Posted by Anonymous (Anonymous of this post, which was submitted in August. What follows is her update on the decision she made, and where she is now.)
I'm not exactly single. I have a tiny Baby I'm carrying around wherever I go. I'm now two people. I have two hearts. Two brains. Two bouts of the hiccups at once. I'm never alone anymore.
I'm also not exactly single in that other sense, either. Baby's father (the one who got me into this blessed mess) and I are holding hands at the doctor's office and having dinner with his parents and mine. But I'm still living in my house (the one I bought nine months ago. In fact, I made the offer the day of our first date) while he lives 56 kilometers away. That's down a secondary highway, even further from the Capital than me.
I've always been independent to a fault, and I still find it hard to behave as if this isn't entirely my responsibility. I told him The News about six hours after I wrote that first post, and he smiled! Anyway, I'm not worried about him. While we're not living together or sharing bills, I'm sure this part of this new family will work itself out.
Baby, on the other hand, is a different story. Some anonymous writer commented on my last post, "Chances are better that you'll regret the baby you didn't have [more] than the one you did." This is precisely the thought I'm clinging to - rather, it's the truth I'm holding out for.
I've always wanted children. Babies! I figured that once I started, I would never want to stop having them. I love pregnant bellies and breastfeeding and carrying little squirmy toddlers and all of that. My biggest fear was, until now, that I might not be able to have children of my own. As prepared as I thought I was, nothing prepared me for actually being pregnant. Who knew stretch marks came on with such a vengeance? Who knew morning sickness felt like being carsick, ALL DAY. Who knew women often suffer from depression during pregnancy? Who knew the "glow" is nothing more than the facial manifestation of terror?
But I know if I just get though these next 5 and a half months, the reward will be worth it all. I'm trying my darnedest not to panic about money. Babies don't' cost much - it's the unnecessary paraphernalia that really adds up. Sure, I could afford it now, but maternity benefits are somewhat... lacking. But I'm trying not to panic - panic leads to tears and hyperventilating and sleepless nights. (As if the heavy breasts and multiple trips to the toilet aren't wrecking enough havoc.)
I haven't even thought about what people think. It's a small town, as I said. Not everyone knows everyone else, but a lot of people know me thanks to the nature of my job. It seems that babies transcend all that unwed-mother garbage. Everybody is just delighted at the prospect of a baby.
Obviously I decided to keep the baby. I didn't really have a choice - I wouldn't have made it through the two weeks I needed to get an abortion without falling in love with the tiny apple seed and planning the rest of our lives.
It's an adjustment, this getting used to life as a parent. Everything I wanted to do Some Day now comes with a pretty big string attached. Go back to school? Sure, but I'd have to move and pay the bills with a baby in tow. Hike the Long Range Mountains? Yes, but I'll have to wait til the baby is weaned and arrange for my parents to babysit for a week. Cycle across the country? As soon as Baby is old enough to ride with me. A second trip to China? As long as I go soon, before Baby turns 2 and I can't afford the airfare anymore. Speed skate at the 2014 Winter Olympics? That last one may be a tad ambitious. But it's a whole new world. I'm looking forward to it.