I sit across from an old friend and her husband, listening to them reminisce on the day she found out she was pregnant. I laugh in acknowledgement and suck back the tears springing to my eyes. Their situation is a dream, really — one that, at least for my first child, I won’t be able to experience. I am envious of how her husband watches over her, helps her out of the booth, and looks after her as if she is a beautiful doll. In fact, she is. She is gorgeous in her most delicate state carrying their precious cargo. This child is a combination of their sweet love and DNA, and the realization he feels for that is written all over his face.
His words echo in my ears: “That’s wild — who’s is it?”
I laid awake all night the night I found out I was pregnant. I knew the battle I was about to have would be far worse than any we had previously fought. I knew the first thing he would want from me was an abortion, and I knew that was something I wouldn’t be willing to comply with, and from there we would fight like hungry dogs over the last bone.
Since telling him, my days are plagued with “I don’t even know if he’s mine” and “I hate you” and “You’re the reason I won’t be around” and “why are you so miserable” and “all you ever do is bitch.”
I’ve spent hours, days, weeks, and months mourning a loss, the loss of a person I thought, at the very least, was a human being. The loss of a person I had loved and cared for deeply. I had to realize that this person never truly loved me and would never love our child. Because he proclaimed loudly and proudly that I made a decision he didn’t want.
I sat on this mess. I was a heap of emotions, hormonal, betrayed, lost in my loss. When the law says it’s a mother right to choose, it turns out that it’s also a father’s right to bail. That’s the fine print nobody talks about — that no matter what the decision, a father holds no real responsibility. He won’t feel the pain of an abortion, the trauma of adoption, or the life I will live as a single mother.
I write this for the mothers who have always been a single mom — from the day they found out that they were pregnant. To the moms who held their own hair during the morning/noon/night sickness. To the moms who attend doctors appointments alone in a room full of happy couples. To the moms who live through ultrasounds, heart beats, and tiny kicks without the other half of your child present. It’s a lonely road of hormones, emotions, and the unwavering feeling of not being loved.
I reach for my belly every day. I get out of bed every morning and whisper hello to the beautiful tiny human I’m growing. I have found comfort in the fact that though I may be single, I am not alone. Though this decision may not have been the best for him, it is the best for me.
I am sure that this child will be my greatest adventure, my truest love, and the one thing I will be able to say without a doubt I don’t regret.