In late August last year, my husband and I celebrated our anniversary and decided to go for the plunge. It took 10 months, but by July this year, we had a positive pee test.
My feelings about it?
I never dreamed of being a mom, really. I’ve enjoyed the comfort, freedom and ability to share my life with my husband and do whatever we want when we want. The last 11 years of it just being “us” have been really satisfying. In fact, up until not too long ago I resented the thought of being “needed” just to be “needed” (by a child). I didn’t have a desire to have children and be responsible for someone else, sacrificing my career endeavors and even having less time to focus on my passions for writing and mental health.
Besides, with all the subtle disdain for children being subliminally pumped into the mainstream culture, why would anyone in their right mind want to have kids???
See the following memes for reference:
These memes are funny, I admit. I will probably have to look back on them and laugh once I am a mom. But in all seriousness, it’s discouraging that people resort to a level of such mockery. Parenting is hard, parenting isn’t glorious. I get that. But is it worth it? I’ve wondered so much. So much.
So that notion of children and parenthood being so inglorious and unwanted, unnecessary and all around a pain, I fed on that fear and contentedly so.
Selfish? Yes. Proud? Sure. But driven by fear? Certainly.
The biggest problem coming up to letting go of my fear was the decision of using birth control. I had happily used a NuvaRing for 11 years, and contemplated the possible and likely regret I would have if I passed the age of fertility and would not be able to have my own children physically. I hmmed and hawed, until after discussing with my therapist one time, she pointed out that if I just didn’t have the decision in my hands, I would be fine. If I happened to get pregnant on birth control, I was okay with that. If I never got pregnant, I was okay with that too. It was the choice factor though. To be or not to be on birth control? was the question.
And if I was to trust God was in control, then maybe going off the birth control to see what would happen wouldn’t be so bad. After all, if it wasn’t His plan, we wouldn’t get pregnant off the BC anyway. And that would be fine with us.
My husband’s feelings?
Chris had always wanted to be a dad. He was heartbroken when I confessed to him shortly after marriage that I honestly had no desire to have kids. I know I must have told him we’d have them while courting and engaged, but that was just a flippant answer to think about down the road. In my eyes, I couldn’t see myself being a mom. I just couldn’t. I mean, if I had to be, then okay, I was sure I’d be awesome at it. But if it was up to me, I still wanted to keep the role of wife, daughter and (baby) sister. Baby, for real.
Done and done.
Now that we done the deed and have the seed, well, I told myself from the start – there’s no going back. No returning it. And after the first ultrasound seeing that little guy up there on the screen, knowing the body is growing the baby as naturally as it’s supposed to, well, I’m sure the 9 months are enough time to help me wrap my head around the whole thing.
I am confident we would make awesome parents, and my fears of the past about the world we’re bringing this person into and the potential bipolar genes and the potential accidents and all around nature of life is no longer a threat to me. I’m not thinking about that. I’m focused on taking care of my body and will worry about what to do with the little guy (or gal) after he comes onto the scene.
And when I seem to believe the world’s lies and think it would be nicer to have just my man and I in our life to ourselves, I will undoubtedly look at the baby and say as so many parents come to say, “I couldn’t imagine my life without you.”
And it will be worth it. So worth it.
Katie Dale is the mind behind GAMEPLAN: Mental Health Resource Guide, and blogs on her site BipolarBrave.com on her victories and lessons learned on faith, mental illness and life in general. She enjoys long runs and long naps, and resides in Missouri with her husband Chris and cat Anna. She is anticipating motherhood coming April 2020, after the debut of her memoir But Deliver Me From Crazy, coming March 2020.