When you find out you are pregnant when it was not a part of your plan, there’s like a moment of silence. Everything seems to turn into white noise as your brain goes into hyperdrive as you experience some kind of shock. Everything that happens after that is all a unique experience. What the people in your life say, think, react; how you choose to take it, what you do moving forward, the choices you make, how your body takes the changes, your pregnancy experience, the labor etc etc. It goes on and on.
Let me start with saying I’m pro-choice. Even though that is an acceptable stance, society around us tend to make it seem unsavory for you to say you would have chosen to abort once you’re the soon to be mother. It’s taken as something horrific. How can you want to destroy your baby…
This is my experience and my perspective. I hope someone may gain perspective, find this somehow helpful or just not feel alone.
I didn’t find out until late in the pregnancy because of health issues and a car accident. I was in a committed relationship that was going downhill, we didn’t have sex much but I was still on the pill and around that time he left for a trip to Korea for a month. I was overweight (still am and working on it) and was having infrequent periods both on the meds and due to my weight for a while. I even had my annual gynecological visit during this time. All indicators would be that I shouldn’t have gotten pregnant or I should have known about it sooner. Around that time I also had to do multiple x Ray’s because of a car accident that irritated an issue with my spine.
This recount probably is extremely confusing. That year was very confusing. I found out I was pregnant at 20 weeks. And all I felt was this calm. I took it in stride and self reflected. I was just out of college. Recently had to leave my job because if the aforementioned back issue from the car accident. I was living in my college town still in a house my parents owned. All my plans precollege had already collapsed and I didn’t know what my new plan was and my personal life was also a disaster. I didn’t do drugs or drink but I wasn’t mentally healthy. And this icing is motherhood was never a goal for me because I never felt that maternal calling or dreamed about marriage and kids. Parenthood and childhood development was a fascinating study for me in college, I took classes on related things but in practice it wasn’t a part of the hypothetical plan. I honestly didn’t think I had it in me because I was on my own journey to unravel and fix issues I had stemming from my relationship to my parents and family. I didn’t want to continue a cycle.
With all that, there was the option of getting the abortion, giving the baby up for adoption or keeping her. It was so late along that getting an appointment and the immediate cash was an issue. I thought of whether I could be a suitable parent. Could I show some growth and resilience and adjust to have a good outcome? I really didn’t know. I have a habit of quitting before I can fail. I fear failure. I had put a lot of theoretical thought into how I would want to raise a child if I had one but none of those things were in place. I don’t do well without a plan. So I committed to making as much change as I could to make the best life for us.
I committed to sorting out health insurance, doctor visits, getting in better shape, finding a birthing center. And most importantly I tried to adjust my mentality to be better at coping with change and failure. I started writing a journal to her so that she’d have a closer account of our time. In case I did screw up. I wanted her to understand if I had any failings as a mother that no matter what I loved her. I also wanted something to look back on to improve.
It’s been over a year now in official motherhood and believe me, I adore my baby. It’s from that that sometimes I find myself thinking maybe I chose poorly. And I don’t think that’s wrong. It’s in our nature to wonder what ifs and sometimes you’ll find yourself going there but as long as you’re still making choices in the best interest of your child then you’re doing a fine job. That includes if you chose either of the other two options. Knowing you are not in a position to be a good parent, financially, mentally, emotionally. Being honest and choosing what’s best for you and your circumstance is admirable and society should stop demonizing and making it ok to demonize those choices.
And if you are a mother. Sometimes it sucks. Empirical data shows this as well as anecdotal evidence. It’s just fact. You get worried, you’re stressed and all the things that accompany parenthood because its life stress plus worrying about another whole life. It should be ok to say that and in turn to get support and help.
Find your balance.