Most of us are on social media these days. Whether it’s Facebook, Snap Chat, Instagram or all of them, we’re all connected.
This morning I was scrolling through Facebook and my memories popped up. I clicked it expecting the usual; pictures of my oldest as a baby eating spaghetti, with the sauce adorably covering her entire body. Or videos of her joyously laughing in our old living room, with a diaper and that cute toddler waltz.
Of course, I was right. Because no matter how often you say you won’t post a million pictures of your kid, after you have one, all bets are off.
A few images from 2015 popped up.
I saw this.
What kind of big decision did I have to make before kids? My life was great! I was 24, had an easy job that paid the bills, a boyfriend who I’d go out drinking with, who I’d smoke the occasional blunt or two with. We were young, carefree. We had FUN! We could go anywhere and do anything we wanted whenever we wanted. We were two years out of college, and enjoying our freedom.
And then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I did the math, and my stomach sank and my brain was flooded with memories.
I was trying to decide if I wanted an abortion or not.
I think that’s one of the most difficult sentences I’ve ever written. It’s also one of the most real, raw and vulnerable thing I’ve ever put in words.
Having a child is scary. Even if you’re trying and planning and feel like you’re as ready as you can be, it’s scary!
So for my (now) husband and I – two 24 year olds with no extra money, not married, not even having kids on the radar – we were scared shitless.
As I sit here now at preschool, waiting to pick up my beautiful 4.5 year old with my 10 month old son in the backseat sleeping peacefully, my mind is racing. My palms are sweating.
I called abortion clinics. I called adoption clinics. I cried… and cried and cried and cried. I daydreamed about this baby – about my life with it, about my life without it. I thought about what kind of life I was able to provide this baby. I called my local Medicaid office to get information. I called a few close friends. I even told my parents.
After countless hours of agonizing over my choices, I made up my mind. But I’ll tell you, I wasn’t confident; I was far from it actually. I was scared, unprepared, hesitant – but I couldn’t imagine any other option than having and keeping my child.
It was by far the best decision I have ever made. It was also the hardest.
I support you. There’s also so many people in the community who can help provide support,too.
If you find out you’re pregnant and it’s unexpected, I want you to know a few things.
You are strong. You have the power to say “Hey, I’m in a situation that I didn’t want and I’m not sure I can handle…I need to consider my options.” This DOES NOT make you any less of a wonderful person. Do your research, get informed, reach out to your support systems and never ever underestimate yourself.
If you’ve already walked down a similar path, I’m proud of you for making the decision you did, regardless of what it was. I can imagine it wasn’t easy. Don’t second guess yourself, as hard as it may be.
For me, I couldn’t imagine making any other choice than I did. My life hasn’t been the easiest since my daughter has been born; we’ve had financial issues, relationship issues, some moments where my family was ripped apart and I didn’t think we all would end up together. Children make everyday stress much harder. But my gosh the amount of love I feel for my child; I’d do it all over a million times again and again. If you had told me five years ago that my life would be like it is now, I wouldn’t have believed you.
It just all works out the way it’s meant to be.
Also, let me add that I cannot stress enough how important birth control is. There are so many options that can keep you safe, and make sure you’re never in a position you don’t want to be in. For more resources about sexual education – talk to your family, your doctor or go here to learn about your options.