I feel a lot of guilt about a lot of things these days.
I feel guilty that I’ve prioritised my career and hundreds of other people’s children for the past decade. And now I want to put my own future children first, they’re not happening.
I feel guilty that I took it for granted that the moment I ‘decided’ to have children, I would fall pregnant immediately. I find how naive I used to be absolutely ridiculous.
I feel guilty that I’ve taken the morning-after-pill twice without any qualms. Once when I was at uni 12 years ago and I wasn’t careful enough with my fuck-buddy. And with him being the captain of the football team he was probably putting it about with plenty of other girls too, so it also exposed me to STIs which I’m not proud of (fortunately I never caught anything). And the other time was a few years into my relationship with Dave and I was on antibiotics as well as the pill. We’d stopped using condoms a long time ago and I had a sudden panic that I was going to fall pregnant from that ‘one time’ we had sex during my 7 day course of antibiotics. Oh, if only I knew it wasn’t that easy to fall pregnant at all!
I feel guilty that I told Dave I would have no qualms about having an abortion if I fell pregnant before I was ready or when it wasn’t the ‘right time’. He looked crestfallen, and I wasn’t bothered. I was adamant. I feel like such a heartless bitch now. But I was so career-orientated and a control freak that things could only happen if I had planned them. A baby that was not planned was not on my agenda. We needed secure jobs, a mortgage, and to be married. Once those things were in place, THEN I would allow a baby into my life. Sigh.
I feel guilty that I used to be dismissive of miscarriages before I started trying to conceive (please don’t hate me). I stupidly thought that it wasn’t a ‘proper’ baby before 12 weeks – how could you grieve for a bunch of cells? Don’t worry – I feel ashamed of myself for thinking it now. I feel my very, very early loss last year is punishment for my old feelings. The thought of having a miscarriage at 6+ weeks terrifies me. I can only apologise for my complete ignorance and lack of understanding.
I feel guilty for ever thinking that IVF was nature’s way of telling you you’re not meant to have kids. Again, I’m really finding the courage to talk about this taboo here. I’ve always had a scientific, logical and rational mind. I see things in black and white – with very limited shades of grey. I couldn’t understand people who were prepared to spend thousands of pounds and put jobs, homes and relationships on the line for a baby that wasn’t even guaranteed. Just let it go, I thought. But here I am in this situation. IVF may well be in our future. And I wish I could slap my old self, again for being so fucking ignorant. I get it now. Trust me, I get it.
I feel guilty that I’ve unfollowed certain people on Facebook so that their pregnancy/child-related posts don’t come up on my newsfeed. I’m still friends with them, but I don’t follow them anymore. That way I can choose when I go onto their profile and see what they’ve posted. I’ll throw the odd like out here and there but otherwise I’m being selfish. To protect my heart.
I feel guilty that I don’t often to respond to friends’ messages about their children straightaway. A good friend should reply immediately shouldn’t they? Not me. Sometimes I’ll be genuinely busy and not able to find a minute to message back. But other times I’ll have my period, or I’ve argued with Dave about sex, or just generally feeling low and shit. And that’s not a good time for me to read about your child. I don’t say that though. I feel guilty enough without being honest about why my replies aren’t 100% enthusiastic. But that doesn’t mean I want you to stop sending them. Just don’t be mad if I don’t get back to you for a while.
But mostly I feel guilty about making Dave wait 10 years to be a dad. I’ve always said that he would have been thrilled if I’d fallen pregnant a year into our relationship. Instead, I’ve made him wait. And now I’m ready, now I’m desperate to be a mum, I can’t make him a dad. I feel so unwomanly to not give him a baby. He’s chosen ME to be his wife, ME to be the mother of his children, and I’ve been unable to deliver that wish for him. It is the shittiest feeling you can have in a marriage. I am terrified that one day he will decide to knock up some other woman instead. I know he never would, because he loves me too much. But the fear is always there.
I feel that this guilt I have to carry around every day is my punishment for my past reckless behaviour and stupid opinions. I am so sorry for that.
I feel that I won’t be granted a baby until I’ve proven that I’ve repented for my sins.
But how many tears do I have to shed until I’ve proven that I AM worthy enough to be a mum?