From the moment we found out about you, you have been an experience like no other. Both your sister and your brother were so fought for, so planned, so scheduled and prepared for from the moment we decided we needed them in our lives, to make our family complete.
I must confess, you weren’t just unexpected, I resented your newly announced presence. I wanted nothing to do with you, and thought long and hard about not going through with it. It was too soon, too dangerous, I could barely handle the new baby in my arms — how could I go through this again, and so soon? It was unfair to your big sister, who was still reeling over no longer being an only child. It would be stealing the babyhood from your big brother, who already was already showing that he needed far more attention than his sister ever did.
But most of all, it was unfair to me. Between miscarriage and your brother’s birth, I had already been pregnant for most of the last year and a half. I just couldn’t imagine doing it again. I was struggling already with postpartum depression, sleep deprivation, how could I add morning sickness, too.
I thought hard. We thought hard. But in the end, it was my decision, and in the end, I decided not to decide. I had a history of infertility, miscarriage. I would simply ignore you, and hope that you went away. I continued on, hating you, hating me, and when I went in for an appointment and they couldn’t find your heartbeat, I found myself relieved.
They found you in there anyway, fidgeting, rolling, your heart beating away. I realized you were here to stay, and I found myself growing more attached, especially once I began treating my depression. I still kept you at a distance, convinced that we’d find life threatening issues at 20 weeks, especially with the pregnancies so close, so unprepared for.
You had your own way of making it not easy. I’ve never spent so many months so sick. I’ve never had so many trips to the hospital. And I’ve never had such a complex, and complicated pregnancy.
Even this weekend, with another trip to emergency under my belt, and a week of bed rest looming before you finally show your face, I realize that we have fought each other literally from the moment of conception. I’ve gone from resentful, to ambivalent, to full of love for you, and desperate to finally see you, start this next phase in our family.
And, in all honesty, to never be pregnant again.
Some may find this a strange letter to write to you, especially today. Who tells their child that they weren’t wanted, or that I considered not having you? And why now, on a day where we celebrate a woman’s right to choose?
But that’s why. It took me a very long time, and it wasn’t easy, but in the end, I chose you. I wasn’t sure if it was the right decision at first, but I also knew that I had things so many other women did not — financial resources, a partner who works himself to the bone for his family, more support than I could ever imagine.
So many women do not.
I spent these last nine months perhaps not eager, and not always willing, but because I chose to do it. Doing the same because someone else had forced me to, because I had no other option? I can’t even imagine it.
Often people think that by simply carrying a child in your womb, whether you want that baby or not, you will love it. That’s simply not true. Love can’t be forced that way. I love you so much because although it took me a long time to get there, I got there on my own, by my own choice, and without pressure or lack of options. Now, you will always be the magical gift that we didn’t expect, that almost didn’t become our baby boy.
I don’t regret the months of resentment anymore than I regret saying publicly that I didn’t want you at first. It’s part of our journey together, as much as I can’t resent the constant sickness, the hospital trips, or the foot wedged in my ribs for the last two weeks. It’s our fight, our past, and the beginning of our future together.
A future that will be beautiful, because it was chosen, not forced on us.
I love you,
photo credit: wikimedia commons