The Life of Bon: Terror and Trust: Going off the pill

Monday, May 05, 2014

Terror and Trust: Going off the pill

Pictures taken the night we found out we were expecting a baby.

I started blogging because I like stories.  I like to listen to stories and tell stories and read stories.

So here's a story.

In June of last year, Greg and I were enjoying a few days at my family's cabin.  The day before we had found out that we had been scammed out of $1200.  After two days at the cabin we would drive straight to Boise to board a plane to go to Hawaii.  I was supposed to be excited, but mostly I was stressed.  Losing $1200 will do that to even the most calm of people.

The few days in the mountains were a necessary reprieve for us.  We left the heat, stress, the craziness of the city where it belonged and fled to the cabin.  We had lost $1200, yes, but it seemed to matter less at the cabin.  There were long, late breakfasts and afternoons of tennis.  Campfires and card games.  Naps and barbeques.  The world seemed to slow down for a few days so we could catch our breath and re examine what was really important.

All of my siblings but one were there. (We missed you, Mindy!)  All of my siblings except for my little sister have kids.  There were children everywhere.  In the garage and in the loft.  On the fourwheelers and on the swingset.  Running on the tennis court and crying for dinner.

Greg loves children and he wore himself out playing with my nieces and nephews.  He worked tirelessly to win their affection.  He played and joked and told stories to beat the band.

Our last night at the cabin, Greg and I sat on the swinging chair on the front deck.  It was almost dinner time.  Inside there was the usual commotion of preparing a meal and hungry children.  Outside the weather was perfect.  There was a slight breeze and the heat of the day was wearing off.  The sun was lowering in the sky.

"Bonnie," said Greg as we swung, "I want my own kids."

"I know you do, sweetie," I replied.  "You will make a great father someday."

"Bon, I'm not talking about someday."

I was taken aback.  "What does that mean?"

"I'm talking about now.  I'm talking about trying now.  Not waiting any longer."

I resisted.  "You said we wouldn't have kids until we've been married three or four years."

"We've been married two and a half.  If we start trying now by the time we have a kid it will be three to four years."


"Now, Bonnie.  I'm tired of playing with someone else's kids. I want my own.  I want to be the parent."

I searched for reasons not to.  Selfish reasons came to my head- we hadn't been back to visit his mission in Russia yet, we didn't have enough money saved yet, I didn't want to be tied down yet, I didn't want to get fat yet.

"Bonnie!  Greg!  Come in for dinner!"  My brother shouted out to us.

"Greg," I tried to protest, "I'm just so scared.  I'm not ready."

"And that's fine," he said.  "You don't have to be ready yet.  But know that I am."

"How can you be ready?  Our life is a mess.  We have nothing figured out."

"Maybe this will help us figure it out."

"I feel like that's a terrible reason to have a baby."

"Maybe.  Maybe not."

I sat in silence for a minute, letting the proposal sink in.  I had thought we would wait at least another year to start trying.  Suddenly every "someday" in my life felt immediate, pressing, urgent.

"Just think about it,"  Greg said.  "I don't expect your decision right away, I just want to plant the idea in your head.  Just know that I'm ready whenever you are."

"Bonnie!  Greg!  Come on!  We're all waiting for you!"  My mom was yelling for us this time.

We left the conversation there, to settle in with the swing and sagebrush and setting sun.

We went inside.  Someone said a prayer on the food.  Greg squeezed my hand three times, our secret code.  I. Love. You.

For the next few days I let the idea float around in my head.  Could I be ready now to have a baby?  Could I be ready in nine months?  Eleven?  A year?

We spent one more day at the cabin and I didn't say a word about it.  On Saturday we made a 6 1/2 hour drive up to Boise.  That night we went out to dinner.  Neither of us mentioned it, but I could tell by the look on Greg's face that it was constantly on his mind.  He had a certain sparkle in his eye, a certain mischief.

Sunday morning our flight was delayed.  Greg wanted to watch ESPN in our hotel room.  I was antsy as can be.  I knew with a six hour flight coming up that the last thing I could do was sit in a room.  So I went for a walk.  Toured the great city of Boise.

I let the thought fly around up there along with the other thoughts that are constantly swirling around like what kind of gas mileage are we getting and what are we eating for dinner?   I tried to come up with some substantial, good reasons to keep waiting.  But I really couldn't come up with much.  My 27th birthday was a week away... even if we started trying now I'd be 28 by the time I had my first child.  A few of my siblings have had trouble getting pregnant.  What if we couldn't get pregnant?  What if it were a three year process and then I was 31 by the time I had my first child and it took four years to get pregnant with another.  I was possibly limiting the number of children I'd be able to have, and for what reason?  Because 27 seemed too young to start trying?  Because I liked my schedule of teaching, blogging, and eating limitless amounts of guacamole?

And so I decided.  Just like that.  I just didn't have any reason not to, and it may be a weird reason to decide to get pregnant, but for me it was enough.  I don't know that I would have ever been the type of person to get 100% stoked and high on life thinking about babies.  I was never going to be so ready for kids that I was doing cartwheels.  I'm just not the type.  But when I thought about it that Sunday morning, strolling the streets of Boise, I felt peace.  And that was enough.

On our plane ride to Hawaii I whispered to Greg that I was willing to start trying.  He didn't stop smiling the rest of the way over there.

Now, almost a full year later, the doctor tells me that there is indeed a baby growing inside of me and that in approximately 12 weeks this baby will force herself out of me, with or without my consent.  I can not keep that baby in, no matter what I do.

I admit that the thought terrifies me.  I am one of the few pregnant people I know who wishes that pregnancy could go longer than 40 weeks.  I enjoy playing tennis whenever I want, reading on my balcony alone, indulging in long hot bubble baths.  I love teaching, I love snuggling in bed with my husband, I love sleeping in on Saturdays.  In three months that will all be gone, given up and thrown to the wind.

I don't think I'm ready to have a baby.  I don't have a crib set up and I know nothing about breastfeeding and the only birth plan I have is EPIDURAL NOW.  Sometimes I almost feel guilty for this, I look at other moms and how excited they are to have their children and wonder if I'm missing some womanly link.  Why aren't I as anxious as they are to meet their baby right this second?  Why do I want to hang on to my non-mother life just a little longer?  At lunch the other day a teacher started telling me that I can take castor oil and have my baby come two weeks early.  I opened my eyes wide and thought to myself, "Why in the world would I want her two weeks early?!  I'm going to have her for the rest of my life!"

Going off of birth control was honestly the most terrifying decision I have ever made.  I think back to that conversation on the swing though, the earnestness in Greg's eyes, his pleading.  I remember his excitement on the plane, how he kissed me hard and said, "WHAT?!" when I told him I was willing to try.  I remember that morning walk in Boise and the peace.  The absolute peace.

And the truth is that I do know I'll love it, despite the fear.  Fear has been the precursor to every good decision I have ever made in my life.  It preceded my moving to college, my mission, my marriage, my teaching career.  I don't know if Heavenly Father has ever showered me more abundantly with blessings than when I have been trembling with fear.

So I suppose I'll sit here, shaking in my boots and scared to death, and say... bring it on.

But please.  Let her come at least a week late.


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  1. lol… I'm laughing about the castor oil story. You are right on all parts - you will of course love the baby and you will of course be scared to death! This little babe is already so blessed to be entering the world to loving, caring parents. It's going to be great!

  2. SAY NO TO CASTOR OIL! Not only will it bring the baby out.. it will bring everything in your body out! Get my drift?? (Diarrhea, in case I wasn't clear. :) hehe) My friend did it for one of her kids, and she said it was the worst delivery out of all 4.. poop every where.. ahaha Pleasant image. :)

    1. And in addition... remember everything that affects your body will affect baby's body. Castor oil can lead to meconium and an increase risk of infection in your baby's lungs!

  3. LOL!!! I love the part about the castor oil! You are going to be a terrific mom

  4. Three things! 1) This post is awesome. So honest and so lovely. You and your fellah make me smile. (My husband and I do the hand squeeze "code," too. It's one of my very favourite things.) 2) Childbirth can be absolutely not awful. (I evicted my first baby almost nine months ago now. It went really, really well. If you are collecting positive birth stories, fire me off an email at and I will tell you mine.) 3) You are going to be amazing and you can still fit all of your favourite non-motherly things into your life, with a little help and support. :) You got this, lady!

  5. Love hearing this story, Bonnie...who would have known that was all going on between you and Greg when you were at the cabin? It makes me smile that Greg coaxed you to have a baby....I like that boy more and more all the time!

  6. Your story is a wonderful story! As one of those moms who was super surprised to be pregnant and then oh so excited to have her baby and now a year and a half later we're ready for number 2, I'm impressed with your careful decision followed by your willingness to "let go & let god". You two will be wonderful parents. Just in case you didn't catch it from the other comments... don't do the castor oil! Let her come when she's good and ready (most first babies are late anyway if it comforts you).
    I absolutely love reading your blog Bonnie! You're a fantastic writer.

    Life is Peaches

  7. I love how honest this is! I'm a young mother and my boyfriend and I talk about more kids someday, and I have this whole plan (even though plans never pan out!) but I often wonder when we will really be ready and if we will know when we are or if it will just happen again. It's scary to think about, but I think your outlook is really great... if you don't have a decent reason not to do something then you might as well just do it!

  8. You tell such amazing stories!!! I LOVED this, so much!!!

  9. I know I say this all the time, but your blog is the best. And don't worry. I never wanted kids and my husband wanted ten. We have five. I felt the exact same way as you. I was never excited about becoming a mother, even until the day I have birth. But oh my word, as soon as I held my baby girl for the first time, it is indescribable. I was made to be a mother.

  10. I think it's totally normal to have these feelings! There are some days where I'm so sure I want to be a mom, that I'll think I'm ready to try now. Then I'll wake up the next day and think, no way, I love my life the way it is, why would I want to throw a baby into the mix and ruin a good thing?

  11. I know how you feel. I never wanted children, but I knew that I WOULD. I just love having people around and I knew that if I didn't start making some people I wouldn't have a big family in the future. Can I tell you that when Olivia was born one of my saddest things was that I couldn't run into the gas station for a slurpee anymore? How stupid. I mean, I could but hauling a baby in a carseat seemed like too much for a slurpee.

  12. I think it's wonderful for you to share this. My husband and I always feel strange because we want kids but we know we don't want them right now.


  13. LOVE hearing such an honest voice on parenthood - you feel exactly how YOU should feel and do not let anyone make you feel differently. You clearly have your head on straight and will make a wonderful mother! I loved reading this post and cannot wait to read more as your little one enters the world.

    xo A Boston Girl (with no intentions of procreating.)

  14. I walked out of the dr last year with a prescription for the pill that never got filled. We are 9 weeks pregnant. I also feel like I am going to miss these days of just me and chris lounging on the sofa and jumping in the car and going on adventures. I think the feelings are normal and you two will be excellent parents. Enjoy the last trimester!

  15. Abbie came 9 days late. I was ready for her by then, but I so know the fear you're talking about. Now I feel it when I think of the possibility of number 2. Not ready, not ready.

  16. Yours is my story 35 years ago. I felt exactly the same way about having children... knowing it was part of the plan, and that I wanted them....eventually. I was never one of those 'baby hungry' moms, didn't go crazy over babies as a young girl. Actually, after each of the births of my 4 children, I was in NO hurry to have the next, although they are nicely spaced about 3 years apart. I was NOT anxious to experience childbirth and motherhood, but when my first little boy was placed in my arms I was absolutely, totally, head-over-heels in love. I like kids a lot. But as a grandma now, I still kinda feel the same way about children as I did then. Good in small doses. EXCEPT my own! And my own grandchildren. Can't get enough! You'll be a fantastic Mom, can't wait to read about all of your adventures in parenthood!

  17. you're going to be an amazing mom, so don't you worry! I am in the same boat with not being ready though. I love being pregnant and don't want this little guy to come any sooner than he is supposed too! We don't have a crib, we don't have a stroller, I haven't been to any birthing classes, I don't have a birth plan other than the epidural (just like you!) haha but I do know that once our little ones come, all of that won't matter. All that will matter is the love and support to show your baby and you will learn things along the way. yes, our worlds are going to change, but they are going to change for the better. I know it.

  18. I really really loved reading this story. I'm sure it makes your readers love Greg even more. I also want to thank you for being so honest about motherhood and your fears. Reading real stories like this makes me feel like whatever I feel in the future will be okay. That you don't have to feel exactly how everyone else feels. It's good pre-work for future motherhood, I suppose.

  19. My favorite line was "the absolute peace". I know that feeling. I love that feeling. I am so happy you felt it then, and I hope you continue to feel it! Especially in the next 12 weeks! :)

  20. I felt that way when I was pregnant with my son. He was 5 days late, and I spent those last 5 days wishing he's just hurry up, which was a huge switch from being afraid of him being here. He's 3 months old now and he amazes me constantly, when your little girl is born, you'll learn things and think, "I had no clue babies could do that so soon"

  21. um, can you not make me cry, please? seriously, loved this post. the thought terrifies and excites me, but i know i am not ready. but im about that age - wait, no, im older - that you were. and haha @ "Why in the world would I want her two weeks early?! I'm going to have her for the rest of my life!"

  22. Girl you are being honest about your feelings. I think a lot of mothers have felt that way myself included, but felt guilty for admitting it so we act over the moon excited about losing sleep, stretchmarks, breastfeeding etc. I was terrified and a little selfish but when my littles came all that went away I was happy ... genuinely over the moon happy.

  23. I read an article about having children that said something like "Having children is like losing your leg but winning the lottery" - in other words, you give up so much of what you know, love and are familiar with, but there are also huge gains. I don't have kids yet, but that analogy has really stuck with me!

  24. Even though I was 100% sure I wanted a baby and was as excited as can be, I was still super nervous and afraid and a little upset about losing my care-free life. If anyone tells you they weren't feeling all of those things they are either crazy or lying. You'll be a great mom. It's important to balance mommy things with individual needs and you can find that balance. It might be a little skewed in the beginning toward mommy things, but that's just for a little while. But she'll be totally worth it. You'll miss sleeping in, but then you'll bring her into your bed on Sunday mornings and she'll smile at you and you'll be so glad to have a reason not to sleep in.

  25. haha. I think all moms are freaked out when the first baby arrives. People tell you life will never be the same and you think "I know. Less sleep, more work, blah blah blah." But it's true. It's something you won't "get" until you're ankle deep in diapers and spit up. Even if you've surrounded yourself with children your entire life. Your life as you know it, is over once that baby arrives. And it's not necessarily a bad thing either.

    Just remember, in those moments of "OMG why did we think having a baby was a good idea?" (because we all have them, even if some won't admit to it) - what you're feeling, is normal. The body wracking sobs? Normal. The emotional swings from happy, happy, joy, joy to nothing will ever make me smile again. Normal.

    It's the hardest job you will probably ever do, it can be thankless at times and frustrating and overwhelming. But when they start smiling, cooing, babbling, kissing, hugging and finally, FINALLY uttering "I love you mama", it's all worth it.

    You will feel a love bigger than you ever knew possible, so big, it literally feels like your heart will burst open with all of the love you have for this tiny person. Just when you think you cannot possibly love them any more, you will.

    Also, it's a good thing they turn into angels when they sleep, because I believe that's how babies survive childhood. haha. When you tip toe into their rooms, peer over the crib railing and just watch them sleep. All sins and wrongdoings are forgiven. You cannot believe you are the mother to the most beautiful child in the world and how lucky you are they are yours.

    You'll figure it out as you go. You've got this - all of us moms were first timers. All of us struggled. All of us wondered if we were doing it right. All of us thought the other moms were doing a better job. Just trust yourself. Trust your gut. You'll be fine.

    Congrats! :)

  26. Oh my gosh! THANK YOU for posting this! I appreciate your honesty, because it helps me feel that I'm not weird in how I think. It is such a scary decision, and I am constantly wondering what it means that I'm so scared. You will be a stupendous mother:) Hope you're having a great day!

  27. Really appreciate your honesty. My husband wanted to start trying ASAP when we first got married and I was the the hesitant one. It's such a big decision and there's a part of me that is still terrified by all the changes!

  28. It's so good to hear that you were feeling that way at first. I'm in that boat right now. We want kids soon-ish, and with every pack of birth control I take, I ask myself, should I stop now? But then I come up with excuses to keep taking it - we don't have enough savings yet, I want to keep sleeping in on weekends, etc. But I think I know that I need to trust that it will happen when it needs to and just give up. That thought is so terrifying though!

  29. I'm ready to go to the drive-in movies!

  30. My husband so blind-sided me with the whole "I'm ready for kids" speech as well. I remember just thinking...."ummm, what" It took me a little while to be ready for the idea of kids, and I wish I would have done it sooner. We had our son when I was 28, and I have a weird phobia of getting pregnant after the age of 30...I know crazy, so now we are in that whole "are we ready again" talk!.
    I love the age my son is at now...3 1/2, he is so much fun to play at the beach with, and since we live in Charleston we spend a lot of time there during the off season....he calls it his backyard!

  31. I am one of those other women who would have been happy to be pregnant longer than 40 weeks. Both of my babies were born within a few days of my due dates. "Helpful" people were happy to give me all sorts of techniques to get the baby here early and I couldn't have been less interested. Being pregnant and knowing I would have a baby soon was enough - I wanted to stretch out the moments as long as possible where I was not responsible for another human being. The love for my babies was fierce and immediate, but to be honest, I still struggle sometimes with the dramatic change they brought to my life. I am beyond grateful for the chance to be a mother, but I don't think there is anything wrong with being honest about some of the adjustments.

  32. Some first time momma's don't pop naturally until later in pregnancy...past the 40 week mark, so you're little girl may come 2 weeks late ;) lucky you!

  33. Oh my gosh those things you love arent over!! Pop her in the bouncer and jump in the bath (well dont jump but you know ease your self in). Give it six weeks after the birth, the babs in the car seat and go play tennis. Plus if you breast feed you'll get through LOADS of books, its a bit boring otherwise!! Dont be scared, its the best time of your life and you're going to love teaching her everything she knows. xx

  34. I'm most exited about all the summer activities with my boys. Gardening. The zoo. Walks. :)

  35. I honestly sitting here crying right now! we will blame it on prego hormones of course haha! But Im truly in the same spot you are and its so nice to hear someone feel the same way. Im overjoyed about my little one but its so hard to understand what will be coming and how it will all change. And like you my husband is over the moon excited! I just want to say thank you for sharing your true feelings and know there is alot of us out here that feel the same! Thank you

  36. EPIDURAL NOW <--- lol We have the same birth plan! :P Instead of a week late, I want my bebe to come early because Arizona summer+super prego is going to be an interesting mix.

  37. My niece tried the castor oil trick only a few days ago as she was over being pregnant it didn't work I do not think any mother is ready to be a mother until a few weeks after the baby is born.

  38. I definitely think this is how I'm going to feel when it's time for me to have a baby. I used to think babies were fine...if they were someone else's, and I daily say to myself, "Gosh I'm glad I don't have kids," when I hear one screaming in the grocery store. But that being said, I guess something is happening with my hormones, because now the tiniest babies seem to melt my heart. And I think they are cute. And I want them to hold onto my finger and I'm okay if they don't let go. Still can't imagine having my own, but somehow that's progress. Here's to believing that I'll be right where I need to be in the baby department when it's the right time. I believe that for you too.

  39. Bonnie you are such a great writer. I didn't want the story to be finished which I guess works out since I follow your blog. As a mother of an 18 month old I hope she stays in an extra week. I will also tell you that by the time you get to those last few weeks you might change your mind and be ready to drink that castor oil. Just cherish these quiet moments and the feeling of being a family of two. I can't wait to read your novel one day.

  40. Summer is all about the travel. I'm currently campaigning for us to go to Italy in August

  41. We are traveling this summer! Where? Now that is a secret ;)

  42. Great writing! I really appreciate your honesty. You should write a book!

  43. Such a great story. Mine is a little different (we weren't trying... ours was very much a surprise) but I have always felt the same way about birth/pregnancy/kids (I know nothing, I don't feel ready, I've never been super excited abut it). But, I'm really grateful that it's happening and I'm sure you are too!

  44. I can totally understand wanting to hit the "snooze button" on that baby and keep her in for an extra week. I don't have kids yet but I'm already loading up on sleep in anticipation of the future LACK of sleep that IS inevitable. Thank you for being so honest and reminding us that not everyone is squealing to jump onto the Mommy Train :)

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