Anonymous Mom is a column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this anonymous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity. The following is a follow up to an Anonymous Mom column we published last November.
A year ago, I wrote about my boyfriend and his family disagreeing with me about keeping my unborn fetus. My pregnancy being unplanned, they felt as though we were not in a position to be having a second child. It was a very difficult conversation; one filled with insults and personal attacks. Truly, it was emotional torture to go through. A year later, I wanted to write in again to share my story. The story about how this pregnancy saved my relationship. About how, when my boyfriend and his parents became honest about their feelings, we were able to discuss things for the first time and truly get to know each other. How having this second child has brought an enormous amount of joy to not only my own life, but my boyfriend’s, to my family and to his.
When I became adamant about not ending my pregnancy, and my boyfriend finally calmed down enough to listen to what I had to say, he ultimately stated that he would support me, no matter what. That, if it really meant that much to me to have a second child, despite all of the obstacles that were standing in our way, he would support me and work with me towards making it happen. That discussion was not an easy one to have. I had to listen to him while he told me how he felt about me. How he wanted certain things to change. But, he also listened to what I had to say and what I also wanted for him to change. It was a fair fight. And it was the beginning of something very positive between us.
I will not say that the next few months were easy. My pregnancy was a more difficult one than my first - one that ultimately turned into a high risk pregnancy in my third trimester. We needed to move out of our one-bedroom apartment but had to renovate it first. Figure out where we were going in life. My boyfriend started looking for a better paying job that would allow him to work less. And through all of this, I still had to work, and take care of my one-year old, and take care of my pregnant self. It wasn’t easy. But I was so determined to make it work that I focused on the end goal. Throughout all of this, I know that my boyfriend’s heart wasn’t into it 100%. If I had to evaluate how he felt about it, he was perhaps with me about 85%.
I understood where he came from and tried to give him some slack. I could see, after all, how hard he was working with me in order to make things happen. I saw how he made every effort to work as much on himself as he was asking from me. It made me sad that he wasn’t as excited about my little guy coming, but I lived with it. I let him pick out our new baby’s name. I let him pick out some outfits. The day my baby was born, a month premature and the day that I finished unpacking my last box, my boyfriend stepped it up. He was there 100%. And when my son made his first public appearance, I saw the instant look of love in my boyfriend’s eyes, and knew that everything would be okay. In that moment, I knew that in the end, we hadn’t made a mistake.
I do not regret anything that I have been through. I do not resent or hate my boyfriend or his parents for what they said that night. It was an opportunity to clear the air out and make things better. Through those stressful months of preparation, we learned to communicate and work as a team. We learned to set our feelings aside sometimes, and address them at other times. We realized that, by actively choosing to go down this path, we were also making the choice to make things better for ourselves.
I just came back from a vacation to visit my in-laws. Although it was my idea to go visit them, I was very scared of what might happen while I was there. I was afraid that there would still be resentment left over from last year. I hoped that my in-laws would love and embrace my son as much as they did my daughter. And they did. They even told me how much they regretted what they had said, and how little they understood about what I had been experiencing after the birth of my daughter. They told me that they loved me very much, and respected me, and promised to bring things up with me if there were things that they didn’t like so that we would never go through the same thing again. I never understood until that moment how much I truly needed to hear that. Although I don’t need other people’s validation to live my life fully, when you get it, it truly can make a difference.
One night, my boyfriend cried while we were having a drink with his brother and his wife. He said that he loved his son so much and truly enjoyed every moment with him and couldn’t believe that he had wanted to get rid of him. I already knew how much he loved his son before then, but to hear him say it so clearly helped me finally heal the wound that had opened up in my heart. In that moment, we came full circle. If ever my son finds out that he was an “accident” and is upset about it, I already know what I will tell him. I will take him in my arms, and let him know that, no, he was not planned, but he was also the person that helped the entire family come together and get along. That because of him, we’re all much stronger and happier. And that he should never feel bad about that.
This is not a message that is meant to imply that everyone who gets pregnant should keep their babies. My choice was mine and mine alone, and I would never pretend to know what anyone else should do if ever they encountered a situation similar to mine. In the end, for me at least, a horrible situation turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Sometimes, you truly CAN make lemonades of out lemons.