“I firmly believe that life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you. When I changed the way I looked at things, the impact that challenges had on me didn’t hit as hard, and when the good times were in season, I could boldly and firmly stand in the goodness that abounded in my world.
The year was 2017, I was fresh out of a long-term relationship and I was reconnecting with myself. I was finding myself in the midst of healing and undoing all the damage that was done at the hands of a man who didn’t love himself, and subsequently didn’t know how to love me. You see, the thing with loving a broken man is that you risk cutting yourself on all his broken pieces. Knee deep in therapy and enjoying the single life, I was dating without any real commitment and exploring my options with no rush to get back into a serious relationship.
It was the end of October, and my period was late. I was concerned, but chalked it up to stress because this transition from a committed relationship to single was new and felt foreign.
On Sunday, October 1st, I was doing laundry. As I brought up some clothes to hang dry, I noticed the scent of the laundry was overwhelmingly strong. So strong, to the point of it being too much to handle. I knew what was happening but pushed the stress narrative a little harder because pregnancy just wasn’t in the cards for me at this time in my life. I was living with a roommate, I was starting over and I wasn’t ready. This was not what motherhood was supposed to look like.
I made an appointment to get down to the truth. At this point, I needed to know. My mom and I at the time didn’t have the best relationship, but I was an open book and she was still a safe place. So I headed to her office before my appointment, surprised to see me. I blurted out, ‘I think I’m pregnant.’ Her look is one I’ll never forget. It was shock and confusion because while I knew I was, I was holding onto hope that I wasn’t. She offered no support at that time, wouldn’t hug me, she was ice cold.
The wait felt painfully long, and while I was supposed to wait for my doctor to confirm I was googling what I saw on the test. I knew I was pregnant before he told me I was. The test was positive and I was with child. A million questions flooded my mind. ‘How was this possible?’ What did I do wrong? Is this really happening?’ The doctor came in, told me the results and gave me time to figure out what I wanted to do. The truth is I was conflicted, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Sure I wanted to be a mother at one point but, was that point now? If it was up to me it wouldn’t, I was scared and alone. My last relationship left me isolated from most of my family and friends, to be honest, so who was I going to turn to? Who could I trust to tell? I went home and cried. I cried and cried and cried. I needed to release the fear and confusion I felt. I tried calling my mom, to no avail, she was cold and distant, it hurt.
I called my inner circle, everyone was supportive and gave me their thoughts and opinions. They were encouraging and non-judgmental. I needed that more than anything. The week that followed felt like the longest week of my life. I had a follow-up appointment – the decision making appointment. Was I going to ‘the clinic’ or was I going to proceed with this pregnancy? I sought a lot of opinions of those who I trusted most, some said shouldn’t proceed, some said I should. In the end, I knew it was my decision to make and that ultimately the decision was mine. Finances were my biggest fears. How was I going to take care of this child? Life felt tight as it was with just me. The truth is, I wanted her, I wanted her the minute I knew she was growing inside of me. The day for my appointment came and I proceeded knowing full well I was walking into single motherhood.
After my appointment, I came home, threw on Marvin Gaye’s ‘Let’s Stay Together,’ and danced around the house with my daughter. I was going to be a mother. I was keeping her. I was going to take the right road, not the easy road, and I was going to have this baby. What I didn’t realize, is that the decision was the easiest part. A few weeks later I truly began my journey. I became violently ill and after multiple hospital visits, I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. What ensued for the next three months were some of the hardest days of my life. I was rapidly losing weight, I was hospitalized numerous times and I was fearful. Fearful every visit that they’d tell me that this pregnancy wasn’t viable or that she was no longer there.
I tried not caring for a few weeks but the truth is, I did care. I cared so much. I was invested after deciding I wanted her. I ended up being sick for the entire duration of my pregnancy. In fact, I only gained six pounds. This journey is not for the faint at heart. In fact, I question how I even did it. With kindness from others and the universe working its magic I had everything I needed for my daughter when it came time for her arrival.
She lacked nothing, I lacked nothing, and our cup truly did overflow. Life can be so uncertain at times, it can give you things you didn’t ask for, but in truth, life will only give you what you need. I needed my daughter more than I realized I did. She is the calm to my storm. She is more me than I ever thought possible and walking into single motherhood was not how I envisioned motherhood, but at this stage in my life, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Life will knock you down, shake you up and throw you curve balls. The beautiful thing about that is that in any stage, phase or circumstance, you are more than equipped to handle it. Everything you need is already in you, remember that life happens for you, not to you.”
This story was written by Alisha Wedderburn of Toronto, Ontario. You can follow her on Instagram here. You can also visit her website here. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our free newsletter for our best stories.
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