I never gave three days.
I decided then that I would figure out why she needed to talk to me – and honestly pregnancy was the last thing on my mind.
There was a reason she hadn’t come to me.
I remember the day she told me she lost her virginity. I remember she cried and told me she was sorry. Looking back, I’m pretty sure that was a hard confession for her. We had a long talk that day.
Looking ahead, I’m pretty sure this also would’ve been pretty difficult to tell me.
It was a Walmart bag in my camping book bag, inside the trunk of her car.
Do you know what was in that bag?
It was a dead giveaway.
I was twenty-one when I gave birth to my first child. I had zero idea what I was doing or what I was in for.
I was also married at nineteen.
That’s a piece of it. She’s a teenager, unmarried, still has to finish her schooling.
It’s the unwed pregnant teenager that got me initially. Man, I grappled with this one. Initially, I felt shame.
We live in a small town where people love to talk. It’s part of the reason I left at nineteen.
Many talk and few listen. And vision is sometimes clouded by small towns.
About six months prior, my daughter returned from California. A place I never wanted her to go to. She grew up a lot in California. She experienced more than she ever should’ve and it hurt her more than she knew it would.
When she left, not many noticed. When she returned I heard various comments from people in the village, “Wow. Sadie is soo skinny”.
Unspoken suggestions or truly a concern for a young girl’s weight is yet to be determined.
They all come in different constructs of sentences, but the gist was the same.
Ya know the kicker? For years my daughter would debate me about abortion. We had multiple conversations about it. She had said from the get-go that she never wanted children. She also said that if she ever got pregnant she would get an abortion.
Perhaps it was the freedom of choice that she was ultimately debating with me. I’m not really sure.
That first week I was overwhelmed with emotion. I wanted to run so badly. I needed space to figure out what I felt, what mattered, and how I would act.
Maybe you wonder why this was so difficult for me.
I gave birth four times and had two mothers during that time in my life. Neither of them showed up for any birth.
In their defense, I never asked.
In my defense, neither did they.
Being a “good mom” was always on my list of things to do well. I question myself from time to time, but it’s mattered to me from the first day I found out I was pregnant.
So how do I do this?
It’s a rhetorical question.
She made a comment to me one night that I didn’t “like” her Facebook status when she posted a picture of the ultrasound.
I sat on her bed and gave her a hug.
“Sade, this is hard for me. I will support you and your decision, but you have to give me a little bit of time.”
I don’t know if she truly understood in that moment.
I told a few people initially. When I got the words, “Congratulations Grandma”.
I wanted to punch them.
I told my cohort and I got a lot of “babies are a blessing”.
I wanted to puke.
I wasn’t feeling celebratory. I wasn’t feeling blessed.
One friend had recently lost her daughter. Initially she said “Congratulations”, but she followed it up with “better than a funeral”.
That hit me – hard. Talk about perspective.
I went out the next day and bought two little onesies and a sleeper.
It wasn’t much, but it was a start.
A few weeks later, my daughter had a melt-down. She sat on her floor in her bathroom and sobbed.
“Mom, I’m not ready to be a mom. I don’t know how to be mom. I don’t know what I’m doing. Alex isn’t ready to be a dad. I’m so scared Mom”.
It’s hard to describe what that moment was like for me.
I hugged her and I reassured her. Hell, I have never met a mother yet that knew what they were doing from the get-go.
I told her she will learn. She will grow. And she will be okay.
That was hard, but that was needed. Maybe for both of us.
I helped her find a mid-wife. I went to her first appointment. I set her up with a program where she can ‘learn to earn’ baby necessities. And later on, I will be her birth coach when the time comes.
There’s another angle.
When I became pregnant with my daughter, it was baby #4. I wrote about it in Friendship, Strippers, and Rainbows…
Not many were happy about my pregnancy. I had just given birth to baby #3 prior. Life was difficult.
I stood alone. It was beyond challenging.
I never regretted my choice. Not once.
And later, others thanked me for standing alone. Had I not, Sadie would not be here and they would never have had a chance to love her.
I never want my daughter to feel that. I never want her to stand alone.
I don’t always agree with the choices she makes, but I will always believe in her. I will always love her. And I know she has great things to come.
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