“My kid was not an accident! She was just a surprise.”
My oldest kid WAS an accident. There, I said it. Full blown accident. We were wanting to wait at least another two years before even attempting to have children but she made it to the finish line anyways. Having only been married a few years, I had wanted a few more with just my husband. I had wanted the child-less freedom a little while longer. I wanted to get more established in my career. I wanted my husband out of college first! But nope. My body, and one very determined swimmer, had different plans.
And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with saying she was an accident when that’s actually what she was. Because I don’t believe in any negative connotation to that phrase. Saying our unplanned pregnancy was an “accident” instead of a “surprise” doesn’t diminish how much we love that child. I shouldn’t have to double back and worry about the comfort of whoever hears me say this by cushioning it with “she was a surprise and we loved her right away!” The truth of it was much darker, in my situation. I didn’t love the pregnancy right away. I didn’t think it was a good surprise. We were still so young and broke. I wasn’t mature enough to handle all the changes to my life and body (I was a young 22 when she was born). And my mental health has honestly never recovered. I can’t help but wonder sometimes how life would have been different if my outline had gone according to plan.
But all of this doesn’t mean that I don’t love that little accident child with every fiber of my being.
We adjusted into parenthood. We grew up fast. We don’t regret her at all and wouldn’t put her back in, even if that was physically possible! Yes she was a surprise, but she was also an “accident,” too. A beautiful, crazy, scary, wonderful oops baby.
So I’m going to keep calling it as it is. I’ll keep saying she was an accident, not just a surprise. And when she’s old enough to hear me say that to a friend over coffee, I’ll make sure she knows that in our family, there’s no negative connotation to that phrase. I’ll explain it to her truthfully: her father and I wished she could have come a few years later but we have loved her every second of her life. She was meant to come to us at the time she did, apparently, so there’s no regret in our accident baby.