Hello? Is there anyone out there?
Can anyone hear me?
I felt as though I was shouting into an abyss – a black hole filled with children’s laughter and tickles and snuggles and overused phrases like “I love you to the moon and back” and “you’re my world”.
I was looking for someone… ANYONE who felt like me; like they didn’t belong.
It was hard enough being pregnant and hormonal, but not having anyone who could relate or offer support made it even tougher.
I’d always had an aversion to kids and, more intensely, the lifestyle of a parent. I thought I’d eventually develop a desire to have children, like most women… but it never happened. Not even a trace of maternal instinct existed in my being. The responsibility and obligation of parenthood repelled me so powerfully, that I was baffled as to why anyone would want to do it.
Throughout my twenties, while my friends and sisters were all getting married and having babies, I was thoroughly enjoying my freedom. The awareness I had surrounding my unrestricted, independent lifestyle only grew stronger as more people in my circle became wives and mothers. It was as if the more responsibility they took on, the more I embraced my freedom.
I met Sean (my husband) when I was 26, smack in the middle of decade-long party phase. He was so obviously meant for me – in the same phase, on the same level – we instantly clicked. At any given night of the week and most definitely on the weekends, you’d find us at a party, a bar, or wherever there were shenanigans happening.
When I started my first business in November of 2012, our lives began to slow down. Sean decided to go back to school, and we both shifted our focus from partying and living in the moment, to our careers and professional development. Over the next couple of years as my business grew, we found ourselves in the party scene less and less. We were beginning to enjoy things like cooking together, eating out, and hanging out at home watching tv shows and movies. In a sense, we had sort of begun to grow up together.
In February of 2015, I found out that I was pregnant.
This was clearly unplanned and accidental, and (in my mind at the time) possibly the worst thing that could possibly ever happen to me.
When the initial shock began to dissipate – almost a week later – Sean and I sat down to talk about how to handle this “situation”. We weighed the facts against my irrational hang-ups and emotions:
- I was 30.
- I was with the man I knew in my heart was my soul mate.
- HE wanted to have kids.
- We were financially stable.
- We were healthy.
Despite the fact that moving forward with this pregnancy meant having to change EVERYTHING about myself and my life, we decided to go for it. For me, it felt like a “smart” decision. It felt like the “right” decision. But deep down in my soul, with every fiber of my being – I didn’t WANT it.
The following several months were pure emotional agony. Physically, the only thing I struggled with was helplessly watching my body get bigger – I didn’t have any pain or illness or really any of the negative side affects that one might have during pregnancy. Outwardly, I had no reason to complain. But internally, emotionally, it was a war zone. I was dying inside. Every day I fought this horrific battle – trying desperately to convince myself that this was a good thing, while wishing it wasn’t real.
I was mourning my old life. I was grieving the old me.
As my due date approached, I felt as thought I needed an intervention, someone to smack some sense into me. I was being selfish and pessimistic, and I didn’t like the person I was becoming. I knew I couldn’t be a mom, and definitely not a good one, unless something changed. So I made a decision; a pact with myself, that I would never let her see, feel, or know how I felt. I would bury these feelings SO DEEP inside of me that no one would ever know they existed, especially my baby. I wanted her to feel loved and cared for in the most honest, concrete way.
This would be my new priority. This would be my new life. This would be the new me.