I looked down at the birth announcement a friend handed me. A tiny, pink baby lay sleeping in a laundry basket in one square, and in the next, two parents whose faces absolutely radiated that over-the-moon, once-in-a-lifetime happiness. The six-pound, nine ounce baby girl born at 4:39pm- the child, as the card stated, “for which they had prayed”.
I flashed back to the discovery of my pregnancy. The stick with the lines. The spastic sobbing. The pain. The fear of judgment. How I hid my stomach from my boss. How I made up excuses for vomiting when I visited my family. How I selfishly prayed for everything to just go away.
Brady never had a birth announcement. My husband and I never celebrated his conception. I don’t think I ever really smiled about it until after he was born.
Would I love Brady more if he was planned? Am I the most horrible mother on Earth for not loving every second of my healthy pregnancy or the fact that he only had to stay in the hospital for a week?
I don’t know. I just don’t know.
I don’t know why I was given a baby, when so many families out there hope and pray for God to fill the holes in their home. I don’t know why I had a positive pregnancy test, when so many women take hundreds of them only to reveal their loss. I don’t know why I, with no job prospects or savings or clue of what I was doing, got pregnant when some women spend thousands of dollars to achieve what I did by accident.
You can’t always have the answers, even when you want them so desperately you can feel the yearning in your bones. But when you’re a mother, the questions and answers aren’t the important part. The important part, from what I have learned, is believing that you, the woman, can do it. You can be a mom. You can be anything. By miracle, by accident, by chance- you get an opportunity to discover what motherhood means in your own way.
And whether you send out an elaborate announcement or just a text message, that is something worth celebrating.