The blue balloons flew out of the box and all the emotions consumed me. The exciting afternoon of my son’s (my second child) gender reveal gathering was a happy day. The happy emotions of knowing I’d have a daughter and a son passed quickly as I was secretly was more excited knowing I was done after him. I always pictured having a large family, but man mothering is hard and I knew I could only handle two.
Our little guy joined this world, and our family was complete. We successfully managed to get another human from baby to toddler without any major issues. Our family began to be one that didn’t live in baby land. I began to transition back to feeling human. Back to getting to chase my dreams of opening Lee’s Summit PLAY. Back to hiking and henna. Back to traveling and kid-free nights (and soon, maybe even weekends.) Life was exactly how I imagined it. I was so excited for the future.
On a family trip to cross another off our “see all the baseball stadiums” list I said the words out loud.
“I think I’m pregnant.”
We finished the weekend and flew home. Nervous, scared and freaked out.
My best friends had a pregnancy test ready for me. Seeing that positive sign wrecked me. I didn’t want to do it again. Any of it. I didn’t want to be pregnant. I couldn’t manage another labor. Breastfeeding potentially another two years was not in my game plan. I was done with diapers, teething, onesies and spit up. And I was most certainly done with postpartum depression.
Crying to my friends about what the hell I was going to do. How could I start a business with a newborn? How can I take care of three kids? How was I push another baby out of my vagina?
Saying those words of regret out loud, and now typing them out for anyone to read, was/is one of the things I feel most guilty about. How could I not want a baby? What a terrible person I was for feeling like this. I have dear friends who have had to deal with loss after loss praying to conceive, a mother enduring the loss of her perfect son and being a family so disappointed as adoptions fell through. And here I was unexpectedly expecting full of regret.
Early complications made me change the way I birth. My other two were peaceful, textbook, beautiful, drug free births at New Birth Company. I wasn’t connected to this pregnancy and was terrified of birthing. I made the decision to birth in a hospital and use all of the drugs they could possibly give me. I needed help getting through this.
The rest of the pregnancy flew by as I was working 90 hours a week building a business. I didn’t have time to stop and be with this baby as I had with my other two. I didn’t do prenatal yoga, I never read a word of my birthing books, the appointments were medical. Denial didn’t even scratch the surface.
The guilt grew as pretty much every woman in my circle became pregnant and were glowing with pride, love, and excitement. I had never felt so alone in my life, even with another life inside of me.
The time had come to take maternity leave. To leave my business that I worked tirelessly to create. The amazing people who took over for me basically had to kick me out days before I birthed.
It wasn’t until my first contraction that it really hit me. I some how managed to get through the drama of the holidays. As I laid the last gift under the tree and stood up I knew that I had to do it, to and go have this baby.
Less than two hours later, early on Christmas morning I was holding her. Holding this baby that had changed everything. Here she was. She was so perfect. Surprise.
Usually the best part of surprises are how they change your life. This surprise girl has taught me so much. Most importantly has healed me from the regret, the loneliness and the guilt I felt. She has taught me to stop. To remember just how beautiful life is. That all of things I want for myself and my family will still happen and that I just get to enjoy it all with her. That is certainly takes and village, and she is lucky enough to be loved by so many.
Thank you, Charlotte Jane, for being my breath of fresh air. I will work harder, expect better, stay true to myself and love more fiercely because of your surprise life.