One glance in the mirror and my whole world changed. It had only been a slight unintentional glimpse while washing my hands but suddenly I knew. The previously unflattering shirt I had brought to change into after my work shift suddenly complimented my figure. A couple hours later and my fears were confirmed.
It was nearly 2am when I read the first test, ran to my sleeping roommate’s room, pounded on her door crying, and hiccupped the truth: “I’m pregnant,” repeating myself a few times until she finally registered what I was saying. Two glasses of chugged water, the most recent episode of Pretty Little Liars on DVR, and another test an hour later, the repercussions of having sex—even protected sex—sank in, but only on the surface. Like jumping in a lake without testing the water temperature first, the shock of the cold truth, the slap of reality, was overwhelming. I never calmed down. Sobs threatened to cut off my airway as I began to play out my entire future. Plans I had were being pushed aside, already forgotten & left in the gravel’s dust. Panic set in & KP joked about giving me a Xanax to calm down; I asked if she would simply push me down the stairs.
I was nowhere near ready for this but the decision had already been made years ago & god had obviously already set forth his plan for me—I got no input.
As part of our government class & a requirement to graduate high school, students had to write a twenty-page term paper. As luck would have it for me back in 2007, mine had just happened to be about abortion. Reading of the past history, the various procedures & statistics, the rate at which the fetus develops—specifically the heart & brain waves—I vowed I would never get an abortion. I hold no judgment for those women who choose abortion as the best option for them; I, however, knew I would never be able to live with myself after going through such a horrific process. The methods at the time of my research were so horrendous it was not uncommon for me to skip meals throughout the semester because I was unable to keep food down after reading about the detailed process or how some studies have proved that the fetus “cringes” as though it feels the pain from a needle, therefore rendering it as “torture.” I still shiver at the thought.
KP quickly hopped on the baby train. Her excitement simply could not be contained, but my fears stood in my way. Working in a bar life setting shows no stability or healthcare nor benefits; I wanted to have my foot further in the door of being a writer. Living in the city was no way I imagined raising my kids one day; I wanted the open country, the freedom to run around, the ability to be loud & let out energy without interrupting neighbors. The unexpected was not what I expected.
After 12 weeks, it had become a slow process to get excited about the baby, & that admittance pained me more than anything. We chose to keep it a secret for many reasons but namely because I am having my manager’s baby. Go ahead, crack the jokes; my life is a drama film. One day spent with Marilyn & there is no argument there. It’s as KP said, though: “Fuck ‘em, you’ve been dating nearly a year & you were responsible with birth control” & she’s right, simply because I was unlucky enough to be that 1% that The Pill does not work for on that one night (or morning, whatever) shouldn’t mean jack in comparison to other relationships taking place among managers & staff in the business. Do I plan on sticking around & keeping my serving job? Hell to the NO. So what does it really matter what people have to say or the judgments they have to make? I never listened to them before & sure as hell won’t start now. I want to be excited. There is no reason why that should be taken from me.
My parents have been a huge support & I have no idea what I would do without KP & MD. Their excitement knows no bounds. Come home & first thing KP says to me is “Lemme see the bump!” or “I wanna see the belly!” The girl is about to explode from curiosity as to what color shoes she needs to buy; another month is too long for her to wait. My dad can’t wait to find out if he gets a new fishing buddy or what kind of playhouse he will be building. Then there’s my mother, who already constantly wants to babysit and has gone through all our old belongings to find out what exactly we will need for a nursery. Let’s not forget MD, though, the girl who seems to want to shout from Look Out Hill of downtown Grand Rapids & tell the entire world the news of her becoming an aunt. DS’s parents wrote me a letter of their well wishes, support, & excitement to be grandparents; such kind words that sent my hormones into a little tearfest. I can’t ask for better family, friends, & coworkers.
So here’s to the daily lifestyle changes I’m becoming accustomed to having to make, the amazing friends & family who have had my back & are beyond excited for me & DS, & the little one who’s feet, hands, & cute little nose I got to see just a week ago. Now all you folks better be drinking up a good stout or porter to cheers with as I would totally love a beer if I could have one.