Indescribable fear overcame me when I discovered I had become pregnant. I had so many things to do yet. I wanted to travel Europe, I wanted a master’s degree, and I couldn’t fathom achieving even my smaller goals with a child in toe. As I revealed to the people in my life that I had become pregnant, I was overwhelmed with an onslaught of negative sentiments and haunting warnings from family and strangers alike! Slowly, these cautionary statements began to move my fear into action. I began to think that it wasn’t time for me to be a mother.
When I came to Informed Choices to seek counsel, I was scared, anxious, and probably a little sweaty! The crushing weight of my future responsibilities loomed over my head, and I felt as though I was falling into a hole and someone just needed to throw the dirt on top of me. In my mindset, no consolations from anyone would have improved my personal outlook. Rachel offered me a gentle voice and spoke to me about the joy of parenthood. She explained how I could still go to Europe. I could still get my master’s degree. ‘She doesn’t live in the real world’, I thought. She seemed far too joyous to me. She offered an ultrasound. My husband and I prepared to see nothing of importance. I was too polite to decline the offer as Rachel seemed to think it was a good idea. After all, she had been so kind to me. Then I saw it, I saw a little bean on a large screen on the wall. It pounded fiercely with life. I knew my child was both real and alive in that moment. As I was left to put my clothes back on, they left the beating heart up on the screen. It was a transparent move. I knew what they were saying passively – that my bean was alive. I couldn’t be mad. They were right. I watched the beating for a few minutes and prepared to leave. My husband was elated and excited with what he had seen. While I knew that my child was alive and a human, I wasn’t excited. For the rest of my pregnancy, I remained somewhat negative, but termination was not on the table. My pregnancy progressed and was hard and ended in illness and quite a bit of pain, but the story doesn’t end there.
My child came into this world at a time when I was certain pregnancy would never end. When I saw her beautiful eyes and soft skin over her chubby cheeks, I smiled. All my suffering and worrying seemed laughable. I should have spent my pregnancy excited about this moment! How could I, though? I couldn’t know this until I experienced it personally.
She was so beautiful. I had never imagine she would be so perfect. I found women who claimed that their children were perfect quite annoying. I didn’t understand and could not understand how amazing my child would be to me. The joy I felt with her and continue to feel is not something anyone can explain to you. It is an ineffable emotion. An emotion, I fear too many women are throwing away never to know what was lost.
Today, I rejoice with my child. I love to be with her and do not bat an eyelash at the change in our lifestyle. I do not miss my old life. It surprises me today, as I was 100% positive I WOULD miss my old life. I do plan to travel Europe, and I plan to do it with my family. I am excited to take my whole family and feel so blessed to have my daughter. I wish there were a way to let women know what they will miss if they choose not to continue their pregnancies. There isn’t a way. That is the catch. You have to have a little faith that everyone in our culture is wrong about the burden of children. It’s not easy. Instead of deep regret and sadness, I have limitless joy and love. I have the life I never knew I wanted. I would urge other women to take this leap of faith no matter how unhappy they are with their pregnancy. It will change you and you will love it, I promise.
~limitless joy and love