Your Lines is a series that chronicles YOUR stories seeing those first two lines that marked the beginning of your motherhood. If you want to share your own story of unplanned pregnancy or young motherhood, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A week after I turned 22 my parents came to visit me for what would be my last fall break at college. I was a senior at the University of Notre Dame and an RA that year. I remember talking on the phone with my mom as she an my father made the drive back to Chicago.
“Honey, you’re not pregnant are you?” My mother asked in her slightly worried voice.
“Of course not mom! I just had my menstrual a couple of weeks ago!”
“Ok dear.” I could hear the sigh of relief in her voice. I was the first to go to college in our family and my parents had so many hopes for what I would be doing after graduation.
I was engaged, and planning a wedding for July of the next year. My fiancee was a firefighter back home, and I had been to several promising job fairs on campus. With graduation in May, babies were the last thing on my mind.
But just one week later all that changed. I just knew I had stomach flu, a bug that had been moving through my dorm.
The nurse at health services told me otherwise.
“Well dear, the good news is that you aren’t sick. The other news is that you’re pregnant. We’ll send you for an ultrasound. I’ll have a van come pick you up.”
I was ok at that point. Really I was. We had discussed starting a family fairly soon after getting married, and as long as I could graduate that May everything would be fine. Job hunting could come later. No need to panic.
The nurse during my ultrasound was one of the sweetest women I’ve ever met. She was so genuinely happy for me that I began to feel the first stirrings of excitement for the new life growing inside me.
“You’re 21 weeks and 2 days! Look at your baby!”
At first I wasn’t sure I’d heard her correctly. It just could be possible. And there it was. As she turned the monitor to face me I could see the prefect outline of my daughter staring back at me. He tiny hand seemed to reach out from the screen.
I nearly fainted. I’m 99% certain that if I hadn’t been laying down already, I would have ended up on the floor.
In that moment I wanted to cry. I could see all of my plans disappearing away. No graduation, no finishing my senior year with my friends, no being able to plan for anything. I called my fiancee and I’m pretty sure he did faint. I think one of his coworkers caught him.
Once I got back to my room I just sat staring at the ultrasound pictures, and cried.
I told my friends that night, and all of them were scared but happy for me. They, more than anyone, convinced me that I was strong enough to do this.
So I did. I told my parents the following week and a month later my fiancee and I were married in a small civil ceremony. I continued to go to class, and we bought a house. I took a leave of absence from school, and in February of 2008 my daughter was born.
She was the most beautiful and perfect thing that had ever happened to me. From the instant I saw her I knew I could never live without her.
That fall I went back to school. I commuted three days a week for 4 months straight, but I finished. I didn’t graduate with honors like I’d always dreamed, but my daughter was there to see me get my diploma. I don’t think my parents have ever been so proud. I don’t think I have ever been so proud of myself.
6 years, 1 divorce, and 2 more children later, I still look back and think about how my path to motherhood started. I was the one who people thought would be the last to have children. Boy were they wrong!!
I don’t always love motherhood (teething, potty training, tantrums, and messes are rough) but I love my kids with everything I am, and can’t imagine life any other way. Everyday is another chance to be the best mom I can be, and that’s good enough for me.