Whether the result of a miscalculation or a missed precautionary tactic, young or old, regardless of upbringing or culture, many women are experiencing the journey to motherhood alone.
People can sympathize about single parenthood, but only personal experience can enable a person to truly know the terror, shame, fear, happiness, and uncertainty of being pregnant and alone.
Some women are more fortunate than others. They have supportive families or a strong relationship with God, but no matter what you can do it alone because, as women, we have been given a spirit of inner strength that will push us past the obstacles we are facing.
I hope my story and the stages I went through will encourage other women to awaken the strength necessary not only bare a child but also raise them to be strong adults.
I sat on my bed and contemplated the events of the previous day.
I had gone in for a checkup because I was feeling weird. A few days later I got a phone call from my doctor that I needed to come into the office. The nurse would not tell me what it is about. I have been a worrier most of my life and, of course, I was really nervous and worried by the time I got to the doctor’s office.
As I waited in the office, apprehension caused my stomach to tighten up. When the doctor finally came in the first thing he says is, “Well, congratulations you are going to have a baby!”
The doctor went on to tell me about appointment frequency, prenatal vitamins and gave me information pamphlets, but I was no longer listening.
As I left the doctor’s office, I felt very alone and uncertain what to do.
I immediately headed over to my mother’s house to tell her the news. When I said, “Guess what?” She already knew. There is something that mothers have that instinctively know these things. She was actually excited about the new addition to the family. After talking to her, I was too. My mother reminded me that babies are a blessing from God, and how so many people are desperately looking for the way to have a baby, applying to fertility clinics – like the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago. I got blessed with no struggling.
I was responsible for a new life growing within me and decided then and there, regardless of what the father of my child did, my child would always have the best I could offer. It is amazing how talking to my mother could change my feelings about everything.
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2. Acknowledgment and Acceptance
Once the initial shock had worn off, fear began to surround me causing me to feel defeated.
My mother had given me a small Bible several years ago and I opened it as I sat there alone in my apartment. I opened the Bible to scripture that has become my “go to” scripture: Matthew 6:25-34.
Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I wrote it down and read it every day to keep moving forward. I was so fortunate to have a supportive mother. She reminded me that all things are possible for those who believe in Christ.
I believed I could take care of my child and was capable of doing what had to be done. Slowly, my fears grew into nothingness.
It was at this time in my life that I developed a closer relationship with God. This relationship has kept me going many times when I felt like quitting.
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There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted a baby, but I still had to pray and ask for guidance in making the decision about the path I was on. I prayed for the inner strength.
Prayer enabled me to realize that I could not only handle the pregnancy alone but also raise my child correctly. Having a supportive mother and an ever-increasing belief in the love of God helped me in the day-to-day situations that arose.
After I made up my mind about my direction, everything fell into place, but there were occasions when my spirits fell.
But I remember that it didn’t take much put me on a downward spiral, so I had to read my scripture often to get back on the right track of thinking.
The quicker I turned to Jesus, the quicker I could continue to move forward.
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4. Baby Day
The time passed quickly. I worked every day and got things ready for my baby.
I awoke to pain in my lower stomach and instantly knew I had start labor. My doctor worked out of Georgetown University in Washington, DC, so I called my mom and told her I was going to drive to her house there. Since I lived in Maryland, she really did not like the idea, but I assured her I could do it without a problem. It wasn’t the most comfortable ride I ever had, but I made it.
Unfortunately, my mother was ill and could not come with me to the hospital. My younger brother took me to the hospital and my water broke on the way. The baby’s father was called but did not actually show up until the next day. I sent my brother home because he had to work later that day. He protested, but I insisted that I would be alright.
I was alone most of the time except for the nurses who came in and out.
Alone in the room, in labor, the fears started again. I promised the Lord that if my baby was healthy I would cherish it all its life and raise her correctly.
The doctor came in and informed me it would probably be a C-section, but he wanted to wait just a little longer. After about seven hours, he came in again to check and said he was not going to wait any longer. He told me a C-section was necessary and I was to be prepared immediately for the operation.
I prayed again and got myself mentally prepared as the staff got me prepared physically.
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5. Hello, My Love
Because of the screen between the doctors and me, I heard my baby before I saw her.
She was beautiful with curly black hair, fat cheeks, and mad with the world already. They showed me my daughter and told me she was healthy.
There was nothing else important I needed to hear at that moment so I fell asleep.
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6. Realizing You Are Never Alone
Regardless of my circumstances, my child depended on me to provide for her.
One of the most important stages of being pregnant and alone was knowing that I was never really alone.
Hebrew 13:5 says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
My hope is that women never believe that raising a child alone is impossible because they have the strength and a God that is always there to help them through it.
If you are at the crossroads of decision about single parenthood, seek guidance from the Father and follow the still quiet voice. Whether you have family or not, if there was ever a time to call on the Father this is it. He offers guidance and comfort and above all he does not condemn.
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7. Knowing The Story Goes On
I truly believe that women are stronger than they think they are.
With faith and perseverance, we can overcome anything.
Raising a child or children alone is not easy, but it can be done. Life does go on.
I know because my little bundle of joy will be 39 this year.
I look at her sometimes and think of the first time I saw her. The day she was born, I grew up and became a mother. The pain, tears, and struggles have been worth every minute of it.
I know that I made it because God was with me when I was pregnant and alone.
As he is with all single mothers.