Promises in the Dark

This post will post on my fortieth birthday.  How appropriate.  The biggest game changer in my life, and my thoughts about it will be laid bare on my fortieth birthday.  Oh, there’s so much to say about it, looking back nearly 22 years later.  Getting back there, getting back to that place in my head when I learned that I was 18 and pregnant.  I watched an episode of Boston Legal last night that said you need adrenalin to make a memory imprint in your brain; the more adrenalin, the more vivid your memory will be.

I guess there was a lot of adrenalin involved in those days and weeks, because so much of it is very, very clear.

The first emotion I felt was not fear, or anger, or worry, or any of those kinds of things.  Honestly, a warmth came over me and I think I smiled.  If I had to pick a word for how I felt in that moment, it would probably have to be “happy”.  Which is crazy.  And weird.  But I felt a contentment and an assuredness that I would figure this out, make it work, and go against the odds.  I remember thinking, “well, this is bad, but I’m a smart girl.  If it had to happen to anyone, it was a good thing it happened to me.”  I also thought a lot of cliches, like “everything happens for a reason.”

I crawled back into bed, and like a bad afterschool movie, put my hand to my nearly flat belly.   I was pregnant, and I was going to have the baby.

I knew it from the moment I looked at the stick, that there would be no hesitation, no discussion, no decision to be made.  The decision felt made for me.  I was going to have the baby.  Abortion didn’t even enter my head as an option.    I knew there was a life inside of me and I knew I was going to protect it and keep it safe.  In the quiet discussions with myself in the dark before anyone else knew my news, everything seemed clear and possible.   It would be OK, I told myself, and whoever else was sharing my body with me.  I will make it be OK.


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