When I found out I was pregnant, I was devastated. Not because I didn’t want children but because I was not married. I was also dating a man who was not the father. Luckily, I had never been physically intimate with the man I was dating. He was a minister I met at a church I was attending, and I wanted to honor his commitment to God by not entertaining any sexual behaviors. The WORD says, “Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God–.” When I told him, I was pregnant, he said he still wanted to get to know me. I was beyond happy. However, not less than 2 weeks later he tried to make sexual advances at me in which I refused. He told me he knew I would put him on a pedestal and that even his pastor has needs. I was disappointed, and at that point, I knew it was best to end the relationship.
After getting the positive results, I fell to my knees and begged God to help me. I began to ask for forgiveness. Telling Him, I’d never have sex before marriage again. I was 24 years old, and I wasn’t ready to be a mother. I knew the consequences of sex. I knew the consequences of unprotected sex. Yet, like most people when you beat an odd so many times you think you’re in the clear. When I got the first result, I thought the pregnancy test was defective. It was a no-name brand test from K-Mart I had bought months ago. I’d taken plenty of pregnancy test in the past. I’d take one anytime I was late on my period, and they always came back negative. So, I went to a nearby Rite-Aid to buy a name brand pregnancy test.
I choose an E.P.T which included three tests, and it cost around $20. I knew this time I would get an accurate result. I peed on the first stick, and it showed a positive sign. Noooo! I peed on the second stick…positive. Oh my gosh! Maybe these are defective too! I ran water on the third stick. Hoping that maybe I just got a bad batch. “Maybe I got a false positive. That can happen,” I thought. When I ran water on the third stick, it came up negative. Perfect! This one works. I then peed on it, and the negative sign turned into a positive. I couldn’t believe it. I was pregnant.
The first person I called was my mother. When I told her, she said the act I committed to become pregnant was a sin but that the child would be a blessing. Ephesians 5:3 says “…sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” Her words did soothe me a bit. She told me to schedule an appointment with the doctor to get checked and to get prepared. When I spoke to the advice nurse, I was still sniffing from finding out the unexpected news. After I told her why I was calling, she gathered my information then asked if I wanted to schedule an abortion? My response, “I would never get an abortion.” I knew that what I had done to get pregnant was wrong, but I was not going to make a choice that was not mine to make by taking a life. The WORD says in 1 Samuel 2:6, “The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.” I knew that the child would be my responsibility; whether I was ready or not.
Over the next few months I spoke to my friends and family about my pregnancy. I decided early on that I would not tell the father. He and I had not been together for months. There were several reasons why I believed he couldn’t take care of a child. However, through male friends, I was told I shouldn’t hold back such information. He had a right to know. “He could change,” they said. I was also advised to get an abortion by several people. From family to co-workers. They reminded me of how I had been on the right track in life, and a child would do nothing but slow me down. Plus, I wasn’t married. I was even attending church regularly. How would it look to show up pregnant? I allowed that to bring shame upon my condition.
I didn’t listen to the suggestion of terminating the life growing inside of me so that I could have a “better life”. I did however tell my child’s father. I was around 5 months. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was sitting at the top of my steps in my loft apartment with my LG flip phone. When he got the news, he was happy. He asked if we could be a family. He didn’t grow up with his father, and he wanted to give our family a chance. It sounded reasonable. It seemed logical. Maybe, just maybe, he could change. He was very engaged throughout my pregnancy. He went to all the appointments. He drove most places we went, and he rubbed my feet and back. Things were looking up.
Around 2:30 am I woke up and noticed my child’s father was not lying next to me. I often had him lay next to me to help me fall asleep. When I went into the living room, he was playing video games. He had been playing all night. I nagged him saying, “What if I went into labor? You would be tired!” He said, “You’re not going to go into labor.” I went back into the room and laid down on my left side. Suddenly, I felt a rush. My water had broken! I walked into the living room. He got off the video game, grabbed our to-go bag, a towel and helped me to the car. Although my water had broken, I didn’t feel any contractions. The water also did not stop. From all the movies I had watched, I always thought when a woman’s water broke it all came out at once. However, the water doesn’t stop flowing until the child is born.
I wanted to have a natural birth, but after a few hours of being unsuccessful in reaching my mother and my son’s father asleep on couch, I asked for an epidural. However, it did not work. I could feel every contraction at every moment. One coming after the other. My stomach was tightening and loosening every few minutes, then seconds. I didn’t take a lamaze class, but I steadied my breathing. I realized women screamed during labor is a thing only for the movies. After 20 hours of labor and 30 minutes of pushing my son came into the world. They threw him on my chest for bonding; then took him to clean up. Afterward, I breastfed him. I couldn’t believe I had brought life into this world. I was honestly ready to have another. Although the epidural did not work on ceasing the feeling of contractions, it did work from my mid-thigh down. Disabling me from walking after giving birth. My legs felt like they were 2 hundred pounds…each.
I didn’t have the fairytale joyful thoughts of motherhood when I found out I was pregnant. I knew my actions behind getting pregnant was wrong. I felt that God would not be satisfied with me. I remembered all the times I said I didn’t want to have children until I was married after started attending church. I recall looking at single mothers and feeling sorry for them. It had to be hard raising a child all alone. I thought about how my mom did what I did 4 times. She was married but became a single mother.
Through loving my son, God has shown me His love for me. John 15:9 says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” As time went on, I began to build a relationship with my Heavenly Father. I began #DyingDaily to the shame I had in having a child before marriage. As is says in Romans 5:8, “…God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” I let go of the shame I had in being a single mother. The feeling of believing no one would want me because I had a child. Feeling as if I wasn’t good enough to be loved, as a woman without kids would. Removing the false thoughts that people without kids couldn’t understand me. Having a child didn’t take away from my life. It added to it. I can’t imagine not being a mother. My child is the first thing I ever loved merely because he exists. My child is indeed one of a kind. To me, the best kind there is. My mom was right. My act of sexual immorality in having sex before marriage was a sin. My son coming into this world; that is a blessing.