Postpartum anxiety, devastating prenatal diagnosis: What to expect when parenthood isn’t what you expected
The thing is, no one really knows what you should expect, when you’re expecting. More often than not, the things you experience as a parent are not what you expected. Sometimes they’re beautiful. Sometimes things are not so wonderful — Postpartum Anxiety. A devastating prenatal diagnosis. An abortion… So, what do you do when pregnancy or parenthood isn’t what you expected?
Last month, one of my best friends shared with our group of friends that she had an abortion. I was one of the few who supported her choice outright and stood up for her. During this same time, my husband and I started trying to conceive. We’ve just found out that we are already pregnant! How do I tell my best friend I’m pregnant, while still affirming that I support her and her decision to end her pregnancy?
On Tuesday, August 14th, at 1:00 p.m., I went into my OBGYN’s clinic to get myself checked out, and walked away two-and-a-half hours later with the biggest shock I have ever known: I was pregnant, and half of my pregnancy had already gone by. I had no symptoms, continued having a period every month, and never experienced any weight gain. But none the less, I was going to be a mother. And I had one night to decide if I was ready to change my life, forever.
We all come about our decision to parent in different ways. For some, it’s an instantaneous lightbulb moment. For others, it’s a slower process that meanders crazily, randomly, tumultuously as you explore your options, and I’m the person who can help you do so.
“Don’t look at the screen,” the doctor said as she turned it away. But I already had. I saw a little blob with leg and arm buds. And a flickering heartbeat.