I knew from the moment that I went to the gender ultrasound and got a full on frontal of her lady parts in spread eagle pose, that the little girl in my stomach was going to be trouble. What a lot of people don’t know, is that at that point I wasn’t sure if she was going to be my trouble, or someone Else’s.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified. You can ask anyone that was with me at the time (because a normal trip to the bathroom is a group affair when you’re a woman, if there’s something HAPPENING in the bathroom… it’s like a sold out Niki Minaj concert is happening in stall 2)., I was a wreck.
It didn’t take but about two seconds for that stick to SCREAM at me in big block letters that I was in fact, a mother to be… but in that two seconds I felt my life flash before my eyes…
No, i’m just kidding. There was no epic moment where I saw my youth flushing down a giant diaper shaped toilet, and there was no tears of shame or moment of silence for the “life I could have had” (we’ll get to that later). I was a silent wreck, screaming on the inside “what? why? when?”… no, not how, I think we all know the answer to that question. I replayed the past few months in my head like a marathon of bad news stories about how exactly I had already failed to be a good mother.
“But… I was on birth control….” was the first sentence out of my mouth. I was not a fair weather birth control taker either, I was not in the best place in my “relationship” and I was not going to take any chances. The blaring 5 pm alarm on my phone, and the following 5:15 and 5:30pm alarms made sure of that with a vengeance. It’s hard to not think about doing something when what sounds like a car alarm on steroids is going off every 15 minutes. Like a loudspeaker announcing “Please step away from the Uterus! Back away slowly, with your hands in the air! No babies! No babies! No babies!”
It wasn’t until about a year later that I would start to read the news articles and reviews letting me know exactly how unreliable Yaz was… I almost wanted to send them a picture of me and my 6 month old baby and say “Ya think?”
I digress… (this is in no way abnormal)
Anyone who knows me knows that I will do just about anything to avoid confrontation, so after finding out that my uterus was hard at work creating an alien like human being, the task arose to tell the person who’s super sperm won the race that he was going to be a dad. How do you do this? It didn’t help that by this point I was NOT in a relationship with said person anymore, and I had just heard a few days before that he was dating someone else.”Hey you! Its been a few days so I hope we are in a place where we can talk again! Your new girlfriend seems like a super swell gal! Does she like children?”
I flirted with many possibilities as far as delivery of the news, pink balloons on the mailbox? A birth announcement with a “to be determined” date of birth, name, and weight? Yes I would much rather make an ass of myself than say it to someones face. Finally, one night a few weeks later, days after actually seeing the father in person and not saying a word, I settled on a sure fire method of getting the message to him… text message.
Yes, no need to re-read that it was right the first time, and I’ll say it again: I text messaged him. Like an ass.
I don’t remember the direct quote, but the message went something like this:
“Hey Jordan, I know we haven’t talked in awhile, but I just thought I’d let you know that I’m pregnant. It came as a shock to me too! Birth control is obviously not the bees knees. Maybe I can sue Yaz and become a millionaire!
Oh, yeah. You’re the dad.
Congrats! I’ll talk to you later!”
That was that. I brushed my hands off, let the weight of not telling him slip off my soldiers, and drifted into the sleep that only a pregnant woman can get in the 1st trimester. That amazingly wonderful “my body cannot function for another two seconds” kind of sleep,and I slept for 10 uninterrupted hours. You know, the kind of sleep that I won’t have again for another 15 years…
What happened next played a large part in me seriously considering adoption.
I didn’t hear a word from him for weeks. Almost a full month. Not an “are you okay?”, or a “what are we going to do now?”… not even a “sweet deal bro, lay off the brewskies!” Nothing…
So I had plenty of time to think. Which, in normal circumstances is no good for this girl because my brain goes to some strange places. My train of thought is on all kinds of crack, and probably some ecstasy too because it honestly makes zero sense to most people. Add some hormones to the mix? My brain was on a mission to over-think, over-analyze, and self destruct. After a full week in pajama mode, and about four gallons of ice cream (hold the pickles please), I had come to the conclusion that adoption was the only choice.
My friends tried to talk to me out of it, but my mind was made up. I couldn’t raise a child alone! I had already contacted Gladney and done an interview, and this was going to happen. I had told Jordan that adoption was my choice, and that he didn’t need to worry about me or the baby because we would be fine. I surrounded myself with friends, and tried to pretend like none of it was happening, and in my delusional world I was going to do that until one day, magically, I was not pregnant anymore, and another family magically had a baby appear in an empty crib in their house.
Then my belly appeared overnight. Delusional reality… officially blown. What was this in my stomach? I could feel her moving, I could feel everything. This is a feeling that only a woman who has carried a child can understand, and I wish that every single person on this planet (dads included) could experience it. What had before been only a blob on a screen that looked more like a lima bean than anything human, was a little person now. Squishing, and grabbing, and squeezing things that I didn’t even know were inside my stomach. She was already the most perfect thing I had ever done, and I knew that before I ever laid eyes on her.
I cried for days. I had books of potential adoptive parents strewn around my room, and I could barely bring myself to get out of bed because that would mean stepping over them, and acknowledging they were there. It was an awful game of “lava” that I used to play when I was a kid, but I knew that if I stepped off of my bed and into the floor it was reality that would burn me alive, and that was too much to handle.
As I was slowly turning into a planet, and a hot mess of a planet at that, the world just kept moving. The few people who knew I was pregnant and knew what I was going through (shout out to Kristen Nemain and Stephanie Goudy) just held my hand and let me cry. Those girls got me through what I look back on as one of the most confusing and heartbreaking few months of my life, and I honestly don’t know what I would have done, or where I would be right now if they hadn’t been there to keep me from letting the lava engulf me.
I prayed, and I cried. I stared at my stomach for hours, and tried to reason with the little girl inside me “Please, if you could just chill out until you’re born it would make this a lot easier. Stop hiccuping, stop kicking me, stop making my heart drop” (now I know that it wasn’t her making my heart drop, that was a mix of god and guilt, and I wish I had listened to it sooner and saved myself some heartache).
I was 7 months pregnant the day that my heart finally woke up, and god practically slapped me in the face with what had been inside my mind all along.
I was flipping through facebook when my screen froze. Literally froze, I couldn’t scroll up or down anymore. Right there in the middle of the screen was a two line facebook post from someone I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. I read it, and tried to keep scrolling again, but at that point I imagine god was pretty fed up with me so the screen didn’t budge.
I read it again.
One more time…
Ezra 10:4 – “Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”
“Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage and do it.”
Take courage, and do it.
This is the point where I imagine a full on love scene going on inside me, where my heart and my brain run towards each other in slow motion in a field of flowers or something. But in reality I felt like they were speeding at each other in two race cars that finally collided after months of playing chicken.
I immediately texted (do you see a trend here? Confrontation isn’t my thing) my family and friends and told them my decision. I was going to be a mom.
I told Jordan too, and let him know that this was my decision and I in no way expected him to feel like it meant he had to be a father. I was ready, and even if he wasn’t I wouldn’t hold it against him.
He stepped up, and we were together for awhile as most of you know, but at that point it wasn’t in the works.
July rolled around and after hours of labor (or… as I lovingly call it, my “naptime” – epidurals ARE the bees knees it turns out), and an endless few hours of pushing – she was in my arms. She cried at first, but after a few minutes of me holding her she just laid there staring at me. Her eyes were wide open, and I know that in that moment, that first moment when my heart was literally outside my body in my arms, I knew that handing my heart to another mom and dad might literally have killed me.
We had an understanding in that moment. Her and I looked each other up and down, and both of us nodded and said
“It’s you and me now… we can learn together… don’t screw me up too bad, okay?”
Here we are almost 3 years later, and I think we’ve both managed to not screw the other one up too bad. Sometimes I wonder how we will make it through the next hour, nonetheless the next 50 some odd years… but I know we will manage.
Every night before bed I tell her “You wear me out, but I Love you anyways.” And she says “I love you anways too”
But I will tell her someday that she caused more trouble before she was born than some people manage in a lifetime, and she owes me a really nice nursing home for all the premature grey hairs she gave me. We will laugh, and then I will hand her a brochure for a home in Maui and say “no, seriously”.
I knew she was trouble, but she’s my trouble.
Ask me sometime how she made me pee on a dog when I was pregnant. I still think she managed to plan that, from the womb …