I blew out the candle a top my birthday cupcake. The big 22. Hooray. It was barely 10pm. My eyelids hung in fatigue. I took a sip from my virgin drink and wished for good. Literally, just good. Goodness. Good. That’s what I needed in my life was some good.
Beneath my sweater, skirt and tights, there was a poppy sead sized life form that so far was making me want nothing else but naps and sprite soda.
“Are you going to keep it?” The first question from my classmates at beauty school.
“Well yeah. I don’t think I’d talk about it if I wasn’t.”
I couldn’t even entertain that idea. I mean, I knew it was an option, just not mine. I had always believed, no matter how catastrophic or how messy, things happen for their own reason. The warrior in me said- this is my destiny. I tried my best to accept it with each passing day.
As it was- everything was the same. Some of our closest friends knew. I hadn’t actually come out with it yet. It was too soon. So many things could happen. I feared judgement. I feared saying something and then losing the baby and having to explain. I feared being another girl pregnant on facebook.
There was only one problem. The way “it was” wasn’t a schedule exactly built for a person who was internally handcrafting another person. I had a 70 hour week, work and school combined. The fatigue was no joke, and soon enough I started to vomit regularly. Usually as I was over the sink brushing my teeth. And no, I don’t recommend mint and stomach acid as a flavor combination.
No lunchmeat, no sushi, nothing raw; no caffeine. I started reading labels like a mad woman. I didn’t want to mess this child up anymore than defaulting myself as it’s mother could. Between what I couldn’t have and what I would even want, options were slim. Tomato soup was my friend. Cubed fruit was my friend. Chocolate milk was my friend. To hell with everything else. Between it all I lost some weight in the beginning.
The stress loaded layer by layer. The wave of winter colds started to come around, and as if I wasn’t already struggling enough, I caught it and got pretty sick. Desperate, I gave in and headed to the doctor for a medical note to at least take a few days off of school.
To spare riling myself up and dragging in a longer separate story- basically my beauty school denied my medical note and completely booted me from my program on account of said absences after I’d already worked my ass off into completing over half of it.
Trade school is terrible for this reason- It wasn’t a “just pick back up when your ready” kind of thing. Like they actually kicked me out for good. One and done. And charged me for he entirety of the program.
This was all happening sooner than I thought, the whole, “Everything you have going for yourself gets destroyed when you have a child” narrative.
Just like that- I became the girl who got pregnant and dropped out of school.
“Your life ends when you have a child.” The voices of a thousand resentful caged women. It echoed in my ears.
I couldn’t help thinking no one in the stars had heard me when I asked for good back on my birthday.
After kicking around and crying and feeling sorry for myself, all I could do was push on. And by push on, I mean save crumbs to pay for my own maternity leave that was 5 months away.
What am I doing with my life? I asked myself everyday. I couldn’t answer. I was more worried about what size my baby was, if their heart was still beating, wondering what “they”even were, a boy or a girl? Wondering what I could eat for lunch that wouldn’t make me puke or give me heartburn. Wondering what clothes still fit me so I could leave the house.
My body started to change. Everyday I was in the mirror, pulling up my shirt and turning to the side- seeing how this person was growing. The warm and fuzzy feeling started in.
One day, swaying in the shower, Ingrid Michaelson’s “take me the way I am” played and I gently held my protruding belly. Then came a big lump in my throat. I knew this was going to be hard, and I didn’t know this person, but I knew I loved them. I know they were worth it. I felt something I hadn’t yet. And it helped content me just for that moment. Destiny comforted me.