This article was originally published on Tiny Blue Lines.
By Chaunie Brusie
So yesterday was not my best work.
Yesterday’s highlights included cutting my children’s curling toenails (so gross and also, how do they grow so fast?) and if you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen that I somehow managed to kill my kids’ day-old goldfish literally right in front of them. My girls looked up at me with tear-filled eyes as I watched in horror as the fish swam around frantically and then floated, belly up, in a matter of less than a minute when I tried to change the water.
It was bad.
And the icing on the cake of my day yesterday was a comment sent to me by a reader who was frustrated with my supposed lack of transparency about how I happened to fall pregnant this fourth time around using Natural Family Planning. The comment, which I’ve chosen to take out here, read something along the lines of how this pregnancy was not “unplanned,” but actually “unwanted”.
For whatever reason, the comment really got to me. Not because I think it’s my job to share with the world the exact mechanisms of how I happened to get pregnant when I really wasn’t planning on another baby (not rocket science), or whether I blame NFP for “failing me” (it didn’t), but because the moment I saw the word “unwanted,” I was transported back in time to the moment I saw my first positive pregnancy test, more than six years ago.
Because deep down, isn’t that our biggest fear in any unexpected pregnancy?
That we won’t be good mothers because we didn’t want a child right now?
The truth is, I don’t write this blog to judge how women find their way here, or criticize their family planning or lack thereof. The truth is, I believe that any woman can experience the fear and shock of an unplanned pregnancy, no matter what their birth control preferences may be. Heck, you could be married and make love to your husband every day for a year and still be surprised when you actually find yourself pregnant.
The point is, it’s not the origins of the pregnancy that matter to me.
It’s how you move forward as a mother.
No matter what, planned or not planned, motherhood is overwhelming and scary and messy and wonderful, and in those first precarious weeks and months, when you’re trying to adjust to the idea that there is a human being growing inside of you, it can be so easy to feel scared and wonder if you’re really the person for the job.
But the thing is, an unplanned pregnancy, no matter how it happened, does not mean your child is unwanted.
Even if you go through an entire nine months of pregnancy scared out of your mind like I did or even if you find yourself a married work-at-home mother who thought, just for a moment, she might not get pregnant, it’s ok to be scared.
It’s ok to admit to yourself that this pregnancy is “unplanned,” because you know what?
And what you didn’t plan?
Might just become the very best thing you could ever want in your life.
Chaunie is a wife, freelance writer, editor, advocate and speaker for young women facing unplanned pregnancies. She is especially a full-time mom to her two young girls. She runs a blog called Tiny Blue Lines.