I typically keep my opinions to myself, but even if this changes the life of one person the angst I’ve felt over posting this will be worth it. Today marks the two-year anniversary of the day that I almost made the biggest mistake of my life.
Like many of you have probably already done, Evelyn will one day learn math and discover that Stephen and I had not been dating very long before we found out that we were expecting. In fact it was the morning of our eight month “anniversary”. Two years ago today I got out of bed, went to the store and walked out with eggs and a pregnancy test. We all know what the results, I was pregnant. I cried. Not just for a couple of hours, for a week. I didn’t get out of bed and I went over every possible scenario in my head because I didn’t know what my decision was going to be.
I cringe typing that word–decision.
But you see for as long as I can remember I have been pro-choice. So when I saw those two pink lines I believed that because they weren’t part of my five-year-tied-up-in-a-pretty-little-bow plan that I had a choice to make. I always wanted to be a mother, but on my terms and in my timing. In my heart I knew what I was going to do, but for a whole week I tried to convince myself that I didn’t have a life growing inside me, that it didn’t have a heartbeat, that I could swallow a pill and life would go back to normal, that it was “just a ball of cells.”
As I sit here and watch my daughter run around the house giggling, shaking her little finger at our barking dogs, blowing me kisses, hugging her baby dolls, and pulling out every.single.piece. of Tupperware in our cabinets, I am begging, BEGGING, you to please choose life. That little flickering gray and white blur you see on the screen may not look like anything, but that is a child. A child that is going to learn to sit up and crawl and walk and run and talk and form opinions of its own; it’s going to grow and learn and love and if you leave it alone long enough you will hold your screaming, seconds-old baby in your arms with tears falling uncontrollably down your face and you will realize it was never just a ball of cells.
Evelyn’s first sonogram is framed in her room and every time I see that little blip of grey in the sea of black I’m reminded how thankful I am for her life. Because that blip is Evelyn. Evelyn who is standing in her crib, greeting me with her I-just-woke-up smile and messy hair, handing me her favorite pink dog and white blanket, and finally reaching her arms up and around my neck so that we can start our day. And that is the life that two years ago I was contemplating literally flushing down the drain. That entire person who has brought so much joy to my life would’ve just not existed and that is heart wrenching.
So to the unexpectedly expecting mother,
Undoubtedly we come from different backgrounds. Maybe you’re younger and wanted to get an education or see the world, maybe you’re older and thought you were done having kids, maybe you’re not in the relationship you wanted to be in, maybe you’re not in a relationship at all, maybe you’re super happy in your relationship and life but just didn’t want children of your own, whatever your story is I have stood at the crossroads where you stand. I understand what it’s like to feel scared, to feel unsteady on your feet, to feel like you’re losing your freedom, to feel like you’re giving up on your dreams, to feel embarrassed, worried, anxious, alone. I get it.
Yes, your life will change. You will lose sleep, every relationship in your life will be tested, you will question yourself on a daily basis, your aspirations will change, you will struggle through days where it feels like your world is collapsing, but you can do this.
It won’t always be pretty, but you can do this.
I don’t know your exact situation, I know it’s complicated, I know it’s hard, and I don’t have all the answers. What I do know is what a gift it is to have a snuggly newborn asleep on your chest, the joy in your heart hearing a high-pitched squeaky voice calling you mama, the pride you feel when your child learns something as simple as the color blue, and the new-found confidence in yourself for overcoming things you never thought imaginable; and because of that I hope you put all of your what-ifs and worries aside, trust in God’s timing, and choose life. And if you do, I promise that one day you’ll think back on the day when you saw those two pink lines and be in disbelief that you ever thought you had a choice to make.
A mother who knows the love of a child
***and to the women who have already chosen differently, I know it wasn’t an easy decision and my heart is with you.