Transitioning from dreams to reality

The Decision

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2010 at 10:16 am
July 2, 1985
“There is no freaking way this is happening again,” I whisper under my breath as fear builds in my heart. According to the calculations, my period was supposed to have come over 2 weeks ago. The first few days I figured it was just late; being a serious athlete sometimes causes my body to do funky things, but I have never been this off. I stand, determined not to cry because then I would be accepting the unlikely. Walking to my bedroom I know where my emergency test is hidden. I root through my underwear drawer and find it – the potential determinant of my future (and my parents acceptance).
I drink a ton of water to fill my bladder and sit on the bathroom counter waiting. It seems like eternity before I have to pee and in the long span of 15 minutes I try to find a positive emotion within myself, but can only find dread drenched in defiance. When I feel ready (and my body finally cooperates) I open the test and squat over the toilet. “Please God, if you exist, make the test be negative,” I whisper while feeling the warm spray of urine against my right hand. I stand, not bothering to pull up my pants as I stare at the white test in my slightly wet hand. A thin blue line.

If it wasn’t for my past experience with pregnancy tests I would choose not to believe the little blue stripe, but I know within me that the test is correct. I am pregnant. Destiny, tragedy, or plain stupidity, whatever the cause, I have a microscopic person growing on the inside of me.

Memories mixed with emotions overtake my entity – I don’t know if I am in a nightmare repeat of three years earlier, or going insane. Maybe that is it, maybe I am just stuck inside a nasty daydream; I try telling myself this until my phone rings and I am snapped back to the present. Standing half naked, in the middle of my bathroom, holding a positive pregnancy test while listening to my phone ring, I realize how sickly real the situation is.
Out of natural reaction I run to answer my phone. “Hello?!” I half accuse, half whine. No reply except a click. That’s great, just peachy, I am in crisis and the first person I speak to decides to abandon me. I am not sure if I want people to be close or as far away as possible; I can’t completely comprehend my emotions.

This also happened three years ago. I was dating Gary and became pregnant. He broke up with me when he found out and I was left deciding what to do about the kid growing in me. I ended up having a little boy and putting him up for adoption, but the nine months prior were anything, but easy. I was only 19 and trying to pursue sports in university. After the pregnancy I quickly trained and snapped back in time for basketball season, but was left with an emotional hole in my heart. I don’t know if I can go through that again.
My phone rings again and I choose not to answer it, but when I hear my best friend’s voice through the answering machine, I pick up the receiver. “Hey Megs,” is all I can whisper through the tears that start again the minute I hear her voice.

“Oh no, what’s wrong?” she demands. That’s what I love about Megan, she has an unnatural ability to take control in even the worst situations and I know this is like any other.
“I, I’m” I can’t finish the sentence because I am overtaken with hyperventilated wails. She picked up on it though – we have only been best friends for two years, but Megan and I can finish each other’s sentences.
I hear her finish my broken phrase, “pregnant. I will be right over.” As she hangs up the phone without another word I slip onto the floor next to my nightstand; this is where she finds me when she walks in 20 minutes later, sobbing and curled in a ball. Without a word she sits next to me, the smell of Dolce and Gabana, Light Blue overtakes my senses and I feel a new calm. I am not sure what the next step is, nor what the upcoming year looks like, but I know that everything will somehow work out because my friend is next to me.

Two hours later I have showered, tried to digest a smoothie, and somewhat emotionally prepared myself for the trip to the doctor. I know that I am pregnant, but Megan wants to take me to get tested and make sure that everything is physically all right. Walking in to the doctors office triggers memories from three years ago, except the last time this happened I was alone, and today I have a friend by my side.

20 minutes after I have slouched into the worn, leather chair, my name is called. “Marie Peters,” a stout, middle aged, Asian woman calls. She smiles as I stand in response; the smile does nothing but deepen the pit in my already churning stomach. Megan stands and grabs my hand as I begin the walk to the examination room. It seems like my day has been sectioned off in time – 15 minutes to go pee, 20 minutes for Meg to come over, two hours to get ready, 20 more minutes to wait to be admitted at the doctor’s, and now more minutes for the doctor to enter the room. Although any other day I wouldn’t notice the time span, today is not like a normal day.

Megan thinks that I am shaking because I am afraid of having another child, but really I am reacting to the thought that keeps replaying in my mind: if you have an abortion this will all be over before anyone has to know it even began. I have heard of other woman getting abortions, but that was only in far off stories told by friends of a friend, not in my immediate life. We talked about them in sex education during high school, but that was four years ago and I never accepted abortion as a personal option. Until today.

Before my mind can twist any deeper into the thought of cancelling the process that has begun within me, the doctor walks in. Dr. Forester has been my doctor since I was five years old and she knows me well. I don’t see her often, but my parents keep her in the loop about the new occurrences in my life while I try to keep them out. She reads my chart and looks at me with obvious pain in her eyes. I glance at Megan and receive a nod of encouragement to speak.

Before I can say a word Dr. Forester takes the floor, “are you sure? Do you want me to do another test?”
“No, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt. My period was over 2 weeks late and I did a test. I just know,” I say without letting my eyes meet hers.
She sits down on her swivel stool and rolls right next to me. While taking my hand she leans in closely, “what’s your plan?” she asks with sincere care.

I slowly glance from her to Megan then back to her. I can’t think, it’s like the processor in my brain overheated and crashed. Trying to pull at any form of a word to respond, I realize that I don’t have a plan. I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to go through another pregnancy. I start to cry again, but this time I don’t hold back. What’s the point? The other person who helped me get into this predicament moved back to San Diego 3 weeks ago and I don’t see the reason in telling him what has become of our few days together. He is probably sitting on his yacht with a new love object, or locked up in his penthouse office going over reports while cursing his wasted time in Vancouver.

Thoughts begin to race through my mind as if a floodgate was just yanked open. Taking a deep breath I quickly stand to my feet. Glancing at Megs and Dr. Forester I make an announcement. “I got myself into this mess by being irresponsible; therefore I need to deal with the consequences of my actions. The way I see it I have two options: abortion or adoption. As much as I would absolutely love to choose the first, where is my right in deciding this little one’s future before it is even born?” My right hand is on my, still flat, stomach while I am waving my left hand as I speak. I may be a wreck, but I am always able to come to a definite conclusion to any problem when I remind myself that I am in control. Other people may be able to give me advice and support, but in the end I will only be left with one person – me.

I am standing in a small, light green examination room, but the only things that my eyes are registering are the two women sitting in front of me. They both look stunned, or as though I just made some irrational proclamation. I can understand their surprise as I went from zero to 12 in less than 60 seconds on the emotional capability scale, but I have made a decision and am sticking with it. “Where to from here?” I ask Dr. Forester who is still staring at me, but now with a smile on her face.

After a few more minutes of conversing with my physician, Megan and I are walking back to the car. I feel as though I am inwardly shaking from the overwhelming realization of what is happening in my life, but I am determined to live, yet another pregnancy out. It will mean anger and disappointment from my parents, Profs at school questioning my ability to live a responsible life, and many other negative implications, but none of that matters. All that matters is that right now the little one and I are cohabitating in the same shell.
March 18, 1986

I can’t believe the time has flown by and I am about to give birth to my little girl. I guess I can’t really call her mine because the minute that she enters the world she will be taken away, but we still spent months together while she formed within me. I wish that I could keep her, but know that it isn’t realistic. My wish is that she knows how loved she is; if I could raise her as my own I would, but life happened and it isn’t a possibility. I am grateful that the social worker was able to place her in the same home as my previous child. She will be able to grow up with a biological brother (they had different fathers, but have me in common). I hope that he takes care of her and that they can stick together with their adoptive parents. I would really like to meet both of them one day, but also want to move on with my life. I guess I will wait and see what destiny holds.

A strong contraction yanks me out of my thought world. I can’t just sit here daydreaming about the future when there is most definitely a little girl trying to pop out of me. I carefully move to the phone as the pain strengthens. Dialing the numbers is a harder task than usual because I am trying not to double over from the pain.
“Megs, it’s time,” I breathe and sit down in pain.
“I will be right over,” says my best friend. She has been my support through these past 9 months and I am so grateful that she is in my life. She stood beside me when my parents yelled and even when I stubbornly wanted to run.
8 long hours later I have been taken to the hospital, felt contractions strong enough to shake my body to pieces, pushed until I almost passed out, become exhausted, and finally, seen the fruit of my labour. She is beautiful. 6 pounds 9 ounces of perfection that is taken out of the room instead of placed in my arms. 9 months of building a physical relationship within me and she is whisked away to the social worker on my case.

Megs holds my right hand while I dig the fingernails of my left into their palm. I can’t help but ask myself if this was the best decision? I just gave away my baby girl and even though statistically speaking there is no way I can offer her the best life, at least she would be with her mom.
  1. p.o.w.e.r.f.u.l.

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