Monday, June 3, 2013

Totally Ready For This.

I am pen-pals with my good friend Bryana. I love having a pen-pal. I get happy mail a lot! I look forward to our conversations :) 

In one of her letters she was saying how she and her husband aren't ready for babies yet, that some people are but she just isn't. 

While I totally understood where she was going with it and what she made me think.

Who really is ready for a baby?

Does this person look ready to have a baby? 

As most of you know, Gracie was completely and totally unplanned. I was on birth control. I was careful. I was responsible.

When I found out I was pregnant, I cried for DAYS. That makes it sound so bad. But I wasn't ready to be a mom. I was selfish and goal oriented. I was a year -ish away from finishing my degree. I was ready to move to New York into a crappy apartment and start my life there.

Even though I can't imagine my life without Gracie, nor would I want to--I know that when I found out I was pregnant, that I didn't want to be.

That is a really really REALLY hard for me to admit. 

I had plans. I had dreams. I had the whole world at my fingertips. That all kind came to a drastic halt when the second line turned up. I cried for the dreams lost. I cried for what having a baby would do to my life and to Daniel's. I cried knowing that my life, as I knew it, was over. Everything I had ever worked for for 8 years was gone. I was so disappointed in myself.  

What makes me feel better about admitting this, is that along with knowing all that is I also knew that I would keep the baby, that I already loved the baby more than anything and I would be the best mom I could be to the tiny human that was growing inside. 

Daniel and I freaked out for about a month. I mean FREAKED out. We were total jerks to each other. I wish I could take away that month of us being butt-heads. 

Luckily, we had some good people in our corner who helped us stop being stupid. We realized what was important: the baby. 

I think most people have that "ohhh man" moment when they find out their pregnant and have decided to keep their child. 

Ours was, I think, when I was about four months pregnant. 

We had that moment of "oh maaan. We are having a tiny human. We gotta get ready."

We did everything we could to make sure we were spiritually, mentally, financially, physically ready for a baby. But nothing really prepares you for the crazy responsibility of taking care of another human life. 

Nothing prepares you for the complete lack of sleep. You hear and read about it, but man they weren't kidding!

Nothing prepares you for poop explosions that involves you literally holding poop in one hand and carrying your child in the other. 

Nothing prepares you for their first boo-boo that you will feel is 100% your fault no matter how much it isn't. 

Nothing prepares you for the mama shaming among women. Which really ladies? Gotta stop that shiz. 

Nothing and I mean nothing prepares you for how your body will look after you've given life to a human. 

Nothing prepares you for just how much a child costs. Now that Gracie is off formula, we save $100+ a month. On a strict military budget, that is a lot. When she is off diapers we will save even more. Just in time for baby #2... When we picked out Gracie's new car seat last week, we did so with our next child in mind. Basically we planned our next baby on car seat last-a-bility. Because those things are expensive and buying them once is enough. 

You just can't prepare for this. 

Above all the things I wasn't prepared for, I wasn't prepared for how much our love story was instantaneous. The amount of love you have for your child is over-whelming. It's amazing. It's a blessing. It is scary. 

I know with out a doubt that I would give my life for Gracie's in a heart beat. 
If she needed a heart/lung/ anything that would kill me to give her transplant and I was her only match--I would do it without thinking twice. 

I know that if anyone were to hurt Gracie, the outcome would not be pretty. I have a fierce sense of protection over her. I even get mad at Daniel sometimes when he makes her mad. (No worries, I get mad at myself too when I make her mad.) Her happiness is always at the top of my list of things to accomplish. 

I know that my life would be so incomplete without her in it. 

When she was born, with all the other emotions that were swirling through my body, I felt this ball of responsibility. I knew this little being chose me to be her mom. I knew that she relied on me to take care of her. What a blessing! But such a responsibility! I didn't want to let her down. 

I still don't. I still try every single day to be worthy of her choice. 

So while I wasn't ready for a baby, and in some ways I'm still not, I know for a fact this was the road I was intended to go down. I can truly say that despite the rough spots, I am very happy with my life.  

It doesn't have the lights of Broadway, but it has Gracie smiles in the morning and Daniel snuggles at night. 

I think I got the better end of the deal. 


  1. Tanika, we never really got to know each other in the short time you were around when Dan and I still hung out. Sometimes I think about it and wish that I would have been more present when I know it must have been tough figuring out who was going to be there for you. I want to apologize for not being a better friend to him, and to you in that time.

    But most importantly I just want to tell you that I respect the HELL out of you. Seriously. As someone who recently discovered an unexpected pregnancy herself I can relate to the conflict of emotions and feeling of complete inadequacy. But I don't think little Grace could have asked for a better Mom, and Dan for a better wife. I am so impressed by you and I hope you remember in the hard and scary times that you really are exactly what they need.

    I hope you have a fantastic week!

    Danielle Whipple

  2. Tanika, I really admire you for writing this post. It's hard admitting some things but I'm so glad you see how it isn't the end of one chapter of life but a start of an exciting new one. You are a great mum.

    Love Laura x

  3. Tanika girlll its hard for a mom to admitt that they wasnt planning on a child and at how at the beginning it wasnt what they wanted or was ready for... I felt the same way for my first.. I was 19, and it was unplanned. I was scared, although i had babysat all the kids in my fam and i knew what to do, i wasnt ready, i was beginning my life, ready to start college and work on a career. But i was against abortions and i knew i had to keep the baby.

    Theres nothing like hearing the baby's heart beat for the first time, like seeing the sonogram of the little tiny being inside u and nothing like feeling that first kick. Thats when u realize that you will do whatever it takes to provide for that child, to protect that child and to care for that child. Thats when you hit Mommy mode!
    And now with her being 8 and having a 2yr old i would never give up my life...
    Love ur post!!

  4. Tanika, I loved reading this. For the first little bit of my pregnancy, I had similar feelings to yours. Joshua wasn't planned and I was freaked out. Dustin and I were barely scraping by (as in at the end of each month we had about $100 to our name) when we found out I was pregnant. I was so worried about the finances and if I was really ready to be a mom. Like you, I had dreams and plans. I wanted to work as a hot-shot chef in a big fancy restaurant. But once I came to terms with the timeline, I was so excited. Joshua is the best thing that has ever happened to us. I love that little guy more than anything in the world.

    Your posts are always so genuine and heartfelt. <3 Love you and Gracie! :)

  5. I love it, I think more people need to be more honest about their feelings like this. It is amazing to me to watch these couples go through pregnancy and birth and how they have an immediate bond with their child, while I was there and went through the birth with them, but I don't feel that at all. I think there's a reason God made it that way. My sister had an unplanned pregnancy at 18, and it's just wonderful to watch women like her, and you step up and be the most amazing mothers.

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