Moving Forward in an Unplanned Pregnancy
You might say that I know a thing or two about unplanned pregnancy.
My first unplanned pregnancy was during my senior year of college. Many of you who know my story are familiar with what came next: the fear-filled ride to Rite Aid at 2 o'clock in the morning, the water bottle I forced myself to drink even though my stomach was in knots, the face of the cashier while I wondered at how he could possibly ring us up so calmly when my life would change forever.
I hadn't graduated college yet, I wasn't married, and I had so many plans and dreams for the future. How could I possibly become a mother now?
And when (before I could possibly feel ready), those two tiny blue lines appeared, I thought for sure my life was over.
I hadn't graduated college yet, I wasn't married, and I had so many plans and dreams for the future. How could I possibly become a mother?
And yet, looking down at those tiny blue lines, something inside of me almost felt triumphant. I felt, underneath my tears and devastation, a tiny whisper of a voice of strength that I didn't know I had, speak to me,
You can do this. Prove them wrong. It will be fine.
Although I was so, so scared, I fought every day to listen to that inner voice that told me that despite what other people, the world, or statistics said, I could have a baby, even at a young age, and still live the life that I dreamed of having.
Because isn't that the biggest fear with an unplanned pregnancy?
The fear that this baby—this baby who has happened to come along at a most inopportune moment—will interrupt all of our carefully laid-out plans?
The fear that the timing is all wrong—that we could be better mothers if only we would have waited. If only the timing would have been better. If only, if only …
I know that fear all too well because it reared its ugly head for me again, when three months ago, I looked down at the results I was dreading to see.
On my way to the trip of a lifetime in Mexico, in the midst of a major career change, I had finally hit my stride with my youngest, who was done nursing and was more independent. Then this happened. Starting over again?
I couldn't possibly.
I was afraid.
Heck, if I'm being honest, I am still afraid.
But just like that moment almost six years ago, I know how to move forward in this unplanned pregnancy. Tears are OK. Fears are OK.
But somewhere inside, there is still that little voice that whispers, stronger now, with the hint of a smile in its words, because indeed, that voice is more wise than I could ever hope to be.
It will be OK. You can do this.
If you or someone you know is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you can find hope and encouragement from the stories of real women who have gone on to have their babies and succeed, including my own story, in my book Tiny Blue Lines: Reclaiming Your Life, Preparing For Your Baby, and Moving Forward in Faith in an Unplanned Pregnancy, now available on Amazon or wherever books are sold.