I will never forget the date. It was March 26, 2018. I could not figure out why I was late, and nothing made any sense. I KNEW I wasn’t pregnant, but I decided to take a test just to rule it out and put my mind at ease.
I sank to the floor, gripping the counter, trying to form the words to call out to my husband. I finally called for him to come, while the tears started to pour down my cheeks.
I was pregnant.
Now I know what you are thinking…there must be some external circumstances that make pregnancy a devastating thing for our family. Nope. We have a happy and healthy marriage. My husband has a good job that is able to provide for the financial aspect of raising a family. I am already a stay at home Mom to two other children. We have always wanted more kids. And while the first trimester is absolutely horrible for me, my pregnancies are always healthy with almost no complications.
So why was I so devastated, distraught even?
It all boiled down to one thing: it was so completely unexpected.
I know how unfair that statement is for all those Mamas out there who have struggled for months and years to conceive and have a child. I even questioned why I was pregnant when so many who are near and dear to me have not been able to become pregnant. While I have held the hands of those who are walking through the deep, deep pain of infertility, I now needed someone to hold my hand through the deep surprise of an unexpected pregnancy.
Over those first few weeks, I wrestled with all the thoughts and emotions running through my mind. I struggled to think of giving up my body for 10 months, followed by a significant chunk of sleepless nights and more “giving up” of my body for breastfeeding and carrying around an infant. I cried when I realized that I couldn’t go on the roller coasters and water slides at Kings Island with my daughter. I cried, even more, when I realized that we don’t have a name picked out. I sobbed when I told my parents because I knew that it meant they wouldn’t be around for the birth of their fifth grandchild. It took a few months to wrestle through all these thoughts and feelings and to begin to feel excited for the life that is growing in me.
I wanted to write this post for you, Mama. The one who is experiencing that unexpected pregnancy.
First, your thoughts and feelings are valid. It can be quite shocking to find out that your entire life is going to be different than you planned, and it’s ok if it takes some time and hard feelings before you come to grips with it. Sure, it is not the same battle that someone else is fighting, but it’s still a battle and you should have no shame in fighting it.
Second, if your pregnancy is unwelcome because you are not in a good living or family situation, know that there are resources for you – many that are local to the Dayton area. My personal favorite is the Miami Valley Women’s Center, which is full of resources from the beginning of your pregnancy all the way through your days of parenting ahead.
Third, just think of what life will look like in 10 years. Sure, there may be lingering stretch marks and our bladders will never be what they used to be as a result of pregnancy. But in the grand scheme of things, having a child will bring so many blessings to our lives.
Remember, while your emotions are completely valid, you cannot let them rule over you. Don’t forget to also tell yourself the facts and look for reasons to be thankful for a new life.
It’s hard, Mama, I get it. It’s a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts and giving up some ideas and plans for what the future held. The unexpected can be hard to face, but if you are facing this, you are not alone.