I never used to care.
When Husband and I got married, we realized we were content with our lives the way they were. We didn’t need children; look at how much stuff we were free to accomplish by not having them! I was able to finish my college education and pay back my student loans by getting a job, we were able to take up hobbies together, we were able to get work done around the house. I was able to pursue a mini-career as an author and later a songwriter, and he was able to pursue his interests in marksmanship and medieval martial arts. We had the world in front of us, just the two of us, and it was good. Sometimes I did wonder what I was missing by not being a mother, but I was so afraid of motherhood that I shrugged it off. Some women are not meant to have children, and that was okay. I had a very full and fulfilling life as it was. What did I need a kid for?
Then last Autumn we found out I was pregnant. And every last bit of it changed.
I never knew you could love someone you’ve never met so much. I never knew the dreams and the hopes you could build around the idea of a family. I never knew how one little event could redefine your entire identity so thoroughly, or restructure your entire existence so completely, without even lifting a finger…
And I never knew how crushed you could be when it all comes apart at the seams in the final hour.
In a lot of ways, life is no longer fulfilling. It’s no longer complete. I am no longer satisfied with the status quo. I don’t want this to be all there is. And I keep coming around to the fact that if I didn’t care so much, this would all be so much easier to deal with. Not easy, mind you, but easier.
Oh Yes, I am unsatisfied. I am back to being afraid of the very thing I want the most, and I would go back to being my former ambivalent self in a heartbeat, except that I can’t. I am left with a myriad of questions as to how to pick up the pieces of the life I thought I had, and no answers. People talk at me all day long about how I should feel (thankful) and how I should act (humbled by God’s will). There are a million instructions and bits of advice to be had, but I admit I’m a poor student. Because none of them have been here.
And for all of my wishes for an emotional on/off switch, I cannot turn myself off. I care. I can’t help it. I can’t help crying when I see another article in the paper about all the women who choose abortion, I can’t help the heart squeeze when I see a happy young family in the grocery store, and I can’t help the pang of terror I feel when I hear someone else has gone into labor, or the hot rise of jealousy as I learn of their healthy little arrival.
I am a tender, wounded soul. Spin the wheel, see how it goes; where it stops, nobody knows…