When Dallas asked me to write about my desicion process and what brought me to the choice I made in single parenting I was so excited. My high exitement level was brought down a few notches after I allowed my mind to rewind and pause on the past year. It was a little bit painful for me to go back on those memories at first.
So when I say that I've been 'avoiding writing this' it really is an understatement. But here I am and I know I need to do it so I'll take a big breath and plunge through it all as best as I can - sorry it's so long!
I've always loved talking to girls who find themselves in situations similar to my own and I truely hope this goes on to help others. I know how difficult it is. Every story is different in it's own way but all of them kind of come together, I think, leading us all through this journey together. We can all help each other.
Let's start here
I remember the moment when I knew I would keep him. I was driving home and sitting in the back seat of a car. It was dark outside. It was a quiet voice in my head saying:
"You're going to be his Mom; it'll all be OK".
It's something that's hard to explain because, of course, I'm the one to make the desicion anyways. But I know that if I wasn't ment to be the Mother to raise David that destiny would have taken me there; my Father in Heaven would have led me there (through all of my obstinance haha).
Having this thought in my head was really 'out of no where'. I've had these promptings before in my life but this one didn't make any sence at all. I was getting married. I had been in a relationship with David's Father, Josh, for almost a year and we had been engaged for quite some time when we found out that I was expecting. We were going to be married anyways; of course I was going to be my baby's Mom?
My heart knew something that my mind didn't. I'm not saying I'm a physcic or something ha. I guess I just mean to say that deep down my heart knew something that my mind didn't. I believe it prepared me for the coming days, but you can call it what you will.
Let's back track a little; and just to start off I'll mention this - my story is pretty complex - . I could write the whole thing; every single detail. But that would take ages (and this will probably be a long long long read even with me attempting to shorten it; again, I'm sorry!).
My story doesn't really begin with finding out I was pregnant, though. It began when I met a boy (I think that every girl's story starts there ha. it kinda takes two ;).
I met him in another city that I had been visiting with my family. It was love. He stole my heart completely. He was well spoken and so charismatic. Tall, dark, handsome. Amazing body. Yes. Please. His smile warmed up my heart. But don't worry he wasn't a dumbo either. He was interested in politics and his knowledge of the world in general kind of made me feel like a 'bimbo' haha. He was the 'all around athlete' and played (and excelled in) basically every 'manly man' sport you could think of and at the same time managed to keep up honor role grades.
I was. head. over. heals. He told me he loved me early on in the relationship and then shortly after that told me that he knew I was 'the one' and that he wanted to be with me forever. The feeling was mutual 110%. Oh my heavens, love, love, love.
There were a couple of issues (or as my Mom would call them 'red flags') but I continued on blissfully in our seemingly perfect relationship. We traveled all over the place together and laughed almost the whole way and on one perfect sunny day he asked me to marry him.
I said yes, of course.
Monthes passed as we planned our wedding. I was going to have the wedding I had always dreamed of in a Temple close by. I was so happy.... but I couldn't deny the naggy voice in the corner of my mind whispering "Stop. You need to stop".
Allas, I continued on.
Invitations were sent out. Family was notified. It was going to happen.
There were a couple more issues and that naggy voice continued. Fighting was happening more often and I kept on seeing scary glimpses of a completely different side of Josh. He left... multiple times. But he would come back, acting as if nothing had happened and I was just happy that everything went back to normal; complacency isn't something I pride myself in but.. I loved him too much to even think of anything else.
We post poned the wedding.
One of my first encounters with my son was one night when I had been asked to babysit at a friend, Jesse's, house. Josh came along. Jesse and I were standing in her baby's room while Jesse was talking to me about how to put the baby to bed. I had my hand on my stomach and I completely zoned out for a few seconds. The thought "you're going to have a baby" popped into my mind. I was full of love; so much love. Jesse asked if I was alright and I came to and pushed the thought away.
"That's absurd" I thought.
Things continued mostly downhill. Josh would get upset about the smallest things and try and turn my family and friends against me if he felt like they thought he was in the wrong. He left again. I never thought that I didn't want to be with him though.
All the while... I was waiting for a certain something that was, every single day, becoming more and more LATE. I took a test 'just to be sure' and it came back negative so I shrugged off the worry.
Realizing who my real friends were
This is gonna be a long one haha.
A few days later I went to work and while I was working thought that the 'late' thing had finally come. I asked if I could take my fifteen minutes and rushed out of work. I was wrong. Now I was beginning to panic.
I picked up my phone - light stomach, butterfly feeling and all - and called one of my best friends, Anna. I FINALLY got a hold of her after the millionth time of trying to call her. I had tried calling her a bunch of times before but she was busy with working and saving up; she was leaving to do a year and a half long volunteer program in a few monthes.
She asked me what was wrong and I said:
"Can you please just guess and I'll say yes or no???"
"... are you pregnant?" she asked.
"I think so..." She amazed me after those moments.
Anna is my best friend and I love her with my entire being. But sometimes, she does tend to be 'naive' at best; I love her for it and it's one of the things that drew me towards her. She has a peaceful calm about her that can only be wrought through that kind of 'innosence' and belief that life is beautiful. But a side effect of this 'naivete' was that sometimes things over whelmed her. I was nervous that I would be the one supporting her when I called to tell her.
I was completely wrong.
She mumbled something along the lines of "Ohhh Hail..." I could hear her voice shake a little and then she paused for a few seconds, took a deep breath and pushed on.
"It's going to be Ok, Hail." She said.
I felt so relieved. She continued in a strong voice and I never heard a waiver or shake in her tone again. Her confidence comforted me. She told me of how she had been at Church that Sunday and my Dad (he was, coincidently, up visiting the area that she was living in at the time) had got up to share his testimony with the congregation. She said that she didn't understand why but while he was speaking she kept hearing again and again in her mind:
"Hailey is going to be alright. She'll make it through."
She didn't understand at the time because I hadn't talked to her about my concerns, but had felt that I needed to hear it. This comforted me. My journey through pregnancy involves my beliefs and religion a great deal; prayer helped me through so much. But at the time that I first found out I was expecting I hadn't been praying. I didn't feel 'worthy' to and when I got on my knees to talk to my Father in Heaven... all I felt was guilt; like I had failed (which I know now was not from Heavenly Father but rather from opposition). Regardless, I hadn't been praying. When Anna told me about her experience it was as if Heavenly Father couldn't get through to me; so he told my best friend who He knew He could rely on telling me. sneaky, sneaky. I know haha.
When I spoke with her later I asked if she really and for truely was Ok. I was suprised she hadn't been more upset. She kind of laughed at me and then said:
"Oh Hail. I had my cry after I got off the phone, I won't lie to you. But I knew you needed me right then."
I'm so grateful for that girl and her strength. She is such a blessing to my life always but has been so especially during my journey through pregnancy.
Chloe was another one of those girls who I realized was a 'real' friend. She was there for me, without fail, through all of my heart breaks with Josh. I told her shortly after I had found out for sure. The conversation still makes me laugh now haha.
"I'm pregnant."....."Hail....I don't understand... how did that happen???"... "Ummmmmm well, ya see when a boy and a girl"... "Hailey! I understand that part!"
I thought I was being pretty funny ;). She turned my frown upside down many times <3
I lost friendships when I told some people of my pregnancy. I'd been friends with one girl (let's call her Leah) since I was 13 years old. She considered me a 'sister' and I her. I loved her a lot. After I told her about the pregnancy she stopped talking to me. She's now cut off all communication with me because she feels that I am 'selfish'. I don't mention this girl to throw a 'Hailey Pity Party'. My choices are valid to me and that's all that matters in the end; I won't try and be all emotionless though - it hurt... a lot. I miss her and think of her often.
After recieving the response from Leah and more down hill progress from Josh... I felt mighty alone.
It's for sure
Through a LOT of denial and after about the 5th pregnancy test AND Dr's confirmation I came to the conclusion that I was DEFINITELY pregnant.
Love; undescribable love. So many times before, I'd heard it; 'There's nothing like a Mother's love'. I never understood it completely untill then. It all hit me pretty hard and I cried. Josh was so happy and so excited; his eyes lit up. I hadn't seen him that happy in a long time. That moment seemed so perfect.
To be completely honest about my feelings, a part of me was excited - scared, terrified, confused, disapointed in myself? Yes - . But we were planning to be married anyways and my heart was set on being with Josh forever. This wasn't so bad? Bad timing, yes. We had gone against our standards and made some mistakes. But we couldn't change that and I will forever refuse to look upon the result of that mistake (a beautiful new life) as a mistake itself. God doesn't make mistakes. People make mistakes. We could continue in our plans for marriage (quicker then previously planned of course). I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.
From Josh's point of view; he was over the moon at the idea. He agreed that yes, it was terrible timing and yes we'd made a huge mistake but the result of that mistake (I'll repeat again) wasn't a mistake of any sort. Josh had a terrible family life growing up. One of his parents had basically kidnapped him when he was a young boy and, while he gave Josh a good life, he was constantly critisized and emotionally and physically abused. With that being said; he had always dreamed of having his own family one day.
This was going to be Ok. We were going to be Ok.
Telling my Family
I told two of my siblings the night we found out and then the other two a few days after. I won't go into detail on all of their reactions but generally they were concerned for me but also excited for the arrival of a new niece or nephew.
Telling my Mom was the hardest. I've had siblings before who have had babies out of marriage or in their teenage years. Growing up I had always tried my hardest to make life easier for her and not follow in the footsteps of some of my other siblings. I sincerely believed in and still do believe in the standards my parents had taught me and was so disapointed in myself; a part of me felt as if I had let the whole world down. Seeing disapointment in my parent's eyes... well... to say the least I was NOT looking forward to it.
She was disapointed and so was my Dad when I told him. But they were both supportive and loving; they never yelled at me or made me feel like I was 'bad'. Looking back on everything and writing about it now reminds me of how truely grateful I should be for the awesome family that I have. Their guidance during the road ahead gave me the strength to make the choices that I knew I needed to make. And for the times when I just really needed to pretend that my heart wasn't completely shattered they were there to make me laugh, reminding me that I would eventually not need to pretend.
So. The wedding was going to happen. We told a few close friends about the pregnancy and that we were going to have a small ceremony at the end of the following month. Once we were able to get sealed in the Temple we were going to have a bigger celebration. Close friends of Josh's insisted on paying for the flowers. Josh planned and booked the honey moon. My Mom and I went dress shopping together and I found a beautiful wedding dress (I wasn't a fatty yet haha). I still have that dress. I haven't taken it out and looked at it; kind of like I'm fearful of it.
One day my Mom asked if she could speak with Josh and I privately. She explained to us that one of my sisters was having a difficult time coping with the pregnancy and to try to not retaliate to anything hurtful that she had to say. I understood... but Josh grew angry. He started yelling saying that we shouldn't have to have our excitement diminished by others. He stormed out of the house.
I went to Church feeling completely discouraged and once again - lonely. He posted something on facebook (publicly) about the argument and I saw it from my phone. I retaliated in an angry way and wrote him telling him, basically, to grow up and to please support me instead of me trying to help him through it all.
He called me and I got up and left church. He was screaming at me and breathing in a funny way. I remember sitting in an empty entryway getting more and more scared. I remember thinking:
"What if he was with me in person right now?" I was terrified.
He eventually just hung up on me. He then called me shortly after and told me to tell one of his friends to go see him and that he was leaving; that I could do it on my own and I would 'never hear his voice again'. I found his friend in the hallway and told him that he needed him.
Josh had left me before; but for some reason (yes, some stupid reason) I thought that he wouldn't leave me again after we found out that I was expecting. I remember feeling dizzy and turning off the hallway, trying to open this gym door so I could cry in peace without everyone staring at me. The door was locked and I kept trying to open it anyways. I burst into tears and cried and cried. It was the first time I'd really actually cried since I found out about the pregnancy. Thinking back I probably looked like a crazy person.
I pulled it back together and tried my hardest to suck back those tears.
When I went home later that day I got a phone call from one of his room mates telling me that there was a hole in the window; it was shattered everywhere. He was wondering if I knew where Josh was. He was worried and thought someone had broke into the house; but was confused because it was smashed from the inside out.
I later found out that it was Josh who had smashed the window after he had hung up the phone with me. He called me on his way to wherever he was going and was apolagetic. I was too numb and hurt to hear any of it.
He showed up the next day as if nothing had happened. I couldn't even talk to him. I was too angry.. and so hurt.
I got home from errands in town. He was sounding terible and was talking about being 'depressed' and wanting to 'end it' and pleaded with me to please come over so that we could 'talk about things'. He made me feel guilty and I didn't think that it was good for him to be alone so I dragged my tired self over to his place.
I sat on the floor of his room and he laid down on his bed. He was irritated that I wouldn't come and 'cuddle' him. I was just too numb. I could hardly look at him.
He asked if we were still getting married. I danced around it and didn't answer him directly. I told him that I was planning to go away and see Anna for a while. I could tell that this made him angry... but I thought it was completely logical seeing as I wouldn't see her for another year and a half. More importantly, though, I needed to think about my life and the huge choices that I was beginning to realize were creeping up on me.
He asked me how I was getting there. I told him that I would be flying. I don't know what it was about that answer that made him react the way he did; maybe the finality of me going away?
He said "Goodbye, Hail".
I remember everything after that moment so vividly; sometimes I wish that you could erase certain memories from your mind. He got up off the bed quickley. I was still sitting on the floor with my back against the wall and my knees pulled up to my chest; starring blankly at the ground. I remember the way he sounded as he hurredly ran down the stairs and back up again... and the way the glass clinking against the counter in the hallway bathroom sounded... and the water running... and a bottle shaking; it kind of sounded like a rattle.
I remember the panic that began to form in the pit of my stomach as my mind slowly processed what was happening around me and the way my body froze in fear.
Then he was there... standing in front of me... with a huge bottle of pills and a glass of water. He was poring them down his throat and starring at me with a look that said:
"Now look what you've made me do".
When you're watching movies you always think that you won't be the retard just sitting there and doing nothing. You know; the moments when the character is just standing there with this stupid awe-struck look on her face instead of DOING something? I always thought I would DO something. I was wrong.
I just sat there... starring. "What is happening right now???"
It was as if my sense of site and my mind hadn't connected; like my mind was rejecting what my eyes were seeing and flashing a big red sign with the word 'OVERLOAD' repetedly.
After a time that took much too long I finally responded:
"Stop! JOSH! Stop!" He continued.
He walked out to go get more water from the sink. I followed him there yelling at him to stop the entire way. He kept poring it into his mouth and getting more water. I tried grabbing it out of his hand but he had too much height on me. He walked into his room again all the while making sure he could keep starring at me with that look. I rushed after him and hit his arm as hard as I could. Little red pills flew all over the hardwood floor.
He took off down the stairs. I tried to stop him but he wouldn't. I yelled for one of his room mates to come help me. My sister eventually found him riding a bike down a main road and convinced him to go to the hospital only on the terms that I wouldn't be there.
I remember sitting in the parking lot. My Mom had gone into the hospital because something had gone wrong. I later found out that Josh had overdosed enough to reach more than 30 times the dangerous level of toxicity a body could undergo.
I sat there alone; I was so relieved to be alone. The silence allowed me a moment to stop pretending that everything was fine; stop pretending that this was just any other day in the life of me. It was snowing outside and late at night. 'Let it be' by the beatles was playing in the cd player. I turned it up loud so no one could hear me crying... and I let myself go.
I curled up in the passenger seat and sobbed. I remember praying out loud... but it was more like talking to someone who was sitting right there with me. I kept repeating over and over again:
"My heart hurts so bad. It hurts so bad. Please don't let him die. This is all my fault".
That night was one I hate to remember. Josh asked for me eventually and I stayed with him through the night. His lips were black from the charcoal that he threw up. Every twenty minutes his body would start convulsing and he would start yelling in pain. The nurses and Drs kept on telling me that he wasn't going to make it through the night and to say goodbye now.
I remember one time, during a particularly bad episode, I was standing by the edge of Josh's hospital bed. He was leaning on me and I was trying to keep him from falling over and on to the floor. Everything went black around me and it became hard to breath. My ears started ringing and I felt like everything was spinning around me. When I become overwhelmed I have panic attacks. This was the worst one I'd ever had and it scared me.
I found a seat and put my head between my knees and tried to focus on breathing. I remember saying a prayer in my head and asking for strength to get through the night. I kept saying over and over in my head:
"I can't do this. I'm not strong enough for this".
Then this thought came into my head from out of nowhere 'You can't do this. Not alone; that's why I'll be with you the whole way through'. That experience was one of many that I had as a result of saying my prayers.
One of the things that I'll put a lot of stress on is this; when finding out that you're single and pregnant, no matter your situation, it is a lonely road. It's ok to ask for help. It's ok to stop for a couple of seconds and rely on something other than yourself. For me it was two of my best friends, my family, and mainly my prayers and Father in Heaven.
That night seemed to last forever. I was terrified and I was lonely. I remember around 3 AM Josh began another episode. I had been laying on the floor; I was so tired. I pulled myself up off the floor and sat with him through it. After he calmed down I curled up back on the floor and I cried. I was losing faith that he would make it through the night. What would I tell my baby when he asked me 'Mom what happened to my Daddy'? How can you explain something like this to a child?
Josh made it through that terrible night and was released the next evening. But through out my pregnancy I considered that question a great deal. What would I tell my baby? How would I explain this? I remember writing Anna about it. She wrote me back and what she said really helped me. She talked to me about how she knew that, when the time came, Heavenly Father would guide me to know the words to say; that I needed to teach him between right and wrong and that Heavenly Father would help him through everything else.
I think that sometimes Birth Moms forget this. We worry and worry and worry about our babies and we should. I believe that it's important to do what's best for your baby and to search for guidance as to what Heavenly Father knows is best for them. But when it comes down to things that you can't completely control like "Will he know that I loved him?" if you choose adoption or "How will I tell him? How will he understand?" in regards to my situation, you have to have faith. Heavenly Father knows what he's doing. He wouldn't set up any of his children for failure. He's promised us that He wouldn't ever ask for us to face anything that we couldn't overcome. It's so important to trust that He's in control and He loves that little life in your tummy just as much as you do (as difficult and scary as it is sometimes).
I thought that after Josh was released from the Hospital things would get better; that the worst part had been that terrible night. But I was, once again, wrong.
The Drs and nurses told us that because of the strain on his liver Josh could die at any moment. He was prescribed an anti deppresent. Some of the side effects included mood swings and sometimes in the first couple days, worsening of the deppresive behaviour. Looking back, I think that he leaned on that and used it as an excuse for bad behaviour.
That few weeks to follow were the most horrible in my entire life. Sometimes I'll see things that will trigger a memory of that week and painful feelings will flood into my heart; the first snow, broken plastic juice jugs (I know, random much lol. there is a story behind that one), closed doors, broken glass.
I won't take a million years to delve into every single story. But one of them was a turning point for me.
He kept on throwing things whenever he got angry. I tried to help him to not grow angry but his outbursts were completely unpredictable. I remember one time I was in my bedroom sitting on the edge of my bed. I was so tired after a long day of his violent mood swings. I felt dead inside. I guess he could read that on the outside too. It made him angry. He kept telling me to look happier; to smile. I didn't respond because I didn't want to make him angry. He picked up a framed picture of us together. It was my favorite one. We had written our favorite quote on it. He smashed his fist through it and glass shattered everywhere.
My parents came downstairs after hearing the breaking glass. They wanted to talk. Granted, they didn't feel good about us getting married. They kept on trying to talk to me. I just sat there, non responsive. I knew if I said anything and made Josh feel cornered then he would retaliate and try and hurt me emotionally. So I said nothing and I tried my hardest to shut myself off; to not feel anything.
It was a big moment for me. Josh had gotten angry and broke things before. But this kind of struck a chord. I felt as if, along with that beautiful picture depicting us in one of our happiest moments, my happiness - and heart, really - was shattered like glass; irreparable. My hopes and dreams looked like they were swirling away down a dark and dreary drain.
I was hopeless. My lack of defending myself matched my body language; I didn't have any fight left. I wanted to go outside and dig a deep dark hole and bury myself inside it.
Haha. I know; so dramatic. But to me it was everything. I wasn't mendable.
One day Josh grew angry with me and after a heated conversation where he threw a pot at the ground and I walked out, he decided that he was leaving. I made up my mind that I was going to be with Anna. I needed to. I booked my flight. He happened to book his flight a few hours before mine was to leave. In a typical 'Josh' fashion he changed his mind shortly after he booked it and decided that he didn't want to leave. He didn't want to get on the plane.
I knew that this never ending circle of him throwing angry fits and deciding to leave, then changing his mind and acting as if nothing had happened would continue. I knew that was no life for a baby; I also knew that Josh couldn't find the help that he needed because of or for me and that he needed to go off and do it on his own. Accepting that was so. hard.
I remember walking away from him at the airport. I remember everything I was wearing (my teeny baby belly peeking out from my sweater). I stuck out my chin and with my big alligator tears I walked away from that boy 'with my head up and my eyes ahead'; and remembered that I had to keep fighting for this little life in my tummy. I had a lot more strength than I thought I had in that moment; and I know that it wasn't all my own.
You might think that I continued with this confidence for the rest of my pregnancy. No. Not at all. I went back to the 'unmendable' phase. Then back to the confidence. Then I got angry (I cry when I'm angry; there was a LOT of crying).
Mostly, though, I was in that unmendable phase. There was one occasion - my lowest point, I think - it has always stuck out in my mind. Josh wouldn't talk to me. I had made him upset about something and he hung up on me. He wouldn't answer; I tried calling so many times. I felt pathetic but I missed him so much and I felt like a fish out of water, flailing around. I felt like I would die! I really did. I was so angry that I had to do this alone. I was so hurt I couldn't even see straight. I didn't think that I would ever get through it.
Now, ladies, if you hit this spot - and plenty of you will - I know it's hard to imagine; but you'll mend. If you take hold of your life and remember every single second that you are in control and that you can make it right; you'll find that deep down happiness again. I truely didn't think I would. I remember lying in bed and staring at the white roof for hours and hours; feeling that crushing heart feeling.
I wish that someone who understood what I was going through had told me that I would make it through. You'll make it through.
I promise; you'll make it through <3.
Kate and Diane; rule it in or rule it out
Kate was one of my 'unsung heroes' in my whole process. We didn't spend a huge chunk of time together as other birth Mom's have told me that they spend with there birth Mom volunteers. But the time that we did have together helped me through so. much.
I knew Diane before I found out I was pregnant. I had seen her for counseling regarding other things. I also knew what this 'birth mom' class ment. My little sister had gone to it the year before. I felt that it was important for me to go so that I could really make informed choices regarding my situation. But I always had my gaurd up about adoption. Don't misunderstand me; I'm tottaly for adoption - completely 100%. Let me explain myself before confusing you further haha.
Two of my sisters had placed babies.
One (a much older sister) placed her son when I was much younger. It was difficult - I remember being able to hold him once. I have mental images of my sister laying on our coach in the basement after the placement... sobbing. She just looked... broken. Her son went to an amazing, amazing family. She made the right choice; I know it.
My other sister (who is younger than me) placed her baby about 6 monthes before I found out that I was expecting. This was fresh on my mind. I remembered everything. I remembered watching my baby sister and seeing her pain and wanting with all my heart to just. take it. away. I remembered the first night she came home and snuggeling up with her in her room when she cried and cried "I miss him so much, I just miss him so much". I remembered going into her room to shut off the light when she'd accidentally fallen asleep; she had her son's little photo album tucked under one arm and a teddy bear that his adoptive parents had gotten for her in the other.
I felt useless; helpless to do anything for her. I knew it wasn't something that I could take away; that she had to do it on her own.
Once again, though; I know that she made the right choice. Through all that pain is a myriad of happiness. I know that she knows she made the right choice and that's what gets her through it. Seeing him happy with his Mom and Dad gets her through it. I have a testimony that relationships aren't built through blood; they're built through time and love. And Heavenly Father has a plan. for. everyone.
Adoption is such. a beautiful. thing.
But really, coming into this class, I was still grieving from having just watched my sister through the placement and also for the loss of my nephew. So the fact that I was scared of even thinking about the concept of adoption doesn't really suprise me now, but I didn't connect it at the time. I littorally refused to even count it in as an option. I made up my mind that I couldn't put my family through that.
There was that issue... then there was the issue that I was still completely in love with Josh. Letting go takes time; even when it's clear to everyone else around you that something is wrong. We were supposed to spend the rest of our lives together. We'd commited to that. And counting in adoption as an option... well in order to do that I had to let go.
Then I also went through stages where I refused to consider it because my heart was so broken. I wanted to keep my baby and Josh had put me through so much pain that I wasn't going to let his bad choices destroy me by saying goodbye to my baby. I was in pain and that was all that I could see.
With all this being said - I was terrified. I felt as if I was cornered and a big scary monster was going to appear if I opened my eyes. It was painful to sit through some of the speakers that came to our class; I felt it was important to go anyways to support the other girls that I went with. Looking back, I'm so grateful that I was able to sit through those classes; even the raw ones. Sometimes they were painful but really, the journey through pregnancy isn't a pain-free thing. I think in order to get to those happy healed parts, you have to suffer through the painful parts. They change you. They strengthen you. They mold your core.
Diane was a listening ear. I truely don't know what I would have done without her. She pushed me to consider all of my options. Because really you don't know that something is wrong untill you've really looked at it and evaluated it. This was a difficult task as I usually changed the subject whenever my baby and adoption entered into the same sentence. She supported what I wanted but also steered me towards answering those scary questions that I didn't want to answer. She knew my history and she knew my family's history.
I remember her once saying "I am sometimes concerned that you are making the choice you are making because you are trying to save your family from anymore pain." I had to dig deep for that question. But it jogged me into remembering that no matter what the result was I. would be. o.k. My family would be ok.
Shortly after Kate asked me to come over to have lunch with her. I was cautious, I won't lie! I knew that she was going to try and talk about adoption and I was still hiding in my corner, covering my eyes. We ate lunch and then we talked. I told her that my choice was single parenting; that I had made up my mind. She asked me the questions that I needed to ask myself; I thought that she would make me angry by persisting but she did it with so much love. I know that she was ment to be there for me during that time; I know that she was inspired to know what to ask me. It was probably a little scary approaching me as I had all my walls up and was ready to launch off at her if she kept persisting. She saved me... and I don't think it was a fearless task.
I had stopped saying my prayers shortly before talking to Kate. I was scared of hearing an answer that I didn't want to hear. I curled up in bed that night feeling so alone. Josh and I were barely talking. Every time we did he would throw a fit because of something I said and threaten to kill himself. I was so angry that I was alone. I made up my mind that I had to do what was best for my baby. I cried and cried. I felt as if I was being selfish and the answer was to place my baby. It was terrifying for me! I never told anyone that I was seriously considering it besides Chloe and Anna; and even then I didn't let it sound like a serious consideration. Anna wrote me back and tried to comfort me, telling me that my Father in Heaven would heal my heart and give me the strength to do whatever was best. Chloe was protective and didn't want my heart to be broken; but I know that she would have supported me no matter what. I'm so blessed to have them in my life.
I went and saw Diane again. I was a big mess. I kept on going around this circle through the different stages of grief concerning my ended relationship with Josh. At this point, he had broke up with me, telling me again that 'I would never hear his voice again'. He wanted to get back together the very next day and pretend nothing had happened. But I couldn't do it. It had happened too many times. But I also couldn't give up hope that there was a future with him. How do you let go? I asked Diane if I could talk to Jaycie, a single Mom who had been a guest to our class before.
Jaycie was wonderful. But more than anything she reminded me of what I already knew. That I needed to, before all else, consider what was best for my baby. That I was strong and I did know what I needed to do. And more importantly; that I needed to search for my answers through prayer.
I went home that night and said my prayers for the first time in a long time. I'm so glad that I finally turned to prayer. I was scared of hearing an answer that I didn't want to hear, like I had many times in the past concerning other things; but this time was different. I decided in my mind that raising David was the right choice and asked in prayer if it was right; I felt good about it. I got another letter from Anna. She talked about how she knew that as David's Mom, Heavenly Father would guide me to teach him the things he needed to be taught to him so that he would succeed and shine in life; he would realize his full potential.
I said another prayer asking to be able to recieve confirmation that raising David myself, was the right choice.
I went onto a Church website and watched the featured video. It was on Motherhood; the whole thing was amazing but this part really touched me:
"And if for whatever reason you are making this effort alone, without your husband by your side, then our prayers will be all the greater for you. Know that, in faith, things will be made right because of you... May I say to Mothers collectively, in the name of the Lord, you are doing terrifically. The very fact that you've been given such a responsability is everlasting evidence of the trust your Father in Heaven has in you. He is blessing you and He will bless you even, no ESPECIALLY, when your days & nights may be the most challenging. RELY on Him."
- Jeffry R. Holland
I knew what Heavenly Father wanted me to do.
(ps I also think that above quote can be applied to adoptive birth moms <3).
Of course I've had to re-evaluate my choice again and again. But in the end, the thing that gets me through it, is the knowledge that I looked at every option; that I considered everything and ruled it in or ruled it out.
Rule it in or rule it out; that's such an important thing to do.
Well... this chapter will be incomplete because I really haven't found a way to completely 'let go' of Josh. I have amazing friends who care about me and who love me enough to tell me what they see. I'm grateful for their honesty; some days it's all that gets me through.
His attempt at suicide had terrified me. I knew what he was capable of and I don't think that he sincerly ment to, but he had almost died that night. He was apolagetic about it after it happened and said that it had been his fault... but whenever I walked out of the room, he told people that I was the one who made him do it; that it was my fault and I had messed him up. It took me a long, long time to come to terms with the fact that he believed this because he would always lie to my face. It always came back, though. And it broke my heart every single time.
I remember one time after he had left we were planning for me to go and stay with him for a while. I missed him terribly and wanted to so bad... but I didn't have the money. I emailed him and told him that I couldn't afford it. He sent back something that implied he wanted to kill himself; that he thought I was lying. I tried to remain calm; this had happened many times before when he didn't get his way. He called me about an hour later. He was in tears and sobbing so hard - breathing in that funny way that he does when he gets upset - . He told me that he had just nearly killed himself when his Dad walked in and stopped him.
I went into shock all over again. He told me that he had had a knife and was going to slit his wrists. I could hear his Dad in the background yelling something terrible about me. After a long conversation and a long while of trying to calm him down I couldn't keep my composure any longer. I quickley told him that I just needed a couple of minutes and that I would call him right back.
I called Chloe and quickley told her what happened. She talked me through it. And brought me to the conclusion that it wasn't a sincere attempt at his life; rather an attempt to try and manipulate me to do what he wanted.
Chloe helped me through many panicked moments like this. She was one of my life savers <3. Whether it was just to tell me she loved and cared for me, or to talk me through one of Josh's angry outbursts, she was always there for me in her over-the-top kind and compassionate way. Some people were hurtful and insensitive about the way they told me what they thought I should do. But she was gentle about it and never got upset or frustrated with me when I went in millions of circles, struggeling over the emptiness I felt because of Josh's absence.
What would I have done without her?
A big step for me
I called Josh one evening and asked him how he planned on supporting David. He lost it. He was two hours away from leaving on his flight to come back home for David's birth. He canceled his flight and told me that he wasn't coming; that this was the last time I would ever hear his voice again. That David 'wasn't his son; he wouldn't even have his last name' and that he 'couldn't be bothered'. He said he wouldn't support him. He hung up on me. I remember texting him and apolagising. After I woke up the next morning I regreted that text.
I knew that he would change his mind in a few days and decide to come anyways; as if nothing had happened. So... I wrote an email. I asked him not to come. I repeated over and over that I needed to do what was best for my baby and having his angry outbursts nearby shortly before and after David's delivery wasn't what was best. I had let go of the relationship; but I hadn't let go of the idea of him being with me during the delivery - it's kind of wierd looking back on it - but then, I wanted him there.
I went through that day pretending like it was the same as any other. One of my sisters said something that hurt my feelings and it triggered the tears. I locked myself in my room, turned off the light and curled up in my bed; crying uncontrollably. My Mom had noticed something was wrong when I was upstairs and came to my room and laid down beside me. It was the first time I'd really expressed my anger towards Josh and everything he'd done to me. I kept saying over and over again:
"I'm so angry. I'm so angry at him. Why did he do this to me? I love him so much. I love him so much."
It was painful, but anger is a phase that you have to go through on the road to healing.
Once again, though, I had someone to be with me through it. If there is anything that I've learned about everything it is this: you don't need to do it alone.
There were moments when I was seperated from all of my best friends, my significant other, my family; those were the moments I prayed hard. I was always comforted. There was never a moment when I turned in prayer to my Father in Heaven, and He didn't respond to me with comfort. I don't mean to say that He took all the pain away; I don't believe I would have learned anything if I hadn't been able to feel that pain. But I knew there was someone who had been through exactly what I was going through right then; my Savior. Because he suffered for my pains I could get through this too; with His help.
For all the other moments; there were my friends and family. If you have no one who will support you; then find someone. No one should have to go through something like this alone. It's OK to accept help. Class was so important in my desicion process. It's free. It's not religion based - in fact I don't ever remember religion being brought up once the whole time I spoke with Diane unless I was the one to bring it up. The girls that I went with helped me not feel so 'alone'.
You don't need to be alone without someone to talk to.
The ending of my Story
Josh did end up coming to David's delivery. He suprised me a few weeks before 'the big day'. It was really difficult for me. He showed up knowing that I had asked him not to come because I felt it would be difficult. He expected a place to stay in my home. I wanted him to take responsability for himself and I couldn't have the scary things that had happened before happen over again.
There was a lot of drama. There was a lot of hard moments. I had my guard up as high as I could put it. I was angry with him for suprising me. I had no time to prepare myself for him being there; to accept the barriers that I needed. I knew that he would be upset if I didn't have him in the delivery room, but a part of me really wanted him there; the idea of not being 'alone' comforted me. I was thinking with my emotions and not with my mind.
I made it clear that if he thought that the fact that I was not putting him on the birth certificate would be a problem (a choice I made earlier on in the pregnancy), then he shouldn't be there. Even though he had previously told me that he didn't plan on supporting David, he was very angry about this choice. I had found out before hand that it would be best in regards to travelling, school, etc.
Looking back on how things went, there are definitely things that I would change. I was hard on myself for a really long time afterwards; I felt, in some ways, that I had failed. But I came to the conclusion that I did the very best that I could given the circumstances. I didn't put him on the birth certificate. There were frightful consequences to that choice as Josh was hurt because of my choice his Dad, in an attempt to hurt me and tear down family's name, found one of my journals, copied it and sent it to many close friends in a letter. I was humiliated. But that was his choice and I still don't regret mine. I had valid reasons for doing what I did.
Another piece of advice; whatever you do, if you have a valid reason, don't let anyone bully you into changing your mind or stop you from doing the things that you know in your mind are valid for you.
David's delivery was an amazing thing; but coming home alone (with no baby Daddy) was one of the most difficult experiences ever! Diane had warned me of it but I kind of just brushed it off; why would it be difficult? It was. It was such a grieving process; a process that I go through every single day.
Josh along with the rest of my family, left three days after I had David. After that third day hit I don't think I stopped crying for 24 hours. I drove them to the airport and then drove the two and a half hours home, with no one but little Davie. I was alright physically but emotionally I was a mess.
I turned on the radio for the drive home so I could distract myself. Davie started crying during the last twenty minutes of the drive and so I started singing to him 'Feels like home' by Chantel Kreviazuk and I just started crying SO hard. I was alone. I could never have prepared myself for that yearning that I felt for David's Father to be there with me. It hurt. But that emptiness smooths over with time. Some days are worse than others but you learn how to cope with that grief.
This is one of my favorite quotes.
I found it around the beginning of my pregnancy and I adore it. I think that it can be applied to you whatever your choice is. I allowed myself to be a victim for the longest time; granted it was part of my grieving process. I was manipulated and hurt. Remember that no one can make you a victim. By taking responsability you empower yourself. Sometimes it hurts, but, I've found, that it's one of the only ways to happiness.
I'll finish off with the quote. It kind of emobodies my journey through pregnancy and the choices I had to face... how they changed me.
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand & changing a soul.
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning & company doesn't mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts & presents aren't promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up & your eyes ahead... & you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans & futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
So you plant your own garden instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong & that you really do have worth... and with every goodbye,