Menu
I never wanted to be a mother—and then I got pregnant

"Oh my God," That was the first thing I blurted out. I stood over the bathroom sink holding the pregnancy test, paralyzed. I never thought this day would come. Even though there was an inner voice that said otherwise, my brain couldn't make sense of it. As I slowly let go of the stick, everything hit me all at once.

I was going to be a mother… and I was terrified.


For years, I never aimed or wanted to achieve motherhood. While I respected women who longed to create families, the goal of having one never crossed my mind. Instead, I made it my mission to do the exact opposite.

My dream was to be a writer, an artist, a pirate, a rebel who broke the mold and made her own path. The passion to live life outweighed everything that I was viewed as reckless. As I grew up, the mission to live was ever-present. I traveled across the US, climbed mountains, read tons of books, went to rock concerts, smoked weed, had lovers, drank, got tattoos, and even showcased my artwork in gallery shows. This was the life I'd always wanted.

I was a free woman with no partner or kids and I loved it.

Then as life would have it, I met a man and fell in love. He was no ordinary man. I'd been with men who wanted to marry me and my response was to leave, but he was different. He was a dreamer, a lifer like me. When I asked how important it was to be married or have children, he agreed that it wasn't a priority as long as we were together. A man after my own heart.

We became explorers together, documented life around us, and got married at city hall years later. Each day we lived with so much passion and excitement. Life was perfect.

Then came the day. This day. The day I realized I was pregnant.

It was on the first day of July. After finishing up my morning meditation, a voice inside of me popped up and said, "You're pregnant." When I opened my eyes, I felt a bead of sweat travel down the back of my neck.

During our marriage, we had a few pregnancy scares. Once they proved to be false, I always had a sigh of relief. "Be careful," I'd tell myself. "Next time might be different." With every negative result, it was a confirmation that I could still live the way I wanted to. So naturally as I went to the bathroom and took the test, I prepared for the negative sign.

Except for this time, it was positive.

My eyes stared at the test thinking it was a mistake. This must be an old test, there's no way, I thought. So, like a character in a comedy movie, I ran to the drugstore and bought multiple boxes only to have them come up with the same result: Positive.

Although I believe that every woman has the right to choose what she does with her body, I decided to tell my husband before I made any decisions. Nervous about what he might say I felt myself pacing back and forth.

What had I done? What have I gotten us into? We were supposed to be life-long explorers!

When he arrived home and I told him the news, I prepared for a shocked reaction. Instead, it was the exact opposite. An enormous smile beamed from his face as he held me with love and said, "This is great news!"

I stood there, stunned. He was happier about the news than I was and it chilled me to the bone.

I laid in bed that night and rationalized the idea of getting an abortion. I'm not the mothering type, I told myself. The baby would have an awful mother. Why put it through years of therapy and grief to have a mother who never wanted them to exist? I fully support women who choose abortions or adoptions, so it only made sense for me to do it.

As I woke up the next morning preparing myself to go to the doctor, I stared at my reflection in the hallway mirror and realized that I couldn't go through with it. Not because I didn't have the strength or didn't believe in it, but because in my bones and in my core, I didn't want to.

I went to the bedroom and began to cry hysterically. The truth was I actually wanted to go through with this. How could this be!?

I didn't believe in marriage and motherhood, yet here I was married and pregnant.

How did I get here?

Had I wanted this all along?

Was I fooling myself this whole time?

Why was it that I wanted this baby but was terrified of becoming a mother?

Where did this fear come from?

Despite the fact that I was a free woman who lived my dreams and had more to fulfill, deep down this ideal life was based on control. Everything was controlled, orchestrated, and manipulated to my liking. I had controlled every action and outcome of my life. This time I was embarking on unknown territory and entering into a life of what I thought would be utter misery.

Then it dawned on me that if I wanted to have this baby, I needed to give the idea of marriage and motherhood a brand-new makeover. I didn't realize that I had the power to alter it, change it, mold it to what was best for me and my growing family. There's no definitive rule book to what a family is supposed to look like, what a mother is supposed to look like, so why pigeon-hole myself in those barriers? I could still be me.

I could still be me; all while being married with children.

Throughout each phase of my pregnancy, I would partake in self-healing. I made a promise that before my baby would be born, I needed to make peace and say goodbye to the scared little girl inside. The girl who controlled every outcome of her life for fear of living in misery. The girl who thought she never wanted to be a mother, when in reality, was afraid that she wasn't good enough. The girl who needed to understand that change is inevitable and it wouldn't ruin her, but mold her into a better human.

We don't have to change everything to be a good mother. I could still be myself.

But we can transform into something better.

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this

Shop

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to have kids—so here’s what I did

We asked our three most pessimistic friends who have kids whether it's worth it or not

As told to Liz Tenety.

Around the time my husband and I were turning 30, we had a genuine conversation about whether or not we wanted kids. I was the hesitant one because I was like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's just hold on. Okay, let's talk about this. Because we love our life. We like traveling. Is this what we want?"

My husband said, "Let's ask our three most pessimistic, crabby friends who have kids whether or not it's worth it."

And every single one of them was like, "Oh, it's unmissable on planet earth."

So when I got pregnant, I was—and I'm not ashamed to say this and I don't think you should be—I was as connected with the baby in my belly as if it were a water bottle. I was like, I don't know you. I don't know what you are, but you can be some gas pain sometimes, but other than that, we're going to have to meet each other and suss this relationship out.

But all the cliches are true that you just know what to do when the baby comes out. Some of the times are hard, some of them are easier, but you just gotta use your gut.

Keep reading Show less
Life