My Totally Not Serious Pregnancy Scare (and the overblown feelings that followed)

There was never an actual moment where I might have been pregnant.


I was basically 24 hours late. My body was doing kind of pre-period stuff, but it wasn’t happening in full force. I know that your body changes over time and reacts to what’s happening in your life now and that one day late isn’t cause for alarm. The thing is, I haven’t been late since I started the pill, years ago. So I just had the briefest of thoughts yesterday morning: man, it’d be real crazy if I were pregnant. I didn’t panic, or obsess. It wasn’t a real possibility.


But once I thought it, I couldn’t un-think it.

I didn’t tell my partner because it wasn’t a situation, it was just a thought. And probably also because we are both excited to make a new human one day in the future and I didn’t wanna burden him with this brief and crazy and unfeasible notion. So I didn’t say anything.


I called one of my very best-est friends on my way home from work and said ‘This isn’t a real situation but like can you just remind me that it’s not possible’ and she did because she is wonderful and that’s what friends do. And we talked about all the reasons I couldn’t be (I’m on the pill, I almost always use condoms, periods can change as we get older so this isn’t a reliable sign) and also the reasons that now would be not the best time (I’m applying to go to grad school and PhDs take like 5 years, I have very little money and lots of student debt, I’m going to move in a few months to go to aforementioned school, I’m really just a pseud-adult and not a real grown up so caring for another human would be a stretch.) She is a good friend for dealing with the craziness of a ‘situation’ that is really just a crazy thought/wish, and for telling me what I already know.



Now you may be thinking: Alex, you needn’t have a baby right now if you don’t wanna have one, even if you did find yourself pregnant. And you’d be right. I am lucky enough to live in a state where I could become not-pregnant fairly easily. And I believe with every fiber of my being that a woman should be able to make that choice if it’s right for her, and I detest the men (and yes, it’s men) who are attempting to strip women of that right using furtive, deceptive measures. But if we’re being honest here (and I’d like to think that we are), I would have a baby this minute if I became pregnant. Because I very much want to be a mom. And because I am lucky enough to have a partner that I think would make an incredible dad, and we are both excited for that journey. And I very much want my own mother to be a part of my pregnancy, and then my child’s life. And so if it happened, I wouldn’t have the heart to un-do it.


So, not to bury the lead (already did that in the title I guess) but I’m not pregnant. Proof appeared last night, at which time I informed my partner that even though I hadn’t ever really thought I was or been worried, I wasn’t. And then I felt something weird: disappointment, and relief.

Neither of those feelings really seemed appropriate given the parameters of the situation. I was never really scared about it, because I haven’t ovulated in almost a decade so it was never a thing that was really happening. So why would I feel relieved? Except that we put much of the burden of sexually responsibility on girls, and I’ve always felt that it was my job to be responsible with my body. And along with this responsibility we instill a great amount of fear. And so even though I knew the facts, I was scared that somehow I had messed up, that I had slipped, that somehow my body had betrayed me because it knows how badly I want to have a baby someday and maybe it decided to take matters into it’s own hands. Maybe my uterus staged a coup.

vive la revolution!
vive la revolution!

So yea, I was relieved that I was still responsible, that my life was still going the way I’ve been planning. But then, I was also palpably disappointed. And I told my friend later ‘I’d never get pregnant right now on purpose because that would be an insane choice, but if it happened on accident I could justify the choice. I could get away with it.’ So I felt simultaneously like I’d dodged a bullet, and missed the chance to use an accident to get away with starting a journey I really do want to take.

Which is why I take what amounts to all the possible precautions to ensure this doesn’t happen. Because, while there may never be a perfect time to have a kid, there are better and less good times. And this time would be less good. And I want to feel like I am capable, like I have the resources, like I am ready to focus on a small human and not myself for the foreseeable future. And I am not ready to do that now. I need to focus on school, on my own path, on my own relationships. And as much as I am amped to get pregnant and create new life one day and would like to start immediately, I can’t make time go faster and I can’t deny that the best decision is to wait.


I’m pretty surprised by the intensity of my feelings about this not actual scare. I’m totally aware of my own desire to be a mom, but I didn’t know I’d react so strongly to such a none-situation. I know everyone has complicated thoughts and feelings about being a parent. It’s not for everyone (although we assume that all women are nurturing and want to be moms and are probably bad/wrong if they don’t) and it doesn’t always work out and sometimes the timing is off and also sometimes it’s great and kids are a joy and fun and add a wild new dimension to your life. I have a bestie who never wants kids and that’s fine and I don’t tell her ‘you’ll change your mind’ because maybe she won’t and she is still wonderful, obviously. Another bestie just had a precious nugget 7 weeks ago and she adores her but also it’s hard and there are lots of conflicting emotions and very little sleep, for her and her hubby, and that family is officially a work in progress for basically ever. Getting pregnant is a big deal, for your body and your relationships and your future. It’s not a solution to a problem or a babysitting job or a vacation. Becoming a parent is a choice, and if you choose yes that choice lasts forever (God knows Ken & Patricia are still parenting me, also they’re awesome/supportive/loving/hip/the best.)
the best parents a girl could ask for ❤


For now, I’ll just be over here feeling the feels and continuing to make moves towards the blurry future. One day I’ll have the thought ‘What if I’m pregnant?’ and I will feel joy and I will tell my partner right away and I hope that day is right after school is finished and we aren’t moving and we have jobs and my parents will be excited and they’ll help and….


Who knows really. But I’m not pregnant. Not today.


67 thoughts on “My Totally Not Serious Pregnancy Scare (and the overblown feelings that followed)

  1. I enjoyed reading this post and seeing your perspective – thanks for sharing!
    As someone who spend my 20s with the perfect partner (my now husband), waiting to have children until the house was purchased, the family car was purchased, the master degree was completed and pay checks started rolling in – I feel the need to point out that the best laid plans do not always work. We spent all our timing preparing our lives to care for a child, and yet now the we are instead dealing with recurrent pregnancy loss (5 consecutive miscarriages). While, statistically, chance are everything will work find when you actively start trying for children it does for 7 out of 8 couples. But today, I am now sitting here thinking about what if we started when we were younger, did we really need to wait so long to start trying? Would it have been different? Rationally, I know the answer is no, but I still cannot help but think about it as I read your post today.

    1. Its been a pleasure reading both of your posts. I can definitely relate to you both. I am waiting for a baby. Everything else in life is in place. Nonetheless god bless the both of you on your journey. It was onxs said by my grandma that we don’t make plans, the man upstairs does. I am a firm believer now that I have gotten older. May we all be blessed one day and be given the acceptance no matter what happens.

      1. Thanks for sharing your experience as well. I hope you are right, that we have acceptance no matter what happens in our futures. The one thing that I’ve learned in the last two years is that we cannot control everything and sometimes the best laid plans mean absolutely nothing.
        Wishing you the best!

    2. agreed..although it makes “logical responsible adult” sense to make sure you have a home and a car and a job, life doesn’t always agree with that and just pops a suprise in your lap. my husband was adamant that we wait for all those things despite my obvious unhappiness with the we did.we waited.then we moved to spain.still no home of our own but progression i suppose?safer life if we did decide it was time.then the economy went awol and we went back home.crime,joblesslessness and despair followed.and then BAM!im pregnant….the emotional rollercoaster i rode after seeing that little sticks information will forever remain in my mind-happy,sad,nervous,excited,disappointed, was nauseating.his mother cried in happiness-i cried confussion and shock.i told my husband and we fought into the early hours of the morning about what should be arguement was ” well everything happens for a reason and it is obviously meant to be” to which i got “we have no home of our own,we havent got stable jobs, we live with my mom.”granted those were good points but surely where theres a will theres a way??i have seen people with less make an amazingg life for their babies….the decision was made for me that our baby should “be” as it was “bound to put pressure on us as a couple too..”it was “dealt with” . that day will stay with me til the day i die.we then got offered jobs in the uk and now are managers on our way to buying a house.would we have been here today had i kept bella??(sad i know but i felt it wouldve been a little girl and her name should be bella..)maybe mike was right to insist i didnt have her..we probably wouldnt have been here and as successful as we are now had we kept her..but again,everything happens for a reason – whether you understand the reason or are the only one who will know when the time is right if you are lucky enough to be able to will just feel right wont it..?i would like to think happens when you are making other plans …

  2. I was scared to have my daughter but I can tell you having her and raising her has been the best! I hope someday when you are ready, you will have a child. Until then, namaste my friend. By the way, what will you do with your Master’s degree that is partly in Gender Studies? I have not heard of that type of degree.

  3. Great post! I so understand your feelings… And you know what: Both of my kids were conceived in sort of a not so perfect time in my life. And my little one actually while I was taking the pill… And I am so glad they “happened”. Thankfully for that “slip” 🙂

  4. Reasoned with heart and honesty. Thank you for sharing the roller coaster of emotions 24 hours can bring when you are on the cusp of everything. I was on the what-if journey with you through the entire post. You captured that sliding doors moment when your life could go an entirely different direction– or maybe exactly the same one, just a little sooner. Well written and sincere and yay you and all that. xoxo

  5. Loved all the raw emotion and honesty over such a topic. How a hypothetical situation turned into a day of changes and self reflection, haha all in one day of LIFE…kudos

  6. I waited until i got my masters’s degree, the house and vehicles only to find that I wasn’t able to get pregnant. Fortunately, due to modern medicine, I had polyps in my uterus, ( due to waiting?) had surgery, and got pregnant 5 months later. I had my first at 40 and number 2 at 41. It is a gamble; I got lucky! 🙂

  7. I had an incident like this about 15 years ago…It is a growing experience. Now I have two little boys…It was worth the wait. Like you though, if something had derailed my plans, I would have ridden that wave. Good post.

  8. What a wonderful way to view this particular facet of life in all of its mystery and beauty. It’s definitely not my view for my own life, but I can most definitely respect your passion. You expressed the thoughts and feelings gracefully and frankly. It was refreshing to read a view that is not simply horked onto a conveyor belt to be shoved down our throats. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  9. I remember feeling the same way after a pregnancy scare at 21. At 30, I became the foster mom to my now-adopted son. If you want to be a mom, it will happen when the timing is right, as cliche as that sounds.

  10. It’s not just the men who don’t want women to abort; I’m a woman and I personally believe that abortion is murder. Yes, as women we ought to have the right to control our bodies — but that also means (generally speaking) we can control whether or not we will have children. Once another life is involved, that is a separate human being, and if we as women have the right to determine what happens to our own lives and bodies, then I believe that little children should have that right, too. God made them human at conception, not at birth.

    1. Hey, thanks for reading and responding.

      I just wanted to reply and say that this post isn’t really about abortion, but rather the complicated emotions that surround women when it comes to sex, birth control and motherhood, especially when things happen unexpectedly. Your religious beliefs are your own, and you have every right to allow them to determine the decisions you make regarding your body. This post, however, is just about a very short journey I went on that I believe other women can relate to. It highlights how bodies, birth control, and beliefs are all connected, and how women’s stories in these situations aren’t always as simple as folks assume.

      Thanks for reading.

  11. Loved your post. That’s exactly how I felt before we actually planned on trying to get pregnant. I was in college and always thought I would finish school to focus on kids but timing is never right. New goals come along and you want to take your time but then you realize time keeps passing by and you’ll know that it’s time no matter what the circumstances are. Good luck with everything and soon you’ll enjoy the wonderful moments of becoming a parent. It won’t be so scary after all 😃

  12. I actually experienced this myself a month or so ago. I haven’t told anyone that I’ve changed my mind. I was a staunch, “no babies” kind of girl. But I’ve recently married my best friend, and all I can think of is how beautiful a tiny, squirming combination of us both would be.

    But, I’m in school, working on two careers, and he’s still drifting. Albeit at a very good job. We want to buy a house next year, one we can fix up. And I know having a baby before all that isn’t what we both want. And it would put a lot of unnecessary strain on our relationship.

    So I wait, and enjoy other people’s tiny, squirming combinations of themselves.

  13. Love that I just came across this post! I had a conversation with my partner this weekend regarding the level of responsibility I felt towards not getting pregnant and how stressful it was. Great post, I appreciate the openness.

  14. I struggled with this feeling every month for years. I knew we needed to wait and we were extra cautious, but I wanted them so bad. I’m glad we stuck with our plan though. We’ve got two now and I’ve been able to stay home the entire time. We are even planning a 3rd. It’s hard, but worth it. And it’s amazing knowing that if there was somehow that surprise that you’ve got someone good to have it with!

  15. I never had a pregnancy scare of that sort, didn’t give myself long enough for it to happen, I guess, since it was only about a year after my marriage that we wanted it. I can, however, relate to the psued-adult thing. I still don’t feel like an adult, even with my baby. I feel like some late teen or something who just happens to be doing a pretty decent job at adult stuff, including not killing a baby from neglect. I don’t think there’s any way to really get over the not feeling like an adult thing, and the only way I ever felt comfortable having a baby was knowing I wouldn’t be alone doing it, that I’d have my husband. Which has turned out to be important when the sleep deprivation hits hard and the child will not sleep and I’ve been up all night and it’s five and I just really need someone to pass the child onto before I break down into my own childish tantrum.
    Good for you for waiting for when you’re ready, and good luck when you do have a child!

  16. I had a similar situation recently and as someone who doesn’t want kids, I was surprised that my reactiin was also similar. I think that a) our biology tells us to procreate to continue our species and is pleased it did its part when we are actually with child but also b) our character says okay, this wasn’t the plan or maybe even what I wanted but now that this is the new plan, I will want to do it the best that I can. I think that’s as good as any of us pseud-adults can do in these non – situations.

  17. I felt exactly the same relief and disappointment years ago when I thought I was but then learned I wasnt. Everything in due time. Years later I now have 3 nuggets. Enjoy your journey together as you make your way for that actual moment. Loved this post.

  18. I think a lot of us have had a scare or two. I know I have. And for me it was super scary! I am very much not ready to have a child and the responsibility that comes with reproducing. I freaked out a little and told my partner, whom wasn’t in a steady relationship with me at the time. But luckily he was very understanding and told me everything would be alright. I think that’s the big part of those types of scares. Having someone to just talk it out with.

  19. My goodness I had this same “non-situation” and it went the exact way. It’s nice to read that I’m not alone. Children will be great one day, I just have so much school and life to finish before that day. I definitely want the best for my future and my “one day” children. Thanks for this.

  20. “I’d never get pregnant right now on purpose because that would be an insane choice, but if it happened on accident I could justify the choice. I could get away with it.”

    Wow, you summed up my feelings in that statement exactly. I’ve had a few similar moments of a pregnancy scare where I was both disappointed and relieved. It’s really a strange feeling, and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything quite like it.

  21. I really enjoyed reading this! The idea of pregnancy can be very conflicting in your 20s. The nagging voice in your head saying “awe! look at that baby, I want it” gets a little old when you remember that you have no money, roommates, and your college degree is basically a lie.. I suppose our damaged economy is having a positive effect on us and making us wait. It’s unfortunate for those who choose to bring life into this world and struggle, on the same scale.

  22. Alex, I was really touched by this:

    “I was scared that somehow I had messed up, that I had slipped, that somehow my body had betrayed me because it knows how badly I want to have a baby someday and maybe it decided to take matters into it’s own hands. Maybe my uterus staged a coup.”

    I didn’t realize until I had my first miscarriage how much I wanted to be a mother. Sometimes all the wishing in the world won’t made something happen. And sometimes it won’t undo it, as well.

    Blessings to you in your journey.

    Truth wins,

  23. I can relate to every thought in this post (including the best friend who helps assure you that your crazy isn’t crazy…I’m lucky enough to have one of those and to have shared a few of those exact conversations). I’m recently married and am asked constantly if babies are in the near future. I’ve found that my response of “someday, but not anytime soon. There are still trips we’d like to take and experiences we’d like to have with just the two of us first” is often met with replies along the lines of “No time will ever be perfect so you better not wait too long!” which I find very irritating. I think I’ll use your line about better and less good times and this being a less good time as a retort from now on. Thanks for sharing. Love your writing and scary how closely your thoughts echo my own!

  24. As a fellow pseudo-adult, whose feelings often do not appropriately coincide with the situation, environment, or logical thought patterns, and take off in willy-nilly directions (swearing as they run that their path and timing are not only correct but inevitable so I might as well follow) — I salute your previous day, and the many more to come.

  25. Loved this! I have seven sisters and we all can relate to this. I experience this with my fiancé and I’ve told him “the thought” and we go back to saying our plan of action and saying how “we don’t want it to happen but if it does, we’ll deal with it” and then it doesn’t and we’re both like “yeah! Alright, good, more time to save” but we both know we secretly wouldn’t of minded.

  26. Love this post! The pill, condoms, regular periods all become over rated when you the taught passes in your mind. At which point it becomes to late ! Obsession will kick in as it is obviously a life changing situation! I have a very similar perspective ! Thanks for sharing! Le’s not forget to mention the feeling you get in your gut!!!!!

  27. I hear you. I got pregnant accidentally, at a time I was busy planning my career. When I think about when would’ve been a good time to have a baby, there isn’t one in the past and who knows the future. It feels like now is the right time. But I mightn’t have chosen this time if the pregnancy hadn’t been a surprise. Great post!

  28. I wrote an essay very much like this almost two years ago. The day after I submitted it, I “accidentally” conceived our daughter, who is now almost 15 months. Like you suggest: complicated conflicting emotions and those darn hormones!

  29. I enjoyed this post. What a rollercoaster ride of emotions!

    “So I felt simultaneously like I’d dodged a bullet, and missed the chance to use an accident to get away with starting a journey I really do want to take.” This was me, but the other way around. I had an unwanted pregnancy, but it was a beautiful accident. And now I feel so blessed to have my 5yo.

  30. Oh those feelings I’m all too familiar with! You know what’s funny though? It’s not ever about when you’re ready. It will happen when it’s supposed to happen. And it will be wonderful:)
    I have been pregnant 5 times and have 3 beautiful little ones. Not once but twice have I gotten pregnant while using birth control. (Once the pill and once the Nuva Ring) and YES I used as directed. When we wanted a second child it took us 8 months to conceive- then we got pregnant immediately after having her. She and her brother are 13 months apart. It was incredibly bad timing and I could not imagine life any other way.

  31. Loved reading this. I want a baby in my foreseeable future so badly… I’m only 21 and currently single! But I understand the feels. I get them sometimes when I become so scared that it will never happen for me. That I won’t meet the person. Or my medical issues will prove too challenging and prevent the path I so desperately want. But I’m sure the universe will sort itself out for me – and I hope that for you too, the universe delivers what it is you really want. Xo

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