When you become a mom life changes, love changes, you change. And it is from that perspective, as a mom and woman, that I write about trav'lin (not so) light through life. Literally and figuratively.
“No no no no no, you’re supposed to give me 3 minutes”, I said to the very clear and positive pregnancy test lying on the edge of my bathroom sink. I stared at it for 5 minutes, hoping the result would change. Which of course it didn’t. Instead those 2 blue lines only got darker. It isn’t called 'Clearblue' for nothing. Clearly pregnant! I cursed in all kinds of languages while pacing around the bathroom. Now what? I have to tell him of course. But how? After work he would be leaving for the weekend. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to tell him in person, which I would prefer. But I also couldn’t keep it to myself for 3 days. That would be an unbearable emotional torture. I wanted to call him, but my nerves prevented me from making any sensible sentences. I also wanted to give him some space to digest this before having to talk to me. Afraid I wouldn’t be able to cope with his very first reaction to the news. So I send him a message and a picture of the pregnancy test. Not very subtle, I know. Looking back at it now it was probably not the best way to tell him. A little later he called me. Also he did not know what to say on a moment like this. “Are you sure about this?”. I was very sure about it. The test had only confirmed what I already felt for a few days. A change in my body that I had never experienced before.
I don’t remember the exact words of the conversation. I just remember that the first few seconds he sounded excited by the thought of becoming a dad, but very shortly after the reality of our situation hit him. Excitement made place for doubt. We decided to meet at a coffee place near his work for lunch to talk. Both uncomfortable in our new situation. We ordered two hot chocolates and chose a table at the back of the shop. Uncomfortable silence. What do you say on a moment like this? I didn’t know yet how I felt about it all. He started talking about ‘our options’. Options? How do you mean options? I didn’t even consider the fact that there were options. The option to keep or not to keep the baby. Up until that moment I hadn’t considered an abortion. The thought of it instantly gave me a bad feeling in my stomach. Or was it just the hormones? The fact that he mentioned the abortion as an option made me feel disappointed somehow. I think I was secretly hoping he would be happy about all this. Be positive about it. Take my doubts away. But he was right, we had options.
A woman with a baby entered the shop and sat down at a table next to us. If there is a god, he definitely likes sarcasm. We looked at each other and managed to finally smile again.
“Whatever we choose, I will be there for you, you are not alone in this”.
I don’t think he realised at that very moment how important those words were to me. And I could see he meant every word of it. No false pretences, no hidden agenda. Just being his honest self. A man of beautiful principles.
It’s not because something isn’t considered ‘right’ that it is not the right thing to do.
For days, or even weeks, we couldn’t decide what we wanted to do. Or maybe we both didn’t dare to say it out loud. Also the thought of trying to explain all this to our friends and family didn’t help with the decision. My parents didn’t even know I had a boyfriend. “Hi mom, hi dad, this is my boyfriend. And by the way, I’m pregnant”. That would be an interesting introduction into the family. We constantly tried to remind ourselves and each other that this shouldn’t influence our decision. It’s not because something isn’t considered ‘right’ that it is not the right thing to do. Nevertheless, we went to an abortion clinic together to get more information. I think before our visit there we both were more inclined to do an abortion. But when I was sitting there, listening to a doctor explaining the possible procedures and their risks, it all felt so wrong. And to be honest an abortian also didn’t exactly sound like a walk in the park. For a moment I thought “if it’s like that, I might as well deliver a child”. By now of course I know there is nothing like delivering a child. Not to mention raising a child or being pregnant.
Again days went by. We talked and talked, but never really got to a decision. I had a feeling he wanted an abortion, but I could not make peace with that thought. From a purely ‘logical’ point of view it made sense. I just started a new job, moved to a new city and we were only dating for 2 months. But emotionally it felt wrong.
One morning we were on the underground together on our way to work. We were again talking about the options. I got upset and when it was time for me to leave the train he jumped out with me.
“Why are you getting out here?”
“Because I don’t want us to say goodbye like this”
“Like this?” I said, pretending I didn’t know what he meant.
But he totally ignored that and asked “what are you thinking?”
I looked at him in silence. He waited patiently.
“I’m thinking that if something goes wrong with the abortion I will regret it for the rest of my life. It just doesn’t feel right. When I think about it I have this really bad feeling in my stomach.”
“Ok … so lets keep it then.”
“Keep the baby?”
“Yes keep the baby”
The bad feeling in my stomach disappeared instantly. By him saying this I finally knew what I wanted. He smiled and I couldn’t do anything but return the smile. “I will take my responsibility, no matter what happens between us in the future” he said. I knew right then and there, he would be nothing less than the wonderful dad (and person) he is right now. No matter what happened, that child would have a home.
Of course after all this I still had my doubts. I doubted my decision for 6 months into the pregnancy. I did not enjoy being pregnant. Not at all. And I felt like there was no one I could share this with. It is taboo to talk about it that way. As if it brings bad luck. Physically I was not having a lot of discomfort. I even went to the gym up until a week before my due date. Healthy and easy pregnancy. But that instant burst of love and feeling of deep connection some pregnant women talk about … that did not happen to me. I kind of envy those that experience that though. I would have loved to be all happy and completely at peace with it. But I wasn’t. People kept telling me to enjoy being pregnant. I couldn’t. Even though it still felt like the right thing to do. And with all that I don’t mean that having an abortion is a wrong choice. You will never hear me say that. I will never judge. But for me personally it would have been the worse of two options. It was only the last 3 months of the pregnancy that I started looking forward to meeting the little guy growing inside me. The thought of becoming a mom finally started growing on me. With ups and downs of course. I blame the pregnancy hormones. And it wasn’t just me who was finally getting excited about it. I could also see the stars in the future dad’s eyes when he would look at my growing belly. Soon we would meet that unexpected little miracle.
I would make the same decision again in a heartbeat. That doesn’t mean I’m always happy.
Our boy is 10 months now. And I would make the same decision again in a heartbeat. That doesn’t mean I’m always happy. That doesn’t mean it’s not hard. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have my doubts. I can asure you, when you’re unable to properly take care of your own child because you’re recovering from a cesarean, or when you’re having arguments with your partner days in a row because you’re both sleep deprived, you doubt that decision. But right now, well over a year after making that decision, I have absolutely no regrets. And the only advice I can give is “do what feels right”. Don’t listen to what others think. Don’t do what is right in the eyes of others. Do what feels right to you. And if nothing feels ‘really’ right, do what feels less wrong.
And I know that I am a lucky girl. I was lucky I didn’t have to go through this alone. I can not imagine the struggle to face this all on my own. One of my very close friends is in a situation like that. An unexpected single mom. It was actually her who inspired me to start this blog. Especially this specific post. She told me that me sharing my story helped her a lot, even though our stories are different. I think what she is doing is very admirable. She is giving her all for that little one and is doing an amazing job. Don’t let anybody tell you different!!!