glance down at my child development app—the one made to promote and decrease equal amounts of anxiety for type A moms—and count down the days until this 14-day leap is over. It’s a rough one, a regression of all regressions. I haven’t slept for longer than three hours at a time in weeks, neither has my husband. Neither has our baby. She’s teething, she’s growing, she’s figuring out she’s a different person from me, and she wants to be closer. She eats more than I imagine fitting in her teeny-tiny, chubby body, and I hold her near my chest. I love her, it’s true. More and more. And I worry about her. She was once sleeping, now she’s not. Will this pass? Is this how life will always be, my partner and I taking shifts as ships in the night? 

Not everyone wants to breastfeed and not everyone can.

Our once happy-hour filled schedule is now a rotation of sleepless nights, sans the oysters on the half-shell and champagne. Are we good parents? Does she have everything she needs? Are we getting what we need? Is our marriage going to survive all of this? Everything is normal. But it’s hard. 

Motherhood is a two-week wait.

My happy girl fills my heart with so much joy, I could pinch myself. With every passing day, she seemingly learns something new. Another word. Another way to move her feet or her arms. She wakes up telling me about dreams of monkeys, and I wonder how in the world I am so lucky to pick up my dream-come-true out of her crib each morning. She giggles at the sight of our dog, of her dad, of my awful singing voice, encouraging her to start her day with waffles and milk. The earliest days of her life are a distant memory, now blurred with the hint of pink, my rose-colored glasses only showing me the bell curve instead of the actual chart of happiness. I’m mesmerized by this miniature person I get to call my daughter. 

Her almost two-year-old tantrums are starting, and they’re exhausting, but I’m better equipped to handle them. Rather than wishing the time to pass, I want it to pause. Her birthday is coming up—the decorations are purchased, the invitations sent out—and yet, I’m not sure I’m ready for it to arrive. How can I be thrilled for the person she will become while also wanting her to snuggle up on my chest each morning… forever? Everything is normal. But this is hard. 

Lindsay and her daughter Josefine

Motherhood is a two-week wait.

Postpartum shifted every aspect of my identity and my priorities. It fundamentally transformed who I am and what I want—and in the depths of those desperate days, I swore I’d never do it again. That we would be a ‘one-and-done’ family. That my daughter would be okay as an only child because she needed a healthy mother more than a sibling. But as it does, time was the ultimate healer. Therapy was a lifeline and a permission slip to process my feelings. Running became my solitude. I found my strength. I found my way back to my husband. I found the pieces of me that still fit postpartum, as the new pieces found a way to connect, too. 

Six months became a year, a year became two. And now I wake up and I do actually know what day of the week it is because lunches need to be packed and daycare drop off ends at 9 a.m. But I also know it’s Cycle Day 15 or CD15. And based on my past data from the dozens of little strips I’ve peed on, I should see a peak tomorrow. Which means we should have sex. I try to cut back on the coffee so my test results aren’t diluted. I don’t have any reason to believe I can’t get pregnant, but I’m older now. I know what science says. 

Before I dive into my day of working and mothering, I take a deep breath and face my fate of the day: will I be greeted with a ‘go time’ line, and add a 30-minute calendar block? Or will my heart sink as I swallow my disappointment because as we’re all told, it takes time. It’s normal. Everything is normal. But it’s hard. 

Motherhood is a two-week wait.


  • Lindsay Tigar

    Lindsay Tigar is the co-founder of Mila & Jo Media, an award-winning journalist, two-time entrepreneur and mama to Josefine. She's also a parental leave certified executive coach. She's a frequent-flier, Peloton addict, and a coffee and champagne snob. Her friends are her family and her lifeline. Lindsay calls Asheville, NC home but spends much time in Denmark, her husband's home country.  Follow Lindsay on Instagram. and visit her website.

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