“Alright! That’s it!
I am having this baby”.
I have always loved the idea of a baby. I just didn’t know what carrying my own would feel like. And the day I took that pregnancy test, the last voice I wanted to hear was the one saying it was positive. I was surprised it didn’t take me long to decide I was keeping the baby. I have been punching myself, for making such a mistake! For letting myself conceive, for disappointing my family (well, they made it clear it was a wedding before baby). I am putting an end to that thought today, I can’t undo this, I can’t take myself back in time. I have made a major decision, I am keeping it. And that erases anything I ever called a mistake!
Of course the decision has nothing to do with how I feel with all this. Some days I get lucky, and it feels like I am a champion. But most times even my own voice won’t make sense to me. Instead of cheering me on for the steps I have taken and the days I braved through, my other self is telling me how it was all a mistake, and how I should think twice about my decision. My reflection in the mirror keeps reminding me of what I shouldn’t have done, and suddenly, the days I have left to go feel like a lifetime. Then every other voice in my head decides to put together a chorus telling me how I am going to be judged. But I made a decision, right? That’s all that matters.
I probably never really thought about how big a decision that was until now. I didn’t see any of it coming, there was no warning. I knew I wanted to keep the pregnancy, what I didn’t think of was how hard it would be. I have probably read everything there is about first pregnancies, including how to break the news to my family, thanks to you Google. I have wondered if it will be better in a voice note, a phone call, a visit, or maybe since technology has helped out in a lot, bring them together in a group video call, just so I can see right through their facial expressions as I pass on the shocking information. I have rehearsed the opening statement a few times by now, but it still hasn’t made sense even to me. How do I expect them to make sense out of it?
What makes me think they will be thrilled at the thought of me taking a decision of keeping the baby without asking for their opinion? Why do I expect them to understand that I didn’t want any of this to happen, but I still want this baby? Worst of all, how can I take myself through telling them that a so called ‘friend‘ got me here? How do I suppose they will understand that I haven’t heard from him since I turned down his idea of getting rid of this baby? He actually called it a ‘mistake’. My baby, a mistake!
My last appointment with the doctor brought it all closer to reality. She took me through what I should expect during the next few weeks. Since then, I have barely slept through most nights. I have been trying to tell myself its okay, because it is all going to end well. I mean, it eventually does, right? Now that I am back at the hospital for yet another visit, the anxiety just won’t stop. The moment I hear my name, I walk towards my doctor’s office, with a flood of thoughts, doubts and fears in my head. My only prayer is that she doesn’t ask me about the father of my unborn baby again. The last time I was here, I tried to explain to her how baby daddy won’t listen to anything about all this. To him I am carrying a mistake, not a life.
Much as I don’t want this thing I am carrying (hey, don’t shoot! I still need a few rehearsals to comfortably call it a baby…I will get there), I can’t help doubting my decision right now. Maybe I was wrong! Maybe I need to tell her I am changing my mind today. I have all this running through my mind, but I also want to assure this precious little thing inside of me that the world is not as cruel and uncertain as everything going through my mind right now. But first, how do I make sense of any of it myself? Are there manuals handed out to a new mother expecting her first baby? Is there some class I must sign up if I want to know what to do with my pregnant myself? There should be. Otherwise, all this is driving me crazy. But most importantly could someone tell me how to carry a human being inside of you without freaking out? I think I am losing my mind.
As if she could see the argument going on in my head, after putting away everything and helping me off the hospital bed back to my feet, the doctor bent and whispered, “I am proud of you. I am glad you chose to keep your baby even when you could take other options. You are going to be fine. Here, take my card. Call me anytime you need anything”.
And right there, in that whisper, I got everything I needed. All I wanted was someone to assure me I was taking the right decision. Yes, even when I was very certain I wanted to do this. Unlike the other days, my trip back home felt like a new life. I neither thought about what was going on with me nor why the father of my child wouldn’t want anything to do with me. I instead thought about how many other girls are going through this dilemma. Or have probably got rid of their babies and eventually regretted why they did. Hoping that they get the same whisper I did, telling them what they long to hear. If you see one your way, give them a light pat on the back and let them know they are not alone.
And for the first time in months, I drifted off to some good sleep, knowing that I am not changing my mind again. I guess my trip to the hospital that day was all I needed to know that I made the right decision to keep my baby, and to take me through the rest of the journey. If you asked me right now, I just can’t wait to hold this baby in my arms. The rest will fall in place.