Being pregnant, no matter what age, is a whole new adventure. It’s something truly special to think human life is living inside you; that you are mainly responsible for that life; and that no matter the circumstance, nothing on this earth can break that bond. Indeed, the female body is astonishingly built to create and sustain life for 9 months. Pregnancy is a phase in life that may or may not come to you, may it be of a personal choice or the will of God, but one thing’s for sure: it’s something no one is really ever ready for.
Frankly, that’s what makes it remarkable — because it’s uniquely different for every single mother. No pregnancy story is an ordinary journey to embark on, and that’s why I thought of sharing my own with the blogging community and hope to interact with more mommy bloggers out there.
From that moment you realize a baby’s heart is beating inside of you, because of you, your thoughts, dreams, and choices start to scare you even more. It’s easy to get sucked into overwhelming fear and guilt for every decision you’ve made. It’s during these vulnerable times when you constantly overthink every little thing you’re doing and worry that you may be doing it wrong, or worse, not doing it enough. That’s when you’re tempted to push people away and succumb to the negativity in your head. This is only one of every pregnant mother’s struggles during her pregnancy, and my journey is no exemption.
Questions like, “Am I ready for motherhood?”, “Am I going to be a great mom?”, “How can I balance being a college student and a mother?” as if it isn’t terrifying enough that the world is still going through a pandemic and in my country, a surge in inflation. As we speak, sugary products and soft drinks are so expensive because the sugar supply is getting scarcer and scarcer. Trust me, this is not the best time to be having a baby. But then again, when is the best time?
Life is never going to be easy even when I do secure a stable job or finish my degree. Although motherhood will surely seem bearable after I’ve graduated college, there is no guarantee that this is the case.
But thankfully, every passing day comes with a variety of transient emotions, and on the good days, depression and anxiety are replaced with excitement and gratitude. Pregnancy is undeniably one of those magical moments in life when you realize you’re meant for greater things, and the struggles you’ve been through in the past truly don’t compare to the joy that you’re heading towards.
On your best days, you come to see life more simply and freely. You think only about how your want to improve your life for the betterment of your child’s well-being. You feel optimistic about your plans for your little one, but I guess every pregnant mother’s emotions rely heavily on her hormones. You just can’t predict how you’re going to feel tomorrow and the next.
Before I proceed with sharing my story, I’d like to express my joy for all the love I received when I made this announcement on Twitter. That was, by far, the biggest engagement I had there. Many of you, whom I don’t follow on Twitter, congratulated me and wished the best for me and my baby. It’s heartwarming when strangers on the internet still express their goodwill towards you. I appreciate most of you who prayed for my safe and healthy pregnancy. May God bless you all.
Honestly, I’ve been putting off this blog post for quite a while now. Perhaps it was laziness, procrastination, or fear of being judged for sharing my story with the world. But now, somehow, it was God’s way of whispering into my ear and telling me it was time.
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant:
I guess most women find out they’re pregnant for the most obvious reason— missing their monthly period. But as for me, even before the expected due date for my period, I experienced many pregnancy symptoms that were very similar to period symptoms. The first thing I noticed was my breasts getting so sore, sensitive, and full. It feels like there’s this constant ache inside. I was so sleepy and tired all the time; I couldn’t get myself out of bed. I was moody all the time— struggling between yearning for my boyfriend’s embrace and wanting to break his neck.
Now, if you think about it, all of these symptoms sound like typical PMS symptoms. As soon as my expected due date for my period came closer, I felt my abdomen getting warmer and even experienced mild cramps. So I told myself, “There’s nothing to worry about, blood will be coming out of my vagina anytime soon.” But alas, it never did. The headaches and abdominal and back pain were still there and lingering, but there was no blood.
I was a few days late. Now, it may seem like it wasn’t a big deal but in my case, I never missed my period. I always have a regular cycle, I don’t take birth control pills, nor do I exercise so vigorously that may directly affect my monthly cycle.
Trust me when I say I spent a lot of time convincing myself that it was just my period coming and that there was no baby living and growing inside of me. It was confusing to distinguish between period symptoms and pregnancy symptoms because both feel exactly the same, but if I’m being really honest, my instinct was telling me it was something more than just my period coming. It was mother’s instinct if you will.
It’s been four days of mild cramps and the other period symptoms without an actual period, and I’ve already given it ample time for my period to come in late. It was about time to tell my boyfriend to buy pregnancy test kits (which were not as easy to buy as you think). Not that it was expensive, but from where I’m from, there has always been a stigma around young adults my age buying pregnancy test kits and other types of contraception as well (e.g., condoms and pills).
By the time I got home, I waited for the next day to take a test. I read on the box that the best time to take a pregnancy test is the first thing in the morning. This is because your hCG level (Human chorionic gonadotropin), which is a hormone released by your placenta that indicates pregnancy, is strongest with your first urine, preferably before you’ve taken your breakfast or drank water. The more concentrated the urine, the more accurate the test.
It was an ordinary Wednesday when I went inside the bathroom and tried to calm myself with long breaths, as the pregnancy test kit was in my hands. Mind you, that was the first time I took a pregnancy test. I sat on the toilet bowl and peed on the stick (mid-stream). Afterward, I placed it on a flat surface of the sink and waited for 3 minutes. I was about to set a timer on my phone when just for a quick glance on the stick, I saw two lines forming on the window test. I didn’t mean to peek, but boy did my heart literally stop for a few seconds.
It wasn’t even 3 minutes when two very clear red lines showed. It was…unbelievable. I kept staring at the test kit, not wanting to move it to let it set for a while (thinking the other line might disappear). Honestly, the feeling that came the first time I saw those two red lines was an unprecedented joy. Feelings of shock and relief came to me simultaneously. It was hard to believe for some reason, thinking it was just a false positive or honestly just a dream that I had to wake up to.
With my palm over my mouth and eyes wide open, I looked at my awestricken face in the mirror and repeatedly uttered the words, “Oh My God. Is this real?” I know unprotected, heterosexual sex equals a possible pregnancy, but in the back of my mind I never really thought it could happen to me. For 5 years, my boyfriend and I have been having sex and it wasn’t until now that I got pregnant. So yes, it was still a shock to me.
A few minutes after the thought of being pregnant finally sunk, a rush of fear and guilt came to me. Looking back, the entire month of March was absolutely draining, both physically and emotionally, since I, along with my family, was looking after my grandmother who got terribly sick. I remembered when I had little to no sleep while being a nurse to her, a college student, and an aspiring writer attempting to finish my first ever poetry collection.
Stressful was an understatement. I was worried that I wasn’t in my healthiest state when I was already one month pregnant at that time. Now that I think about it, I was crying my eyes out at my grandmother’s funeral. I can’t imagine how my baby carried most of the stress I was feeling. Just thinking about it makes me sad and guilty.
I know it probably might be too early to say this, but I disagree with what some people usually say to young women (like in their early twenties) who become pregnant. Like your whole life is going to be over, you’re never going to fulfill your dreams and ambitions, you’re never going to be happy and do things the way you want.
I think it’s even more harmful when adults say that. I know it’s going to be hard, challenging, and life-changing, but it’s not impossible which means I can do it. As my family and closest friends know, I love kids. I love taking care of them, I love it when they depend on me to do things for me. Even when I was a kid myself, I knew deep down that I’ve always had that motherly side in me. Maybe it was because I grew up as an only child or it was just a gift given to me. Not all women have it, and yet some of them still become amazing mothers.
This pregnancy is unplanned, but it is DEFINITELY NOT UNWANTED. My boyfriend and I love each other so deeply, and we’ve been together for almost 5 years already. He’s the person I want to grow old with someday, and so having this baby with him is no regret of mine. We’ve been talking about having kids someday in the future, we just never thought that day would come too soon. Ideally, I would want to have kids in my late twenties to my early thirties, but that’s all it is— an ideal. In life, we never get to choose what we want and when we want it to come to us. It just happens, and we’re forced to deal with it.
Nevertheless, my boyfriend and I are elated to have our little one at this point of our lives. We are overwhelmed with outpouring joy, that’s for sure. I’ve never been equally terrified and thrilled to move forward with my life than now. But setting my worries aside, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me and my little family. Fast forward to today, I am now 23 weeks pregnant. There have been ups and downs along the way, but everything (in terms of budgeting and my baby’s health) is turning out really well.
We all run different lives, and if we keep comparing our timelines to other people’s, we would never get to live our own. What do we get out of holding ourselves back from embracing new changes in our lives because it’s not what everybody else is doing yet? Having this blessing of building my home with the love of my life is something that only a few people get to experience.
Although things can get very overwhelming, and will only get even more challenging as the months go by, I know many people would do anything to be in my situation right now. The mere fact that I have what others only dream of having is more than enough reason to be grateful.
For those who wonder how I still managed to hold on, well, the answer is simple: I trust God and His timing. I know I could never be wrong fully committing myself to His promises. This pregnancy is one of the greatest gifts that ever happened in my life.
“Everything has changed, and yet, I’m more me than I’ve ever been.”Iain Thomas