Like most young adults I thought I was invincible, it won’t happen to me, it can’t happen to me. I thought these same things about pregnancy. It doesn’t happen to girls like me. However I soon learned that it can happen to “girls like me” or any girl who is willing to take the risk of having sex and yes, that means protected or not. I was not the single exception to the rule, and the time had come for me to face the consequences of my actions.
Adoption was always the only option for me. I was just freshly 20 I didn’t have a job, a place to live, money or a car. I had not talked to my parents since they found out that I spent all my money on a plane ticket to see my boyfriend Steven in California. I was always living in the moment not thinking about what consequences may come; things always just had a way of working out for me. I was 6 weeks pregnant when I officially found out that I was with child and I will never forget that doctor’s appointment. I got the biggest reality check. I was sitting in the waiting room next to a cute married couple who had been trying for months to get pregnant. She had thought she was and we chatted for a while and got called to the back room at the same time. The results were positive, and I decided to wait for the couple in the waiting room. When they came out she was crying “The results weren’t what we were hoping for” she said with a warm smile and then she did something that took me by surprise; she hugged me and told me I would be a great mother. I didn’t know what to say so I smiled turned around and walked out without saying a word. I kept thinking its people like that who should have babies not kids like me. I was so angry. I wanted the results to be switched so then we could both be happy.
Seeing a couple that was ready for a baby confirmed what I had been feeling all along. Later that day I made an appointment at an adoption agency. I met with a counselor, and we talked about my options and I told her the ONLY option was adoption. She asked me how my family felt about it. I told her they didn’t know and they didn’t need to know. I was choosing to shut them out. She then asked me about the birth father and I told her I would never be telling him. She then informed me that it was against the law not to notify him. I told her I needed to think about it and I would get back to her. After the appointment my counselor invited me to a support group for unplanned pregnancies I listened to stories of girls who had been through this already. They were really helpful on the topic of telling friends, family and baby-daddies, but I still couldn’t shake the fear and anxiety. I feared telling Steven because I didn’t know his views on how to handle an unplanned pregnancy. I decided that before I told him I would need a bulletproof plan. So I started planning. I planned every detail. I wrote down what I wanted in a couple what I didn’t want and I would scratch things off and add things every day, I would walk through the grocery store or the park or the mall and watch people and if I liked something I would put it on my list. I wanted the family I picked to be perfect! At about 8 weeks I called my parents and informed them of my predicament. I always knew that getting pregnant could happen, but I never understood if it did happen how much it would affect everyone. I started thinking about distant family members on my side and on my boyfriend’s side; people that I had never even met before. I would wonder how those people would react so much so that I would wake up at night in a panic.
When I finally got enough courage I decided to call my dad. He was a lot more upset then I ever expected. He kept asking me why? How? And what I was going to do. I told him my plan and told him I wanted him to tell my mom and he said he wouldn’t. This came as a shock to me because my dad in most cases would not mind being the bad guy. I decided that I would just call her that night and get it over with, so I did. She told me she loved me and she would support me but she was so upset that she distanced herself from me for a few days. That hurt me more than anything else because she and I are very close. Not having her to call was the worst part of the early pregnancy. My dad and I stayed in contact. He told me that I needed to tell Steven right away, I would fight back and I always had an excuse as to why I couldn’t; I was even getting tired of my excuses.
A week later I decided I had enough of his nagging so I started to get my plan going. I got my list out of all the perfect qualities and said a quick little prayer and began searching through couples, at first nothing was happening I started thinking “Maybe I have way too many requirements, maybe I should take some stuff off” but I just kept having this feeling of “Don’t settle.. You always settle.” So I kept looking and I found nine couples that had some of what I was looking for. But I didn’t trust my judgment anymore I had made way to many rushed decisions and I couldn’t afford for this to be one of them, it wasn’t just about me anymore. So I called my dad and had him look at the couples. I asked him to pick and his number one couple was the couple I loved so I made contact with them.
After making contact I decided it was the right time to tell Steven so I bought a ticket for Halloween weekend. He agreed to let me come out and he was excited. Halloween night we sat down and I informed him that I was 13 weeks pregnant, I braced myself for the yelling throwing and all the dramatics I saw on TV but he surprised me. The expression on his face never changed he just looked at me and asked “What are you going to do?” When he said those words it took away my fear of him taking control. I told him the plan and I showed him the couple, I didn’t have to do any convincing, he loved them. The next weekend A&R came to meet me. My agency wasn’t the biggest fan of this idea simply because it was too early in my pregnancy but I could not shake this feeling of urgency we had to meet now. It was a cold November day and I was sicker than ever that morning, I remember thinking maybe this is a sign that I shouldn’t go, but that feeling of urgency returned and I knew it was time to put my big girl pants on and I had to go. When I walked into a local restaurant I took one look at them and I knew. I felt like I recognized them, I felt this deep connection with them. It was like I had known them my entire life it felt like I was meeting an old friend for breakfast. We spent a couple days together getting to know each other and I couldn’t wait to hang out with them again! After meeting them my original plan of closed adoption vanished. I loved these people I wanted to be a part of their lives, heck I wanted them to adopt me!
During this time my parents had moved to California and once they were settled they came to Utah and moved me in with them. When I got to California I wasn’t allowed to see my boyfriend, but after a few weeks I told them I didn’t want to do this by myself. They agreed and decided to have a sit down with him. I was terrified the night he came over and I was having major anxiety about how the conversation would go. When he got to my house he stole their hearts, I don’t think they expected to like him as much as they did!
At 21 weeks we found out the gender, WE WERE HAVING A BABY BOY! R came out for the appointment. After seeing him I started to become attached I had tried so hard not to but the ultrasound made it real. This is really when I decided that the adoption would have to be open I couldn’t live without knowing this little boy. I enrolled in Cosmetology school and I made that my distraction it was my escape from my thoughts, but at night I was alone with my thoughts I was so jealous of R for getting to have this baby I was angry with myself for not being ready. I couldn’t help but feel frustrated I went back and forth with my decision, I cried myself to sleep most nights. When I did talk to Steven about how I was feeling he would lay it all out for me, he never let me live in the fantasy. He told me that he didn’t have money for us to move in together, he even said he didn’t know if we would get married. He told me the truth and it hurt to hear those things but I knew I couldn’t provide a stable life.
A&R came to visit me at 34 weeks to finally meet Steven this visit was hard for me because I knew the next time I would see them I would be handing them their baby, I hated that thought but I knew they were ready and I kept wishing that I wouldn’t have to be the one to give it to them. I started communicating less with A&R because feelings of resentment started to sink in. Everything they did was wrong. I was so angry and I felt like if I talked to them I would be taking away from their excitement and I didn’t want that. I knew these were my last few weeks with my sweet boy alone I wanted to take advantage of every moment that he was truly just mine. Pregnancy discomfort started to kick in and those thoughts weren’t enough to stop me from doing everything to get him out. After weeks of trying everything I finally did go into labor. I was in labor for about 20 hours so I had a lot of time to think. I started to freak out because I didn’t want to share him with the world or with A&R. I felt so helpless there wasn’t anything I could do because I simply was not ready motherhood. When it came time to push the whole thing took 22 minutes and at 4:12pm I met my first true love Emmett SJ. His name was a joint creation they picked his first name and we picked his middle name we picked SJ because it’s the first letters of our names and since we couldn’t give him our last name we wanted him to have something of us.
We didn’t call A&R until after he was born; I wanted labor and his first few hours to be mine. The first night I didn’t sleep I just wanted to watch him and talk to him and think of ways that we could keep him. The next day A&R arrived I was nervous because I didn’t want to get mad at them or I didn’t want them to feel like they had to mask their happiness. I said a little prayer right before they came into the room and I just asking for Heavenly Father to help me feel at peace like I had so many months before. When they walked in the room I felt this warm feeling come over me and I was okay. In fact I couldn’t wait to see him in their arms! It was amazing how when the moment came the jealous feelings went away and I only had love in my heart. The last night I started to get nervous because our last few hours were approaching. I hated that feeling of time creeping up on me. I kept telling Emmett the reasons why I had chosen this for us. When we were waiting for A&R to come into the room for placement Steven broke down and it was the first time I saw him show real emotion. We held each other and it was my time to be strong for him. I always thought I would be getting the short end of the stick, I felt like I would be the one left alone I thought I would grieve by myself but in that moment I knew I wasn’t alone and that he really did know what I was feeling inside. When A&R walked in I kept waiting for the moment where I would grab the car seat and bolt out the side door but that moment never came and everything was peaceful.
I have seen Emmett a few times and every time I get a little bit of anxiety thinking he isn’t going to know who I am, but every time he comes to me without hesitation I know he remembers me. They have made sure that I am a part of Emmett’s big moments they genuinely care about me and want me to be there for everything. They love my son unconditionally and they have that same love for me. They didn’t care who I was or where I came from; they love me for who I am. Every day I miss him but I completely trust A&R and with that trust our relationship is possible. I have faith and I know that we weren’t placed in this situation on accident. He picked me to be his birth mother and he picked them to be his parents. People always say what a wonderful thing I did, but I didn’t do anything wonderful. I just gave him a chance in life. Admitting that is painful but I had to do what is best for Emmett and not myself. Because when you love someone unconditionally you have to do what is best for them and not for you. I love you Emmett SJ to infinity and beyond. Our love is invincible.