A lesson from a little line

I’ve been bouncing back and forth between writing this post because in a strange way it feels more personal than anything else I’ve ever written — which is saying a lot. But it feels important to put these words to paper and remember these feelings.

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Anyone who knows me—really knows me—knows that having kids terrifies me. I’ve always gone back and forth between whether or not I really want children. Many of my reasons for not wanting them are rooted in selfishness and/or fear and are irrational reasons. I know that, can admit that, and yet it doesn’t matter. I always come back to these reasons.

But it’s not just about me anymore. Having children isn’t some hypothetical, far-off decision. I’m in a committed relationship with someone who has always wanted to be a parent and has had no doubt about that, unlike myself. We’ve had serious conversations about this topic—especially in the past month or so because we had a pregnancy scare.

When I first realized I could be pregnant, I just felt pure panic. I like plans. I live for plans. Being pregnant at 24 was not part of my plan. So, for a few days, I completely freaked out. But then I realized something: freaking out was going to do absolutely nothing until I could take a pregnancy test and be sure, which wouldn’t be a possibility for a few weeks. I was basically helpless for the time being.

So I waited. And as I waited, I talked to Brandon about the possibility of a little human. He was calm and level-headed and just Brandon. There is no one in this world with whom I’d rather have a family, yet I still needed to be talked through the possibility. I needed to hear him say it would be OK, we would be OK. And as he said these things, as he talked about our potential child, my panic began to subside.

Over the course of a few weeks, I found that panic giving way to something else: acceptance. I actually began to be OK with potentially being pregnant because if I happened to be, I wouldn’t have time to overanalyze whether having a child was going to be the right decision. It was just going to be what was happening, and it was going to be OK.

When the time came to actually take a test, I surprised myself by feeling a strong desire for that plus sign to show up. And when it didn’t, I felt surprisingly sad and disappointed. I’d spent so much time coming around to the idea of being pregnant, but I didn’t realize I was actually hoping for it until that single line showed up and my heart sunk a tiny bit.

But you know what? It’s OK. I needed these past few weeks to happen. I don’t think I could have married Brandon until I was sure I wanted kids, because I know how badly he does want them. I wouldn’t have wanted to take that away from him.

And I wasn’t sure about my own desires until I saw that negative test in my hand. That moment, that slight drop of my heart, proved to me what I’ve always known deep down: I want to be a mom. I want to experience pregnancy. I want to hold a piece of my heart outside my body. I want to love and nurture and raise a child with the man I love. I want to watch him be a dad, because he will be a hell of a good one.

And I can finally, for the first time in my life, admit all of this without an ounce of uncertainty thanks to that single little line.  

 

 

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