I found out I was pregnant in September of 2015. It was a Sunday night when I took the test, but I didn’t need to. I knew I was pregnant. I could sense it; I knew I was done for. I took multiple tests and I sat on the floor of my bathroom, staring at the positive results. I called the father, we discussed it. Inconveniently, he had already moved on to someone else. There was no time for a baby. No money. We didn’t love each other. There was nothing more to say about it. My heart was crushed and I wanted to avoid any reminder of him. It seemed like abortion was our only way out. I was ready to move on from this hellish nightmare, so I agreed.
He drove me to my appointment and we went through the song and dance at Planned Parenthood. I chose not to look at the ultrasound because I was stopping at nothing to end the pain I felt. No one knew it, but I was sad. I was fighting a battle in my head.
They had me sit in a room for two hours and watch a movie. I picked a comedy, but didn’t laugh. Finally, they called my name and took me back to the room. I changed into a faded gown and sat on the cold metal table with 5 minutes to myself. I looked around and then, it hit me – I’m ending this. I cried silently to myself, asking God to protect my child and let my baby into heaven. The anesthesiologist came in and the doctor and nurses rushed in next. Everything happened so quickly, with no more time to think. “Did you read those silly papers the state makes you read? I’m supposed to ask.” the doctor questioned with an eye roll. Before I knew it, I was out.
I woke up in the recovery room. The nurse comes up to me and says, “I am so sorry. It did not work for you. Your cervix is very hard. We couldn’t get through.”
“Is my baby okay?”
This wasn’t the type of protection I had in mind when I prayed, but it’s the type that I got. I had the option of going back that day, but I was carrying a healthy baby. I was done fooling myself into thinking that I was not capable of giving my child a breath of life. I never went back.
I didn’t think of placing my baby for adoption on my own. I had good friends that helped me become aware of the option, a good adoption lawyer who walked me through the specifics, a good family to support me, and a spiritual peace to get me through each difficult day. Despite the positives, every day was a war. I often cried myself to sleep, apologizing to my child as I felt my bump.
In my waitress book at work, my baby’s ultrasound picture was tucked behind my checks. I was constantly looking at it; amazed that there was a tiny part of me that would soon be introduced to the world. Of course, soon I was fired from that job. Vomiting in the back alley multiple times during shifts didn’t exactly make me employee of the month. Morning sickness isn’t advantageous.
I decided to become a substitute teacher, since no one was going to hire a pregnant girl. I taught kids that were 5-7 years younger than me, and I felt embarrassed. They knew I was unwed and had nothing to offer my child. Having a baby is supposed to be a happy moment in life, my transparency showed that I was the opposite. However, I worked hard and stayed focused.
It took me a long time to come to terms with my pregnancy. I was in denial, despite the constant kicks in the ribs that knocked the wind out of me. It didn’t hit me until I was in the delivery room, when my water broke. During labor, I was terrified. I was continually looking up at my mother, who was steadfast in encouragement and never left my side. She was my best friend throughout the pregnancy; my unwavering companion. When the doctor held my son up in front of me, all my pain went away. A little boy that I created was finally in the world, and it was an incredible feeling. The next day, I signed the adoption papers with tears in my eyes and love in my heart.
When it was time to be discharged, I kissed my son, hugged his parents, and wished everyone well. I walked out of the hospital with my mother and father at each side. I was emptyhanded. The pain was intense. For weeks, I woke up every morning with tears when I saw no baby in the room. My heart was sore; the separation and grieving were heavy. At one point, I tried to move on with my life and forget about what happened, but it is truly a part of who I am. Every time I got a new picture or watched a video, I thanked God. My child is alive, he is happy, he is loved.
I could not give my son a father without giving him a mother too. I could not give him opportunities without giving him a family that could support him. I stand tall knowing that I did the best that I could and someday, he will know that too. Life for my child is worth every ache in my chest and I would not hesitate to do it all again.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published at a now-removed blog on November 15, 2016, and is reprinted here with permission.