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This post was written in February of 2017, when I was pregnant with my first child, Graci. We hope you enjoy this content pulled from the archives, and be sure to tell me what you think in the comments below.
Telling People I Was Pregnant
When I announced my pregnancy in October, it was a surprise to everyone. We hadn’t been necesarily trying to have a baby (though my partner and I knew that was always our future plan).
Initially, I was little embarrassed to tell people that I was pregnant. The timing could have been better. I had recently quit my corporate job to pursue opening my own small business. And, my relationship with my boyfriend was less than a year old.
My entire life I had made responsible decisions, and now, to everyone else, it looked like I was on a spree of reckless decision-making. Sure, I knew differently, but others didn’t.
At first, I let this weigh me down. But you know what? The thing about getting pregnant is that once you get that positive test, it’s pretty much a done deal.
So, I adjusted my attitude. This was my life. This was my decision. And if I let myself get past what other’s may or may not be thinking, I was pretty excited about being a mom.
Pressures of Social Media
Over the last four and a half months, my boyfriend and I have had to make difficult decisions.
We decided that it wasn’t the right time to start the business.
We decided that I’d take this time to cultivate some personal projects and have the baby, then I’d go back to work again.
We decided that the best choice for our brand new family would be moving from Seattle, Washington to Las Vegas, Nevada where a large majority of his family lives.
One of the hardest things about living in a social world with Facebook and Instagram is that if you change your mind about your life decisions, you feel like you have to broadcast them to the world.
So in a short span, I announced to everyone I was leaving a dream company to open a doggy daycare. Then I was announcing to everyone I was having a baby. Then, I was announcing that the doggy daycare wasn’t happening anymore. And most recently, I announced that we were moving.
I’ve gone through periods of feeling deep embarrassment about the rollercoaster life I’ve been living. But you know what I am realizing? It’s no one else’s business.
How Being Pregnant Changed My Relationship With My Boyfriend
This baby has bonded my boyfriend and I in a really incredible way. It has given a greater purpose to our relationship and bond us together in way that we will never be able to change.
When things have gotten rough between the two of us, we have the baby’s best interests in mind. We know that we are responsible for giving this baby the very best that we can, and that makes making hard decisions a lot easier.
When it would have been easier to throw in the towel (which has always been my knee-jerk reaction to difficult situations with boys), we owe it to our baby to fight harder for our relationship.
How Being Pregnant Changed My Relationships With Family Members
It became clear that certain members of my family really wanted to be there to support my new little family very early in my pregnancy. Some people just wanted to stand on the sidelines and judge my decisions.
About a month after announcing our pregnancy, we were making plans for Thanksgiving with my family when drama arose. I was given a very sharp reality check about the dysfunctional relationships that exist within my family.
It was this fight that made me realize that I was going to have to draw firm boundaries to protect my child. The turmoil and drama that existed within my family was not going to affect my daughter.
Growing up, there was a ton of dysfunction in my family. Horrible arguments, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, threats of suicide, domestic violence and more. As the baby of the family, I saw it all and just dealt with it.
Suddenly, when I was pregnant, I decided enough was enough and I distanced myself from every person who brought anxiety or sadness into my life.
I wish that I could say that drawing boundary lines was easy.
But for the first time in my life, it wasn’t about me – it was for my baby. I want her to have only stable family relationships around her. The dysfunction was normal to me.
However, I didn’t want it to become normal to my daughter.
My baby gave me the strength to finally say “ENOUGH.” We both deserved better.
Looking To The Future
I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed of how my life has gone over the last six months.
Who ever knows exactly how their life is going to go?
In fact, I’m proud. I’ve found an amazing partner who is willing to stick by me when things get tough, and I’ve found an inner strength to protect my baby. And both of those things are immensely powerful.
I’ve also discovered the people that are truly going to be there for me when things get tough, and who isn’t. All of my relationships feel tried and true now.
Things are going to be okay. Even though my life didn’t necessarily go as I planned, it is going to turn out better than I could have imagined.