I felt so guilty for not wanting her in the first place.
We were preparing for our first-ever vacation alone, sans kids, to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico (read: alcohol), completely paid for by my in-laws (read: amazing) and I couldn’t have been more excited. I was enjoying — for the first time in my life — being pregnancy-free and breastfeeding-free, feeling good about my career and enjoying a little bit of freedom as our kids reached those magical ages of being able to sleep through the night.
I distinctly remember visiting a friend who had just had a baby and holding him, announcing, "Gosh, it feels so good to hold this baby — and then give him back." I had absolutely ZERO desire for another baby at that point.
And then, of course, I got pregnant.
I spent most of my first trimester feeling horribly sick and wallowing in self-pity. Mexico was miserable (as much as I hate to admit that) and I felt almost embarrassed to have another pregnancy catch me by surprise. I was nowhere near excited about having another baby and almost dreaded starting over again.
Now that Sara is here, almost every time I look at her, I feel a twinge of guilt. I love her so much it hurts ... and in some way, I realize my love for her feels a little different than my love for my other kids. It’s not different in the amount I love her, of course, but it’s colored through a lens of intense gratitude.
Gratitude that she is here when I felt like I wasn’t ready for a baby.
Gratitude that despite my horrific attitude, she is healthy.
Gratitude that once again, I have a daughter when I wasn’t planning on getting pregnant — a daughter that is such an incredible gift I say a prayer of thanks every day.
Gratitude that in a time of life that's a bit stressful for us right now, especially in our marriage, I have such a source of love that lights up my entire world with just one smile.
Sara is such a joy to all of us. She is an incredibly sweet baby and I just can’t help but think, when I look at her, how I could have doubted that she would be anything but more love in our lives. I guess I just feel humbled and thankful for her.
Despite my own miserable selfishness, I still get to have her in my life. I am so, so lucky.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about having a baby when she wasn’t “planned” that makes her feel even more like a gift that I didn’t know I needed.
Chaunie Brusie is a young mom of four and the author of the book, Tiny Blue Lines: Reclaiming Your Life, Preparing For Your Baby, and Moving Forward in Faith in an Unplanned Pregnancy.
This article was originally published at Tiny Blue Lines. Reprinted with permission from the author.