The test was positive. What should have been a moment of sheer joy was instead unbelief then panic.
I just found out I’m pregnant…in my on again, off again boyfriend’s bathroom. This was not how I imagined this moment would unfold. A million thoughts were filling my mind and then the final thought I focused on was he’s going to leave me. I wasn’t prepared to leave the bathroom. Close my eyes, deep breath. Open. Still positive.
A day later Planned Parenthood confirmed the pregnancy with a free test and quickly informed me that it would be difficult for me to raise a baby on my own and decisions would need to be made quickly. He said he would support whatever decision I made. What? There was NEVER a doubt…I am going to be a mom. Underneath this panic and fear, excitement began to bubble!
He didn’t break up with me but he should have. Better yet, I should have. He was never around. I caused all sorts of problems if I showed up unexpectedly. I was an embarrassment. His friends hid the girls he would mess around with from me in other rooms or pretend they invited her. His friends hated me for ruining his life or ruining the party. I was alone and desperately trying to hang on to him because I wanted my child to have a father. I would spend hours driving around at night trying to find him or catch him in another lie. As I look back, it sickens me to see how low my self-esteem truly was. I’m embarrassed of the girl I once was.
I desperately wanted someone to share in my joy but very fearful of what my parents would say. I hid my pregnancy for six months with tight clothes under loose-fitting clothes. I was small so it just appeared as though I had put on a few pounds.
As my belly grew, my anger and jealousy of happy soon-to-be parents grew as well. I hated them. I hated watching them smile and shop together for baby items and baby clothes. I watched him touch her belly and smile then go back to holding her hand or gently touching her back as they shopped. I spent hours in those baby specialty stores wishing I could afford the cute baby clothes and furniture.
Instead, I spent my weekends hitting every garage sale and second-hand store. I was thankful for lay-a-way to give my baby something new but struggled on the assembly part. I never had the right tools and I always had left over nuts and bolts. The rocking chair tilted to the side a bit and the metal crib wouldn’t go down all the way on the side. It was the best I could do.
Morning sickness, sleepless nights, and extreme exhaustion. Calculating the cost associated with a newborn kept me awake at night. My full-time, $12.00 per hour job wasn’t going to support us. I took on a second job at night doing inventory for various big stores so I could have money to save.
There was something I hated more than the happy soon-to-be parents at the baby stores. Happy, soon-to-be parents at the ObGyn. She would look so cute and fashionable in her beautiful maternity clothes. I sat there uncomfortably in my tight jeans with a rubber band looped through the button-hole and then looped over to the button. Long tank tops so my belly and open zipper wouldn’t show. The open zipper was sharp against my growing boy.
There’s another glance at my empty right hand ring finger. Yes, I see you looking and I hear your whispers. I’m young, unwed and pregnant. You feeling sorry for me disgusts me. Please stop staring. I never could get used to the looks of pity or disapproving judgement. It crushed my heart and wrecked my spirit.
It’s a boy!
The first sonogram. Listening to the heart beat. Finding out it was a boy. All on my own.
I talked to him, read to him, and sang to him. I prayed for him constantly. He was my everything. We were a team. He was my reason for breathing. I cherished every kick, turn, and hiccup. I couldn’t wait for him to arrive. I couldn’t wait to be a mom to this sweet boy.
My feet were so swollen, my back ached. How I would have loved a good foot rub or massage or to have a meal cooked for me.
I was with my parents on a dark, rainy October day in 1998 when my baby alerted me that he was ready to enter this world. I was terrified. I left him messages that I was in labor. He was out-of-town with some other woman. It took me over 19 hours, severe vomiting and body shakes, and unbelievable pain to deliver my handsome 10.3 pound son. Plenty of time for him to drive back and witness his son’s birth.
It is extremely difficult to describe the clash of emotions I felt that night in the hospital. I was alone, now with a son. Could I really do this? I was in so much pain – physical and emotional. I was terrified yet full of joy. Thoughts raged between wondering what kind of life was I bringing my son in to with how much I was in love with this little guy. I didn’t want us to leave the hospital for fear of the unknown. But I wasn’t alone with my son. As I prayed over my son and asked that God bless him, watch over him, and always keep him safe….did I realize that God was with us. It was comforting, peaceful and encouraging. When my parents arrived the next evening to take us home, I was ready.
I gave my life to God a few months before I found out I was pregnant. I left the drinking and the partying behind. One wild ride of a lifestyle for another. I was a baby Christian about to have a baby, who knew nothing of the bible, nothing about God, and with no Christian friends. But He was speaking to me. It was a promise that I was meant to be a mom and to raise kids who would have a better life. It was my purpose in this world. If I knew then what I know now, I certainly would have trusted God more instead of relying on what I wanted to do.
God destined me to be a single parent during their early years so that their entire upbringing would be shaped by me and God’s word.
I survived on His promises.
Thank you God for your love, grace, and for knowing me so well. Better than I knew myself.