Let me start off by making one thing clear… no, this is not a pregnancy announcement. I don’t want any friends or family freaking out on me because of the title. I probably would’ve started that with “I’m having a baby.”
I originally wanted to make a video talking about my thoughts on all things children and childbirth. I felt it would be easier than writing it, but I was wrong. I ended up rambling or getting lost in my own words. I don’t know why I feel it’s necessary for me to talk about this… I think maybe I’m just trying to wrap my head around my own feelings and opinions on pregnancy.
I grew up constantly being told to not get pregnant. Having a baby was the one thing I should not do. The way my family made having a kid sound… it was like your doom. Once you had a kid, all the fun in life is sucked out. All your dreams are crushed and thrown away. Everything is ruined. Sure, that seems dramatic now. As a kid, though, that’s exactly what it sounded like. A few of the young women in my family got pregnant in their teens. Each time it happened, family members would gossip. Some would express disappointment, others would seem like they weren’t really surprised. My father would use their situations as another horror story. An example I shouldn’t follow, or the consequences (usually unspecified) would be dire. It’s no surprise that I ended up fearing pregnancy like a plague. Which was fine at the time, I suppose. I was a kid—what did I know about having babies? Or sex, even? All I knew was that boys were gross.
As I grew older, the idea of boys and sex was kind of warped by the constant reminders by my parents and other family members to not make the same mistakes that the young mothers in our family did. I didn’t want to risk losing all the things I worked hard for, like going to a good college and the opportunity to travel the world. I felt like getting into a relationship and putting myself in the position where I’d want to be intimate with someone was not worth the small chance that I’d end up pregnant. I’m kind of laughing at myself now, though. I was scared to even kiss a boy, as if he’d impregnate me by just doing that.
When I first started dating my boyfriend, I worried and stressed so much about sex. I felt that it was something that was expected to happen eventually in a relationship, and I knew that I wasn’t ready. I had never gone to a gynecologist before, I had never learned how to get birth control, I had never even had a sex talk with my mom. I worried so much about these things that I ended the relationship before it even really began. Then I beat myself up over it because I really, really liked the boy I was with. Luckily he still felt the same way and I didn’t completely ruin a great thing. We have now been together for over two years, by the way. I’m talking about the same guy I always do, haha.
Point being, I was only worrying so much about sex because I was worried about pregnancy. Not that there is anything wrong with being careful. In fact, it’s important. I’m glad that I was taught to not be careless or reckless when it came to sex. I’m just not entirely sure it was necessary to make me paranoid about it. Is that making sense? I’m not sure if anything I’m saying is making sense right now, it’s pretty late at night. I’m really lucky that I had an amazing and supportive and understanding boyfriend. He understood what I needed in order to feel comfortable with my body. What I needed to feel comfortable in the relationship.
Getting birth control made me feel like I was in control of whether or not I ended up pregnant. It made me feel safe and secure. I knew then and I still know that it’s not 100% effective and there is still that very slight chance that you could still end up… well, knocked up. Yet it still gave me the courage I needed to feel comfortable with sex. Of course, I was still paranoid the first few times. I felt blessed whenever a period would come.
In retrospect, I don’t agree with how I was taught to fear pregnancy. I spent the last few years of my life convincing myself that I never want to have kids. I told everyone I knew that a baby was not going to be an option for me. I wasn’t going to ruin my life. I was never going to be ready. Babies would ruin my body and my fun. As someone who is terrified of pain as well, I feared what kind of physical torture I’d have to go through if I ever had to give birth. Now I wonder if maybe I was a little to hasty in making that decision. If my upbringing kind of traumatized me into believing that having kids was the last possible thing I could ever want.
I look at the lives of the young mothers in my family, and I see them happy. They love their kids, adore them. They’re even inspired by them. They are incredible mothers who are hardworking and determined. Their lives don’t seem ruined at all. There are young mothers out there who are successful and live wonderful lives. There are mothers who wanted to have kids while they were young. They were ready for it, they were prepared. There isn’t anything wrong with that.
I’m not saying I’m ready to have a kid any time soon. All I know is that I don’t fear it as if it’s the worst possible thing that could happen to me. Maybe in the future, I’ll want to have my own kid. I always knew that I’d want to adopt, definitely. I just think now maybe being pregnant isn’t such a terrifying thing, and it might be something I’d want in the future, when I’m ready.
Thank you all for reading, if you made it this far through my ramble.