I never thought mom guilt started this early. I thought it crept in when the child was at least a toddler.
See, I never wanted children. After working with them for 19 years in my first business, helping raise my little brother and seeing all my friends give birth in their late 20s and early 30s I have seen first hand the way life changes after kids and it just wasn’t a lifestyle I wanted.
Besides, I’ve never heard a single mom (and I’ve spoken to hundreds in my first business alone) give me any convincing reason to volunteer for the hardships of motherhood other than “it’s worth it” often followed by some version of “my kids are the best thing in my life”.
I mean… I fucking hope so. This is a biological response not a logical one. Of course your procreation becomes the most important thing in your life. It’s science. A mother’s gray matter literally increases in areas of the brain that help immediately create love bonds with baby, while decreasing in other areas. It’s part of the root of “mommy brain.”
On the other hand, when I’ve asked what’s hard about motherhood, the list emphatically goes on and on and on and on.
“You’ll never sleep again”
“Ugh the colic and when they’re sick. It’s a nightmare”
“I love my kids but I sometimes I wanna strangle them”
“Your body will be destroyed and never be the same. Your marriage won’t either”
These truths aren’t easily outweighed by “it’s worth it” nor do they support statements like “my kids are the best thing that ever happened to me.”
I’m a very logical woman. It’s one of the reasons my husband loves me. These truths aren’t easily outweighed by “it’s worth it” nor do they support statements like “my kids are the best thing that ever happened to me.” Motherhood always sounded, and still sounds, like a fucking nightmare.
I also grew up in Cuba, a third world country to say the least. When we came to the US it took years and struggles I prefer not to revisit right now for my parents to make some financial headway. My brother was born 2 years after we came to this country, when I was 11 and a half. I saw how much my parents struggled financially to keep us healthy, fed and safely entertained.
The financial weight of children was also one I didn’t want.
I opened my first business right out of high school, a dance studio still open today, 19 years later. I have a successful career in broadcast media that took years of effort to build and I own a second business, a coaching organization to help women embark on their own entrepreneurial journey and achieve success with less stress. We just bought our first investment property for short term rentals. I have worked HARD AF to get to where I am financially. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but I’m just now starting to reap the financial benefits and freedoms of my hard work. Work that officially started when I was 9 years old and made my first paycheck in the US winning a dance competition on Sábado Gigante before getting recruited to continue doing paid weekly performances on the show. I just now feel like I can travel comfortably and splurge on my wants, rather than focus just on needs. And I have time. So much time. All my time is mine. I love this life! I love this life so much.
A few months ago a part of me wondered: “maybe since I do have more financial freedom now, more comforts, being a mom won’t be as hard as I always saw it to be and my “absolutely the fuck not” decision on motherhood could be worth revisiting.”
As a entrepreneur I know that decisions can, and should, be revisited. Nothing is written in stone, nor should it be. It’s just not how life works. Besides, I’m 36. If there was ever going to be a time to revisit this decision, this was it.
So, my husband and I decided I’d start taking prenatals for a few months and we’d discuss in January. If I decided kids were still a no, I was going to have glowing skin and hair from the prenatals and that’s always a vibe. If I decided yes, we’d start trying then. I got off the pill over a year ago because it did tons of damage to my system and we’ve always been VERY careful. As in, we never have slip ups or get lazy about contraception. Ever. At all.
Until the one time we did slip, 3.5 months ago, and my clockwork-like period never came.
I waited a week. Just in case. No. In hopes.
Nothing. I had tender boobs and a few spots so I got excited and waited a few more days.
I bought 4 pregnancy tests. Two regular, two digital. But somewhere inside I already knew.
I took the digital test first.
I read the word and immediately felt a wave of hot, heavy numbness wash over me, followed by a loud ringing in my ears.
I kept reading it over and over to make sure I read it right.
Another wave of numbness, this one with a flash of sweats and a dizziness so intense I had to grip my dresser to keep myself from falling.
The hot, heavy, dizzy sweats were immediately followed by guilt so strong it tasted bitter in my mouth and it sent my mind spinning into darkness.
Why don’t I feel excited?
Why am I not crying and screaming for joy like all those women online who record themselves seeing their results?
Why am I not happy? At all?
Can my baby feel I‘m not happy about it?
Am I a shit woman for not feeling happy?
Am I already shit mom??
What kind of woman doesn’t feel anything when she finds out she’s pregnant?
There are women who try for months, years to get pregnant and can’t. They spend thousands of dollars to conceive. I slipped once and receive what so many women are dying for and I’m not even moved? Seriously?
The guilt was worse than the numbness I felt. The guilt was crushing.
I’ve spent years working on my inner dialog and when I realized how badly I was beating myself up I decided to hit pause on the entire moment. I put all the tests away deep in my underwear drawer and began my day.
As soon as I had to pee again I ran to the drawer and took another test. The regular one this time. Almost hoping the digital one glitched. I hoped it silently so – if it didn’t- the baby wouldn’t know.
I peed. Waited those eternal few minutes.
A clear, bold + sign appeared on the little window.
Checked on my feelings again…. Nothing.
I was a void.
Then, guilt came again, screaming at me alongside self judgement.
I was a pregnant, judgy, guilty void.
I hid this test in my drawer too. Deep down where the digital one was. I checked that one’s result again, just in case. Still Pregnant.
I went outside and sat under my mango tree, where I usually sit to meditate.
“Ok.” I thought to myself, “we’re not happy or joyful. Cool. We didn’t want this anyway. We were going to RETHINK in January and THEN decide.“
I took a few deep breaths to find some calm within and when I found it I asked myself:
“Do I want to terminate this pregnancy?”
I don’t know what you know about Human Design but I’m a sacral generator. This means decisions for me are either a full body YES or a fully body NO. There’s never an in between.
The moment I heard the question in my mind, “do I want to terminate this pregnancy” was the first time I felt something.
I felt a different type of heat boil up at the back of my neck and spill down my spine like honey, my hands rushed to stomach and my whole body felt a clear, loud “NO.” The feeling was so powerful it moved my body forward toward the tree.
It wasn’t tears.
It wasn’t happiness.
But it was something.
I didn’t understand it but I trusted it and it gave me peace.
I didn’t understand why I wasn’t happy, why I didn’t feel anything I was “supposed” to feel but what I did understand, what I know without a doubt is that I can always trust myself, my sacral, deeply felt answers to everything in life, my intuitive knowing. And that part of me wanted this pregnancy even if the rest of me was still catching up to the idea.
I began writing my feelings to help me process this journey. I’m the next few posts I’ll share what it was like before I began writing and then I’ll be uploading my journal entries directly as I wrote them onto this blog. I’ll post weekly and I hope my less than Instagramable pregnancy journey helps other women on theirs.