‘We found ourselves unexpectedly pregnant during finals week. I feared shame would follow my baby bump and I on campus.’: Young mom urges ’embrace your reality and its surprises’ 

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“We were together for barely two years and found ourselves unexpectedly pregnant. 

It was finals week. I was studying hard, proudly on task to finish my degree in six short months. 

We were long-distance, unmarried, unprepared, and unconvinced. 

The world had women who were ready. 

There I was confused, afraid, unarmed with resources and time…with life inside of me. 

I feared that shame and judgment would follow my baby bump and me on campus. 

Surely, I would be overwhelmed with rumors about my situation and deemed just another careless party girl. 

Judging peers would be blind to the gaping sinkhole that opened, bound to swallow the ‘normal’ out of a socially well-adjusted, academically inclined and on-task college kid. 

Figuratively and literally, I would no longer fit in a comfortable box…unless that box was stitched in maternity-sized stereotypes. 

At my most vulnerable point, I was unsure of what I could offer or if I could be a better mom than I had been a student. 

I was looking in the mirror hours after seeing that pink positive sign. 

I was evaluating my worth, my life, and purpose like it could be my last day. 

I can recollect every freckle on my face behind cascading tears and can remember wondering if my baby would inherit them. 

That’s the moment it all changed in me. 

The moment I realized that this fear would just be a new and integral part of this huge, important job. 

I was seeing myself for the very first time. 

My unwavering soul, steady, hiding behind watering eyes. 

I saw a girl who already knew what she was capable of, asking questions that didn’t yet need answering. 

I saw a familiar face so concerned with what would be the value of her child’s life—that I made a life plan for her. 

I made a commitment to do everything I could to make our life work. 

Your capabilities as a mother and a human often will never fit into a ‘one size fits all’ box. 

Life isn’t just good in ways society says it is. Your standards and limits are yours. 

Embrace your reality and its surprises. 

No matter how non-traditional they seem or how out of place on your timeline they arrive. 

When I saw that surprise plus sign, I saw the first day of my daughter’s life and really, the first day of mine.”

Courtesy of Kailyn McMahon
Courtesy of Kailyn McMahon

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Wallflower Writing of Detroit, Michigan. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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