I had a miscarriage in my 20s and it confirmed what I always knew: I didn’t want to be a mom

I had a miscarriage in my 20s and it confirmed what I always knew: I didn’t want to be a...

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Becky Martin changed her mind about not wanting children after meeting her husband.

  • Becky Martin grew up surrounded by kids and didn’t think she could balance her career and motherhood.
  • She changed her mind after getting married but had a miscarriage at 27.
  • The couple agreed that not having children was the right decision.

We decided we were going to do it all — the house, the business, the backyard — all we needed was a kid.

For most of my life, I didn’t want children. I spent my teens babysitting cousins and knew from a young age that parenthood was far from sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows.

But there was no denying that I was great with kids, so starting a career as a child and youth worker after graduating from college was a natural progression. Back then, when I thought about parenthood, I couldn’t imagine balancing my career — centered on working with kids — while still being an ever-present mom. The two could not coexist in my mind, so I happily chose my job.

But fast forward 7 years, after meeting my now husband. We had dated, married, lived overseas, started a business together, and just moved into our first house. I felt a baby would complete the perfect picture.

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Falling in love changed my views on parenthood

A fantasy of parenthood with my favorite person in the world flooded my brain, and I suddenly felt confident I could balance both.

After just a few months of trying, at 27, I was pregnant. After 12 weeks I miscarried.

The grief I felt from the loss popped that prism-colored bubble of fantasy as easily as if it had never existed. We considered trying again and even discussed adoption, but one day I suggested: “What if we just don’t have any?”

It took us two years to come to the conclusion that we didn’t want to be parents. We talked at length and gave ourselves time and space to make a decision without pressure. In the end, we were certain, and my husband decided to get a vasectomy.

Couple holding three cats
Becky Martin and her husband eventually moved back to Canada with three cats.

It’s been 18 years, and I have no regrets

Many factors went into the final decision. The first was that I had no desire to give up my career and be a full-time mom. We knew that if we decided to be parents, our future would be cemented. It meant establishing ourselves in one location to consider education, medical care, family, and community support.

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While before our loss, we were excited, later, it felt like we would be limiting ourselves. Another factor we weighed in was the state of our world. I loved children too much to bring them into this mess.

Not one second has passed when I feel glad that we lost our child. My husband and I still talk about what they might have looked like — would they have had my curly hair or the height of my husband? This year, they would have turned 18. We would have loved them and our life with them with devotion and enjoyed sending them off into the world of adulthood with support.

But that life didn’t happen, and we designed a new one together. We moved overseas to teach English for 7 years. During that time we traveled, healed, and explored what we as a couple wanted for the future. When we got tired of living overseas, we packed up our three cats and moved back to Canada.

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Upon returning, we tried a few new jobs and moved two more times over three years until we found a city with more extracurricular activities for people living child-free.

Since deciding not to have children, most of our choices have been based not on money or opportunities for a child but on our mental well-being, job exploration, and learning. We have become stronger, bolder, and more confident in the unknown.

In a loving way, tinged with grief and sadness, we can thank the child who made us parents for just a little while because, without their entry and exit, we would not have seen the world from a very different perspective.

Got a personal essay about living abroad or parenting that you want to share? Get in touch with the editor: [email protected].

Read the original article on Business Insider

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