You know that girl in your class you always hated because she talked too much and seemed like she wanted to be the one teaching? Well, I was that girl. The “know-it-all” super involved, teacher’s pet with the perfect GPA and the mile and a half long resume that everyone loved to hate. I was the president of my state’s DECA association and I was set to attend a D2 school on an academic scholarship as part of the honors college, and I couldn’t be more excited to start my next big adventure. At the start of my second semester my senior year, it seemed like everything was going just like it should, from school, to clubs, to my boyfriend- everything seemed perfect.
One Monday afternoon, I found myself in a Walgreens purchasing the only test I was afraid of passing. Just when everything was perfectly in place, a little blue line changed my life for good. The test was positive. I was pregnant. That day I felt so overcome with emotion and fear- What will my boyfriend say? What will my parents think? What about college? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? Growing up in a conservative Christian home, never in a million years did I ever think that this was even a possibility, and I knew no one else would ever expect this from me. I was faced with a choice- and I chose life.
Even though I had my whole future laid out, I still never had a doubt in my mind what my decision would be. I knew what I had to do. After a couple weeks of getting over the initial shock, and once our friends and families started to accept what was happening, I was asked if I ever considered abortion. While the question wasn’t meant as anything hurtful or rude, I couldn’t help but be defensive. Are you out of your mind? I remembered thinking, but it wasn’t until that moment that it hit me- People actually do have that as a consideration. I had never been more confused by the thought of it. Couples try for months, sometimes even years, to have a child, and here it was happening to me by chance.
Looking at all I had planned for myself over the next four years was hard. Knowing that my path had changed so quickly was terrifying, but all of a sudden, I had a new purpose. From the very beginning my dad kept saying “this doesn’t change plans, it just changes timing.” These words have been what has carried me through these last 7 months. I can still achieve all that I had planned, and now I had a brand new motivation to get things done. I needed to do what’s best for my child’s life, and even though it wasn’t going to happen the way I thought it would, I knew going to school and getting my degree was what was best for this new life. I spent hours talking on the phone with and emailing academic advisors at my school. I was so relieved to find out that I could still take online classes through my school, keep my scholarship, and remain a member of the honors college.
Although it was scary at first, this experience has been such a blessing. I have learned so much about myself in such a short time, and I have found an amazing support system. Both my family and my boyfriend’s family have done all they can to not only accept the situation, but to be supportive and loving every step of the way. As scared as I am, I know that my son will be so incredibly loved and taken care of, and it’s such a comforting feeling. Some days are still harder than others, sometimes I’ll find myself questioning whether or not I’m ready to do this, or if I’m going to be a good mom, but nothing in this world could come between me and my little boy.
Here are some pictures for perspective:
This at around 5 weeks of development. He was only 4.2 cm long, but already had a heartbeat that we were able to hear, and we could already see his little heart flutter through a sonogram. Most women don’t even know they’re pregnant by this point, but we are lucky to find out relatively early. Seeing his heart beat and hearing it for the first time was the craziest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. 92% of abortions occur before the 13th week of gestation- after the baby already has a beating heart, vital organs that are starting to function, and even tiny fingerprints!
At 19 weeks, you can see he already has a little face and actually has arms and legs that are almost fully developed. By this point, he was already kicking and squirming around so much that I could feel it, and you could see it on the monitor. He was already 13.6cm long and was growing quickly. We actually had to go back in a few weeks later for another ultrasound because the little goober kept moving so much! Almost 7% of abortions still occur before the 22nd week of development. By this point, baby is big enough that you actually start having a noticeable baby belly! He can hear and is moving, breathing in amniotic fluid, and has regular sleep cycles- just like a newborn does!
Here’s my little dude at around 27 weeks. He had already grown and changed so much since the last time we saw him just 8 weeks before. He was now at 17.2cm and was as active as ever! You can see his hands, which were fully developed and kept tugging at the umbilical cord (that little bubble at the tip of his nose) during the ultrasound. He already had a personality and was rolling around and kicking at the sonogram instrument the whole time. It’s crazy to think that even that little, he knew something was pushing on him and invading his space. His little goofball personality already reminds me of his dad 😉 Sadly, 1% of abortions still legally take place after the 22 week mark.