MYTH #9: My Child Must be Planned.
My first child was not planned. At the time of his conception, I was twenty-three-years-old, unmarried and living with his biological father (Something my mother had advised against). We got married because of the pregnancy, which only thickened the tension lying heavy in our home, fraught with domestic violence. My then husband was addicted to crystal methamphetamine and I was the brunt of his drug-induced mood swings. I tolerated his abuse throughout the pregnancy, hoping it would improve, but my fearful doubts left me feeling hopeless and alone.
Many times I cried to myself, wondering how I ended up in this impossible trap? How could I escape when I didn’t have a steady job to support us, I would lose my health insurance if I left, and the car I drove was in my husband’s name? Nonetheless, the magical seed of life within me was steadily sprouting and it was my responsibility to provide him a healthy place to bloom. While some might have seen the baby as the bane of the trap, bonding me to this miserable marriage, I saw him as the reason to strive for something better. My obligation to protect him invoked my strength in the shadow, and every move he made in my womb flickered of hope and light—motivating me to free us from the cage my poor choices landed us in.
My son was two months old when I finally made my great escape. The path that led us away from that dark and dangerous home was rough and uncertain, but I trod it boldly with my baby in my arms—hardly taking the time to consider the pain I suffered along the way. My son needed shelter, so I built it—no matter how weary I was. He needed food, so I provided it—no matter how I starved. He needed love, so I gave it—no matter my own heartbreak. I gave my all so he would never know the pain I deflected for him.
Two years later, I married my best friend. He adopted my son, (Dating advice: never underestimate the friend zone), and we later planned a pregnancy that added a baby girl to our wonderfully loving family. Now that I have done it both ways, I can surely attest that planning a family is a healthier choice for everyone involved, however, it does not differentiate the value of each child’s life. My son was not made from solid love, was not born into a stable home, did not fit into my plans, created financial unrest, and was thrown into my arms at the most emotionally unstable time of my life. Nothing about his beginning was perfect, but he is perfect to me.
My first pregnancy was unplanned, but the light that boys shines on this world is stunning proof that good people can be born from bad relationships. My ability to overcome adversity proves that strength can be harnessed in fearful circumstances, and courage can conquer unlikely odds. No matter how strategic your planning, unexpected winds are bound to blow; it is not so much about the difficulties you face, but how you face them. And the best things in life are worth fighting for, life being the most valuable treasure of all—planned or not. Life is always worth it.