It's like growing another heart.
That's what an obstetrician said to me, when I was pregnant. We were talking about depression, and my fears relating to motherhood, and she meant it as reassurance. Evidence of how rewarding having a child would prove to be, an offering of the greater promise and joy in store for me.
Mostly, however, it terrified me. Because I knew even then she was right — more right than she seemed to realise. Another heart meant more room for joy, yes, but only because it meant more room for every emotion. Fear. Pain. Hurt. Confusion. Defeat.
And the kicker is that second heart lies outside the curve of my ribs, beyond my arms' reach, so vulnerable and fragile and forever lost to me. I cannot protect it.
Becoming a mother is growing another heart — and then casting that heart out into the wild and savage world. Taking the key to your own destruction and giving it into the hands of strangers.