How do I tell people I'm pregnant when I said I never wanted kids?

Offbeat Home & Life runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter.
"I can't keep calm, I'm having a baby" t-shirt from Etsy seller BumpCovers
"I can't keep calm, I'm having a baby" t-shirt from Etsy seller BumpCovers

Some women dream of their child — the name, the sex, etc — long before they even meet the partner they make their baby with. That's not me. I have always felt a selfish twinge when picturing myself having biological children. My friends had children, my half-sister did, and it felt good and right for them.

See, the ten years I spent so vocal about not wanting to bear children, people smiled condescendingly and told me, "Just wait," muttering something about a clock. I didn't suddenly freak out and then came baby — more the other way around…

With how nerve wracking this process has been, and how emotional I have become, when I am used to walking a very straight and logical line, I am almost positive I will punch any "I told you so"-s directly in the face. I spent many weeks preparing for news that I'd possibly have a sick child, and it's been difficult to switch gears.

I'm excited, certainly, and I really, really love me some baby shoes. But there's a sharp edge of reality to the excitement. Life is daunting and while what's goin' on in there is the thing most closely resembling a miracle I've ever encountered, I'm also weighed down by the responsibility that whatever my baby goes through is, in large part, my fault.

How can I communicate that I am still coming to terms with the dramatic shift in my life without coming off all doom and gloom?

Join our community!

  1. I felt the SAME when I was pregnant. And after my one beautiful child who I adore… I still sort of feel the same. I don't want to go having a ton of kids, and I don't particularly enjoying the ooing and ahhing over the whole spectacle, but they way I did it was right for me. As for the I told you so's, there were a few, but mostly excitement that I too boarded the baby train. Best of luck!

    2 agree
  2. When I got pregnant it was also difficult to share my news (for different reasons than you, but still difficult). I decided that the best way to do it would be a blanket announcement that came across as a little dry. I didn't want to sound too excited, because I wasn't, I was scared shitless, but I didn't want to come across as scared shitless either. I think I wanted to make it sound like I was coming up to another challenge that I was prepared to face. I don't k is if that's how it did come across, but I tried. So after calling close family members and friends, I just sent out a series of texts and emails that said "There's no easy way to drop this bomb, so I'm just going to do it. I'm pregnant."
    Ta dah!
    I don't remember a single individual reaction to that announcement. There must not have been anything that impacted me enough to overshadow what I was going through on my own. I hope that you get similar or better results with however you decide to announce.

  3. I felt exactly the way that you do about having kids- then I became pregnant myself. I freaked out, had a panic attack, and thought 'I have a hard enough time taking care of myself, how am I going to take care of a child?' I never wanted to have children, then I found myself having one. Something changed in me, especially when I first started feeling the little butterflies, and slight kicks, and I thought that I wouldn't want it any other way. I would tell people that I never wanted to have children, but that I wouldn't give it up for anything, now that I'm going to have one. I now have a beautiful 6 month old baby boy who is my life. Would I have chosen to get pregnant? Probably not, but now I know what it feels like, I wouldn't have it any other way.

    2 agree
  4. Though I am of the variety of person who has been dreaming about babies since I was a kid I feel your pain on the "I told you so" Nothing I hate more than that. As if they had somehow had any say in how your life and perspective has changed. I think the best way to break the news would be if you simply say how you are feeling. It is a big thing, I have been planning my pregnancy since I was a teenager, (however weird that sounds,) and I still ended up waiting for another 3 years past when I thought I wanted a child because the very prospect of a tiny helpless being depending on me so utterly scared me crapless. Most people will understand how you feel and hopefully no one will get punched πŸ™‚

  5. You say, "I'm pregnant!" It's really that simple. Don't pay attention to anyone that's judgmental about it. It's so incredibly common for women to say they don't want children until one day they do. You didn't want a baby when you didn't want one, and now you do. It's that simple.

    20 agree
  6. It's very difficult to feel like you can talk to anyone about being really ambivalent about your pregnancy. I even had a planned, wanted pregnancy, but I still spent a lot of the time freaking out and wishing I could yell "let me off this crazy roller coaster!" somehow in our culture pregnancy has become this binary of get-rid-of-it or happy-happy-happy and it doesn't feel like there's much room for feelings in between.

    My example will not be very helpful. I mostly kept all my feelings to myself and let everyone be happy for me. I did, however, try to tell myself often that such feelings were very normal, and tried to be generous giving myself time outs to get away from everyone and nap or read books or whatever comforting thing made me feel better. ("pregnancy just makes me so exhausted!" is a great excuse for this!)

    15 agree
  7. Oh my gosh, it's just like me! I have never really wanted kids and have been very vokal about it. Many of my friends have kids and have gone all "I am a MUM now, my personality is on hold for 5 years" and I'm scared shitless to become like them.

    Though I am not pregnant, we are planning to start this autumn, and are expecting a ton of "told you so's". The thing is that I don't "need" a child, I just want one ;0) I will continue my job and do other stuff as well, but expect even more "this will happen, because it happened to me" crap.

    Good luck!

    3 agree
    • Your personality won't go on hold, so I wouldn't worry about that. It turns out that, after you're pregnant, you keep waking up every day still being a person, with wants and needs and opinions and everything.

      Still, it can be nice to have friends who make a few accommodations for you when you're a new mom. You feel tired, overwhelmed, and lonely, and I've been grateful to my few friends who've really stuck by me through these first few months. I've tried really hard to maintain my old partay lifestyle. I've shown up at bars at midnight, nursing infant in tow. But man have I ever appreciated the friends who said, "Listen, I really want to see you! I'll come over in the afternoon and bring snacks. Don't clean your house." Then they've talked happily over a screaming baby, given me a hug, and listened to whatever boring child rearing news I have, without accusing me of "putting my personality on hold"–which, Lizzy, is a pretty hurtful thing to say about your friends.

      Anyway, those kind of friends you keep for a lifetime. I hope you have those kind of friends.

      1 agrees
  8. The DAY before I found out I was pregnant, I told my sister that I was NEVER having kids because I was too selfish. I liked picking up and leaving whenever I wanted. I wanted to have people over my house after midnight and not worry about waking a baby if things got rowdy. I wanted to spend my money on ME and not a baby. I wanted to be able to sleep in for the rest of my life. I wanted to live the life of a childless married couple. The next day, I was eating sushi and I didn't even make it out of the restaurant before I was in the bathroom throwing up. I got to the car and it dawned on me. I was LATE! I told my husband and he just said "Candice, you're pregnant. I know you are." I went and bought testS because I wanted to prove to him he was wrong. He wasn't. I am pro-choice, but it never even entered in my brain to abort. I prepared for the worst. I cried, daily. I wasn't ready to be a mother. I was only 26! I can barely get myself out of bed and take care of me. How was I going to take care of a baby?! I called my mom and told her and she thought I was joking. Then I started crying and she knew I was being serious. Then I called my sister, and she told me "well, since you're telling me, I guess you're done being selfish?" We both laughed. Then, I started planning for the birth of my baby. It was going to happen whether I wanted it to or not. Fast forward to today, the child I never wanted….I can't live without. She's my world. She's 5 and her sister is 3. Yeah, there was another HOLY SHIT, I'M PREGNANT AGAIN?!?!?!?! scenario. That's it though, I got my tubes tied. My kids are my world. Sure, there are days when I just want my freedom back, but it's only a day (here and there). I wouldn't change it for anything. The people I told I would never have kids, minus my sister, have never even said peep about it. They were so happy that I was bringing a new life into this world, either they forgot or just didn't want to bring it up. I hope it's the same way for the OP, because punching the I told you so's in the face while pregnant might not be a good move (wait til you've had the baby ;))

    8 agree
    • Punching is best done while pregnant. They'll feel like they can't hit you back! Unless you're one of those people who believes in fighting fair and all that jazz :-P*

      *emoticon used to emphasize the jesting tone of this comment

      5 agree
    • Thank you – this is how I currently feel still being selfish but on the edge of wanting that baby maybe. I know they must be a good thing or people would stop having them!

      1 agrees
  9. I think that we do a huge disservice to women when we expect that their reaction to pregnancy must resemble something full of sunshine and miracles. It's even more troublesome when you want to process the (normal) feelings of doubt and frustration and someone tells you, "You should be thankful do you know how many women would LOVE to be complaining about this." Grr.

    I think you should find someone who recognizes the "gloom and doom" for what it is…processing. Good luck!!

    18 agree
    • Word. I got pregnant after trying (ie, being pregnant was what I wanted) but even I had that panic and depression period. Had another after the baby came, too. You can't make such a major change to your life without mourning the life you used to have, even if the new one is what you want.

      8 agree
    • I have friends who have said exactly that because they are having issues getting pregnant.
      If we get there, I am totally going to block them from seeing anything pregnancy related on Facebook, because they all bitch when anyone complains that pregnancy isn't that great – apparently no-one should make these complaints because it might upset someone who wishes they were in your shoes…
      Gah.
      I've not had a baby, but I know pregnancy is just not easy for some people.

  10. Sweet monkeys, thanks for asking this. I'm not pregnant, but after 10+ years of ADAMANTLY saying I didn't want a kid, it dawned on me a few weeks ago that I maybe sorta kinda do. Husband and I joke that we'll have to tell people "it was unexpected", since the realization itself was, but other than that we have no idea what to say if it happens.

    5 agree
    • I've been adamantly child-free for a while, but in a sitting-on-the-fence way. I haven't said no forever, just no for now. Except the outside world sees the no, not the "for now".

      I dont want to have to lie and pretend it was an oops if its not. I know I was an oops and that caused all sorts of mental issues for me as a young adult. But once you tell one person it was an oops, you have to tell everyone the same story…

  11. As someone who is currently pregnant with a baby that I want and planned for – I feel you.

    As I got that positive test back, the panic set it. And while it's lifted slightly, and continues to lift slightly with every milestone, it's STILL THERE.

    The first time I hung out with my childless friends after my pregnancy was made public, I spend the whole next day crying and mourning the life I've always known. I keep trying to reassure myself that this is OK and normal, but since it's my first, I haven't been on the OTHER SIDE of pregnancy yet.

    The other commenters are already reassuring me, saying that they can't even remember life before their kids. But it's hard, yanno? To try to imagine that endgame when you have NO IDEA what you're in for.
    (I'm rambling…)

    6 agree
    • It really is like anything else in life. You make adjustments, and eventually they feel normal.

      I'm pregnant with my second right now, and I'm STILL freaking out about how much life is going to change with one more kid in the mix. And I worked as a preschool aide before having my daughter. It's still intimidating because no matter how much or how little experience you have, every baby and every family is different. So there is nothing wrong with freaking out a bit (or a lot, I'll confess to a lot). There are things I miss from being child free, and there are things I will miss about only having one baby. The trade off is there are (And will be) lots of other things that I get to experience with kids than I wouldn't/didn't without them.

      1 agrees
  12. I agree with other commenters… Most people probably won't mention that you talked about never wanting a kid because they are too excited that you're having one. Try not to build it up too much in your mind and just announce it in a way that feels authentic to you. πŸ™‚

    2 agree
  13. My husband and I decided early in our marriage that we wanted kids. But, I also felt that our plans for a family were nobody else's business so (at my behest) we told people for years that we weren't interested in having kids. When we did start trying it became apparent that we had fertility problems so it was easier to keep up the facade with the world at large that we still weren't planning a family. I personally found it easier to go through fertility treatments in relative anonymity with only close family and friends in on our secret. When we finally achieved our pregnancy (through IVF) and told people our news, very few even remembered that we'd said no kids. To those that did question us we just smiled and told them the truth that we had been lying for years! It all worked out very well for us in the end. We now have a beautiful 5-month-old daughter and are planning on making new siblings for her next year.

    2 agree
  14. I wish I had of read this when I was pregnant with little V! I too also said I NEVER wanted children and was also always told "you just wait" which annoyed me to death. I just decided one day that my feelings had changed and my boyfriend of many years was on board so we tried (and succeeded quickly) to get pregnant. My problem was everyone assuming that it was an accident! I still get comments from people to this day about always having said I didn't want children and it's just as annoying as being told I'd change my mind.

    2 agree
  15. I spent yrs proclaiming I never wanted to get married… But then one morning I decided I don't want to just live with my partner and get pregnant out of wedlock at some point. on my mom's side of the family i am one of two cousins who got married first before having a child. I didn't want to be like the other 22 cousins who had kids, then got married because family pressure told them to.
    I had plenty of "I told you so's" being shoved in my face but I just told them why I married him. Nothing fuzzy and romantic about it. He and I just didn't want to get pregnant then get married. We knew we wanted kids together so that was inevitable, so we found marriage inevitable too. They kind of backed off at that point.
    What sucked next was when everyone was hounding us to get pregnant we shared that a doctor had told us it might be difficult to conceive. We were told to wait a yr before we started to worry (although we weren't trying to get pregnant anytime soon, i just found it unusual that at 23 I still only got 2-3 periods a yr and had mentioned that to my dr asking if it would pose any problems later)
    When we announced we were pregnant only 6 months after our wedding we heard the "I told you so's" again. Really annoying. I think people just like thinking they are "right".
    Sigh. No idea how to really shut them up though.

  16. Make a video announcing it with Lyrics Born's "I Changed My Mind"… πŸ˜€

    And then include a message expressing exactly what you said here!

    1 agrees
  17. Fuck 'em! You're the one living your life. Let them be smug all they want.

    10 agree
  18. Okay, this is going to sound crazy, but hear me out. What if you didn't tell anyone you were pregnant, then when you have your baby, pretend you had no idea at all that you were ever pregnant, and submit your story to I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant.
    Ha ha ha. Now that I've made that silly suggestion, everything else will hopefully sound like a much better idea.
    (Disclaimer: I don't mean these comments to be offensive to anyone who seriously did not know they were pregnant until they went into labor. I have a feeling there's going to be someone here that's had that experience and is going to think I'm calling them personally ridiculous. I'm not. I'm calling the idea of pretending you didn't know you were pregnant ridiculous.)

    5 agree
  19. I hate "I told you so"s because they're generally a result of the person having been obnoxious about YOUR thoughts and feelings in the first place.

    I'm not even sure if it's possible to truly escape the "I told you so"s. Those types of people tend to find something or other to target. A day after having my 1st child, I had people asking me when we were planning a 2nd. And I'm like, no way, no how. And I keep getting the whole, "Oh, you'll change your mind" crap. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. But it's not their place to tell me what I'm going to do.

    So yeah, I get the frustration. Hopefully, they'll just congratulate you and be excited for you because they "knew" it was going to happen anyway, instead of rubbing the "I told you so"s in your face.

    At any rate, I just wanted to throw in my support and wish you the best of luck. I was terrified with my first up until about 3 days after I had her. But then things settled down and now we just do our mother-daughter thing as best as we can. And it feels right.

    • "it's not their place to tell me what I'm going to do."

      MUST REMEMBER THIS.

      And you know what? I think you can get away with telling them its not their business, too.

  20. I honestly feel the same way even pregnant with number 2, although in the past 3 years I've discovered its not that i don't want kids, i just dont want to become the stereotypical mom. I still don't particularly like kids ( apart from my own), in fact i find them annoying and obnoxious ( I've felt that way since i was 9 or ten) any way with baby number one my husband told everyone, he was super excited, i begged him not to tell anyone, it almost felt like a dirty little secret to me; with out his encouragement i probably would have ignored the whole situation ( more because i was embarrassed because i had so adamantly not wanted kids and then here i am the first of my friends to have them) with number two i literally didn't say a word to people outside of my family until it was completely obvious that i was pregnant and not just putting on weight. Like i said before it really comes down to not liking other people's kids or those annoying women who dedicate every breathing second to being the perfect, trendy tv. mom, its like they've been replaced by a robot…. eww.

    3 agree
    • I don't really like kids either! ha! I rarely admit that to anyone because I LOVE my kid.

      1 agrees
  21. The original poster mentioned something about the child pssibley being sick, and this seems to add to her anxiety about telling people. Or maybe I'm reading it wrong and she WAS worried about a problem, then switched gears when she learned there wasn't a problem? I don't have a lot of advice about that part, except maybe don't tell everyone about the potential problem. You might end up having to talk about it a LOT more than you need or want to.

    2 agree
  22. If it helps any, I was firmly in the No-Babies category before my first pregnancy. When I announced it, I was delightfully surprised by how supportive and excited most people were. There were a few who were really taken aback and snarky about it, but after 6+ years, I have realized that those people were not supportive in most situations and they have drifted from my life.

  23. Well I'm not pregnant yet but we are trying and I am in the same boat as I have spent a very long time saying I don't want children – and with my ex, yeah thank god I didn't! But with my husband, I totally do, but yes am really scared about potential 'ooh we told you so' and 'ah so you've decided to be a 'normal' woman then' or other crap. or people telling me how my life will change or my personality will change etc.

    My plan – so if it helps is: If anyone trots out some rubbish as illustrated above, I am going to say:
    "Do you feel that saying that is going to make me feel good or are you just trying to inflict your personal baggage upon me? Either way, I don't appreciate your comments, so stop". I appreciate this is the blunt version, but honestly I think that's going to be the most polite thing I will be able to do – as otherwise like the OP I may well start feeling that I want to start with the punching!

    2 agree
  24. I always knew I wanted a child and even thought I'd welcome an "oops" pregnancy. Well, I got that oops pregnancy and I will never forget screaming my partner's name from the other room whilst holding the positive pregnancy test. He had to scoop me off the floor after I dropped to my knees saying "I don't want this, I don't want this" over and over. Yes, quite the drama-queen. We both decided it was a happy accident and told people so but the comments about our shotgun wedding and unplanned baby still stung a little. But ya know, life is messy. Anyone who can't understand that shit happens, hearts change minds and paths become redirected obviously hasn't had much experience living. Oh, and that "holy crap, what have I done?" feeling doesn't fade after your child is born. Sometimes I look at my sleeping daughter and feel the floor fall out from under me with the realization that her whole life's happiness is wrapped up in me. No pressure πŸ˜‰

    1 agrees
  25. I once asked my parents why they waited so long (10 years after marriage) to have kids. I got an answer that I never expected: "We never wanted kids". It was a weird feeling but I understand… They had abusive parents and a hard family life. Considering what they went through as kids, they did a great job raising my sister and I.

    I'm now pregnant with my 4th unplanned pregnancy with my husband. There are days when i think to myself "i can't do this" But my kids are my life and I love them to pieces. Also, we still have friends over late and go out all the time. We just make our kids part of it.

    When we told people about this pregnancy they looked at us like we are crazy! 4 kids seems to be socially unacceptable. Ultimately, i know how certain individuals feel but it rarely impacts my life. Be strong for you and your family. And every feeling you are having is normal. Best of luck!

  26. When I told people, there wasn't a single smug face the whole time. Though with my closer friends there were a few people who felt it was their duty to bring it up. The convos with those few went,
    "But I thought you didn't want–"
    "Yup. I'm still not sure, but, I am pretty excited!"

    By and large people *get* that babies are nerve-wracking, no matter where on the baby love/baby hate scale you landed before getting pregnant. I'm sure they'll be gentle and if they're not… well, they also will feel like jerks if they make a pregnant lady cry, so there's always that.

  27. While I was never adamant about not having kids, I certainly wasn't dead set on them either. And I can totally relate to your freaking out and thinking about the reality of what having a baby- and a child- means. I recently posted on fb that I was excited about becoming a parent for the first time in my pregnancy (At 6.5 months). Many people said things like, "I didn't know you were sad about having a kid", and "Don't worry, you'll be a great parent." Um, yeah, I never said I would be a bad parent and I'm not sad about having a kid!

    The point is, I can relate to what I see as your realistic view of bringing a new life into the world. It is going to be really freaking hard and a huge shift in life! And it's healthy to be intimidated by that- any sane and reasonable person should be.

    I think I dealt with it by 1) not talking about it a lot; 2) talking about how excited my husband is, and 3) being honest with those I felt comfortable with- yes, it will be exciting but it's a huge change and there's a lot to think about.

    Good for you for being honest with yourself. I think your reactions are completely normal and realistic.

  28. If it makes you feel better, when my friends who SWORE they would not have kids announced pregnancies, I LOST MY MIND WITH HAPPINESS. Not in a "I told you" way but in a "Oh my GOODDDDDDDD I always thought you would make the best mom in the whole universe, half because it wasn't your whole universe, and now you are pregnant and I am so happy that my head is exploding, I love you I love you I love you."

    For the record, they were still in the ambivalent place, and apparently me sort of loosing your mind and screaming about what an amazing mother they are going to be… was nice.

    So it might be awesome.

    PS I am not a self editor. So I just say that sort of thing, regardless if it's the scripted response. It worked out.

    3 agree
  29. Even though I planned to get pregnant, it wasn't just rainbows and sunshine and baby shoes, it was a big existential crisis. I found that no matter what I tried, NO ONE EVER GOT IT. I found that most people who ask "Are you excited?" are like those who ask "How are you?" but don't really want to hear the answer. I just saved the serious talk for those who really cared.

  30. Thank you for starting this conversation! I very much do not want to be pregnant, and my husband and I have told everyone we know that we are planning to adopt in the future. I am also very vocal about how much I love Natural Family Planning and how it has helped us to successfully avoid pregnancy for the past three years. It occurred to me recently how mortified I would be if I were to ever accidentally get pregnant. So it's helpful to know that, if that were ever to happen, I would not be alone in wanting to slap everyone who said to me "I told you so" and tell them to mind their own business, since I would be very upset about being pregnant in the first place.

  31. Look, it's a well-kept secret that a lot of pregnant ladies, a lot of the time, want their kids JUST ENOUGH not to actually abort them since they're actually alive in there. But half of the days of my pregnancy, if you had offered me the chance of going back in time and not getting pregnant instead, I would have taken it.

    In fact, now that I'm caring for and loving my beautiful son, I'd still take that chance at least in some moments. Nobody wants to be a parent every second.

    I think it sucks that I can't admit that more.

    11 agree
  32. My parents told everyone they hated kids for years until I came along. They then told all the 'I-told-you-so's that they'd only said that to shut them up about asking when they were going to have kids. And they still hate everyone elses kids πŸ˜‰

    6 agree
  33. I was not excited about this unplanned pregnancy. In fact, I spent a lot of time being upset and angry about it. Michelle makes an excellent point. I loved my baby enough not to abort her, but I didn't really feel anything past that. Now I'm 37 weeks and I've only just recently started getting excited about her. In fact, my mother in law is convinced I'm not going to be a good mom because I've spent all this time BEING HONEST ABOUT MY FEELINGS.

    I don't love my baby yet.
    I don't think it's the most OMG AMAZEBALLS thing in the whole world.
    I don't jump up and down at the thought of baby clothes.

    Maybe I will when she gets here, but really, honestly, I don't like being pregnant.

    9 agree
  34. I actually started my blog partially for this reason. Until I met my partner I'd been vocally childfree. A lot of my friends live far and I hadn't explained my change of heart. When we made the *official* Facebook announcement I included a link to my blog where I'd written more on the subject and could explain my feelings in a more nuanced way that felt more like an addendum to the announcement.

    Depends how much you're willing to share publicly of course, but I found it really helpful.

    1 agrees
  35. I am in the exact same boat. I was pretty…ok…loudly vocal about me and the husband being child-free. And now, suddenly, BABY. Honestly? I just said it. Most people didn't have the guts to come up and go "OMG! I thought you were all about no babies!", and the few that did got a very long look and then I just walked away. 'cause, frankly, it isn't any of their dang business how and when or what made you "change your mind"!

  36. Me and husband have never been vocal about wanting kids, so I think this surprise pregnancy has thrown up a few 'Huh?'remarks. On the whole, people have been happy for us though. Some people though, just love 'I told you so's and I'm not sure you can avoid it, but certainly try to ignore them. I have had strange comments from a friend who has the idea that I'm less emotionally invested in my baby than someone who has planned their pregnancy. I found this hurtful and started to feel wary about mentioning anything that sounded like I was complaining about pregnancy, before coming to the realisation that I have nothing to prove to this woman, which has been quite liberating. I know how much I love our baby, and that's what matters.
    Perhaps this could be the way to go when telling people about your pregnancy?
    As other posters have said, anyone genuinely happy for you won't waste time with making you justify yourself or make you worry about expressing any feelings of ambivalence. The 'I told you so'-ers just don't need to know.
    In response to Jessica, we've also been using Natural Family Planning for 6 out of our 9 years together and been successful. Until last summer, that is! I've been pretty outspoken in my defense of NFP in the past, and to anybody who's mentioned this 'failure' I've just explained that we knew the risks when we chose that form of contraception and were okay with that as a committed couple. Just want to say, if you ever did get unexpectedly pregnant, don't let anyone make you feel ashamed to have not been using a more 'fail-safe' method. I don't think people would be half as judgemental about a split condom or missed pill sometimes. Sorry to go a bit off-topic!

  37. I am in a similar situation. I have always wanted children but my husband has always been against becoming a father until a couple of years ago when we had a big "where is this relationship going?" talk. I made it clear i wasn't going through life without becoming a mother. He decided to stick around, we got married & we are now 12 and a bit weeks pregnant with our first baby. Today we are going to tell his family the news and i'm a little bit nervous about how they'll react. He has ended 2 long term relationships in the past because of the baby issue & i know his family will bring this up.

  38. I was raised catholic, and always expected I'd have kids – four or five, I thought, before I'd had any. I had Surprise Kid#1 when I was 19, & Surprise kid#2 when I was 21, both to a bad husband (that I also thought I had to stay with, catholic thing again)I realised that while I loved my sons to bits n pieces, I HATED being a parent, and never EVER wanted ANY more kids (probably due in no small part to the lack of a supportive partner). This I was very vocal about.

    Fast forward 4 yrs after son#2's birth, and I have divorced, and am engaged to fabulous, CHILDLESS fiance – who desperately wants a biological child of his own. I weighed up that he was such a very good dad to my 2 boys, &such a loving, supportive partner to me, that he deserved support from me in having a baby of his own…and chose to get pregnant, one last time, for him.
    Despite PLANNING this pregnancy, I am hating it (being pregnant) and can totally relate to the whole 'loving the baby just enough not to abort her' thing – and am having trouble bonding (30wks pregnant today) and am struggling with the "ah, we knew you'd have more" vibes. I've realised that I'm oversensitive to the "I told you so" phenomenon, and percieve it to happen more/be worse than it actually is, though. Most people are very supportive of how hard it is for me to be pregnant again.
    The hardest thing to deal with (from other people) is them not understanding that I do not enjoy this, and am not really looking forward to the baby, and feel nervous and conflicted and regularly upset during this process. When people hear the baby is a girl, they expect me to be over the moon – and honestly, I don't know what I think – I never meant to have a daughter! I have sons, and only two. I don't know where she belongs, and I feel guilty that she isn't wildly joyously anticipated by her mother. I don't know if I even WANT a "daughter"…why am I supposed to want to have female offspring, and expected to be so much happier that I am having her, because she is a girl?

    My best advice is, go inside yourself and just be guided from there. I feel the worst when I try and think of outside feelings/influences. I feel most secure when I go "fuck 'em" and concentrate on my baby, however I wish to.

    1 agrees
    • I have to thank all of you ladies who posted about feeling ambivalent and upset about their pregnancies even though they were planned. I am a little over 10 weeks and I am absolutely terrified about the whole thing. All I can think of is how I have NO IDEA how to take care of a baby, how horrible labor and birth are going to be and how life as I know it with my husband is never going to be the same again. I am definitely mourning the loss of my current life and I feel horribly guilty about it! I so want to feel happy about it so that everyone doesn't think I'm some kind of weirdo or look at me with disappointment in their eyes.

      Unfortunately my parents are very upset with my reaction to my pregnancy so far. I don't want to talk about baby names, or talk about decorating ideas or ooh and ahh over baby magazines! I just want to forget that it's happening! And being of "advanced maternal age" at 40 years old, and being terrified of hospitals and testing, I am facing a long road of invasive tests and blood work. I know I could turn down the more invasive tests, but I want to know way in advance if there is anything wrong.

      It's a real shame that those of us who were on the fence about having children and found ourselves pregnant aren't allowed to talk about how nerve wracking or terrifying the prospect of becoming a parent is! We are all expected to dance a jig and scream about how happy we are and never say anything bad about it.

      I applaud all of you ladies who had the courage to tell the truth about how you really feel and know that you are most definitely not alone!

      1 agrees
      • It is nerve wracking, I admit it, it's hard work too. I had an oops pregnancy at the age of 44 and was considered a geriatric pregnancy. They put me thru every test, but I tried to view it as an experiment and tried to see the coolness of all the medical tests and how they worked and what they meant. I didn't dwell on needles, and such, most of it wasn't terribly invasive. I also got gestational diabetes and even that I tried to see as an interesting medical experiment.
        Now, 15 months after Ian was born, I can say it was that hard, sleep deprivation was the worst part, but the first year of motherhood has flown by and now this child is walking and talking and is funny as can be and it is getting easier. Take your time, mourn the losses you feel, then find your boot straps and pull your chin off the floor. You can still have a social life, it just takes planning, my child has been to steam punk world Faire twice, wicked, Pennsic , which is two weeks of Renn camping,and a lot of car trips and weekend parties. It's just a bit different. You can still be you and have a child. I also work full time as a flight attendant and as a landlord and I do this as a single Mom without family nearby. So, it can be done.

        2 agree
  39. I had 44 years of not wanting babies and was adamant about it. Then one day in June I realized I was 12 weeks pregnant and I was perfectly ok with it, I didn't allow myself to get excited until after all the testing to see if he was healthy. So a few weeks before turning 45, I had a beautiful baby boy and I am a proud proud Mama. The funny thing is, no one has given me a hard time or even teased me about not wanting babies….and you know what, now I am a huge fan of babies, I think I can even like pink now…it's funny how life throws things at you and you either change your thinking, give something new a try or you could possibly lose out on an awesome experience. Just enjoy and stop judging yourself for loving the way life has changed for you and understand anyone who gives you a hard time is probably facing their own fears of parenting.

  40. I put a picture of my sonogram on the christmas card I sent out, and I wrote, "Happy Holidays, from Keven, Liset, and Wee Little Baby!" I know it shocked a lot of people since I was only 20 at the time, and unmarried, and still in college. But it seemed a good way to break the news! Plus, it caused everyone to call my baby bump "Wee Little Baby" since she was so tiny! : )

  41. A wonderful book on this subject is Of Woman Born by Adrienne Rich. She did the whole suburban housewife thing in the fifties before coming to terms with her homosexuality, finally leaving her husband and becoming an advocate and amazing poet. In this book, she examines the mother culture, and the false hypothesis that all women should be natural mothers by dint of their biology. Very helpful to know that others have doubts and fears too, and that what's "natural" for some is not at all for others.

  42. I spent a long time being on the fence about having kids — I hadn't decided yet if I did or didn't want them so it wasn't anything I talked about with anyone. One day something did switch in me that made me jump to the side of the fence that was "yes i want kids". It's only been the last few years where I've actually been "want right now" however I keep holding back because my husband and I rent and don't have a lot of cash and I keep thinking "we should wait until [something happens and we're millionaures etc]" but then I get sad because I don't have kids yet and I see so many cool kid things I want to do/see/etc. We're still decdiing if we should be saving up for a house or use that money towards kids which is our main decision we're coming up against now but I'm getting closer to "have kids now" because I have the rest of my life to buy a house and only ~10 years to still be able to have a child. I feel happy when I think of having a kid now (though then I do stress about being stuck renting but again, I tell myself it won't be forever in the end).

    I was discussing this with my mum who is visiting me at the moment and she's pushing that we should be saving for a house. I mentioned to her that we've been thinking of having kids because having the extra cash instead of a house deposit would be more useful than a hosue with no spare cash at all and she just LAUGHED. "I can't imagine you having kids!!" and "You've never been around kids!" and "You don't even like kids!!". The thing is though – I don't like OTHER PEOPLE'S kids. I like animals but I've noticed with myself I'm never really comfortable around pets that aren't mine (eg. i can't cuddle them and flip them around and treat them the same as my own pets because I have different rules to what's acceptable than what other people do if that makes sense, and I feel it's the same way I feel with kids. I can be more open with *my* kids than I can with someone else's but I can't do much abotu that when I don't hav ekids of my own to prove it with…).

    I feel that when I am pregnant, I'm going to get the same attitude from people like I did when I got married because I'm not into making a big spectacle of things. We got married at a registry office (all i wanted was the piece of paper that said YOU ARE MARRIED,not the overpriced party that most people have) and the government officer that took our details and certificate and ID stuff actually asked me "Do you want to get married or is he forcing you?!" in a serious tone as if she was worried, because I wasn't the excitable gushing bride most other women are and it annoyed me. I'm going to be the same when I'm pregnant. I don't need to be like a teenage girl drooling and fainting over [hot famous guy of the moment] to show that I'm happy and/or want the pregnancy.

    1 agrees
  43. Embrace it – say you guys were right so you have bet them to saying I told you so…and say youre really excited about it! Then no-one can rain on your parade. Congrats by the way!

    1 agrees
  44. Good luck and try not to stress too much. I felt very much the same. I spent ten years saying it was wrong to have a biological child in most cases and done for selfish reasons. Now here I am pregnant. I had nightmares about telling people for weeks and went through unbelievable emotional turmoil trying to come to terms with my own self inflicted guilt. When I did finally tell the closest of friends they were excited and supportive. I suppose they wouldn't be real friends otherwise. I have yet to make the everyone announcement and am also not sure the best way to do it. I do believe though that the stress leading up to it is usually worse than what happens after. Be brave and don't take any shit. πŸ™‚

  45. i'm pregnant and a new addition to a social group that does not embrace children. a couple of the men have already been snipped, and the other women all swear they neither want nor even like kids. yeah… hanging out with them is gonna be reallll fun in 4 months (if we're ever invited again).

    but anyway, if any one of them were to announce that she were pregnant, "I told you so" would be the last thing out of my mouth, even if i thought it. what kind of a crappy thing would that be to say? i'd ask if she were keeping it, i'd ask how she was feeling about it, i'd ask how her SO was feeling about it, and i'd offer up any advice i have from my own current experience if she wanted it. i'd be supportive but i wouldn't snicker. pregnancy isn't always planned or asked for. sometimes it just happens and you cant "i told you so" to someone for that.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No-drama comment policy

Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy.