I found myself pregnant at the age of 33. I was already a kick ass mom and had sole legal custody of my two older children. You would think an unplanned pregnancy was no big deal, right? Well, not exactly. I was then faced with the most difficult decision.
I saw three choices: keep the pregnancy and parent the child, go to a clinic and abort the pregnancy, or adoption. I was the only one who could make this choice. Before I could even make this choice I had to figure out exactly what I could handle, what I could live with and what was right for my family.
Each choice had to be weighed, had to be soul searched, and each had to be looked at with deep consideration. Each choice had to be looked at with love. I was not alone in deciding but ultimately it was my decision.
My head was spinning and my life felt out of control. I kept thinking about what the OB nurse said at my first appointment in December when we were talking about my medical history. She blatantly asked me, “Are you even going to keep this baby?” Was this nurse seeing something into the future or was she able to read right through me?
I was mortified that this woman said this to me. She forced me to look at what I had to decide. After that appointment I prayed everyday that I would just miscarry like the times I had before. Of course that was not going to happen, especially not now. My life could never be that easy or that simple.
On February 15, 2014, the birthfather of my son landed in Cook County jail for residential burglary and prompted me to finally leave him. On top of the pregnancy, I had this “little issue” that I had to deal with too. As soon as he went to jail I moved his stuff out of my apartment, changed my locks and was granted a restraining order. My life was shattered and scarred and I had been abused and believed I was worthless. My parents came stay with me to help and make the kids and I feel safe. I needed them more than anything. I needed them to help to me pick my feet back up and rebuild my life.
At this time both of my parents knew I was pregnant and they were supporting me with whatever choice I was going to make. On three separate pages of papers I wrote my three options. Now it was time for me to think. Do I parent my child knowing I forever will be controlled and we would never be free from abuse? Do I go to a clinic and just act like this never happened and live with the “what ifs” my entire life? Do I research adoption and see what it has to offer?
My first choice to consider was parenting. I already knew what that entailed since I was a mom already. I dug deeper than just what qualifications and experience I possessed. I asked myself questions like: Would I be financial stable? What would custody look like? Will my ex endanger my child? What abuse would we go through? Most importantly, how happy would my baby’s life be if it were all broken? I came up with one positive answer and too many negatives to even count.
My second option to consider was abortion. I called a clinic in Milwaukee and spoke to a really nice lady. I told her my current situation and how far along I was. She advised me of how many appointments, procedures, the costs and the State Laws regarding proceeding with an abortion. I told her I would call her back to discuss future arrangements but needed time to reflect. The pros in support of having an abortion were higher than the one con of never knowing the “what ifs.” I still had one more option to consider though.
My third consideration was adoption. I had no idea what adoption was about or how it would work. All I really knew were my own judgements and what the show Teen Mom educated me on. I did a Google search and called a few local adoption agencies. I started to look deeper into open adoption; however, in the State of Wisconsin an open adoption is not a legal document. I knew if I chose adoption that I would HAVE to make sure that I was just not “giving my child” to someone and that I was actually connected to them. I had a laundry list of both pros and cons for adoption so I was not sold on this choice at all.
After I reflected on all my options, I asked my parents their opinions on what I should do. They both responded that it wasn’t their decision and no matter what happened they would support me. However, they, too, had thought about my options and explained their views to me:
In regards to parenting my dad said if I decided to raise the child he would go back to work. My mom would come and stay with me full time. All I kept thinking was how selfish would I be to make my dad return to work when he was retired so he can support me so I can parent a child? When it came to the abortion option my mom said, ” You want to go to a clinic? We will take you.” And finally with the adoption option, both advised me “To look into it further and see if it was for me.”
I was still confused, hurt and needed guidance. I asked, “If they were in my shoes, what would they do?” My mom said if she had to choose, it would be adoption but added, “Only you and you alone can make that decision.” I took what she said into consideration.
A week went by and now it was February 26, 2014 and I had a doctor appointment. It was that appointment that saved me from walking into that Milwaukee abortion clinic and having an abortion. I knew I could not be a single mom of three children. Even though I was confident that I was a good mom, I was struggling as it was and had very hard times. I knew I could love this child just as much as I love Austin and Chloe but that love is not enough. I thought a lot about abortion, even though I am Catholic. I figured it would just make it go away, I would be done and be able to move on like nothing ever happened. I looked into open adoption and how it would fit for my family.
And then at that appointment I saw that at 10 weeks gestation my son had two arms, two legs, a heartbeat and was a human being!
I made my decision as I watched the monitor. I was crying uncontrollably and had no idea what the future would hold or where to even begin figuring it out. There was only one thing I that DID know and that was this baby was destined to be here. My decision was going to be open adoption.
I had no idea what I was about to get myself into and I was scared to death….