The Reason I Posted ThisMy first child was unplanned. I was in my early 20s. My husband was excited beyond belief, but I was working on my DVM (Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine) at the time. The first people I told were my friends who were also vet students. Everyone had pretty much the same reaction, “You can’t take our schedule and have a kid!” My instructors told me that I couldn’t do the labs while pregnant so I would have to take time off. After an appeal, I manage to get that lifted, but I did end up dropping out due to pregnancy related complications.
After my friends and instructors, I was feeling REALLY down in the dumps. I told a couple of people I worked with and this one old lady said to me, “Congratulations!” I had heard so much negativity that I was considering abortion despite my husband’s wishes. That one word made me feel so wonderful. It was so unexpected. Then as my pregnancy progressed I heard more and more congratulations!
When I told my parents, my dad just looked at me and said, “shit!” My mom said, “So, what do you plan on doing now,” (meaning abortion or having the baby). After I said, “Have the baby.” Mom let it soak in for a while, but she later congratulated me also.
I will never forget my parent’s reaction. It hurt really badly, but in mom’s defense I had prior to this that I never wanted to have children. Ever. Dad’s reaction was the most painful, but he later became a pretty good granddad.
The thing I will remember most is the first little old lady who said, “Congratulations!” I remember saying, “What?” and explaining how I had less than two years before becoming a doctor and how this completely derailed my plans. She said to me, “Being a mother is the hardest and best job you will ever have. Every child is a blessing. My husband and I never had children, but we spent our entire lives wanting one.” She was right. I never did finish my DVM, but I do have some wonderful children.
I just wonder if I should tell a teenager Congratulations. Most of me says YES, but then I wonder what message that will send my daughter since I am always on her about taking her pill AND using condoms. I don’t want her to realize what a blessing children are just yet! I worry she might be like, "Damn, maybe I should have a baby!"