What if You're Not Happy to be Pregnant?
I have a little tradition on New Year’s Day of reflecting back over the previous years, as I plan for the year ahead. I browse our photos and scrapbooks, and I read through my Facebook memories. I noticed that that on this day in 2013, my midwife was visiting our home for a postpartum visit, newborn screen, and signing the birth certificate for our seventh baby. (The Baby turned five years old a couple days ago!) There were many joyful posts and pictures of the new baby. Reading through all the joyful posts about the baby’s birth, I still remember... nine months prior to that... sitting alone in my bedroom with the door locked, watching that positive line grow darker on the pregnancy test. I couldn’t breathe. Honestly, I had a meltdown. I had suffered postpartum depression with my previous two pregnancies, panic attacks with the last one, the baby had just turned a year old, and I was just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I didn’t see how I could possibly go through it all again. I felt guilty and ashamed that I wasn’t happy, that I didn’t want to be pregnant again. As the mother of a large, Christian family, I was supposed to see children as blessings, welcome a new baby with an open heart, and feel joy at adding to my family. There weren’t many people I could share my true feelings with. I mostly kept them to myself and went through the motions. The holiday season, full of joy and celebrating, is typically the time of year when we get the most calls from moms who have received a positive pregnancy test, full of excitement, hope, apprehension, anxiety, and questions. I understand that not everybody feels joy or excitement about that positive result. If you are not happy about your positive pregnancy test, I want you to know that it’s ok to feel that way. You are not a bad person because you have those feelings. You are not alone. I hope you will reach out and talk to someone. If you need someone to talk to, I am here to listen. And I promise I won’t judge.