Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Guest Blog: Non-Accidental Accidental Pregnancy March 8, 2012

By Maybe Lady Liz

Why is it that every pregnancy announcement these days is quickly followed up with the footnote that this was an “accident”? One of my friends called last night with the big news, and I truly was shocked to hear it. She’d been debating for a long time whether or not she even wanted kids and hadn’t come to any kind of conclusion. After delivering the bombshell, she said, “Obviously, this was a total surprise and completely not on purpose.”

So of course, I countered with a question as to what happened to her birth control – you know, that little pill she’d been taking every day of her life since freshman year of college? That’s when I got the “Welllllllllllll….”, followed by a convoluted tale of a change in insurance, a radical increase in cost, a two-month swing where she and her husband just went without and they thought they’d be okay because a doctor once told her she might have trouble getting pregnant someday.

I’m sorry, but that does not an accident make. What’s an accident, you ask? Someone who takes their birth control religiously, at the same time every day, and one still manages to get past the goalie. Someone whose condom breaks and on their way to get the morning-after pill, they’re kidnapped and held for ransom until it’s too late. Someone whose Nuva Ring fell out and somehow, they didn’t notice it. These are accidents. Going off your birth control for two months while still having sex, is not.

I don’t think my friend is a scheming, conniving liar. I think she actually believes, on the surface, that this truly was an accident. But anytime you’re having sex while not taking every precaution to prevent pregnancy, there’s got to be a part of you that understands and accepts the potential consequences. And I’d have to argue that going through with it means that even if it’s just on a subconscious level, you sort of want a baby.

What I can’t figure out is why people are so eager to convince everyone it was an accident. Why can’t they own up to what they want? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a baby. Is it because society has made us feel that becoming a mother should be secondary to having a career? Or that we should have accomplished this laundry list of great achievements and amassed a small fortune in college funds first?

I don’t know, maybe it’s not important. But for some reason, it’s just driving me crazy lately! Is this happening to anyone else, or is it just my delusional friends?

Maybe Lady Liz is blogging her way through the decision of whether to create her own Cheerio-encrusted ankle-biters, or remain Childfree. You can follow her through the ups and downs at www.MaybeBabyMaybeNot.com.

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4 Responses to “Guest Blog: Non-Accidental Accidental Pregnancy”

  1. Peaches Says:

    I totally agree with you and don’t get it either! It’s like they think it’s somehow “cuter”? to have an “accident” baby, or maybe they want to be able to say that they didn’t actively choose to become pregnant so that they can go on and play martyrs later? I honestly don’t know! Another theory of mine is that those women are simply idiots, but I realise it’s not a very kind thing to say… I don’t know what to say though, when they don’t seem to have basic knowledge of the consequences of unprotected sex, it’s not like they are teenagers or something, these are grown up women we are talking about!
    And yes, obviously, I find it really annoying 😉 lol

  2. Mali Says:

    Like you, when I hear this I roll my eyes, and think “if you’re having unprotected sex, then it’s not an accident!” Argh. I laughed at the “Nuva ring fell out and they didn’t notice it.”

    It is an interesting question though – why someone would want to emphasise the “accident” part. The first decade or so with my husband, I didn’t want to get pregnant, and so we never ever had unprotected sex. If I’d become pregnant then, as you said, I could have said it was an accident. But then when we started trying, I knew unprotected sex could possibly equal baby. I would never have said it was an accident, because it just wouldn’t have been true.

  3. Polly Says:

    A strange phenomenon indeed, isn’t it? In my home country in Europe (maternity leave 1 year, optional up to 3 years) many women I know suffer some odd kind of guilt towards their employers (for going on an extended leave) and thus prefer to pretend their pregnancy was not intentional. They will go out of their way to convince co-workers and bosses that it was an “Oops” pregnancy. So every time the subject comes up at the office water cooler it is the same story over and over again…for 9 months.
    Another aspect I have noticed is that quite a few men/husbands are not necessarily ready to jump on the parent train before they hit their forties. Quite a few of my friends in their late 30s would love to have kids, but despite some of them being married/in a relationship for 10 years +, they complain about their men (same age) not being ready for children “yet”. Again, this might not apply to the US/Canada.

    • mina Says:

      What you say about men is definitely true for my country as well (in Europe, at least geographically, but alas, 4 months of maternity leave for the women and something like 10 days for the fathers).
      So i guess some of those oops-pregnancies might actually have to do with women deliberately “forgetting” the pill because of partners stalling. I wouldn’t recommend that but I’m sure it happens. Maybe the office talk is there to support the tale they have given their partners.


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