For four long years I’ve replaced all our household cleaning products with non-toxic ones, replaced all our cookware with non-toxic, replaced all my beauty products, installed reverse osmosis water filters, used bio-identical hormone replacements, hired expensive functional medical doctors, gone to naturopathic doctors, tried every supplement know to man, stopped high intensity exercise, changed and severely restricted my diet, gone to fertility specialists, had more blood tests than I can even remember, ate zero sugar, given myself countless injections, had surgery, underwent the grueling process of IVF, ultimately to be able to make this announcement to you right now:
I think this one bears repeating…..yes, you read that right, I’m pregnant!!!
When the doctor called with the news, they had to ask me if I was still on the phone because I couldn’t find any words, and I just broke down weeping.
A dear friend rightly described it like I could probably exhale for the first time after holding my breath for a very long time, and that has been the most apt description I can find.
I’ve wanted to be a Mother for as long as I can remember.
I carried my baby dolls with me well past the age of appropriateness.
In my imaginative play, I’d always make Barbie get pregnant and have a baby.
Maternal from the youngest age, I’d stay up all night nursing my Dad’s hunting dogs back to health when they got sick, and they’d miraculously live.
I was the neighborhood babysitter by age 11. The one everyone would call to care for their kiddos, I am no stranger to changing diapers and caring for children, even though I’m the youngest of my parents’ children myself.
This is something that I’ve not only wanted desperately my whole life, but something I’ve fought tooth and nail for.
And even with how desperately I’ve wanted this, how painstakingly intentional I’ve been with making this choice, I am a walking contradiction of emotions.
Yes, I am joyful and feel so much relief.
I am also angry. I am terrified. Downright livid. I feel like I may breathe fire.
This contradiction of emotions isn’t new to me. In fact, it feels all too familiar, and brings me back to the time when I was about to get married.
Same story: I had wanted to be married my whole life, and when I finally found my person and married at age 35, I was both joyful and terrified.
I had to take a Xanax in order to sleep the night before my wedding, and that wasn’t because I was concerned I was marrying the wrong person; it was because I was terrified of opening myself up to that much potential pain when I allowed someone to get that close to me.
Thanks to my family history and my attachment style, there is a very real way in which making these lifetime commitments to people brings terror up within me–a fear of being consumed, of losing myself entirely if I let someone come that close.
And still, I choose it.
I consciously chose this pregnancy and whispered a quiet prayer for it to break me open.
I choose to walk into my fear, to look it in the face, and allow it to do with me what it will, knowing that when I walk into the fire, the only parts of me that will be consumed are the parts that were never meant to stay.
I choose it because I refuse to allow fear to be the determining factor in my decisions and my life.
Part of me wishes that I could give you a simple, all rosey I’M PREGNANT! Announcement, and leave it at that.
But there’s a new version of me that’s already being reborn through this pregnancy:
A more radically honest version of myself.
A woman who tolerates less and less bullshit.
A woman who is extremely conscious of where her precious time and energy are going, because I haven’t had a lot of it during my first trimester.
A woman who is willing to say aloud the things that women “aren’t supposed to say”, because it would “make you a bad mother/wife/partner/friend”.
Women get reduced to a one-dimensionality. A “good woman” is nothing but happy and elated to be pregnant, especially when it was her conscious choice.
But I’m multi-dimensional, and I get to have complex emotions about this, despite it being a conscious choice.
I’m angry at how hard my journey was and what it took out of me.
I’m angry that this terrifies me and joy isn’t coming easily about it, despite wanting it so much.
I’m angry at the fucking patriarchy and the blatant inequality that women experience with raising children, even when they have incredibly supportive partners.
I’m angry at the cost of childcare.
I’m angry at the systemic oppression that makes women having children have to make such tough choices, that a man would never even have to consider.
I’m angry at the medical system and the way they don’t listen to women, the ways they have failed us.
I’m angry at the lack of community and village care for women.
I’m fucking angry.
This anger doesn’t negate the joy, or my gratitude at my privilege to carry this life and that I had the ability to do IVF, which I know many don’t even have that option.
I’m multi-dimensional, and all of these emotions are valid; all of them can co-exist within me. They each deserve their space.
I’m speaking up about the complexity of my emotions here rather than giving you the saccharine, sweet pregnancy announcement because it fucking matters to me that women get to be honest about their experiences.
It fucking matters to me that women give themselves permission to be multi-dimensional, complex beings that’s sole purpose is NOT to please others and make everyone else comfortable.
It fucking matters to me that women get to raise their voice, take up space, and bring MORE of themselves into their relationships.
In fact, these things are some of the primary drivers behind my reasons that I do this work.
Women matter, our experiences matter, and being able to fully be ourselves in this world matters.
Whether or not you’ve ever been pregnant or even desire to, I hope this gives you permission to own your complexity, your multidimensionality, and to reclaim what has always been rightfully yours: that you belong to yourself.
A new me is being born, along with my child. May it all crack me open, soften me to the core, make me more alive, and more of service.
I can’t thank you all enough for being here. I appreciate your presence.
P.S. If you’re curious about how I’m processing all this and self-coaching through this, here are some things I’ve been tapping into:
-somatic anger release (punching pillows, silent screaming, wringing out a towel, pushing against a hard surface, etc.)
-putting on music that matches my emotions, and moving with it for release
-parts work: sitting and dialoguing with the parts of me who are terrified, giving them new assignments and ways to protect me and partner with me instead of shutting me down
-giving anger an outlet by sharing it (just like I did with you!)
-giving myself ample support from my own coach and somatic therapist
-hiring a birth doula
-being very intentional with my partner to choose how WE want to parent, what we want to keep, and what we want to let go of in what was modeled to us both in our families of origin, as well as in society at large. (You can best believe that martyring myself is NOT on the menu).
Feel free to comment below. I always love hearing from you!