Tag Archives: Mother

A Bump in the Road

According to the test results, I had only been pregnant for a few days. Not even long enough for my body to fully register that it was pregnant. But long enough for me to know that it was the beginning of something. After a few hours sleeping, I knew I needed to call my job to let them know I would be out from work another day. I dreaded making the call, but knew I had no choice. I didn’t want pity from anyone. I just wanted to be left alone, to curl in on myself and lock it away. I reached for the phone and dialed.

“Hello? Greta? It’s Kat.”

“Hey, Kat. How are you feeling? Is everything okay?” asked Greta, the concern clear in her voice. I sighed, wondering how much I should tell her. Greta was my co-worker, but was also a counselor who had her own private practice. I was afraid Greta would see more behind my words than I wanted. I also didn’t know her that well as I kept to myself mostly at my job, leaving the office for lunch with my husband or to eat alone almost every day.

“Yea, I’m okay. I went to the doctor and apparently I’m having a miscarriage. I was only a few days pregnant and didn’t even know I was pregnant. So it’s no big deal.” I tried to reply nonchalantly to Greta’s question, hoping it would deter any further probing.

“Oh, Kat. I’m so sorry to hear that. Is there anything you need? Anything I can do?”

“No, I’m good. I just need another day to rest before coming back to work. I’ll be fine.” I said goodbye and hung up. As much as I wanted to spill my feelings to someone, I felt that I couldn’t and shouldn’t. I needed to be strong – for myself, my family, my husband. I learned a long time ago that problems were kept within the family and even then, you didn’t always talk about them. You learned to bury them, stoically facing the world head-on, smiling and pretending that everything was copacetic.

Not to mention, I felt that I didn’t have any friends close enough that I could turn to even if I wanted to tell someone. I painfully remembered the severed friendships when I married Alex. Alex didn’t like me associating with my old friends, those that were friends with me before him. He didn’t trust them. During college, while we were dating, he always thought I was out drinking irresponsibly with Nikki and Jack, two of my closest friends, doing God-knows-what and with whom. For some reason, he had images of me drunk, having sex with random people, doing drugs, and so forth. He accused me of this more than once despite it not being true. He said that he was worried about me and only wanted me to be safe. Slowly, without me realizing it until it was too late, Alex had pushed away my friends, convincing me it was for the best. Goodness knows I had tried to tell Alex that Nikki and Jack weren’t like that – that they were wonderfully caring people and would never encourage anything like that. I even tried to have Alex hang out with them all, but it was painfully obvious that he wasn’t comfortable with them.

I wished I still had Nikki to turn to, especially now with the miscarriage, but I knew I was alone with my feelings. I could talk to Alex, but I wasn’t sure how that would go. He had argued about even trying to have a baby in the first place. He wasn’t really sure he wanted me to go off the birth control. He was worried about how we would pay for a child and the responsibility that comes with it. Alex seemed to relax about it over the two years that we had been trying to have a child. While we didn’t talk in-depth about it, I thought Alex seemed happy to be trying, or maybe that was just because he got to have sex often. At least that part had been a lot of fun. The more I thought about it, the more I convinced myself that Alex would be upset, but would still be game to keep trying. I wanted children so badly it was a persistent longing in my soul. I felt born to be a mother. I always pictured herself married with the traditional story book image of a white picket fence, the nice house, happy family, kids, and enjoying life to a ripe old age. This was just a blip in the grand scheme of things. A bump in the road. I was comforted in the thought of knowing my life was secure and this wasn’t the end of the world.

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Why Do I Desire to be a Mom?

 

Where did this come from? This desire and expectation that I had to marry and have children and the white picket fence? I had this expectation of myself that I would be married by 23-24 years old, have a home, a good job, and my first child no later than age 26. My life was laid out before me and I saw it clearly. I reached my first goal, if you want to call it that, by marrying at age 21. Now, Alex and I were working on my second goal, to have a child by age 26.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of becoming a mother. No matter what happened in life, I knew that a child would be a part of it. Early in our relationship, Alex asked, why did I want to be a mother? I stumbled over it at the time because how can you define something that you feel is your basic right? I don’t really know if I have a better answer than it is a desire burned into the very molecules of my being.

I have always wanted to have a family of my own. There are a million reasons why and there are none. One of the reasons that I stumbled to answer the question was that some part of me believed that it was for selfish reasons. So I would have the love of a child for the rest of my life, I would be surrounded by family, I would leave a legacy in the world. None of those reasons really meant that much to me though.
For me, the truer reason why I wanted to be a mom is the yearning I felt when I talked to that little girl at the church.

“Is that your baby?” I asked her, referring to the doll she just tucked under her arm.

She ducked behind her mom, shy.

“What’s your baby’s name?”

“Pretty Baby” is what she told me as a small smile crept onto her face.

Soon she’s prattling on with me and then she’s gone. My stomach gets a knot and feels like it does when I need a snack: hungry. I want more.

I want to be a mom when I’m outside doing something I love, like gardening. I wonder what it might be like to show our child the first signs of spring, to discover the world together. Or when we finger paint together and she takes her first steps into imagination and creativity.  I long to share those parts of myself that make me—me—with a child, and to see the world anew through the eyes of my child.

Who is this child? How will the mystery unfold as she grows? This is another fascination I have with motherhood. Nature, nurture and life circumstance: how these forces come together and turn my baby into a child and then into a woman. I look forward to watching her bloom.

I imagine the difficult days too. Long nerve-wracking nights when my baby can’t sleep yet I am able to soothe her and meet her needs, or being there to help my child find her way through some of the sticky moments in life: indecision, love lost, and struggles with identity. Even though there will be times when being a mom is going to challenge me in ways I can’t even begin to imagine, knowing that I might be able to make a difference and give love and security to a child is another reason I want to be a mom.

And perhaps the most potent answer to why I want to be a mom is this: for a short time, I was lucky enough to spend time with a child who might be ours.  During those days, when I hold her close, mothering will just feel so right.

Little did I know how difficult it would be to conceive that child.