Sunday, January 20, 2013

The ages old question: mistake or surprise?

My intent with this blog is to shine a little light, and even a little humor, on the chaotic journey of my pregnancy as a plus sized soon to be mama. Mostly, I just need a productive outlet for some of the mess that fills my head but I truly hope that I can help someone along the way. So, here we go.

I hear that the best place to start is at the beginning, so lets go with that. A bit of history to my story could be pages long if you give me the chance, so I will try to make it brief. I met my fella through friends at a bar. I knew that I liked him immediately, I mean instantly, for various reasons. The reasons that stand out to me now were his ability to make me laugh, his lovely eyes, his rather burly red beard, and the fact that I was comfortable enough on our first meeting to do the Dougie at the table. If you aren't familiar with the Dougie, can remedy that. It was a couple of months after our first encounter, New Years Eve 2011, that really got the ball rolling. It was almost midnight when we ran into each other at a local bar and he stopped me in my tracks, demanding that I stay put until the countdown. Our first kiss started before midnight and ended sometime after. I was smitten from the word go. It's no secret between us that I did the pursuing. He is 5 years younger than me and was very comfortable with his bachelor lifestyle of living in a party house with several roommates, playing video games for hours on end, and having disposable income. I took the lead and so begins the story of our rocky start.

In the first few months, I was little more than a lady friend. This was not ideal for me, and I did my share of paranoid wondering, "what is he doing and who is he doing it with?", when we weren't together. Not wise, my dears. Don't let your mind go there. I brought up the defining of our relationship when an old flame asked me out to dinner and I realized that I felt guilty at the idea of going without telling him about it. The conversation was the very first baby step into our committed relationship.

Over the next few months we spent more and more time together. Mostly spent laughing hysterically, drinking wine, and having sex. The typical honeymoon phase. Fun beyond words, but not enough for this lady. In the midst of our courting were issues of trust and jealousy, fidelity, and what my role really was in his life. Our first attempt at a relationship failed in a matter of weeks. I wasn't feeling valued or appreciated and, though it hurt my heart to do so, I called it off. This seemed to peak his attention in a way I hadn't anticipated. In my experience with men, once broken up with, they will simply bury their pain or hurt pride in another (hotter) girls bed. Instead, he wanted to see me the next day, and the day after that. A very long 3 days later, we had a conversation that still sticks with me. It went something like this:

me: "I guess the question is are you happy being single and free, or do you care enough about me to let your life get complicated?"

him:"Lets complicate the shit out of this."

I still had my doubts but I was already in love with him and this small bit of talk was close enough to something out of a movie to make me open up again.

The following weekend was the 4th of July and we joined some friends for a very sunny day of bbqing, drinking, games and fireworks. Mostly drinking, and it was spectacular! Our fun ran over into the wee hours of the morning, and all sense of responsibility and forethought went right in the garbage along with our final beer bottles. It was 4 weeks later when I realized I was a day late on my normally dependable cycle starting. Annoyed and sure it was a fluke, I went to the store and purchased a 3 pack of pregnancy tests and a box of tampons. I was sure that as soon as I had a negative test, my period would start. I could not have been more wrong.

My heart started to beat out of my chest as I watched that evil second pink line forming on that stick. People often use phrases like "knock me over with a feather" or "at a loss for words" but these do no justice to how I felt standing in my bathroom with that dubious, pee soaked stick in my hand. I couldn't have told you my name if you asked me. It wasn't a loss for words but a loss of the ability to speak. It could easily have been an hour if it had been 30 seconds of me staring at that test before I regained myself and tore open a second. Same results. Still unbelievable. Surely, these tests were faulty or damaged. I bought more from different drugstores and even had a friend that was definitely not pregnant take one to be sure that I wasn't receiving false positives. It was true and I was screwed. My mind was racing with a mixture of total joy and complete panic. How was I going to tell him? How would he react?

I prepared myself for a negative reaction on his part and told myself that he was allowed to freak out as well. That I would have to forgive his initial reaction and forget anything he said in the first conversation. I had, after all, had a few days to get used to the idea and he deserved the same. My fears about his reaction were confirmed within seconds of my news and though I was expecting abortion to be his first request, it didn't make it any easier to hear. I spent the next few days crying and actually feeling guilty that my decision was already made. I was not giving this baby up in any way, shape or form. I was going to be a mother with or without a partner to be a father. I had told him I would think about it knowing that my mind was made up because I wanted to give him a few days to get used to the idea himself.

When we spoke about it again a few days later, I confirmed that I was going through with it with or without him and that I hoped he could find a positive way to deal with that. His response surprised me again. He was on board with whatever I wanted and vowed to stand by me and our baby. I was thrilled but wary, still unsure how his opinion may change in the next few months, but here we are at 31 weeks and we couldn't be happier. His fears and resistance to the idea of "growing up" have given way to the excitement of fatherhood and to the strength of the partnership we've created. Where fear once filled me up is now a flood of joy every time I hear him ask, "How's our son today?", when he gets home from work. Or the way his eyes get as wide as saucers when he feels a good kick, sees our boy move across the surface of my ever swelling tummy, or gets a chance to be there for an ultrasound.  We are expecting our healthy baby boy in March and now, our biggest disagreement on the topic is about names. 

My point in all of this, aside from filling in a little back story, is to show any women that may be in a situation like mine with an unplanned pregnancy and a partner you are still getting to know, to remain calm. Every one's experience will differ but if you're feeling that overwhelming sense of fear, unsure about the future, or may be facing it alone, take a moment to think about the amazing things that are happening inside your body and to really give yourself credit where it's deserved. Your strengths, your thoughtfulness, your intelligence, your nature will do you well if you let them. You'll figure it all out in time and so will he. Don't let yourself become negative about something that could end up being the best thing that ever happened to you. Ultimately, becoming a mother is a choice and you have to do what is best for you and your situation without concern for the judgement others may offer. You know what's best for you, and that's all there is to it. Is an unplanned pregnancy a mistake? Well, that all depends on how you look at it.

To quote Roseanne, the mother of all mothers, "A mistake is something you wouldn't do over again if given the chance, but a surprise is something you didn't even know you wanted until you got it."

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