It's been a while.
In fact it has been long enough to create a human.
Shortly following writing my previous post... the one where I ended a relationship just as it was starting...I found out I was pregnant.
Yep. Forty years old. Single. Working on my activity and commitment to my church. AND PREGNANT.
Instantly my life changed.
I wish I could say I handled the news well. I wish I could say I was all excitement and joy. That is not my reality. I was ashamed. I was full of fear. I was confused. Broken. Alone. There were moments I felt excitement. The thrill of having another child was something I had only dreamed of, especially in my situation.
What I am about to share is the reality for me. It is a true love story. Not in a typical sense. This story could have ended very differently. There are those that may not understand this journey. They don't have to. This is my journey. There are those that will relate. There are those that will understand. I write this for them.
The news of my pregnancy sent me into a panic. The darkness that has plagued me from time to time began to descend again. It didn't take long to grab hold. I found myself placing a call to Planned Parenthood. I asked about my options. Options that are not in agreement with my personal beliefs. I am not saying what I believe is right for anyone else. I am only saying what is right for me. I had the appointment. I wasn't going to tell anyone. If I didn't tell anyone about my pregnancy and I went to the appointment, then no one would ever have to know. Yet, I knew I would know.
Luckily, there was also something telling me this wasn't right. I wrestled at night with the darkness. On one hand I tried to tell myself this would be the easier choice. Easier. That word kept staying with me. Easier on who? I couldn't do it. I truly believe one day there will be an accounting. I will face that spirit that I did not allow to come to earth and I knew he would ask me one question. WHY? How could I tell him I couldn't bring him to earth because I was afraid of what people would think if me? My fear of what others would think of me led me to end his life before it began. I didn't go to my appointment. Instead I text my previous therapist. I hadn't seen him in a while.
I don't remember exactly what I sent him. Although it was something to the effect of, "I am pregnant and it is getting very dark very fast." He responded by telling me I need to get into a therapist right away and that I needed to go to someone that shared my same beliefs. He knew in my state I could be easily influenced. He knew the world could see my situation and offer a solution that made everything go away.
The short story is that I got in with an amazing therapist. He understood my dark. He helped me understand choices and temptations. We discussed weakness. We discussed strength. He shared with me that my worth does not change because of this. He had my Bishop (leader of my faith community) come to one of my sessions. The three of us worked through my fears, my shame and my joy. I won't share all the details of those conversations. I will tell you, I felt nothing but love. There was no judgement. There was no scolding or chastising. There was no discussion of consequences, Only love. Concern. Support.
The next few weeks were a roller coaster of emotions for me. We are into March. The kids and I went to Florida for Spring Break. Pregnancy hits my body hard and fast. I was already having morning sickness and fatigue. I told my kids while were on vacation. Once we returned home I had to tell my parents. It was Easter Sunday. Again I won't go into all the details of the conversation except to say that again I came away with only love. Obviously concern. Mostly there was love and support. My dad shared with my siblings (with my approval) that were present that evening. There was shock but always love and support.
The next day I went to my sister. Although there are 14 of us kids, I am not exceptionally close to many of them. I would like to be. This one sister has been the most involved in my life. Again, only support, concern and love. She also stated, "It's a baby. A baby is a miracle, a gift, no matter." Another sister I called on the phone. She also only focused on the gift that was coming.
I write about all this only to share that never did I find a negative response or a harsh word from someone I shared my story with. Yes, I did get a few bizarre text messages from acquaintances that heard through the grapevine. However, from those around me never has there been yuck. The yuck I experienced was all internal.
It took me quite a while to balance my emotions. One, as sick as I was the first 16 weeks it was hard to be happy about anything. I could barely function the nausea and vomiting was so bad. Second, I had this terrible shame to deal with. It was completely self induced. Early on I went to dinner with a friend. At this point I had not told my family. I'm not sure if I had even been to see the therapist yet. I know I had decided to not go to my appointment with Planned Parenthood. As we sat and talked things out I shared with her just how big I felt this burden was going to be to get through. She said to me, "Sometimes our greatest burdens become our greatest blessings." I hung to these words. They sustained me when the dark tried to creep in.
Over time I started to share my news with people. Somehow I always felt like I had to apologize to them for my situation. It was exhausting. I realize they didn't ask for an apology or any justification. I just felt I had to offer it. Eventually I stopped wanting to share my happy news for each time I shared I felt I had to offer all this other background instead of just saying, "Hey, I am pregnant." So many would tell me not to feel that way. Never did anyone demand an explanation. It was all my own projecting. I wanted to just share my joy. Instead I kept stealing from it. Until . . .
I was seeing my midwife for a checkup visit. It was maybe the second time I was able to hear the heartbeat. The midwife was searching for the sound and while it was probably only a split second, there was a little bit of time before she could find it. In that moment, that felt like eternity, all my shame, fear, regret, and justification went away. It was in that moment I faced the idea that my child may be gone. Fear of facing people with my truth was replaced with the fear of losing him (in my heart I already knew it was a him). Time stopped. I closed my eyes as they filled with tears. I said a silent prayer that he would not be taken from me. Nothing else mattered. It all came into perspective in that moment. Bring on the looks. Bring on the questions. Bring on the judgement. I didn't care. In that moment it became so suddenly clear that he was all that mattered. Then she found the heartbeat. And with that I got past my shame. It was a beautiful turning point for me.
There is something else I want to share.
I have known this boy was coming for a while. Never would I have imagined it this way but I did know.
When I was married to the father of my girls, we had planned to have two children. I already had three. We had our Olaya and were planning to get pregnant again relatively soon. That all came to an end when Olaya was 9 months old and he called home from the oil field to inform me he had a girlfriend in the town he was based out of. My marriage ended. My staying home to raise my children ended. The idea that I was going to have another child did not go away. Over the years I would question Heavenly Father in my prayers why he did not take this desire away from me if there was no way for me to fulfill it. I finally found comfort in knowing another child didn't mean I was to be pregnant. It could easily mean adoption (I had done that once already as a single parent). It could mean a step-child if I was to ever marry again. Over time I allowed that desire to live in the background of my thoughts. I knew one day I would have another child call me mother.
Jump to October of 2015. Don't think I am strange. I have been closely linked to my role as a mother on a spiritual level, I have always known the gender of my children before an ultrasound gave us the official result. When my grandmother passed away I was comforted to know my next child would be a girl and she would carry the name of my grandmother. These promptings were never wrong. So when I received the prompting in October I didn't get all that surprised. The distinct notion came to me that I needed to prepare because HE was coming. This prompting came multiple times. At the time I was not actively doing foster care. I had asked to only provide respite for other foster families. In my mind it meant there was a little boy needing me through foster care. Sure enough, soon came a call that a three year old boy needed a home and possible adoption. I figured this was just the playing out of my prompting.
The thing was, this sweet little boy came to me and I never felt he was truly mine. When my daughter was placed in my arms at 10 months old, I instantly knew we were only being reunited. I knew we had been together before this life. I never felt she was mine, I knew I belonged to her. Her officially adoption only made right what had been in place from the beginning. As much as I wanted to love this little boy, I never had similar feelings for him. Something just didn't feel quite right. I could easily love him. That was never the question. Deep down I knew he was the son of another. As it tuns out, there was a relative that had been fighting for him since the first day he was taken into foster care. So what was I to do with this feeling that I was to get ready for my son to come? End of February I find out I am pregnant. I knew the child was a boy. I sensed it from day one. As we searched for names I could only settle on boy names. Not a single girl name stood out. Funny thing was I would have wanted a girl. I already had girl clothes and girl things. Yet, I knew the little one growing inside me was a boy. I knew before I was ever even pregnant.
I can tell you that today, I wouldn't change a thing. Back in February I would not have set out for this path. Now that I am on this journey, I wouldn't change a thing. I have been so richly blessed in so many ways. I feel this boy inside me move and I am thrilled and anxious for the day I get to meet him. He picked me to be his mother. The magnitude of that blessing is not lost on me. The emotional and spiritual journey I have taken because of him has brought me to a beautiful place. Our story tells me there is something at work greater than myself. I shouldn't have gotten pregnant. It took me three years to get pregnant with my first child. With my age, my fertility rate should be lower. With my weight, my fertility rate should be lower. Yes, I do know how babies are created.Yes, that did happen. I just know, this was part of the bigger plan all along.
So there you have it. I am now 32 weeks pregnant. My due date is November 1. I am shooting for mid October as two of my pregnancies came two weeks early and one came one week early. Hoping Mateo Antonee will follow the example of his siblings.