Sometimes I wonder if I was just so scared at the time, that I blocked out all of the details. I do know that when I first laid eyes on that positive pregnancy test in 1992, it was a completely surreal experience. I was Junior at Auburn, and my then boyfriend and I were not planning for this surprise. We had spoken about the potential for marriage after graduation, and had even looked at rings, since we had been dating for two years, but no… a pregnancy was definitely not part of the plan. A baby? While still in school? How on earth would I manage this?
Sure, there were ‘options’ available, but my boyfriend and I loved each other, so we decided to opt for a shotgun wedding and to give this unforeseen life twist our best effort. Truth be told, I wasn’t confident about any of it: the wedding, the marriage, raising a child, finishing my degree, and then on to who knows what. It all seemed so unknown…but at the same time, it somehow still seemed like the right thing to do.
We were fortunate to have family and dear friends that rallied, supported, and encouraged us along the way. I recognize not every young woman has this, and I’m forever grateful for that gift. Our parents were undoubtedly surprised, but they each provided much needed cooperation with our decision. My best friend from high school (Lauren), and my current roommate (Angela), were both Auburn students; they stood beside me on my wedding day, and were even at the hospital when that sweet baby girl, was born at 11:15 at night! So many people showed me, my husband, and my new family such profound, unconditional love. Words cannot express what it meant to me to have this level of encouragement during our time of need. Even if all I could do was say thank you to them at the time, now, I can’t so much as think of them without crying thankful tears for their unwavering support and belief in our future… even when I wasn’t exactly sure how much I believed in our future for myself.
Fortunately, I was ahead in accumulating hours for graduation, so I was able to take the quarter off from school after the wedding to deliver and bond with the precious baby girl, that we named Addison. Angela and Lauren would actually come to babysit so that my new hubby and I could attend a class together the next quarter (Music Appreciation on Tuesday nights - it was our ‘date night’ – ha!). Then, amazingly, us newlyweds both graduated one quarter later. Despite all the doubts and uncertainties, it happened – on time, and with honors! To this day, I’m still good friends with Angela and Lauren, but oh how great it would have been to have an organization like BABY STEPS to have helped with me additional support, resources, and the comradery of women going through a similar situation.
My husband and I went on to have another daughter, have been married for nearly 28 years, and if you can believe it, both of our daughters have graduated from Auburn – a big WAR EAGLE to that! An unplanned pregnancy turned my life into one that God blessed more abundantly than I could have asked or imagined. Addison is now a special education teacher living in Memphis, working in an underserved community for Teach For America. She’s making a real difference in an area that needs her. The world needed her… even though at the time, there’s no way that I could have known how it would turn out.
So, as hard as it was for me back in 1992, I’m incredibly thankful for it all in 2019. As impossible as it was to envision the future when my own idea of the future had been usurped, with a little borrowed faith from my support squad, a big infusion of God’s love, a lot of ups & downs, and a healthy handful of determination -- that unknown future turned out to be my biggest blessing: a life filled with undeniable love that I would not trade for anything. Ever.
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.