The little pink line.
The little blue line.
Nobody told us when we were little girls just how much a tiny splotch of dye in a tiny window on a “just peed on” stick would mean for the course of our futures. But the truth remains that the home pregnancy test is the modern day equivalent of the “magic mirror”, telling us the truth about who is the “knocked up-est” of all in your house. And for all intents and purposes related to this article, lets assume that someone is YOU.
It’s pure exhilaration isn’t it?
The feeling that rushes through you at a positive pregnancy test is so special and unique. Nothing is quite like it. It is an indescribable joy.
Except when it’s not.
One of the most frustrating things about the community of motherhood in our society is the unwritten, unspoken, and often contradictory “rules” about how moms should feel about any given thing. We are told that we should “speak our truth”, “listen to our instincts”, and “throw off mom guilt”. But of course only if what we are feeling is the accepted “norm”. And only if a large group of people feel the same way, thus validating our feelings, and making them “allowed”. In an age where so many women struggle to become pregnant and LONG with every fiber of their souls to be mothers, you’ll likely receive some hostile glares if you stand up and say,
“I’m pregnant, and I really wish I wasn’t.”
So maybe you aren’t excited about this pregnancy. Maybe the timing seems bad. No, REALLY bad. Maybe there are medical issues, or family issues, or money issues, or a combination of a tiny thousand things that are playing into the absolute stress and fear you are feeling about having this baby. Maybe this is NOT a happy thing for you. Maybe this feels like worst time to be pregnant.
Mama, that’s okay.
Here’s what being upset about this pregnancy means, and also what it DOESN’T mean. I’m going to start with what it doesn’t mean.
It doesn’t mean that you dislike being a mom…
It means that you feel completely overwhelmed with the responsibilities you already have and that there is not adequate support to meet the demands of caring for another human, while still caring for the other ones entrusted to you already.
It doesn’t mean that you don’t love your husband or want a family with him…
It means that you aren’t sure how to manage loving him well with another baby in the picture. These are legitimate concerns and fears and you don’t need to be afraid of them. Maybe you are already worried about how little time you have with him as it is. Maybe you miss him and the way things were already, and the distance that can happen with a newborn isn’t something you want to experience again just yet. Note how much the concept of “fear” keeps surfacing here? Fear grows in silence and secrecy. Solutions happen when we speak those fears so don’t be afraid to articulate and name these things to a trusted companion or counselor who can be an empathetic sounding board.
It doesn’t mean that you don’t want more children…
Maybe you do want more children. Maybe you wants lots of them. Maybe you just didn’t really want to do it quite this soon. Motherhood taxes us on every level of our being and maybe you wanted more time. Maybe this one IS true for you and you weren’t planning on having more children. If so, then the next bit of this is going to be very important for you to hear.
If you take away anything from this article, let it be this:
Being upset about this pregnancy does not mean that you don’t want and love your baby.
You do and will want your baby. Listen. You are the most powerful creature alive. There is no force on earth that can compare with the force of a modern human mother. We have out-evolved our male counterparts and our predecessors in every way; most especially in our ability to cope, to juggle, to multi-task, and to handle just about any thing that comes our way. This will be no different. But right now, it’s important for someone to sit you down, look at you, and say what I am saying to you now:
It’s okay to be upset about this pregnancy, and that doesn’t make you a bad mother or an ungrateful woman. You are going to adapt with your baby, and you are going to push through whatever that barrier it is that feels so insurmountable. You will burrow under it, climb over it, pay someone to knock it down, knock it down yourself, or find a way to relocate around it until it’s no longer an obstacle because that is what YOU DO. You are truly amazing.
Please let your feelings be what they are and move through them gently, naturally, and without judging yourself. There is time and room for you to come up for a breath of fresh air when you are ready. Pretending you don’t feel the way you do will only send the message to your inner self that it should be ashamed, and that WILL come out in other unpleasant ways.
So maybe this isn’t good news yet. That’s okay. Give those feelings a voice and let them be heard in your heart without fear or judgement. Be an authentic mother who models transparency by being honest with yourself about how you feel. Your baby will benefit. As you teach him or her how to deal with their “yucky feelings” down the road, you will remember how you successfully navigated through yours. And that sister, IS good news.