I’m Pregnant, and I Really Wish I Wasn’t: How to Cope When it’s a BIG Surprise

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.



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9 Responses to I’m Pregnant, and I Really Wish I Wasn’t: How to Cope When it’s a BIG Surprise

  1. Maggie Gurley June 22, 2017 at 7:37 am #

    First, congratz!
    Second, 31 years ago I felt the same exact way! I had three healthy children, had my flatish belly back, no clue I was pregnant, hung up crying on the nurse to the point the dr called right back asking what he could do to help; it wasn’t pretty. I cried for two weeks.
    Fast forward 31 years, she is one of my three daughters, one of my three BEST friends whom I could not phantom my life without. You and I are good mamas! Our kids are awesome kids! We are REAL people and YOU ROCK!

    Here’s to a hap happy and healthy mama and babe!


    Mama Maggie

    • Lauren
      Lauren June 22, 2017 at 10:00 pm #

      Aww Maggie these are the stories we need to hear! Thank you so much for sharing! I so look forward to being buddies with my adult kids.

      I’m not currently pregnant, but I have many friends who are struggling with their pregnancies and need to be reminded of the long haul joys so thank you for sharing your heart!

  2. CierraJ June 22, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

    Love this, Lauren! Having 5 babies in 6 years makes this ring true for me. I often didn’t want to be pregnant. What’s unfortunate about my situation is that I often felt that way because those around me told me I should feel that way because THEY felt that way (to clarify, NOT my husband, just friends and family). I’ve never had a chance to be happy about a pregnancy because I wasn’t given room to be happy, and I think that’s important too.

  3. Lauren
    Lauren June 22, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

    So very true Cierra!

    We have to give each other the dignity of our own feelings and experiences. I’m sorry that those closest to you put an unfortunate damper on your joy.

    Wondering if I should follow up with an article for moms who just want to be happy about their pregnancies and so let’s let them! Your thoughts?

  4. Renee June 24, 2017 at 8:45 pm #

    We were one and done. I’d had a terrible first pregnancy and delivery was horrific. I made an appointment to have my tubes tied and hubs made the appointment to have the snip. At my appointment, I learned that I was 4 weeks and 3 days pregnant. It was the most awful feeling ever. I didn’t want to be pregnant, I didn’t want to deliver another baby and I didn’t want anyone to disrupt who the 3 of us were. Of course I took care of myself. Slept enough, ate the right foods, drank plenty of water. I was 30 weeks pregnant and still hadn’t felt bonded to this new baby girl. I woke up one Saturday morning and she wasn’t moving. Even the poking and prodding wasn’t working. I drank juice, laid in my left side, rubbed my belly and sang to her. After a while, I told hubs that we needed to go to the hospital. On the way there is when I realized that I really wanted this baby and I really needed her to be ok. It turned out that she was fine. Just a stubborn little person. She is 3 1/2 now and I cannot remember what it’s like not to have her. She is my absolute world. Her sister has always been daddy’s girl but this one is mine. We joke about that all the time. But, I got fixed as soon as that baby was out and so did the hubs. No more surprises for us!!

    • Lauren
      Lauren June 29, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

      Aww what a sweet, sweet story Renee!

      I had a similar moment like this when I was pregnant with my little boy. His movement slowed down and I was overwhelmed by how much I loved this little creature that I had never met. I was desperate to feel him kick! When he started up again, I realized how much I wanted and needed him and to think just a few short months ago I didn’t even know he would exist!

  5. Jenna June 25, 2017 at 9:18 am #

    I felt so guilt-stricken when EVERY SINGLE PERSON asked “are you excited?!” and of course I was, but I was first and foremost terrified!! It was my first, but we werent exactly “trying”!! Eventually the fear turns into excitement and of course there is always love, but I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one who was a little bit freaked!

  6. Samantha June 27, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

    When I found out about baby #3-I sat in my closet and cried like a teenager who went all the way on prom night and just now finding out she’s pregnant and saying “my mom is going to kill me” my other daughter was only 7 months old and still there sleeping at night. I didn’t even look when they did my first ultrasound. We didn’t go public with our news till I was 25 weeks along(Mothers Day). It was hard. Her birth wasn’t exactly a happy time either. 10 months later-she’s a sweet happy giggling little butterball that I don’t know what we did without(except sleep)

  7. Anne June 28, 2017 at 11:39 pm #

    I had an unexpected pregnancy at 39 followed by an unexpected miscarriage. It could be worse.

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