Friday, February 22, 2013

Best Laid Plans

She didn't plan this. She planned for this not to happen. She and her fiancé were happily childfree and she'd been religious about taking her birth control since high school. She did everything right.

And she got pregnant.

This is the story of a dear friend who's due to have her son any day now. It sounds like a childfree cliché, a horror story that never really happens. But it did, and it's breaking my heart.

I'm hoping my friend has a change of heart, that something happens to her after her son is born that makes her fall head over heels in love and feel silly for ever thinking anything else would happen.

At this point, I'm not sure if that'll happen.

When she found out she was pregnant, she scheduled an abortion. As happens with so many women, a heartbeat changed her mind, but not out of love. Out of guilt. She's adopted, from a mother who was 19 and just starting her life on her own. But my friend has a good job, a wedding date planned, a great relationship with her parents and her birth mother, and she's in her 30s like me. So she decided to keep the baby.

She's lost friends because she ever considered ending the pregnancy. She's lost friends because she's not over-the-moon ecstatic. She's lost childfree friends who can't believe she'd have the baby. Her husband, who agreed to a life with no kids, is beyond happy to welcome their son in to the world. I'm glad for that; at least, if she doesn't change her mind, the baby will have him.

But her experience is so like how I imagine my own that it frightens me. She's told me I'm the only one she can talk to about how she really feels instead of customizing it the person she's talking to. Why is it impossible for people to just encourage her to feel what she's feeling? She hates being pregnant, she's terrified that the child will have something wrong with him or that she'll be a terrible mother because she doesn't have a nurturing bone in her body. She's already feeling guilty for being a bad mom and he's not even born yet.

I hope she has a change of heart. I hope her friends stop being assholes and start respecting her. I hope her son is healthy and beautiful and she thinks he's the best thing she ever did.

The last thing I want is for her to be a poster child for why childfree women shouldn't have kids. No child deserves that.


Olimpia said...

That's such a difficult position to be in, I truly feel for her. In theory the rush of Oxytocin during and after birth will make her fall madly in love with her little boy, but it might not make her love motherhood as a whole. And unfortunately, according to marriage studies, marital unhappiness drops dramatically following the birth of a first child, reaches its lowest point in their teenage years, and (if the marriage has survived this long) only increases again after they've left the house. So for a childfree woman these are tough prospects to face.

Mrs. BST said...

I wish the best for your friend and thank you for sharing. I really liked what you said about customizing her feelings spending on who she is talking to. It's so unfair that she has to do that, but I completely understand and have had to do the same thing. Keep being a good friend to her, sounds like she will need all the support she can get.

Anonymous said...

Stasha, can you give us an update on this friend?

Anonymous said...

Your poor friend!! I just don't understand how people can just drop their friends because they make their own life choices. I don't agree with everything my friends do, but I respect their right to do it.

Anonymous said...

How is your friend?

Anonymous said...

A woman sacrificing in order to allow her child to live... Not killing him/her. If that is the ONLY thing right she does by her child, that will be enough. She is hero for not subjecting the child to a painful death. Seriously.

bonclyde149150 said...

"She is hero for not subjecting the child to a painful death. Seriously."

I wouldn't say a hero because the child is spared only to be brought into a world where there's messed up crap going on everywhere that'll wear down his will to live as he grows.

Anonymous said...

I am interested in knowing how this turned out