After my post about the creeper comment I received and my ensuing confession that I wonder if my daughter will feel different because she was “unplanned,” I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my chest.
Michelle Horton of Early Mama (a serious obsession of mine–I love this site!) was kind enough to share my post so I could get some readers to weigh in.
I really wanted to know if I had reason to worry. If I was alone in worrying about this. If there is a “right” way to handle an unplanned pregnancy.
As I read through the comments, I found myself crying. They were all so nice, so encouraging, so proof that I am not alone in this journey.
One reader commented on my use of the word unplanned. “I like the word “surprise” pregnancy better,” she said. Michelle echoed her, saying, “I use the word “surprise” too on my site. I think it’s all about how you approach the subject. If she feels loved and wanted, then it won’t matter how she was conceived. Issues only come up when parents dwell on the “what ifs” and make a child feel guilty. I really don’t worry about it with my son. He’ll know he’s loved.”
Then, of course, I worried.
Should I not even be saying that I had an “unplanned” pregnancy? Is that somehow creating a negative connotation right off the bat? Was I looking at it all wrong, clouding my judgement by looking at it as “unplanned?”
Then I saw Christina from The Three Legged Race‘s comment. Side note: This blog is another of many obsessions–this woman had twins! I can’t even imagine. Seriously. And on top of that, she was cool enough to post a real belly aftermath picture, stretchmarks and all, that made me feel so much better about my own monstrosity-former-known-as-my-belly. That’s admirable, people.
Christina wrote: “I think its healthy and good for kids (as they get older and can understand the complexity of emotions) to know that everything wasn’t easy and perfect and that you’re a human who has doubts and doesn’t always know the right answer. The idea that parents should put up some kind of facade of always having their shit together to their kids only sets them up to think that if they make any mistakes they are letting you down.”
Yes! Her comment made me realize that that is exactly how I think. I don’t have to feel guilty about admitting the fact that the pregnancy was unplanned, and that it was really hard for me to adjust to the thought that my life was going to change so drastically. I was scared and I had to learn how to trust, how to embrace a new season of change. That’s life–and it is a good lesson for both of my girls to learn.
The comments to this post were so uplifting, that it made me realize a startling truth about the whole unplanned pregnancy thing:
I feel like I am just waiting for my punishment.
In my mind, getting pregnant before I was married was not supposed to happen. It was against my personal beliefs and against my faith.
I messed up.
Therefore, there needs to be a consequence to my actions. Something bad needs to happen.
Everything has worked out for us. Ben and I stayed together, getting hitched our senior year of college, getting our first apartment, working our way through school with a newborn, landing good jobs, supporting our passions, becoming parents a second time around to another beautiful little girl.
We have a good life. We have a roof over our heads, a table full of garden-fresh food, and blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice-cream for desert (yes, I missed lunch and happen to be starving. Food = happiness).
Nothing bad came out of our “mistake”–we have only been blessed in ways we couldn’t even imagine.
So where’s my punishment?
I guess all of my worries about how Ada will feel, or what kind of relationship she will have with me as a result of her origination was part of my search for my punishment. Yes, it’s warped and twisted. Yes, it’s unfounded. But it’s the truth. I feel like we got off to easily–that getting pregnant at 21, out of wedlock should have resulted in more troubles.
Three years later, thanks to a blog I started on a whim, and comments from people I will probably never even meet, I realized the truth:
It’s ok for me to be happy.
It’s ok for me to love my daughter–purely and completely, without worrying about whether or not she was “planned.”