Hi Mom…guess what? I’m pregnant. But just a little bit.
The rapid heartbeat of my baby, urgent and strong, gave me some relief that I was choosing to do the right thing—that keeping my baby despite the circumstances was still the better decision for me than doing something else I could possibly never forgive myself for. And that was the story I kept telling my mother when she first found out about my unplanned pregnancy through Instant Messenger. Through an IM conversation because I was sure there was no way I was going to say those words out loud to her. Hi Mom…guess what? I’m pregnant. But just a little bit.
Without hesitation, my mom suggested I get an abortion immediately and move on with my life because Patrick wasn’t the right guy for me. Outwardly, I was disgusted anyone would even think killing my innocent unborn child was the solution for my predicament and I resisted with stubborn determination, determined to continue being pregnant and then figure how to mend the rest of the pieces later. So what if I am 22, unmarried, and knocked up by someone I just almost broke up with? But deep down, at my core and inside my soul, I was ridden with doubt and immense fear that what my parents were saying would prove to be true, that I was making the foolish decision and choosing to make my life harder. That regardless my desire, I would always be bound to Patrick out of necessity from this point forward.
So no sooner did I tell my mom did she don the cap of the Ice Queen, keeping our phone conversations extremely short but sufficient enough to remind me that there is an easier way out. I would beg and beg to talk to my father because maybe he would be more sympathetic towards his dear daughter but at this point he was so distraught over my baby news that he refused to comment, preferring to give me the silent treatment until he had ample time to digest what I had just offloaded on them. Three agonizing days later of calling home, hearing my mom’s voice on the other end, and pleading to put my father on please, my dad finally agreed to talk to me and offer his judgment of the situation.
“I know you very well, Missy,” he said. “And you could never have an abortion. I’ve been talking a lot to my older brother about this and he thinks it would be better for the whole family if we stuck together on this.” Like music to my ears, I silently sung praises to the day my Uncle Wally was born and his rational wisdom, always doled out in a succinct manner, was what traditionally relaxed my father about other child-rearing issues, too.
“Dad, I am so sorry for everything but I have to keep my baby. I don’t care about what anyone else will think and I just have to stay strong for myself,” I explained.
“Well, if you really want to have the baby, then have it. But one way we can prevent people from talking about you is to pretend that the baby belongs to your mother,” my dad proposed in all seriousness.
“What?!?” I was dumbfounded that my parent’s could even think I could like, go into hiding for nine months and then have my mother suddenly emerge from nowhere with her newborn child. “Is this all a problem because other people might look down on me and my family if I have a baby out of wedlock?”
“No, but what you have gotten yourself into could bring a lot of shame into our family. This could give many people weapons to attack you with.”
“Dad,” I tried to suggest, “What if I just marry Patrick? What if before the end of this year we get married and have a real ceremony for us?” If a huge concern for my parents, for everyone, was that I wasn’t married to my baby’s father, then I figured I could just marry him. Carly had originally planted this seed in my head and even though it sounded ludicrous at first, faking that my mother had my baby is even more absurd and I was reaching a breaking point where I needed to bring as much peace into my pregnancy as possible.
I could hardly believe that I had just asked my dad if I should marry Patrick but in the midst of how everything else in my life was spiraling in the wrong direction, marrying Patrick almost seemed like the impetus that would gel things together for me. When I found out I was having his baby, Patrick told me he was not leaving my side, contrary to what I was almost sure he would do, and has been as supportive as any 20-something bachelor could be. And isn’t it every girl’s fairy tale to get married and have a baby? Perhaps not so suddenly and all at once but could it truly all be happening to me right now? Could this possibly have been my destiny all along with Patrick and our baby already written in the stars for me? Yes, maybe. Maybe this is how it was meant to happen to me. Yes.
So Patrick…marry me?
To be continued.