Sunday, April 24, 2011

An unexpected surprise: It's a bean!


After the first couple weeks of march, I started getting this slight yet constant feeling of nausea and fatigue. And as it corresponded with an absent period, I was a little worried. Uh oh...

I spent many, many years convincing myself that I never wanted kids. I wasn't always like that. As a child, teen, and young adult, I knew I wanted kids. I knew I wanted marriage and a family. There was no question about it. But as I got older, I grew fearful and cynical and also fell under the impression that men (in particular the guy I was dating at the time) didn't want families, and that it would be impossible to be with someone who wanted what I thought I wanted. I'm ashamed that I pushed aside my own secret wants and needs to adapt the needs of someone else so thoroughly that, for a very long time, I believed they were my own. But you can't lie to yourself for long.

As much as I promised myself and others that it wouldn't happen, sooner or later that little, hidden desire to become more, to share my life, to create life, nudged its way to the surface. Now, I didn't one day just realize I actually wanted a family. I just starting noticing a sense of absence. A feeling of stunted growth. I felt like I was denying myself the possibility for positive change. I realized that all I wanted was the possibility to start a family. The option to maybe one day experience that kind of growth.

And the opportunity for embracing possibility came. I accepted it. I played with the idea. I wasn't exactly warm to the idea of starting a family any time soon, but I loved the fact that I was finally being honest with myself. I finally felt free to truly be me. And to become more.

But I never gave much thought to what would happen, what I would want if I did become pregnant any time soon. It was a scary and unrealistic thought. It just wasn't something I could grasp.

And there I was, peeing on a stick, hoping I was just 'late' (I was two months late about a year before for no reasonable explanation)and that the constant feeling of unwell was just a coincidence. But that little window showed a plus sign so fast, I didn't even have time to doubt that I was, in fact, pregnant.

Cue the tears, the overwhelming fear, the sadness. All I could think about was how impossible and difficult it would be to have a baby. How not ready I was. How me and Spencer were only 6 months official. How could our lives change so much so soon? How would we survive such a life changing experience? How could I handle such a thing? How could I afford it? What would Spencer's friends think? What would Spencer think? Who would support such a change? I had only just started opening up to the idea of maybe starting a family someday, but even in those futuristic fantasies, I was married for at least a couple years. How could I do things out of order?

The answer that I thought was obvious was that I couldn't. We couldn't. It wasn't possible. I just wanted it gone. Done. Forgotten. I was so depressed and horrified at what was happening, at what choice I was having to make. It's difficult for me to admit how horrible this stage was, and it would be too easy to gloss over this part, and go straight to 'I'm so excited to be a mommy!' but that wouldn't be very honest of me. And I know there must be numerous other women out there who went through/are going through the same thing, so I must share my journey as it was...

For a couple difficult and tear-filled days, I was convinced the right thing to do was to have an abortion. Discreetly. And then move on, go back to normal. But something didn't feel right. I felt so conflicted, yet I didn't understand why. It was the only thing to do, wasn't it? Or was I being blinded by fear? I did what I always do when I'm conflicted and confused and sad; I called my mom. I remember this conversation so well, because it just may have changed my life...

I woke my mom up, crying, of course. She asked what was wrong. I sobbed that I was pregnant. She asked why I would be crying about that. I said, 'because I have to get an abortion and I'm so sad.' She asked why I would think that I had to get an abortion. I listed off all my fearful reasons; how I'm not ready, I can't afford it, I don't want things to change. She gently reminded me that no one thinks they are ready, and life happens in strange ways. Everything happens for a reason. I'm 27; not too young, not too old. I'm doing ok financially and there are plenty of women having children who are far worse off than I am. I have a two bedroom apartment. I have insurance. I'm with a really wonderful guy who I love dearly. I can do it.

I was still incredibly fearful and doubtful, yet I started feeling better. I promised I'd only consider maybe keeping it, but my outlook immediately improved. I talked to Spencer, who was as scared shitless as I was, if not significantly more, and we started thinking and talking about the possibilities. It seemed horrifying, yet possible. Something we could figure out. We weren't exactly warm to the idea, but we were playing with it.

And the day came when I knew I couldn't give up the little seamonkey in my belly. It took awhile, but I knew I loved it and was going to love it. We went to my first prenatal exam, saw what looked like a little bean with a fluttering heartbeat. Possibility was embraced.

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