I recently became a fan of the British television show Call the Midwife and was particularly captivated by the fifth episode in season two which features a mother of a large family who is experiencing many mental and emotional struggles as she finds herself expecting yet again. Her story is heart wrenching as you see a woman depicted as reaching her breaking point. She ends up having serious complications after a back alley abortion gone wrong.
The following is a piece I wrote for a contest by Women Speak for Themselves. I am honored they chose it as the winning entry.
Dear Hesitant Future Mother,
I’ve been there. The youngest of four children I had very little experience with kids except for my nieces and nephews. And, trust me, I wasn’t that fun aunt they couldn’t wait to see or begged to have sleepovers with. I just existed… across the room… unsure how to interact with them. Honestly, kids terrified me and I was convinced they could smell my fear like a wild animal about to attack its prey.
Growing up and through my early 20’s I regret to admit I fed into a stereotype many have about Catholics; I was going through the motions but not investing myself, my time, or my energy into my faith. As I now think of it, I was unconscious, shut down from the beauty of my faith as I strove for acceptance in our growingly secular society. Who wants to be the religious nut?
So where did striving for societal acceptance get me? I had plenty of friends, a nice career, an amazingly wonderful husband (still do), but I felt incomplete. A type of incomplete that I knew could not be remedied by anyone but myself… or so I thought. I knew it wasn’t up to my husband and I knew a simple career change wouldn’t make a difference. I felt it was internal.