I really never thought those words would come out of my mouth. Ever.
Sure, I’d made careless decisions in past relationships, but had never been pregnant before. I felt that I would be happily married and ready to enter parenthood as a team with my hubby whenever the two lines appeared on the 99 cent pregnancy test from the grocery store.
In fact, I was in a relationship when I found out I was pregnant on December 3, 2015. It was rocky, sure, but in my mind, still headed towards the aisle and marital bliss. We were scared, excited, happy, unsure…mainly unsure. Could we make this work? Did the timing make sense when the relationship felt so unsteady? Were we ready to be parents, individually and together? A million questions flooded my mind, and I’m sure they flooded his to.
If you’re reading this and you just found out you are pregnant, first: congratulations! Second, you have your own long list of fears, questions, and worries.
I was raised in a conservative Christian home and the majority of my Facebook feed is filled with people, whom I have always held great respect for, who are quite pro-life. The other 25 percent of my “friends” are mainly millennials and/or liberals who strongly advocate pro-choice. Having never been pregnant, I had only briefly considered my viewpoints on abortion and how I would react if I became pregnant either 1)outside of a relationship or 2)in a relationship that wasn’t secure/before marriage.
Honestly, I felt, and had even discussed with an adamant pro-life friend of mine earlier in 2015 that if I were to get pregnant unexpectedly before marriage, I wouldn’t hesitate to terminate.
This post isn’t about pro-life or pro-choice; though the last 4, almost 5 months of my pregnancy, I have wrestled with where I stand on the political scale of this subject, and am still currently extremely thankful for the options available to women who are not ready to parent, whether that is adoption or termination and believe those options should always stay available.
What this post, and ultimately this blog, is about is the fact that since December 3, 2015, I have been scouring the internet for a source for a single mom. I wanted information.
Can I do this alone? Am I still employable? Who would want to hire me? How do I tell my family I’m pregnant and not married? I’m scared and really nervous, is there someone I can talk to about this who won’t say I have to have the baby and also won’t tell me termination makes the most sense? Where can I learn about birthing options? If I don’t have insurance, what is available? If I do have insurance, what is available? What are my rights as a single mom? What are his rights as a single dad? Will having this baby mean signing up for a lifetime of legal battles? How can I be a good mom during pregnancy? Will my depression and anxiety affect my baby’s development? What exercises should I be doing?
The questions in my mind were endless. I looked online. I found a few isolated sources. I found grants for single moms to go back to school. I found more government funded programs. I found church support groups. I found tons and tons and tons of mommy blogs.
What I didn’t find is YOUR voice. MY voice. The voice of the single pregnant woman with a million questions who feels scared to ask and wants to lay in bed and google her questions because she doesn’t feel like she can ask a parent. Women’s rights are a hot button topic with equal pay and maternity leave rights issues popping up every day, but even with the option to keep or terminate a child, our rights still seem lost.
Where is the automatic support for an unmarried pregnant woman? I’ve found through talking with several women I know that they had had abortions because their boyfriend or husband demanded it. DEMANDED IT. Sure, the woman could choose, but if she chose to keep her child, she would be ending her relationship. My partner, or now ex, even insisted that the only “logical” solution to this “problem” is termination. That because our relationship wasn’t stable, we should not have the baby. I tried to agree. I wanted to make things work between us. I made appointments at the abortion clinic and tried to go through with termination because that’s what he was telling me was the best thing. I couldn’t do it.
Why? Not because I inherently have a moral problem with abortion, but because it wasn’t the right decision for me. It wasn’t right for me. And our society is still having a hard time catching up to the idea that a woman should not only be able to choose, but should be supported, congratulated, and loved when walking through a pregnancy without a partner. Not asked to “take care of the situation” or told she “can’t”. The choice is the woman’s. At the end of the day, YOU must be ok with your decision to embark down the road of single parenting or termination. YOU must be able to live with your decision. YOU have all the tools, power, strength, and support you need. Don’t listen to the lies, the manipulation, or the shame that your partner/ex/parents or society casts on you.
I decided to start the discussion I couldn’t find. I will ask the questions, find and collect answers, and share them with you. You can share them another young woman facing the biggest decision of her life. You can share it with your mother. You can keep it to yourself. You can keep clicking. But if you are pregnant, unsure, scared, or just full of excitement and a million questions, join me.
After four and a half months of pregnancy, a break up, a move, and an endless job search, I have officially decided to keep continue the pregnancy and become a single mom.
I will document my pregnancy so far, share what I’ve gone through and what I’ve learned. I’ll tell you more about who I am. I’ll find sponsors and freebies for you. I’ll provide some links to federal programs, but not many. Why? Because I believe that YOU have the tools you need. I try to live a healthy lifestyle, but in today’s world it can be overwhelming to digest all the information out there. It was hard enough before I was pregnant, now every food and movement has a question mark beside it. Can I eat this? Can I do this?? I’ll share what I know so far and condense what I learn.
If you decide to follow my journey and share yours, you’ll watch as I commit to my goals, both personal and for my baby. I am determined to achieve my dream of being self-employed, walking other young women through their journeys, helping them become happier, stronger, and empowered game-changers. My baby will grow up knowing her momma is happy and healthy, with or without a partner.
My desire for each and every woman reading this blog is that you can take a deep breath, exhale, and know that you can do this. Whatever “this” becomes for you.
Other women have done it and are doing it.. I can do it.. and YOU can do it.
Do you want to be a happy single momma with me?