I’ve never planned a pregnancy.
I will very soon have three kids. Not a one was planned, and yet being a mom is all I ever wanted to be. I love babies and kids. I heard my biological clock ticking very loudly, very early. I’m talking drunkenly-cried on my 21st birthday about wanting a baby. Oh, dear.
But even so, each of my children have been surprises. Wonderful, life-altering, loud, messy, surprises. Wonderful, yes, but nonetheless, they all started out with that heart-pounding “Oh noooo” feeling when I saw that positive pregnancy test.
I’ve had so much guilt and shame about this over the years. Friends and family saying infuriating things like “Don’t you know how that happens?” Yes, yes I sure do, thanks very much. The feeling I’ve felt when people ask “Was this planned?” I don’t wish on anyone. The pressure I feel to say yes. To avoid the judgment and the snickers I would hear if I would say no. I’ve just recently gotten the courage to be truthful.
But really, it’s no one’s business of course.
I’ve felt the stigma of being unmarried when I had my first and being pregnant with my second in my wedding dress. My third, well, he’s coming along after we already decided we were done. This pregnancy hit the hardest. I really felt deep, dark depression for a few weeks.
After my second pregnancy, I told my husband that IF there was a next one, I want and NEED for it to be planned. I wanted to feel what it was like to wish and be hopeful for that positive, to cry first out of joy and not fear. To not spend the weeks of early pregnancy worried about what others were going to think or say. But guess what. Pregnancy number three came just like the others. Surprise! There I was again.
So many people struggle with infertility. So many people that I know and love. I’m so glad that infertility awareness and support has become visible and is talked about more and more. My heart goes out to those mamas and families unable to experience the miracle of pregnancy. I also want to shed light on the flip side of that coin, that I’ve experienced.
Feeling overwhelmed and out of control of your body and family because of an unplanned pregnancy is a real thing. So many emotions about unexpectedly adding a new life. Realizing that your family is going to look different than you pictured it. I want to carve out a safe space to say all the feelings are okay. I get the fear. The embarrassment. It’s okay to explore and contemplate all your options about having or not having your baby. I’ve felt it all and all the guilt that comes along with those feelings.
Motherhood is a collective experience and sometimes an isolating one. Some of us struggle with getting pregnant, some of us struggle with learning we are pregnant. In the end, we are all parents and no matter how those babes came about, planned or unplanned pregnancy, it goes without saying that we love our children endlessly.
These three beings are my life and very breath. I may not have known I needed them in the moment they came along, but my gosh, they are perfection and this is my vow to give myself some grace. I didn’t plan them, but they are here. It doesn’t make me less than. It’s life. Beautiful, emotional, messy life.
Can we all agree to stop asking if a pregnancy was planned though? That’d be great.