I recently got this fun baby album that lets you write down all this fun information about your baby. A growth chart, picture slots for birthdays up to 5 years, a list of firsts. One of the first pages asks about information about mommy and daddy. One of the questions is, “When did mommy find out she was pregnant?”
I’m not afraid to tell my daughter this story when she’s older. I’m not afraid to tell anyone this story because it’s quite a story indeed.
It was Sunday, March 16. I had just gotten home from spring break. I was 18. (Saying that makes it sound like I’m much older right now even though I’m 19…)
I had already had my suspicions that I might be pregnant, but I had been ignoring them for the better part of a month. People have asked, “You missed a period, shouldn’t you have known then?” Not necessarily. I’ve always been extremely irregular. I once went almost 4 months without my period, and that was before I had lost my virginity. Missing it for 2 months didn’t really hoist any red flags for me.
What set me off was the nausea and vomiting. At first I thought it was a really bad cold, because I was congested and always tired and just felt really sick in general. I never would’ve guessed the vomiting was actually morning sickness. The fact that the nausea didn’t get better was my flag. That was when I knew something was different, because I had never been sick like that before. It was a Sunday night. I was sick and anxious, and I couldn’t wait any longer.
I was sitting in my dorm bed, trying to figure out what to do. I texted one of my closest friends. She was already out, so I went ahead and asked her if she could pick up a box of pregnancy tests on her way back to campus. When she got to my room, the situation became almost comical. We opened the box, and looked over the directions, which for some reason weren’t as straightforward as we thought they should be. I needed disposable cups to pee in. We ran to the first floor, where some of my other friends lived. I asked them for disposable cups but didn’t tell them anything else. My friend came with me into the bathroom, and I was thanking god at that point that it was empty. I peed into the first cup, and put the test in. It said to wait 2 minutes, but after just 10 seconds I could already see the + sign forming up. I looked away.
After the 2 minutes were up, my greatest fear had been confirmed. I was pregnant. I started hyperventilating. My friend tried comforting me, saying, “Hey, maybe it’s false try taking the other one.” There was a little comic relief at this point. I couldn’t pee, so she took an extra cup and kept running back and forth between the water fountain outside the bathroom to give me water until I could pee. When I did, of course, it was also positive.
You can imagine how I felt. 18 years old, hundreds of miles away from home. Standing in a dorm bathroom stall with a positive pregnancy test in each hand. I burst into tears.
I ran out of the stall and hugged my friend. She did her best to comfort me, but of course neither of us knew what to do in this situation.
We left the bathroom and walked to our friends’ room, the ones that gave us the cups. They opened the door and saw me crying. They asked what was wrong, and I gave them the tests without saying anything. What followed was a series of crying and comforting, though all of us were truly at a loss for words. Soon other friends came. There was a lot of talking, a lot of suggestions were discussed, and a lot of candy was eaten (mostly by me). After many things were said, the six of us sat there in silence. Then two more friends came. At that point, I had already said a mouthful and let my load out, so I was ready to joke. I laughed at their surprised expressions, even though a few hours earlier it felt like I was going to die.
I was extremely grateful to have them there with me, I know I would’ve lost it if I had to go through those first hours of knowing by myself. I would’ve torn myself apart. If you guys are reading this, I love you, and I can’t wait for you all to meet my daughter.
This post isn’t about my discovery though, it’s about what happened after.
As soon as I finally felt well enough to be alone, I retired to my room. The first thing I did was text the picture of the tests (as shown above) to my cousins. As I talked to them, I was trying to figure out how to tell my boyfriend. For lack of words, I decided to just send him the picture too. His reply? “Oh.” Which I laughed at, because I was just at a loss for words as he was.
Everyone had their opinion on what I should do, some more vocal than others.
The keyword of the night was abortion. It wasn’t the word that threw me off, but the way people were describing it.
The best choice.
The obvious choice.
The only option.
What’s right for you and the baby.
The list goes on.
Of course I thought about it. The thought was eating away at me. But here’s the thing.
I am fiercely pro-choice. I will defend a woman’s right to choose to the ends of the earth. Before I had gotten the news, I always believed that if it had ever happened, I wouldn’t hesitate to get an abortion. Now here I am, 36 weeks pregnant, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Ember Nadine.
To let you all in on a little secret, I’m going to tell you the FIRST thing that popped into my head. The thoughts that immediately occurred to me as soon as I saw that plus sign on the pregnancy test.
Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you my second thoughts.
“I’ve been eating poorly. I’ve been drinking. I’ve been self-harming. Is this baby okay?”
To sum that up for you, my first reflex was to love it. While I entertained the idea of an abortion, in my heart I knew that I loved this baby and that I wanted it. In fact, the very next day I went out to buy prenatal vitamins. I even ate a salad for lunch (I hate salad). Of course abortion was still in the back of my mind, but until I was absolutely sure, I didn’t want any more harm to come to this baby than what I had already inflicted.
I’m going to tell you all right now, there is nothing “easy” or “obvious” about abortion. Yes, I would have been able to continue school on schedule. Yes, I wouldn’t have to go through all the trouble of expenses, time, etc etc etc. Yes, for all intents and purposes, to everyone but myself, an abortion would have certainly been the “easier” choice.
But not for me. If I had gotten an abortion, I would be sitting in my apartment at college right now, thinking, “My baby would have been here soon. My stomach would be the size of a watermelon right now.”
My life would have been plagued with “what-if’s” and regret.
Though I’m sitting at home, taking time off of school, worrying about financial problems, worrying and wondering about the future, I’m sitting here with no regrets.
I’m sitting here knowing I made the right choice.