A word of warning; nothing can prepare you.
My husband and I weren’t actively trying for a baby, but on the flip side we weren’t actively trying not to conceive. Things were OK in our lives and we had thought, ‘Hey, if it happens, it happens’.
Well, it happened.
I knew I was pregnant before that little Clear Blue stick told me.
We had been up in wine country that weekend and not only had I missed my period, but I was unbelievably tired and feeling weirdly nauseous. When you know, you know.
The moment the stick came back flashing that tiny pregnant sign I collapsed. Down, down, down to my knees I went, pressing my hands against the bathroom tiles and screaming into the floor.
I was devastated. My husband, on the other hand, was crying tears of joy.
I screamed that I couldn’t do it, that we needed to get rid of it and that I was so terrified I couldn’t breathe – which I couldn’t. By this stage I started hyperventilating and rocking back and forth, back and forth.
“I am too selfish for this,” I screamed, “I will be terrible. What if the child inherits my depression? I can’t do this. I can’t. I can’t”.
Remember: we wanted a baby. I was excited about the prospect of being a mother. Yet, when the moment of confirmation came I lost my mind.
I cried into the night. I felt helpless. This ‘thing’ was inside me and there was nothing I could do now (at least) to get it out. I was stuck. We were stuck. The urge to control the situation kicks in. What could I do to fix this? Did I really want to fix this? What did fix it even mean – abortion?
My mind was fast-forwarding to the weeks and months following the birth and all I could imagine was me sitting on a couch as a young child played at my feet. I’d be staring out the window and feeling resentful that this was now my life.
The next day was a blur of white noise. Later I tried to make a mental connection with the baby. I thought about it, I spoke to it, and yet I felt nothing.
The fear had started to subside only to be replaced by a numbness that made the world around me feel like a sterile doctors room. Nothing was really that real.
Two days later I visited the doctor who confirmed that yes, I was five to six weeks pregnant, but even that didn’t make it real.