You know what pregnancy is? Humbling. It’s the ultimate checks and balances system for checking who you once were at the door and swallowing all the misguided things once said before going through this process. […]
You know what pregnancy is? Humbling. It’s the ultimate checks and balances system for checking who you once were at the door and swallowing all the misguided things once said before going through this process. I can only imagine how true this is for parenting; however, I’m not exactly there yet.
Once upon a time I lived in Lauren-only land where I would gawk in exasperation anytime someone would inquire about babies or “the future family.” Although I have honestly always loved babies, I fell into a narrow-minded place and suppressed any chance of willingly having children. I don’t think it is in any way wrong for any person to feel any type of way about having children, but I have to say I hear myself repeating the same things said to me pre-pregnancy.
“Your instincts will take over. It will feel natural when it happens.”
“You don’t have to force yourself to change. Just trust the process.”
I have to admit, these statements are true for me. I don’t hate admitting that, obviously, I am thankful for it. But for anyone reading this cringing over the thought of turning into someone maternal … I understand! I get you. I’m not offended by differing thoughts and opinions because I had some pretty dark, fearful thoughts when I found out I was pregnant. I think moms need to be understood no matter where they are. We need to allow moms-to-be to have a minute (when needed) to just navigate the feelings of realizing their entire life is going to change. I think some of us need to see the wide spectrum of change that happens to us so we can confidently know we can be good moms, not because we have a manual for motherhood—but because so much if it is truly natural.
It is invaluable to me to know I have pulled a 180, channeling this deep sense of connectedness to my baby. I needed to know things could change on their own, without my intervention and beyond my capabilities. For me, this demonstrates a natural progression that will take place as she grows and becomes her own person. I will learn to adapt and love her unconditionally through each season, similar to my marriage.
When I first got pregnant, I couldn’t even tell people. Matt had to tell his parents, my parents and the first of my best friends. I didn’t know how to say it in a way that did it justice. I felt paralyzed by the notion and guilty for being a black cloud amidst many, many happy people. It was the first dose of that humility I mentioned before. I had convinced myself for whatever reason this wasn’t who I was or what I wanted. I had told myself for so long that life was much more glamorous without kids, and I was entitled to that lifestyle for as long as I saw fit before entering into motherhood—never mind the fact I knew my husband wanted babies, my babies, from my body. I guess it was something I thought we would figure out later on.
Again, I don’t think anyone’s thoughts on pregnancy and children are “bad.” I don’t think it can fit into this right or wrong mentality because it’s so personal to the individual. But looking back, I have to admit I am surprised by my shallow words. As someone who thinks they know how to express themselves, I’m not sure why I spouted out the “no kids ever” thing for as long as I did. I wonder why I thought that way and suppressed those feelings, ignoring a very important part of myself. Why do some of us view motherhood as crossing over to some dark, foreign side? Why do we pretend like it’s not something victorious to achieve? Why do we not view it as something that makes us even more BA? I believe all of it is just part of the process.
Pregnancy, for some of us, looks like this:
I don’t want kids.
I am pregnant and do not want to be.
I can have this one kid. I think I can handle one.
It’s a she. *tears*
She moves all the time!
“Whatcha’ doin’, baby?” (Me talking to Bellamy excessively)
I can’t believe I have to wait so long to meet you.
I think this is who I was always supposed to be.
I want a huge family.
Birth control? Nah.
I can officially say I am on team BWD (her initials). I no longer think about what this is doing to me. I think about how amazing her life will hopefully be and the person she is going to be for those in her life.
At my shower this past weekend, it was truly a celebration of new life and really ballin’ baby shoes. Everyone was so excited because she is almost here! Yes, a lot of that excitement is for a baby—because people love babies. But for me, it was a celebration for someone else’s life to begin, and I get to watch from day one. I remind myself this is the start of her journey, and I play a major supporting role. I get to be her one and only mom, but we both will continue to have our individual lives to enjoy together and one day also somewhat separately. I truly view her as a gift and a privilege. She is my treasure, and it’s my pleasure to walk with her to the best of my ability.
To any mom or possibly future mom out there, the 180-degree change is possible. There are so many preconceived notions of how we should feel and should react to pregnancy. I am an example of someone who had to grow a lot from initially receiving the news. “Growth” sounds like there was something lacking before, something negative that needed to go. That’s not what I mean. Growth, to me, is a reaction to a life-altering circumstance that helps create the most beneficial outcome for the individual experiencing change. It’s not that we weren’t enough before, but that we weren’t even training for that race!
If you feel daunted by the idea of producing some kind of mothering façade, know it wont always feel synthetic. In fact, it may shock you how quickly and painlessly you settle into the rhythm of being you plus being mom—I would know! I’m so thankful for this newly found love, and I can’t wait to see how I will feel on the day of her birth. Standing by for more “what was I thinking?” moments, but also remembering that it’s just part of the process. Go moms!