The first thing I would want to say is you are NOT alone, you are not the first woman to have an unplanned pregnancy or be unmarried and pregnant, and you WON’T BE THE LAST. You are brave, you are strong, you are free to follow God’s plan for your life. He has blessed you with this baby for a reason! He blessed me with mine to save my life, to change me, and to show me how he truly sees me.
Although I had graduated college and was in my third year of teaching, it was still hard to be unmarried and pregnant. I’ve always believed I would be a mom one day, but I just didn’t expect it to look like this. It took three pregnancy tests and a doctor’s visit for me to believe that I was, indeed, pregnant. The ultrasound brought me to tears and made me realize there was actually something growing inside me and I was going to be a mom. I told the baby’s dad first, but he had an uneasy feeling about the pregnancy because both of us were in other relationships at the time. He was supportive, but he was not around as much as either of us wished he was. Next, I told my lifelong friend. She was supportive and proud of me for choosing to parent my child.
It wasn’t until the second trimester when I told my family. Surprisingly, my family was supportive. I expected them to be disappointed in me and to reject me and my child, but those worries proved to be pointless. I was most worried about how my pregnancy would affect my relationship with my dad, but he said that he was not going to dwell on the past and instead, look toward the future, and he even asked if my child and I were healthy. Looking back, I relate my experience to the story in the Bible of the prodigal son, and how God welcomes his children back with open arms. My oldest sister, who is generally toughest on me, called me once a week to check on me and the baby.
I feared telling my church family that I was pregnant, but they were very encouraging. I continued greeting throughout my pregnancy until my due date. I was never judged or questioned, nor did I fear people looking for the ring that wasn’t there on my ring finger. My worries and what-if scenarios never became realities. A church mentor helped me find a small group to join called “Embrace Grace-unplanned pregnancy.” Obviously, this group was PERFECT! There was another pregnant mom, and both the leaders had been single and pregnant. The leaders threw us a baby shower, and we were blown away. The older women that were there, who I feared might reject me, were supportive and loving. I stay in touch with them to this day.
I received God’s grace throughout my pregnancy. I never lost faith, and I was confident that God had a plan and purpose for this baby. I knew I would grow bigger and wiser. My pregnancy was a blessing in disguise.
I am blessed to share my story. I am able to help and encourage other moms by leading a Bible study for young single moms and Embrace Grace. It is beautiful hearing everyone’s story and building community.
I have support from my child’s dad. He sees our son a couple times a week, and provides his health insurance, toys, food, and clothes. You name it, his dad will take care of it. Our families, my church, and my friends are supportive.
Loving your child is like nothing you have ever experienced before. I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s. It’s not all about me anymore: Dean comes first. Sleep is a luxury. Personal space doesn’t exist. Food is a requirement. Being a single mom is exhausting, and it means that if I’m invited somewhere that Dean can’t go, then I probably won’t be there. There is no room in the budget for a babysitter. My parents are GREAT and help out with him pretty much every day. As a strong woman that is hard to admit, but sometimes you need help. You are the only one to make decisions, you fix the bottles, you change every diaper, you take out the trash, you wash the dishes, and you have to take care of yourself! You are also the one that sees the first smile, hears the first words, watches the first steps, and you are the one he wants in good and bad times. It is the MOST rewarding experience.
By giving a voice to those whose stories include unplanned pregnancies, we hope to empower those who may be in the midst of their own. These are The Stories We Tell.