I was watching The Bold Type season 4 episode 14 when I got the urge to write on this. Let me give you a little background so you understand how this all began. Sutton had just gotten married to her lover, Richard, a wedding that we had all been waiting for. A few weeks after they had gotten married Sutton found out she was pregnant. They were very excited to be having a baby, I for one was ready to watch Richard play dad. They went in for their first ultrasound only to receive the bad news that there was no heartbeat. Sutton had miscarried. Soul crushing, I know.
Sutton went about her life like someone who had not just lost a bay. She was in search of the emotions, the pain, the hurt she was expected to feel but she had nothing. She went as far as taking on a job to style a baby boy in the hopes that she would finally break down and feel the “human emotions.” She did break down after but not for the reasons you would expect, she cried because she felt guilty for feeling relieved and happy about not having a baby. It was through this experience that she decided that she did not want to have children at all.
I related to Sutton so much, a few years back I had an abortion. The decision to terminate was hard because the voices in my head fought a lot but the strongest ones were true to me. Firstly, I knew in my heart I was not ready to be a mother, I could barely take care of myself. Secondly, I hated the idea of having that man in my life forever because of a child, he had done the most to me and I just could not see it happen. I remember sitting in that room and asking for forgiveness from God, I sat there explaining to him that I could not do this motherhood thing.
It was hard because I did not have support either, it was just me and my emotions. For some odd reason conversations around abortion kept popping up and I think the universe was communicating with me. I read so many stories from women who had made the same decision as mine and were happy. Some had gone ahead and had children later in life when they felt ready. For some that was enough experience for them to know they did not want children at all.
It took me a while to work around the emotions. I too found myself feeling guilty for not feeling pain, or hurt like I had lost something dear. I questioned what kind of a person I was to be filled with happiness instead of sorrow. I realized that I wanted to feel these things because that is what the world needs me to feel. I must gravel in pain and hate myself for this action. I must want to be a mother, that is why as a child I was bought baby dolls. Part of my aspirations was meant to include being a mother.
Months later, I talked myself into ‘baby fever,’ just so I could at least feel normal. My then-boyfriend bought into it and I convinced myself that I wanted to experience motherhood. Today I can safely say that I do not crave motherhood, I am starting to accept that this may not be a thing for me. I am also learning that there is nothing wrong with me not wanting to play this part, it doesn’t make me any less of a woman. In unpacking my feelings from that experience I have learnt that these expectations set on women by society are indeed unfair and heavy to deal with.
I wish we would allow women to just be, allow them to choose their path and make choices that make them happy. It’s been hard for me to have this conversation because of the fear of being judged for my choice, a choice that gave me a chance to become who I need to be. Forget this being my body, think about this as my life, the one that I am responsible for. The one I have to make choices for in order to be happy, the one I curate via my decisions and choices. Maybe one day I will change my mind, but right now it is a no for me. I hope this piece helps a woman drowning in guilt to remember that they are not wrong for choosing themselves. CIAO!