When I got pregnant with my daughter, to say I was taken aback would be a bit of an understatement.
Though my husband and I are both aware enough to know what constitutes "trying" and what doesn't, we assumed that we would, after maybe a year or more of "trying," end up making some challenging decisions about fertility treatments. It was the experience that many of our friends and family had, and we came to unconsciously assume that making a baby was a difficult thing to do.
Not so, for us.
And so I thought there would be more time. More time to figure out what life with a baby would be like. More time to travel, to try for a promotion, to pay down debt. More time for quiet mornings in bed, more time for spontaneous road trips, more time.
More time to feel ready.
When we announced our impending familial growth to our friends and family, the congratulations and the you must be so happys and the this is so excitings flooded our ears, but until I was well into my third trimester, I couldn't hear them.
It's not that I didn't want a baby. We were "trying," after all. We had spent several years on the fence and finally decided that there would never be a clear answer for us. Our decision ended in more of a "might as well" than a "YES!"
I've come to find since that the feelings I had during my pregnancy and into the first years of my motherhood—the feelings that I didn't expect when I was expecting—were far more common among women than I realized. And they were not feelings that were isolated to women who had previously been ambivalent about having kids, as I was. These were feelings that most, if not all, the mothers I've since spoken to about my experience have had.