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I don’t want this baby. That was my thought as I sat on my bed crying. After another night of nausea coupled with pregnancy-induced insomnia, I knew that getting pregnant had been a mistake. But there was nothing I could do about it now. Just suffer from pregnancy difficulties.

My husband knew that pregnancy was difficult for me, but I’m not sure he knew how much. After all, it was me who suggested having our first two close together. Our daughter Emma would only be 16 months when this second baby was born. “And why not?” I had thought at the time. We both loved being parents, and wanted a lot of kids. But now that this pregnancy was a reality, I didn’t want it anymore.

However, I couldn’t escape my emotions. Everyday a battle would wage in my head. It went something like this:

I don’t want this baby.

That’s not true. I do want it.

I don’t want this baby.

But I chose to get pregnant.

I don’t want this baby.

I’m sure everything will be fine.

Why can’t I just be happy about it?

And so on, and so on, day after day, for about the next year and a half. And almost every day I cried because I felt guilty. I questioned myself and felt ashamed. What kind of mother was I if I didn’t want my baby? Not a good one, I thought. Should I tell my husband how I feel? What if he agrees I’m not a good mother? Do I ever deserve this baby?

I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop the thoughts, or the guilt, or worry, or shame. They just kept coming, beating me down. And after those thoughts would come another question: Is there any hope here? I certainly couldn’t see it if there was.

It was sometime in the latter half of my pregnancy I began to question myself. I mean, really question myself, in a good way. Why did I actually feel this way? What was really going on? Was it my baby I didn’t want, or was there something deeper? I thought and I prayed, and to my huge relief, I realized there was something else.

Circumstances. That’s what it was. That’s what was weighing me down, what I couldn’t fight off. I realized it wasn’t my baby I didn’t want, it was the profound exhaustion that came with my pregnancy difficulties. It wasn’t my baby I couldn’t stand, it was the crippling nausea I felt. It wasn’t my baby I dreaded, but the post-partum depression I knew I would feel after delivery. And most of all, it wasn’t my baby I hated, but the poverty my husband and I found ourselves in at the moment.

My husband lost his job during the housing crisis that hit in 2008. I had been pregnant with our first baby. And though he was starting his own business, it wasn’t up and running yet, so money was extremely tight. We struggled with buying food, paying the gas bill, making the house payment, everything. And I felt like I was drowning.

But through my circumstances, God began to show me that circumstances is just what they were. Not permanent. Eventually, my pregnancy would end. No more nausea, profound exhaustion, insomnia, heartburn, and so on. Eventually, my daughter would grow up, my post-partum depression would pass. And with hard work, my husband’s business would take off. Poverty would be a thing of the past. So, for now, I had to weather through it.

But I had hope. Hope that: 1) these circumstances I found myself in would pass, and 2) the daughter I would hold in my arms in a few weeks wasn’t temporary. Instead of all the negatives, I would have a beautiful baby girl who would grow up to laugh, smile, love, and bring an unmeasurable amount of joy to my life.

So, I had thought it was my baby I hadn’t wanted. It turned out though, to be something completely different – circumstances. And now, 8 years later, there’s nothing I regret.

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