The Hardest Choice

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I was in shock. Two pink straight lines. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me, of all people.

Even just going to get a pregnancy test was not my idea. My friend was in a serious relationship with a guy on campus. She hadn’t been feeling well lately and was concerned she might be pregnant. She shared her concerns with me and few other college friends. One friend had a car, so off to the store we went.

I purchased the pregnancy tests.

I was curious about myself, too. I had noticed some mild breast swelling and was recently nauseated. I thought it could be stress-related. You know, finals and all that.

I wanted to be sure.

I was a freshman in college, at a conservative Christian university. My grades were amazing. I was off to a great start. However, I was in an on-again, off-again long distance relationship with my high school sweetheart. 

Upon returning to our dorm, we took the tests. Within a few minutes, a combination of cheers and gasps erupted amongst the group.

Her test was negative, mine was not.

I didn’t want any children right now. I was still a child myself – just a few days shy of my 19th birthday.

I didn’t want my life to change. I was terrified. What was I going to do?

I remember calling my boyfriend at the time and telling him. I remember him comforting me over the phone. I remember weeks later calling my parents and telling them. I remember hearing the disappointment. 

I was ashamed. I felt like I had let everyone down. When I first started college, my extended family showered me with gifts, resources for school, and called about every few weeks for updates.

Now that they knew I was pregnant, the calls stopped. 

Though I felt ostracized from others, my mom and older sister continued to check up on me and encouraged me to keep moving forward because I still had a decision to make.

Adoption was an option.

I considered continuing the pregnancy and allowing another family to take care of my baby in ways I knew I could not (without support). I was unwed, had no income, no car, and barely half a year into my four-year college journey. My chosen profession was known for long shifts and constant back-breaking work. How was I supposed to learn how to do that with a child in tow?

I won’t lie. Abortion was also an option I considered.

I remember a friend from work offering to take me to terminate my pregnancy. This “friend” was a fling I had engaged with sexually during one of the “off” seasons from my boyfriend at the time. Though I believe he was more concerned that the child I was carrying could possibly be his and he was not ready to be a parent himself, I still considered the offer.

I remember years later, a dear family member telling me that they were proud of the person I had become. They were so happy to have my daughter in their life. They admitted that had I gone to them first, before everyone else had known I was pregnant, my baby “would have probably been in a vacuum”.

They were afraid that the changes that come with having a child would have forever altered my life for the worse. 

And truth be told, for some time I also believed that…

I thought I could have my pregnancy terminated in private. I would tell everyone that I miscarried and I would go on with my life, stress-free and child-free.

I could go on and finish school the way I originally planned and have my dream family later, when I was ready.

I could have…But I didn’t.  

As I started to go in for prenatal visits, as I continued to watch my belly grow, as I began hearing my baby’s heartbeat, as I began feeling my baby kicks inside, I made my mind up.

I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to do it, but I decided I was going to do it with my baby by my side. 

Just to be clear, this article is not a slight against those who have chosen to terminate their pregnancy, especially when abuse is involved. You have a choice. This article is also not to discourage those who have participated in adoption, or who are considering adoption as an option for an unwanted pregnancy. You have a choice. I don’t share my story to offer my opinion or to start an abortion debate – I share my story to acknowledge that I am a woman who considered ending her pregnancy. I share my story to try and shine a light on the women who have considered ending their pregnancy. They may not be who you think they are.

I understand that the decisions we make about our bodies and the bodies that dwell inside of us are not taken lightly.

Your feelings are valid.   

Everyone has a choice to make; this is just the choice I made. 

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