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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What A Year

A year ago today, I found out I was pregnant. I thought I had the flu. I had been away in Washington throwing my sister's baby shower and came home, really sick. I went into the university clinic to see if I needed medication and to get a note for work. As I filled out the paperwork, I counted back the days of my last period. I always hated counting back or trying to remember; I had PCOS, I was never really normal. The last 4 months or so seemed to show a consistent pattern so I felt confident when I realized I should have had my period the entire time I was in Washington and even before I left. Was I too busy and too worried about throwing the best shower for my sister that I wasn't in tune with my body? I chalked the late period up to stress and poor eating choices that week.

Then, this sudden drop in my stomach happened...that gut feeling people warn you about. I decided to leave the clinic and test on my own, because I worked on campus and people knew me at the clinic. I didn't want anyone to start talking, I especially didn't want the judgmental eyes. I ran to the nearest grocery store, bought the cheapest test I could find.

I went back to work and told myself I would take it later, just push through the upset stomach. I had to go to the bathroom so I took one of the two out of the box and decided to just do it. Peeing on a pregnancy test should be required to become an astronaut or engineer. A big fat positive, two lines, bright and within 8 seconds. I stood in that bathroom stall, test in hand, shaking.

A week earlier, I had broken up with my boyfriend. After 8 years, I ended things. I reached a point and I couldn't continue to give and give with nothing in return. I missed him. He was my best friend and all I knew for 8 years. I had thoughts of regret for the decision I made. I knew I would have to tell him. I would have to explain and hope he didn't think I was trying to trap him. I felt trapped. I decided to wait and to tell him in a day or two when I had my head wrapped around the shock.

I called my best friend, Chelsea. I remember the words escaping with tears that followed. Her up beat "Hey, whats up?" slowly faded and she kept saying "Oh Chelsea...it's okay. It's going to be okay." I could hear her heart ache for me. I just cried, I kept repeating "I broke up with him. What do I do?" I knew what I was going to do. After the tears finally slowed, Chelsea broke the silence with "Is it okay to say that I'm so excited!!!" She gave me hope in that moment. In those seconds where the silence filled my soul and my heart searched for answers, she gave me hope. I smiled, and a little excitement grew within me.

My daughter's father found out just a day or two after I did. Oddly enough, he guessed what I needed to talk to him about. During my pregnancy, he came back around, we played house. But again, I ended up being the only one who tried. I was the only one who would work and sacrifice my own happiness for a family for my daughter. I should have walked away when I realized how much I was giving and how unhappy I was. I made excuse after excuse "Dad's don't become fathers until they see their child." I was cheated on during the majority of my pregnancy and it became something that he stopped feeling the need to hide.He walked away just weeks before I gave birth and I thought  my entire world was falling a part and I was going through the deepest kind of heartache.

Three and a half months later, I can say it wasn't the deepest heartache and he wasn't my entire world. I discovered that I'm stronger than I ever thought. People often say "Your kids will give you strength". This is so true, but I'm proud to say I found my strength and worth before my daughter was born. I fought for my joy, peace, and strength before she came. Just days before she entered this world, I became more of who I was before. My sadness became acceptance. My anger became determination. My self doubt became positive affirmations. My broken self esteem was healed by the words God uses to describe me as His child.

In those days leading to her arrival, I prayed for the first time in a long time, for my daughter and for her father. I would rub my stomach each night, calming her active kicking, and pray for them until I fell asleep. That's when I realized that when you go to God with a heart of prayer and a heart of forgiveness, the person your praying for isn't the only one who receives those anointed words. You do.

A year ago today, one of the hardest journeys began. It's a journey I will continue to walk until my last day on earth. It's dasy like today or even just a couple days ago (Father's Day) where some old feelings creep into my head. Most couples have such a happy memory finding out they are pregnant. Most couples celebrate it on the one year anniversary. But it's just me. It's me and Laurel. So instead of feeling sadness that I'm missing out on something; I will celebrate it. Because it was the day I became a mother. It was the day that I began to put someone else's needs in front of mine. It was the day I fell in love. It was the day my entire world formed. The day that created what can be my deepest heart break. If I were to lose the privilege of being Laurel's mother and seeing her grow every single day, that would be my entire world crashing down and the deepest heart break.

A good friend just asked "Overall, are you happy you got pregnant?"

I smiled. My heart skipped a beat and I replied, "Yes, I would go through the heartbreak and sadness a thousand times to have Laurel."

My daughter was wanted, she was loved from this day a year ago. Today, I celebrate my body and God's presence in my life to make every choice I've made.

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