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Second Look-Second Chance Idol, Week 3

I've always been somewhat of a wanderer. Some would call me a kinesthetic learner, others would call me directionless. In any event, I have made my own way in life and accomplished (or failed) at whatever I set my hand to on my own terms. I've made some horrible life choices, but also have many successes to my name. I'm going on 26 and have a pretty good life all by God's grace. I have a man that loves me and who is committing himself to me forever, a lovely home, a loving (though slightly dysfunctional) family, a master's degree in the works…not a bad run for a girl who just a few short years ago was on the edge of mental collapse. I should be fulfilled and complete.

And, mostly, I am.

There is just a short, sweet phrase that has been following me around lately which is worming its way underneath my normally thick skin.

"I'm pregnant."

These are the words spoken to me by several people in my life as of late. My sister, sister-in-law, not to mention several friends and acquaintances from church are all deciding to procreate at the same time. One of my bridesmaids might even be pregnant at my wedding.

I know what everyone wants me to say. I should write about how we're all relatively young and babies suck your life away. I should write about how my first priority is my career and being successful in my chosen field (whatever that ends up being). I should write about how the female obsession over biological clocks and giving birth annoys the snot out of my liberated, feminist self.

Yet, I can't bring myself to lie.

Something deep inside my soul aches when I hear those simple words. Whenever I hold a baby, play with a friend's little ones, work with kids in my practicum experiences, or (let's be honest) pass a baby on the way to the metro, my eyes well up with the tears of longing.

I used to think I didn't want children. If you had told me I'd be so desperate to have a child ten (even five) years ago, I would have told you to get your head examined.

So what has changed?

Perhaps part of it is I'm no longer 19. I know that as we grow older, our desires and priorities shift quite a bit. It is a part of this natural process called "growing up" I keep hearing so much about.

Another aspect is that I'm far healthier (both physically and emotionally) than I've ever been (though perhaps this illustrates I still have a bit to work through before I can be cleared for parenthood). All in all, I like myself enough to believe I will be a good mother. I've managed to find (and keep) a man who will be a wonderful father which is important to me. I've worked hard to strengthen strained family relationships so that my children will have access to extended family. I've slept in my trenches and dug myself out…all in all, I've earned it.

But there is something else at the root of the emptiness that keeps finding me in spite of my rapid running.

Just after turning 21, I found myself pregnant and completely broken.
I made the choice I wish every day I could reverse.
I know God has forgiven me, and I have come so far in extending that grace to myself for taking the life of a child that had no choice. I am learning how to take this experience and help others through post abortion trauma.

But I still miss my baby. I know having another wouldn't "make up" for the life that was lost. I understand that it would be a different baby at a time in my life where I am ready to be a mother. I know that even if I had made a different choice, I still wouldn't have that child with me. He or she would be in the capable hands of parents who could give them a life I couldn't have at that time. I know I'd still be feeling this sadness and sense that my heart is missing a piece. But, I can't pretend that my desire to make things right and to prove to myself that I am a good mother (even though I wasn't the first go round) doesn't contribute to my current dilemma. It is all very muddy and full of gray empty spaces that my words are unable to fill.

For now, all I can do is smile and congratulate those in my life who have this joy I so desperately covet. I will trudge through as I always do, head held high in the midst of the storm, trying fervently not to give the infant next to me on the train a second look.

 Michicant by Bon Iver from Bon Iver (Rating: 0)


( 14 Tattoos — Write a Song )
Starfish Circus
Mar. 2nd, 2012 02:45 am (UTC)
This is such a touching, introspective piece. Good luck and God bless.
Mar. 2nd, 2012 03:34 am (UTC)
Thank you. This competition makes me do that. I'm not a fiction girl, I guess. Lol.
Mar. 2nd, 2012 02:48 am (UTC)
I hope your journey goes the way you want it to - this is a very touching examination of your feelings.
Mar. 2nd, 2012 03:34 am (UTC)
You are such a dear, always reading and commenting. :) Thank you.
Mar. 2nd, 2012 03:39 am (UTC)

Mar. 2nd, 2012 04:03 am (UTC)
This is totally normal, and it's ok to change your desires/priorities. For some people, having children never shows up on their radar and for others it it happens quicker or slower. It's ok to be liberated and smart and still want a baby.
Mar. 2nd, 2012 05:01 am (UTC)
When I was a teenager, I read somewhere that 23 was the perfect age to have a baby, so got it in my head that that was when I was going to have one. As I got closer to 23, I decided I could wait a couple years. 25 would be okay. As 25 approached, I thought, well, 27 isn't too late. I can start having kids at 27. Now, I'm 28 and doing the same thing you are, "trying fervently not to give the infant next to me on the train a second look."

Good luck, and I'm sure everything will work out exactly the way it's supposed to. ^_^
Mar. 2nd, 2012 08:59 am (UTC)
I think it is a sneaky way for continuation of the species in our DNA because I never wanted children. Held a baby then wanted five. I Had two. But every time I held a friend or family's newborn I WANTED a baby. Then when I turned forty it was as if a switch flipped. I could burrow into those soft little cheeks and smell that special baby smell, give them back to their moms and go on my merry way. Its a conspiracy I tell you.

Well done. (=
Mar. 2nd, 2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
I understand how you feel about others babies and whatnot. Though mine is for different reasons.

I'm so sorry you are dealing with the guilt. You really have nothing to feel guilty about. You made the best choice at the time. Yes, maybe you can look back and think it wasn't right... But at that time, you could only work with what you knew at the time. Forgive yourself. You were younger back then, you had less life experience. You did what you had to do at the time.

Really well written entry.
Mar. 2nd, 2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, you are forgiven indeed. You are doing all the right things, and I don't think its about "making up" for. Forgiveness is about changing, and changing your life to make room for another, more responsible you, to be able to welcome another child into it is an immense reflection of the power of that forgiveness.

I did read in a previous entry something about perhaps one day your spouse would want to have kids. I'm 36, I don't have kids yet. I'm encouraged by the fact that many have children, quite healthily and successfully, later in life. My point is, this is a desire that does not leave you. There comes a point where you know it is what you want & you're not just trying to right a wrong - it's the way God made you, regardless of biology. I hope I'm not overstepping when I encourage you to make sure your spouse is with you on this. I only come out with it, because people have been forward about it with me. I have been told being on the "same page" about kids is a "maker or breaker" in a marriage. That being said, I am no authority, but I want you to have the best, after everything you've been through.

(Only edited to change one word, as I realized it could be interpreted differently than I meant it. All good now!)

Edited at 2012-03-02 08:09 pm (UTC)
Mar. 5th, 2012 02:48 am (UTC)
I fully understand your longing. I've never been pregnant (I'm 44) and never will be; I work in child protection, and besides many co workers being pregnant, I'm surrounded by cases of children being removed from the homes of neglectful or abusive parents, and it just breaks my heart, even though now and again I get to hold a sweet baby or meet an adorable youngster.
Mar. 5th, 2012 04:28 am (UTC)
this was...quite touching, and sad, and deep.
Mar. 5th, 2012 06:47 am (UTC)
Mar. 5th, 2012 01:17 pm (UTC)
Wonderfully open and honest take on the prompt. Life requires decisions and we do the best we can at the time. My good wishes for your future!
( 14 Tattoos — Write a Song )

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