I wanted to share this story for anyone struggling with their pregnancy.
In 2012 I became pregnant. I was dating the father on and off. In the past, there was some cheating in on his part. I had finished college but he hadn’t despite my pleas to be be more focused. Still, I loved him and saw a lot of good and charisma in him. Sexually, we had a few hiccups. I stopped taking the pill, I couldn’t find a prescription that didn’t have adverse side effects and it was was becoming too expensive for me. It was like $60 a month for it, and you needed to buy at least three months which was $180 upfront at the time. I fixed these hiccups with morning after pills on 3 different occasions; I had no idea what kind of effects it would have on my body longterm. One day we had another oopsies moment and I told my boyfriend, “I’m not taking the morning after pill. I don’t want to.” He agreed. I was worried about the effects these pills had on my reproductive system and knew I shouldn’t use them as a form of major contraception.
Lo and behold I become pregnant. Oh how I wished I took the morning after pill, I was not in a position to have a baby yet! I had just started a new career in real estate, I literally made -$6,000 in my first year and had tons of student loan debt. I had quit law school a few years ago due to cost and still had loans for my 1 year in law school. My boyfriend had seemingly no prospects, his only work history was as a delivery driver for a Mexican restaurant.
I told my boyfriend while he was visiting family in Puerto Rico. He was shocked but agreed to be there for me.
The first couple of weeks were incredibly tough. I was unprepared for the hormonal changes, and the question of how we were going to pay for a baby and all that’s required gnawed at me. I would have terrible mood swings. I cried a lot.
Things were not getting better and by the 2nd month the thought of abortion entered my mind. I did my research and started looking into it. The abortion pill was easier to digest, it was like a miscarriage. Easy. Happens all the time to women. But I needed to decide soon because I wouldn’t be able to do this after 3 months. After that, I’d be looking at more invasive procedures. With the D&E procedure it was like, “how is this not murder?” I wrestled with the idea for a while but came to the conclusion I would always live with the abortion, the abortion would not erase this pregnancy.
I vowed not to tell anyone other than my boyfriend of the pregnancy until the period which I could take the abortion pill passed. I did not want to be influenced by anyone telling me I wasn’t ready. I was already feeling really concerned about that.
I started telling my parents when I was 4 months pregnant. I remember making the call and in the weakest, shakiest voice saying, “Mom, I have something to tell you. I’m pregnant.” There was silence as the other end and it was deafening. My mom hoped I would return to law school, she must have realized with pregnancy that wouldn’t be an option. I forget what she said but it was full of disappointment. I got off the phone with her as soon as I could and just cried. I cried a lot during the pregnancy.
I told my best friend who seemed sympathetic and tried to help me as much as she could. But I don’t think she saw this as a good outcome for me, in her eyes I was ruining my life.
I was working two jobs to make ends meet. I sold perfume at Macy’s for their holiday season and also worked at Target. I was barely making my $650 rent for my roommate share and we were going to need new housing soon for the new baby. This happened while I was 3-6 months pregnant.
My boyfriend still didn’t have a job but he was looking. We would get in constant fights. I blamed him for the pregnancy and for not being ready to support a child. I would throw tantrums and flip out. I also wanted him to marry me but he was scared to commit to me while I was so crazy from hormones.
We had a conversation I’ll never forget. He knew my parents were not happy with my pregnancy out of wedlock but he didn’t feel like he should marry me just because my parents thought so. I looked at him and said, “I don’t want to be with anyone else. You don’t have to marry me but just know that’s how I feel.” He told me he didn’t want to be with anyone else either. Even though things were not ideal, he had some pretty great qualities that I knew would make him a great husband and dad.
A week later he agreed to marry me. It was a quick 1 month planning, civil ceremony and family dinner type wedding. His parents helped cover the costs of the dinner. My parents still refer to it as a gunshot wedding. This was in December when I was 6 months pregnant. I remember running into a Davids Bridal with my best friend and just buying any dress that fit! The consultant was kind of in shock.
In January we got a big break. My boyfriend was hired at the local Casino for their surveillance department. One of my roommates saw an opening and mentioned it. Thank God he got the job. It was full time, paid $15.00 an hour and was an overnight gig. I prayed and hoped that he would get it since after the holidays the perfume work dries up. All I had was the Target hours which also dried up to only 20 hours a week. I was getting too big and tired anyway.
Things were really starting to pull together and we needed housing for the baby. We started looking at small two beds and big one beds. Every two bedroom was $1700+ and we did not have the funds for that. We looked around and miraculously an apartment showed up that was for $1400. It was only 2 blocks from where I was currently living. It was a house that was converted to a two family home. It was the smallest two bedroom I ever saw, could not been bigger than 700-750sqft but it did the job and was renovated. The owner was kind of sketchy. From what she told us, we didn’t know if she was the owner or the property manager and here we are trying to give her two and a half months rent. Pretty much all the money we had. We had no idea if this was legit or whether she would take the money and run. Thankfully, we signed the lease and and got the keys.
My husband got another job offer, this time for the TSA at the airport. It was amazing. He could work nights at the Casino and days at TSA. It was another miracle we needed. It was going to be incredibly tough on him, working some days 16 hours running from TSA to the Casino. (FYI, we didn’t have a car so public transit it was). I’ll never forget that time, he knew how hard it would be but rolled up his sleeves and did it. I was 7 months pregnant when he was working those two jobs.
Meanwhile, I was keeping up with my prenatals and doctor appointments. I looked very young and would get dirty looks at the appointments from the older pregnant women. I knew they thought I was just another single mother. One of the lab technicians told me that she thought it was good when people decided to keep it. At the time I didn’t realize how many abortions happen in a year.
Things were finally beginning to settle down at 8 months, we were getting financially figured out, we had our own apartment for the incoming baby, we got the baby furniture as a gift from the inlaws, we got married, and had most of what we needed from a baby shower that my parents threw for me. They came around especially after they saw my boyfriend marry me. They were happy and felt more secure about the whole thing. Things were coming together.
My time at Target was ending and though I did not work enough to get disability from them, I was eligible for FMLA so could return to work there. They were kind and let me work the dressing room with a chair so I could sit during my final weeks.
The actual labor was very intense but because I was very active during my pregnancy, it was short. I was in active labor for 6 hours. I wasn’t managing the pain well and 3 hours in I begged for the epidural and was able rest after it was administered. The doctor was in surgery doing cesearian so all I had was a midwife, her name was Janet, the sweetest woman ever. I felt the need to push, pushed for 20 mins and had my baby! Janet gave me a kiss and a hug. She showed me how to breastfeed. It was an incredible birthing experience.
After we got home with our baby, it took us bit of effort to get acclimated to the change in our lives. My husband was exhausted from working 2 jobs and 16 hour days. It was still hard. But we managed.
I started getting an itch to start working literally 4 weeks after giving birth. I thought I would start looking again and just get myself out there, after all it might take weeks for me to find a job. I responded to this craigslist ad for a receptionist position at a new rental building. The building was being constructed and they needed someone as reception for the 6 month project while they started leasing it. I was overqualified for the position as receptionist but saw it as a way to get my foot in the door. The woman I interviewed with was shocked to learn that I had just given birth and was a licensed real estate agent interested in the building. She was a mom of 2 kids herself and saw my drive as something worthwhile. She hired me on the spot. I surprisingly started at $33 an hour as their receptionist. The total compensation was supposed to be $40k for six months but the project was extended to 10 months and I made $70k during that time. This was a blessing from God because my husband was getting worn out from working two full time jobs for 3-4 months and now he could let go of one while I went back to work. He could then help more with the baby.
That job I got was a godsend, it opened the door to so many other opportunities and five years later we are no longer financially insecure. Debt almost paid off. We had our baby and just had our second one.
I wanted to share this story as encouragement to those families are starting out rough. Life is unpredictable. There’s no plan. Your plans will always be derailed because life brings challenges and surprises at every turn. All you need to do is support each other, take it day by day and always be open to every opportunity that comes to you. Life will sort the rest out.
Wishing all the young families many blessings.
Check out my other post on pregnancy
Tags: unwanted pregnancy, accidental pregnancy, options, pregnancy counseling, dealing with unplanned pregnancy