After we found out I think we were just in a daze. I didn’t know who to tell, I didn’t know what to feel. I didn’t even know what to think. It was New Year's Eve & we went downtown to watch the fireworks & I couldn't help but feel like the strangers around us knew our little secret.
I remember I was starting my internship with Morgan Stanley two days later- ironically, a nine-month internship. I honestly wrestled with the idea of even continuing through with the job commitment because of this big news. I was already a nanny for 2 families & was about to begin the hardest semester of my college career a couple weeks later.
Adrian & I talked a lot about our options. We knew we had 3:
1. Keeping the baby
Yes, I said it. I’m sure that big 'A' word makes many of you cringe, just like it made (& still makes) me cringe, especially now that the same sweet baby is sound asleep next to me in this very moment. But, I told you all I was going to be real and honest throughout this process. When you’re placed in an unexpected and (what was then) a shitty situation, you weigh every. single. option. Even if you never thought you would consider them before.
Why was I so unsure about what to do?
I think most of it stemmed from the fact that I’ve almost always felt like the “prodigy” in my family. My mom had me at the tender age of 17. She was in her cap and gown, 8 months pregnant at her high school graduation. As successful as she is now, she never went to college, and ended up stuck in a career in which she hated, simply because she needed enough money to support us. Anyway, because of that, I have always felt like my life was supposed to be the exact opposite of my mom’s. I wouldn’t call it pressure that was placed on me by my family, but just an unspoken expectation that I felt I needed to meet in order to make my family happy and proud of me.
So when I found this out, that I was going to have a baby, it literally hit me like a ton of bricks.
My mom reacted just as I expected her to-- freaked the F out. Most of the rest of my family was there for me emotionally as I’m sure they understood how hard it was on me. This actually made me appreciate my family even more because they could have easily said what was on their mind, without being sensitive to the gravity of the situation. And some of my family did just that.
I received an email from a member of my family basically saying that if I go through with this pregnancy, everything that I have worked hard for in my life, and all potential hope for my future would go down the drain. I believe the specific words in the introduction were something like, “If it was your life’s goal to be a single mother at the age of 20, then you can stop reading right here as you have accomplished your goal."
Although this email really did crush me, to know that I was disappointing someone I sought out years to make proud, there was something written in bold at the end of the email that really caught my attention and changed my perspective on this whole situation.
“Be smart; think of yourself, your needs and life goals.”
Reading words such as those, reiterated the tiny voice in my head telling me to be selfish. Telling me to put myself first. Not the baby, not what our societal norm suggested, not what my family wanted, what I wanted.
It also made me think, why did having a baby in college need to define my entire life story? Why did that need to be the end of my journey that I had planned out ever so perfectly in my head?
Once I came to this realization, Adrian and I assumed the responsibility of figuring out if having a baby and continuing to do everything we sought out to do would even be possible. This meant making appointments to speak with the financial aid counselors, academic counselors, doctors, heck, I even made an appointment with the school psychologist.
I was previously so caught up on pleasing everyone else and trying to succumb to everyone’s expectations about what my life should have been like, that once we took matters into our own hands & took a long hard look into our hearts, it was clear to the both of us what the decision was.
We were going to do this together, no matter how hard we knew it was going to be.
We were going to have this baby.