“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”
I never wanted this baby. Those words don’t come easily out of any mother’s mouth, because it’s ‘not what we should say’ or how we should feel. We are constantly bombarded with this idealist view that a positive pregnancy test should be celebrated, it is socially unacceptable for a woman to say she doesn’t want the baby she is carrying. And God forbid any woman that says she wants an abortion.
When I found out I was pregnant I was 22, recently graduated and ready to make my mark on this world. I wanted to travel around exotic countries, stay up all night having wild nights out that I’d never remember, build a successful career, and buy expensive clothes if I wanted to… I wanted to be young, carefree and selfish. Seeing that little blue cross on a stick I felt all of these things quickly slipping away from me. In my mind I was just about to start my ‘real life’ and it had been harshly snatched away from me. I wasn’t ready to be a mother.
I spent the next few nights crying myself to sleep and thinking of all the things I would never do now. I realise this sounds really selfish and dramatic but, ya know, hormones happen!
I felt like I had no choice but to have this baby and be destined to a life of unfulfilled hopes and dreams (again with the drama). I fully support women that choose abortion for whatever reason and I don’t believe it is a choice they make lightly but for me it wasn’t an option. I had a house, a decent enough job and a partner that I knew would be an amazing dad – what reason did I have for an abortion? The thought fills me with guilt now but there was a moment where I even thought the best outcome was a miscarriage because that way the choice and blame would have been taken away from me. And I know how insensitive that sounds but it was a desperate thought.
I understand that for some women these feelings don’t easily go away and I can only imagine how hard that must be. When we are relentlessly reminded that children are a blessing and we should be grateful for falling pregnant it can be an extremely difficult time for those of us that don’t plan a pregnancy. Thankfully for me these feelings were fleeting and with each passing day I loved this little life growing inside of me more and more.
I don’t think I ever would have been ‘ready’ to have a baby – whether it had been at 22, 32 or 42. I don’t think there is such a thing as ready. We might plan and prep and think we are ready but a baby has a funny way of throwing everything you thought you knew up in the air, making us question and second guess ourselves.
Looking at my beautiful boy laying so peacefully next to me I realise I was right, I wasn’t ready. Because being a mother has filled me with so much fear, guilt, exhaustion and more love than I ever knew was possible.
Motherhood has taken me to places no exotic country could compare too; given me sleepless nights that I will always remember and treasure for they were the moments my baby needed me and only me while the rest of the world slept; it has made me realise that my passion in this life could never have been found sitting at a desk and building a career and that expensive clothes are pointless because they will inevitably end up covered in a little persons bodily fluids.
You’ve heard a million times that ‘there is no love like a mother’s for her child’ but it isn’t until you become one that you just get what that really means. There truly are places in the heart you don’t know exist until you love a child. I wasn’t ready because there is nothing you can possibly do to prepare.
My life isn’t mine anymore, someone else has become the centre of my universe. I do still have moments of missing my old life but I have learnt that I can have the best of both worlds and I haven’t had to give up everything I thought I would. My life is so much richer now, I have had my biggest dreams realised and I wouldn’t change a single thing. Life has changed and I can see lots of wonderful adventures ahead for me and my son. And for that I am so ready.