Family

I Felt Guilty For Not Wanting My Baby

Photo: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock
pregnant woman

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.

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I was enjoying — for the first time in my life — being pregnancy-free and breastfeeding-free, and feeling good about my career. I love being a mom, but I enjoyed having 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 had an unplanned pregnancy.

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.

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But 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.

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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.

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Chaunie Brusie is a Registered Nurse, writer, editor, and the author of the book, The Moments That Made You A Mother.

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