If I’m going to set the scene of when I found out I was going to have a beautiful baby boy, I was on Gili T island in Bali, staring out to the crystal blue ocean, watching the horse and carts go by and cooling myself off with a refreshing mocktail. I bet you’re thinking, wow, how idyllic, right?!
Well the reality is, it was ridiculously hot, I had one too many holiday cocktails the night before and I was counting the days on the calendar, coming to the realisation that I really needed to take that all-important test. I was walking around and around this island, which had no real roads or shops, having a mild panic attack trying to find a pharmacy!
The taboo subject I’m leading up to here, is that not all pregnancies are planned, and my son was indeed unplanned. I total jaw dropping surprise, but the best surprise. Of course, I was totally freaked out and had no idea if I was ready or capable of being a Mum, but I did know I felt instantly protective of this little human growing inside of me and knew he or she was going to be my future.
Some people may not think unplanned babies is a taboo subject because so many are a surprise, but society today has a funny way of making you feel like you should have known better. Even in this modern age, we are led to believe that all babies should be planned, when you are married and basically when you have all your shit together!
Well, I didn’t, my partner was living in New York, I was living in rented accommodation in London and my career was nowhere near where I wanted it to be. So, you can imagine how I felt when I started to tell people. It was like I needed to whisper it and I was preparing myself for the judgment which was to follow. It felt awkward telling people the news, no one really knew how to react, I just got this uneasy look. Of course, people are right to approach with caution if they think the pregnancy wasn’t planned, and once I told them I was happy the congratulations soon followed, although I’m pretty sure there was still some judgment going on! But the point I’m trying to make is, why should we feel afraid to say “yes, this baby was a surprise”? What is it about having a baby that was unintended that causes society to gasp?
I like to look at it as ‘surprise’ just means life knew what I needed before I even did. I may not be the perfect parent but who is? Doing the best you can by your child and whinging it is fine. My life is far more fulfilling than it has ever been, and I will never feel lonely because I am this little human’s whole world.
I hope more parents can openly say their babies were a surprise, without feeling like they have to hide it or make up some fairy tale story of it being the next step in their lives. If the parent is happy to tell you their news, let’s try and change our culture and attitude towards surprise babies.
Help raise awareness. Tell your story.