Emily: I Didn’t
Know I Was Pregnant
I had gone home for a few days at Christmas but was rushing around because I was headed to a music festival for New Year’s. My mom kept telling me I needed to watch my weight and cut me small dessert pieces. I knew I had put on a little weight, but I would focus and work it off before bikini season. Finally, my mom even pulled me aside one evening and asked if I wanted to tell her anything. It seemed weird, but looking back, I think she knew more than I did!
I got back to school in mid-January and noticed I was having some embarrassing symptoms – okay, I was constipated and having strange stomach pains now and then. They got worse and worse, and finally, one of my housemates decided to take me to the ER. I called my folks and let them know, just so they wouldn’t worry.
I was put in a room and told to change into a gown. The nurse came in and started to take my vital signs and hear all about my symptoms. “When are you due?” she asked.
“What??” I laughed back. “I’m not pregnant,” I said. I had slept with a few guys in the past year but didn’t have a boyfriend and made sure we always used protection.
She looked at me and then said, “Well, we can run a quick test, but I think an ultrasound might be easier. When was your last period?”
I started to think about it, and I couldn’t remember. Could I be pregnant?? I’d been so busy with school, and I honestly didn’t know. I felt my heart start to sink… I couldn’t be pregnant. I had to finish school. I had grad school lined up. I can’t be a mom now. We used protection!
My eyes filled with tears as the nurse walked out. How will I tell my parents? What will I tell them? What will I do? My mind was swirling with emotions. I was shocked and overwhelmed.
The blood tests and ultrasound were a blur. I couldn’t focus on what was going on. I think I was in shock.
About an hour later, a doctor came in and kindly told me that I was indeed pregnant, and from the looks of things, I was probably full term. Based on what they saw and the fact that I had high blood pressure (along with no prenatal care), they wanted to admit me and induce labor the next day.
I had a blur of things I had to do run through my head, but thankfully my shock registered with the doctor. He said he knew this had to be a shock, and that one of the case managers, a social worker, would be in to speak with me shortly. She would help me work everything out. And, if all went smoothly, I would be released in just a couple of days and could pick up with my classes right away.
Mary, the case manager, was amazing. She helped me sort out my two biggest worries – what to do with a baby and how to tell my parents.
First, we worked on what to do with the baby… Did I want to parent or consider adoption? I know for a fact I had no thoughts of having babies for at least ten years! And when I do, I want to be married and settled. She had brochures of adoption agencies that we looked at together, and then she helped me call one to get the plan started. They texted me links of waiting families and the initial forms to fill out. I wanted to wait to do anything till I talked to my parents.
Then, Mary helped me call my parents. My mom wasn’t surprised – she thought I looked pregnant at Christmas but wasn’t ready to tell her yet. (I wish she would have told me!) I told them I was thinking about adoption, and they said that they would support anything I chose. Then, they hopped in the car because they wanted to be with me and support me. I couldn’t believe it – I was ready for anger or disappointment, but they were so understanding.
I completed the form for the adoption agency and texted the links of the families I liked best to my mom. While they were driving up, we went back and forth until we decided together on the one we liked best – a couple who lived in our state and didn’t have any kids yet. They had a yellow lab, the same as my dog at home.
The agency arranged a phone call right away, and we just clicked! I let them know I would like to choose them and would like them to start bonding with my baby right away. They said they would arrive as soon as they could. They were so excited!
So at 11 am the following day, I was induced. My parents and I had met the adoptive parents. Even before my baby was born, we all had a sense that this was just meant to be. My daughter was born just before midnight, 6 pounds and 1 ounce, with a head full of black hair! I couldn’t believe it – I’d gone from carefree to a mother in less than two days!
I was discharged the next day, and while I was a little sore, I jumped right back into my classes, just like the doctor said. I chose an open adoption, so I get updates on my daughter all the time. One of the best things is that my parents really bonded with the adoptive parents, so they are active grandparents too! I didn’t know open adoption could be like this – so easy, so drama-free.
It’s been a year, and I’m happily in grad school with the end of school in sight! My experience will shape my professional career, I know. And best of all, I will get to stay a part of my daughter’s life!