How I first reacted to the news of motherhood

in busy •  25 days ago

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When people find out you're pregnant, the first thing that comes out of their mouth is "congratulations".

While now I enjoy being congratulated and people asking me about my pregnancy, the first moments and days of knowing that I was pregnant were not exactly a celebration for me.

I would like to share these very personal thoughts and feelings with you, because there seems to be a misconception about how women are supposed to react when they learn that they will become a mother. It's supposed to be the best news ever , because having a baby is supposedly the best thing that can possibly happen to a couple.

But is it?

Some parents really plan having a baby. It's their dream to build a family and when they finally get pregnant it's the happiest day in the world for them. Think Instagram posts with #soblessed #solucky ! I envy these people sometimes, because for me it wasn't the case.

My pregnancy wasn't planned and it caught me by surprise. I went through a whole range of emotions. When I first looked at those two red stripes appear on my pregnancy test, I felt disbelief. This can't be right I thought, the test must be expired. But the two stripes were there, alright. When reality kicked in, I started crying. It was as if life had punched me in the stomach and knocked the air out of me. I thought my life would be over. The sky was falling on top of me, and I couldn't breathe.

You see, I don't really like kids in the first place, and don't consider myself the motherly type. I smile at kids in the supermarket, and for some reason they seem to like me, but after a few minutes I always remind myself how lucky I am to still have my freedom. I cringe when I hear a kid cry, get annoyed when they scream and run around. I like my peace and quiet, but more importantly I don't have any patience. I always viewed having kids as a burden, a responsibility that keeps people from getting enough sleep, from traveling and just being who they want to be and do whatever they want to do. Call me selfish, but I enjoy this kind of freedom.

I also had concerns about how my body would change. I know moms that look 10 years older after they have given birth. Some never got fit again, and I had just embarked on a journey to be at my fittest. I was very scared about gaining weight and not being able to train, and more importantly about never getting back to my pre-pregnancy level of fitness after I give birth. The changes a body goes through during pregnancy are no joke.

Despite everything you're reading here, I never told myself that I will never have children. I just always pushed it back for later once I'm ready, but the older I got, the more unlikely it seemed for me that I would ever have kids of my own.

For my husband it was the opposite. He always wanted kids, and he's very good with them. He gets excited with every kid he meets, he plays and jokes with them, and I just stand by watching and thinking why don't I have this talent?

I knew that he would be the happiest person on earth once I told him, but that's not what I needed to hear in that moment. I wasn't ready for happiness and simply wanted to feel understood. I just wanted someone to get me, my shock, my fears, my desperation and my helplessness.

Hence, my first reaction was to call my childhood friend in Luxembourg. She would understand me because she had been in the exact same situation. She didn't want kids and got pregnant by accident. She didn't feel happy or blessed as most expecting moms call it, up until her son was born. Even after birth she suffered from post natal depression and had a hard time adjusting to motherhood.

People don't speak of these things often, but I think it's time that society recognizes that it's absolutely normal to also feel negatively about motherhood. That doesn't make her a bad mother, it just means that she has feelings. Feelings should never be suppressed, dismissed or ignored, no matter how negative or illogical they seem. Now she's happy and can't imagine a life without her son. She describes him as the best thing that ever happened to her.

This gave me hope.

I needed to hear what she went through, how it was for her, and how she got over her depression. I needed to hear that it's normal to feel the way I did, but that everything would be alright. I needed to hear that I was OK to not like kids of other people, but that it doesn't mean that I will feel the same about my own child. I needed to hear that it takes time to adjust to the news, and that it's perfectly OK to cry and not be happy about it.

What I didn't need to hear was congratulations.

Our talk made me feel much better. She said your child will be different, because YOU made him, and therefore you will love him!

You'll probably wonder why I kept my baby, if that's the way I felt initially about my pregnancy...


Don't get me wrong, if I didn't want to have a baby at all, I would have gotten an abortion. It's illegal in Panama to get abortions, but there are ways to do it off the books. The point is, if I had really wanted to not be pregnant anymore, I could have done it. But something inside of me prevented me from doing that. I can't explain it, but even though I felt all these negative things about becoming a parent, something made me want to protect the embryo that was growing inside of me.

I started thinking about whether certain foods or beverages would harm him and automatically avoided these. Does that mean that I actually want a child? Maybe. Probably.

I'm a lot less confused today, and more at peace with becoming a mother. I often ask myself what would happen if I woke up in the morning and it was all a dream, would I be happy about it? Or if I could un-do it, go back in time somehow and not be pregnant anymore, would I?

Weirdly enough I cannot answer YES to these questions, so I guess part of me wants this somehow.

But that doesn't mean I'm not scared shitless.


Will I have a mother instinct once the baby is born? Will I love him enough? Will he love me? Will I be up to the task?

All these questions run through my head. My best friend told me that the love you feel for your child is something one cannot explain. So to make me understand, she told me: you know how much you love your dog? Well imagine it being 100 times stronger than that.

That definitely sold it for me. I love my dog to death, so if I at least love my child as much as I love my dog, let alone 2 times more, I know I'm going to be fine. This may sound funny to you, but these questions are very real to me.

Today I'm 15 weeks pregnant, and even though my belly constantly reminds me of my pregnancy, I still don't fully realize that it's actually happening. A friend of mine just gifted me some baby clothes, and receiving those made it seem more real. However, I still feel like I'm jumping into a giant black hole without knowing what to expect on the other side. Not to mention the fear I have of giving birth. I've heard crazy stories about doctors cutting women's vagina open to make more space. Just thinking about that traumatizes me and makes me want to delay the process as much as possible.

But I will be OK.

When people congratulate me I don't feel uncomfortable anymore. Now I smile. Other moms tell me welcome to the club and tell me to sleep as much as I can now, because soon I won't be able to. Remarks like these still don't make me 100% happy about motherhood, but I guess it won't kill me. It's just temporary and I'll adapt. I'm also not alone and know my hubby is here to support me all the way. I'll get fit again. If I look 10 years older I'll just get Botox (just kidding!). And when I see what a good son my husband is to his mother and the strong relationship they have, I can only hope that it will be the same for me with my son. It makes me realize that in the end, it's all worth it.


Have you had a similar experience as a mother to be, or a friend/family member who went through the same adjustment process to motherhood? I'd love to hear about it in the comments =)


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Wow, I really value when someone has the balls to speak so openly about these "taboo" things. I will be open too - I totally saw all those frustrations and disappointment you are writing about here in the video where you announced the news. You can ask @matkodurko - I was like "Man, did you also notice how Eve is not happy about her pregnancy at all? "

On the other hand - it is true that people´s attitudes and opinions change very fast sometimes and I really really wish this will be the case for you too. You are a positive person and positive people tend to embrace things in life in a positive way. I am sure your emotions will stabilize and in the end, you will feel grateful and happy for what happened to you guys ;)

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Thanks Peter, I’m an open book ahaha I don’t Ike taboos 😜. I’m in a much better place now and am feeling good. It took a while for me because pregnancy is not something that I had decided for myself, it’s something that life kind of imposed to me. Hence it took a while to accept and be ok with it but it’s all good now. I think things happen for a reason and I’m sure in the end I will be very happy that things happened the way they did 😃

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Haha true that :) @phortun called it :) I'm also kinda impressed that you're talking about this stuff sooo publicly...well I think it's the way it is cuz it's supposed to be like it.. exactly as you said :D hmmm just wanted to write that IMO you've done the right decision, but it's only your own decisions soo every decision would be the right one :)

But generally speaking, It actually surprises me that you'd even be able to think about abortion. I'd say you'd be all against it by any means.

Sending happy new year wishes and hugs (without touching the belly :D) to Panama!

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Thanks Martin, happy New Year to you too =)

I didn't consider abortion for myself, but I'm not against the idea. I think some people are really not meant to be parents, and should have the right to choose. But I didn't want to go that route... =)

It took me a while to get used to the idea because I'm a bit of a control freak, and when I learned that I was pregnant I felt like I had lost control over my life and my body. Butit's all good now...

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Awesome! Good to hear you are already on the way to be "there"! :) All the best to you guys (all 3 of course :) in 2019! :)

I'm sure your son will love immensely and you will love him back ❤️ but I love that you wrote this. Finally someone being real about things. Society seems to see it as a very black and white thing, but I don't think it is. It's much more complicated.
Anyway, I don't know if those feelings of protection mean that it's meant to be or what not, but I think you're going to make a kickass mom (literally when you start training again!) 😊

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lol thanks @honeydue! I love writing about topics that make people uncomfortable and I think there’s no shame in showing feelings. You can’t control them but you can control how you deal with them . I think I’ll be fine 😜

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OMG Eve, this! You know I actually wanted to ask you if you were happy being pregnant? Somewhere between the lines I listened to your video and I though I understood it wasn't a planned pregnancy... But I thought it was too blunt to just ask it and so I went with the general response :') I spoke about 'happy moms' yesterday with my friend, she doesn't want to have kids, both her sisters have a few, and both her sisters have a lot of 'problems' within their marriage or with their kids or with their health... One had a post-natal depression too and I told her it was time we as a society understand that moms should not be afraid to say they are scared, angry, annoyed, unhappy even for a period of time.

Anyway, I am glad to hear you're now smiling if people congratulate you, but for me I will be more cautious next time someone tells me they are pregnant. I actually fight against all these assumptions we make about women, and being happy about pregnancy is certainly something that is not automatic.

<3 Lots of love and take it as it comes. The things you like and love about it, as well as the things you dislike about it.

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You observe well 😜 although I was in a much better place when I filmed that video! For me the big change was when I finally told my parents. I felt such a relief and don’t know why I was so nervous about telling them. As soon as I did and I knew they were happy, it made things easier for me and now I’m totally ok with everything ( but the lack of sleep still scares me Ahahah)

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When I became pregnant I didn't want the child and tried to have an abortion but it was to late. It was at that point when the doctor told me I'd be a good mother that things changed and yes, I wanted to be a good mother.
It's hard to explain about the miracle of birth but nature does create a special bond between mother and child and your friend was right when you actually birth "Your Child" natural instincts seem to kick in and there is a love there, like no other.
I'm so happy you have your good friend and supportive husband for that is a big part, to have that circle of support for this major life change.
I read the post from your husband about becoming a dad and you've got a real good man there, who I'm sure will be a very loving father. You'll make a lovely family!

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Thank you so much for sharing your experience @porter! It makes me feel good to see that others got hrough the same thing and have happy endings =)

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Hey! All the Best to you and yours for this New Year with a new life expected!

I guess I'm the last person qualified to comment on this as I don't have kids. Though I do have a football team of nieces and nephews from both sides of our family to know the joys and pain that kids bring to your life. On top of that, having watched Call the Midwife from day one (It's a really great series by BBC) I'd say it makes it so worthwhile in the end.

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LOL I'll have to start watching that series hehe ;)

Yes, Yes, a 1000 times yes to this! Yo are NOT alone in this feeling or reaction. Becoming pregnant 10 years AFTER my tubes were tied was a real trip. I was embarked on a new business venture, an older mom reveling in the knowledge that the last kids at home were pretty self sufficient and looking forward to the "childless" stage of my life where my time was my own and I could devote all my energy to something other than child rearing.

Don't get me wrong - I loved my kids, and truly enjoyed the time we had together, but I was more than ready to get on with the next stage of my life.

And here's another truth - I don't like babies much. The constant care, the internal questions "What does THAT cry mean?" "Am I doing the right thing?" "Is this a problem that I should be calling a doctor for?" just combined to make babyhood a not so fun trip. But they have a way of making up for it. There's nothing quite like looking down at that sleeping form and realizing that you created a totally new being out of nothing but love for the man at your side. That way they snuggle into the hollow of your neck smelling so delightful from their bath and clean jammies. And I learned that babyhood was merely a prelude I had to work through to get to the good stuff - the part when kids become really fun. When you can see the world fresh and new from their eyes. The kid logic that strips away the bs you get from adults and asks the questions that are so simple and so to the heart of the matter, and the conclusions born of that kid logic that are so irrefutable.

I had fun with my kids - as they grew into walking and talking and interacting with others. But the first part I did not enjoy at all. And knowing I would have to go through that again when I thought I was "done" was gut churning. I felt like my whole, carefully constructed future was crashing down around my ears.

And the silly worst of it? I had just gotten back down to the weight I wanted to be and held that weight for a couple years. Knowing I would soon look like I had swallowed a pumpkin was kind of the last straw. So yeah, I can sure relate to where you are coming from.

But hang in there - it will take a while but it will be fun to raise a kid, if you let it. And ignore all the advice - your kid is unique, you are unique. Follow YOUR gut and YOUR feelings and all of you will come out just great.

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wow your story is insane!! I can't believe this happened to you after you tied your tubes!!! Thanks for sharing! I'm with you on babies, I never found them cute or interesting (they poop, eat, sleep, cry, repeat). I prefer kids once they are able to talk and ask questions, I find that the most interesting stage because you cn communicate and teach them things.

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