Although I spent most of my life knowing I was going to be a mother someday, I must admit that there was a moment when I thought I did not want kids. A very small section of time when I imagined myself as that woman who would never sacrifice her body to the Maternal Goddesses, or who would never rock my own baby to sleep. I would never need to worry about tantrums in the middle of Target, or fights with my kid about eating their dinner. I was so caught up in living my adult life: traveling and excelling in my career. I was heavily involved in animal advocacy. My life was fulfilling at that time. I did not feel the motherly calling, nor did my uterus ache at every baby cry. I was content.
Due to my dramatic and difficult childhood, I knew for certain that I did not want my children growing up the way I did: to parents who were not financially prepared nor mentally stable. My children were going to be 100% wanted and appropriately taken care of. That meant preventing pregnancies and being responsible. I’m not saying I didn’t have a few scares from a few inconvenient disasters, but I was mindful for the most part.
As my wedding day approached, I felt strongly about spending my adulthood fostering and training dogs with behavior issues, instead of changing diapers and negotiating with toddlers. I felt so strongly about this at the time that I sat my soon to be husband down and delivered the news. I told the man that I was going to marry, and who made it clear that he wanted to be a father, that I was not going to be a mother. I was so sure of this that I was willing to risk the man of my dreams walking out of our relationship. I was that certain.
Lucky for me, he stuck around, and we got married. For me, it was a relief that I did not have to worry about what the future held for us. My husband either knew me better than I thought I did, had faith that I would change my mind, or loved me so much that he was willing to throw away his dream of being a dad. Whichever it was, I refused to let it bother me at that time. The truth was, I did feel guilty for not wanting children, but I trusted the path I was on. We headed into our honeymoon without kids on our mind. We even continued to be responsible on those honeymoon nights. Instead, we focused all our energy on enjoying our time together, just the two of us.
Then it happened. That moment that changed everything. I was standing in Target, a couple of weeks after we had returned. I was looking at the handbags, trying to pick out the perfect work bag because I needed an upgrade. In the distance, a newborn baby started to wail. I didn’t immediately roll my eyes like I had done each time before. I did not wonder why the mother even bothered to drag the baby out in public. The non-parent judgments were gone. I didn’t feel that surge of annoyance that usually rushed through my body. Instead, I felt my heart ache and my usually quiet uterus throb. It was awake, and it was sending me baby signals so hard that I zombie-walked to the baby section. Before I knew it, I was gushing over newborn sleeper onesies, little bows, and tiny shoes.
My inner Maternal Goddess had awoken! I am not sure why she decided to wake up in that moment. Maybe she knew I was at a point in my life where I was ready to be the mother I had always wanted to be. Maybe the world was ready to pair me with my beautiful and perfect little soul. It was time. I knew it, my brain knew, my body knew it, and the universe knew it. Everything aligned in it’s beautiful wonder and it was sending me uncontrollable urges to reproduce.
When my husband got home that evening, I did not hesitate to retract my no children statement. I could see the excitement and relief in his eyes. We both said that we were not going to jump into it and if it happened it happened. Yet, we both knew that was not the case. We jumped so hard into the baby making process that I was on full track obsessive mode by four months in.
What started as full confidence in not wanting children, transformed into pure heartache as my empty uterus continued on, month after month. My maternal urge had been so strong and had transformed so fast. My kid-less fantasy turned into torture with every negative pregnancy test. The disappointment became so overwhelming.
After nine months of trying, my broken heart gave up. I needed a break from the downward spiral. My husband and I busied ourselves with work, and I dived harder into my volunteering. The dog that I had spent so long trying to socialize and train was so close to finally getting adopted, so I spent all my energy on him.
I went out with friends and spent time with family. My husband and I enjoyed each other’s company with date nights and day trips. I had also just lost my childhood dog to a massive destructive disease. I was devastated and my mind was elsewhere.
Some mothers say they know exactly when they became pregnant. I have read miracle stories of mothers who can pinpoint the exact moment, or somehow, in a beautiful instance of tranquility they just knew they were pregnant.
When we had been actively trying, my husband told me that he had read something that stated when the sperm connected with the egg, it made an actual spark within the teeny tiny crevasse of the uterus. Like if you could see it with a naked eye, it would be this glorious thing to observe.
That thought flooded my head the moment I knew. Some say that I am crazy but I feel like I felt that spark, deep within. I felt it on my way to work as I was waiting on a red light. As the light turned green, deep in my soul I knew my long journey was over and a new one was just about to begin.
About a week later, I felt the symptoms. I was so unbelievably bloated and crampy. As someone who suffers from IBS, I knew this wasn’t a traditional unsteady bowel moment. This lasted for days and I knew it was different. Something was happening inside my body. Cells were dividing into a beautiful little embryo that was going to make me a mother.
On the 4th of July, feeling awful, I debated between going to the hospital or taking a pregnancy test. I decided the latter. I sat in the bathroom with my test hidden under a towel. I already knew the answer this time. This time I was sure. I watched my phone count down the two minutes as I began to wonder what my new life was going to be like. My eyes filled up with tears before I even picked up the test. My phone alarm buzzed as I reached under the towel. I slid the stick out from under it’s hiding place and I covered my mouth to keep in the shrieks. My husband sat in the next room, unaware of what was happening on the other side of the wall. Unaware that his whole life was about to change.
We were going to be parents.
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