"I have these little panic attacks when I think that I could have missed out on having him. I love him so much it hurts."
I love that my friend, childfree one who accidentally got pregnant, is falling into being a mom and loving it. I didn't want her to be a childfree horror story, the one people hold up and say "yup, see, this is why we're making the right decision." But when she talks about the changes she's experienced since becoming a mom, it's hard to hear sometimes.
You want to think you know what you want, what's best for your life, and we can only do the best with the information we have. She's one of the lucky ones, bless her heart. She's got a beautiful baby boy who she loves to pieces and who enriches her world and her marriage. Would she feel the same if something was "wrong" with him, as was her biggest fear when she was pregnant? Who knows. She can't speculate, I can't know.
Would I have the same experience? Would I suddenly accept all the changes in my life, the knowledge that I could no longer plan to travel the world as I want? That I could no longer work like I do? Maybe, maybe not. We know my niece's mother never bonded with her and rejected her, leaving my brother to raise her while she skipped town. It doesn't happen for everyone.
I don't like that her situation pushes my "what if" buttons. Between her, my friend who is currently undergoing IVF at 39 after being a "career girl", and others, the "what if" buttons get pushed. It's uncomfortable when that happens. Makes me doubt my own judgment. But when I question my choice, when I wonder whether I'm making the right one, I always land in the same place:
It would probably be nice to want a child. But I don't want that life. My husband doesn't want that life, and we can't count on the hormones to come a-rushin' in to change all that when we become parents.
So there's some mourning. This isn't as easy a decision for us as it is for some childfree couples, the ones who outright dislike kids and the whole idea of parenting. We talk about it, what it means, what we want, and wonder if we'll come to the same conclusion.
But at the end of the day, we're happy with our family just as it is.