Maybe to Baby: Two Wholly Unrelated Events That Made Me Ready to Become a Mother (Oh, Yeah, I Have Some News)

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This image will make slightly more sense by the end of the post

As this blog approaches its second anniversary, I have a confession about one of the early post themes I pursued. I interviewed friends with kids for “Maybe to Baby” about how they decided when to have children because I was concerned I’d never be ready to try to become a mother. While hearing their stories helped me realize you’re never completely prepared, it was actually two entirely separate occurrences that made me finally say, “OK. Let’s do this.” Preview: One is heartwarming; the other is fairly boneheaded.

My best friend Emily is pretty much Martha Stewart meets Jillian Michaels. She’s a domestic goddess, but she’s also tough as nails. She worked out as hard as her practitioner would allow her throughout her pregnancy and was in better shape than anyone I knew–expecting or otherwise. Despite a rough bout of morning sickness, she eschewed medicine, and wanted to give birth as naturally as possible. So when she learned she’d need a C-section, she was not happy about it.

Paul and I visited her in the hospital the day after her adorable son was born. And what I saw when the new mom and I took a walk around the birthing center halls shocked me. As Emily ambled, pain meds running through her system, she looked like she’d been cut in half at the midsection because, well, she had been. She was hunched over, walking as slowly as a geriatric patient. If memory serves, she was even dragging her IV pole along the corridor. This was the closest to helpless I had ever seen Emily in our 11-year-long friendship, and it was the exact state Emily feared being in most.

But guess what. She was so, so happy.

Through her pain, Emily gushed about how completely in love she was with her newborn, Grady. She admitted she didn’t think she’d be this consumed with her baby, and she said it was the most amazing feeling. If the Jillian Michaels side of Emily could reach that level of bliss in the condition she dreaded most, then maybe motherhood was so wonderful, I had to give it a try. (That’s the heartwarming story.)

Still, I wasn’t as strong as Emily, and the idea of delivery–whether through surgery or, gasp, my lady parts–scared me more than anything else in this world (and I’m scared of a lot of things). Embarrassing as it was, I had an intense fear of giving birth the way others fear large crowds, tight spaces, and flying. This was my phobia, and if Emily’s transformation couldn’t get me over it, what could?

An episode of New Girl, that’s what. (Prepare for the boneheaded story).

After learning from an ob-gyn friend that women have a finite number of eggs for fertilization that’s quickly dwindling in their 30s, single gal-pals Jess and Cece get tested to find out how many they have left. Jess has years of fertility ahead of her; CeCe, not so much.

Ohmmygod, I thought. What if I don’t have that many eggs left? Suddenly, the fear of not being able to reproduce became stronger than my fear of giving birth. And when my prescription for birth control pills ran out about two months later, Paul and I decided that I wouldn’t refill it.

That was nearly a year ago because merely deciding you want to get pregnant doesn’t make it so. I’ll save THAT for another post, but I thought you all should know that, surprise, I’m currently 13 weeks pregnant. We’re so excited to become parents. Now, if only this nausea would subside.

Moms and moms-to-be, what made you decide you were ready? If you’re not ready yet, do you think experiencing either of the above would get you there?

More Women Who Went from Maybe to Baby
Emily Knew the Time Is Never 100% Right for Having a Baby
Lauren Realized She Was Less “Not Ready” for a Baby
How Cynthia Decided She Was Ready for Motherhood

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  • marie

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! I decided I am ready to have a baby along with the realization that I want to spend my whole life with this particular person and went off birth control right after we got engaged. We are already married, still not pregnant, but I’m excited that we are trying and there is no rush. Congrats again!

    • mereditor

      Thanks for the congrats, Marie. That’s so exciting that you and your hubby are trying. And you’re so smart to enjoy it and not feel rushed.

      • marie

        Wow, it turned out that when I was writing this comment I was actually pregnant! Maybe I was waiting for you to announce your pregnancy to have some company since I’ve been following your blog for quite a while now :)))

        • mereditor

          No way! Congratulations–that’s amazing! I hope you feel well!

  • Canary

    Congrats!! I too have a phobia of giving birth. It sucks. I am waiting for my a-ha moment… I am glad that I can relate to you!

    • mereditor

      Thanks so much for your comment. Yeah, giving birth is still very, very scary to me, but as all my mom friends attest, it’s so worth going through. I’ll let you know if I agree in six months :) Your aha moment (or moments!) will come. And until then, life is exciting because you never know when that realization is going to hit you!