Don’t think twice, It’s Alright
K E L S E Y
V A N D E R V L I E T
I found out I was pregnant in September of 2015. It was a Sunday night when I took the pregnancy test, even though I had already known I was pregnant. I could sense it; I knew I was done for. I took multiple pregnancy tests, and sat on my bathroom floor staring at the positive results.
I called the father of my baby, and told him that I was pregnant. Though, he had already moved on to someone else. We had no money, no time for a baby, and we did not love each other. There was nothing more to say about it. It seemed like abortion was our only way out. I was ready to move on, too, so I agreed.
The father of my baby drove me to my appointment for an abortion, and we both went through the ‘song and dance’ at Planned Parenthood. Before the abortion procedure, I chose not to look at the ultrasound machine because I was stopping at nothing to end the pain I was feeling. No one else knew that I was heartbroken, and fighting a battle inside of myself.
The staff had me sit in a room for two hours to watch a movie. I picked a comedy, but did not laugh. Finally, they called my name and took me back to a room. I changed into a faded gown and sat on the cold metal table with five minutes to myself. I looked around and then it hit me … I’m ending this. I cried silently to myself, asking God to protect my child and let my baby into Heaven. The anesthesiologist came into the room, and the doctor and nurses rushed in next. Everything happened so quickly, with no more time for me to think. “Did you read those silly papers the state makes you read? I’m supposed to ask …” the doctor questioned me with an eye roll. Before I knew it, I was asleep.
I woke up in the recovery room. After, one of the nurses came up to me and said, “Kelsey; I am so sorry. It did not work for you. Your cervix is very hard. We couldn’t get through.”
“Is my baby okay?” I asked her.
This was not the type of protection I had in mind when I prayed before falling asleep from the anesthesia; but it’s the type of protection that I received. I had the option of going back to Planned Parenthood. Although, I was carrying a healthy baby, and I was done fooling myself into thinking that I was not capable of giving my child a breath of life. I never went back.
I did not think of placing my baby for adoption on my own. I had wonderful friends that made me aware of the option of open adoption, a reliable adoption attorney who walked me through the specifics, my family who supported my decision, and a spiritual peace to get me through each difficult day during my pregnancy. Despite the positives, every day was a war. I often cried myself to sleep, apologizing to my child as I rubbed my bump.
During my work as a waitress, my baby’s ultrasound picture was tucked behind my check book. I was constantly looking at it, amazed that there was a tiny part of me that would soon be introduced into the world. I faced other trials while I was pregnant, too. Vomiting in the back alley multiple times during my work shifts didn’t exactly make me employee of the month. Morning sickness isn’t advantageous. And, later, I was fired from that job.
I decided to become a substitute teacher, and taught kids that were five to seven years younger than me. But, I felt embarrassed. They knew I was unwed, and were pessimistic that I could offer my child a stable life. Having a baby is suppose to be a happy moment in your life, and my transparency showed that I felt the opposite. However, I worked hard and stayed focused.
It took me a long time to come to terms with my pregnancy. I was in denial, despite the constant kicks near my ribs, which would sometimes knock the wind out of me. I did not come to terms with reality until I was in the delivery room after my water broke. During my labor, I was terrified. I was continually looking up at my mother, who was steadfast in encouragement and never left my side. She was my best friend throughout my pregnancy; my unwavering companion. Immediately after my son was born, and the doctor held my son in front of me, all of my pain went away. A little boy that I created finally made his appearance into this world, and it was an incredible feeling. The next day, I signed the relinquishment papers with tears in my eyes and immense love in my heart.
When it was time to be discharged from the hospital, I kissed my son, hugged his new parents, and wished everyone well. I walked out of the hospital with my mother and father by my side, empty-handed. The pain was intense. For weeks, after I left the hospital, I woke up every morning with tears when I saw no baby in my room. My heart was sore; the separation and grieving from my decision was heavy. At one point, I tried to move on with my life and forget about what happened, but it is a part of who I am now. Every time I receive a new picture or watch a video of my birth son, I thank God for His intervention. My child is alive, happy, and loved by many.
I could not give my [birth] son a father without giving him a mother, too. I could not give him opportunities, without giving him a family that would support him. I stand tall knowing that I did the best that I could. I hope some day my birth son will understand my decision as he matures, too. Life for my child, through the option of open adoption, is worth every ache in my chest, and I would not hesitate to do it all over again.
To the women facing an unexpected pregnancy: Peace is on the way. When I was facing an unplanned pregnancy, my best friend’s mother simply told me, “I’m praying for you to find peace.” We may not be able to control the decisions that women make when faced with a terrifying situation such as an unplanned pregnancy. However, we can inform them of the rewarding options available [open adoption], as well as offer them boundless love and support for a decision of life for not only their baby, but a life for them.
Posted November 2, 2016
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
I am twenty-three years old and I live in Northern Indiana. Even though I have been a birth mom for five short months, this past year has been the most formative time in my life. I currently work three jobs, but I am learning that my purpose in life may be more than being an employee. I want to do all that I can to help women who are in a similar situation that I was in when I faced an unplanned pregnancy. I want to empower them and show them their worth, as well as the worth of their child.
C O N T A C T
K E L S E Y