A New Job And A New Baby: The Day I Grew Up, Part 2
Part 1 of this story can be found here.
How does one tell the people she is closest to that there is a little person growing inside of her? It’s certainly not news I’d ever had to share before, and I was afraid that my parents would be disappointed in me. Sure, I am 23 years old and finally finished with school, but I couldn’t afford to pay rent, I wasn’t married and I had yet to land a steady “grown up” job. As far as my boyfriend went, I had given him a heads up a few days before that I was waiting for test results to come back so he wouldn’t be too surprised if I called to tell him he was going to be a dad, and luckily he didn’t seem too upset about the possibility. Because of this (and also because he helped make the baby), he was the first person I called.
Thousands of thoughts and scenarios played out in my head as I walked to my car and waited for him to answer his phone. What if he was just being polite the other day because he didn’t think a positive test result was even a remote possibility? What if it’s too much for him to accept and he hangs up on me? What if he acts like he’s okay with it at first, and then decides he isn’t ready to have a family of his own after all? What if he’s driving right now and gets into a car accident because the news is so shocking, and then I have to raise our baby alone? I was obviously losing my grip on reality, but there was no going back when I heard him say, “Hello?”
“Did your doctor call?”
“Yes… I’m pregnant.”
“Oh my God. Okay. Well. Are you okay?”
“Yes. I also got the job.”
And then he started laughing with happy disbelief in such a reassuring way that my worries instantly dissipated, and we had a relaxed, albeit exhilarating, conversation about how crazy this was, how we were obviously going to go through with the pregnancy and how I was going to tell my parents, and he his.
As I pulled up to my house, we ended the call with “I love yous,” I took a deep breath, made sure I didn’t have post-cry eye makeup all over my face and prepared myself for the inevitable news-sharing that was about to commence as soon as I walked in the door.
Here’s a useful piece of advice. If you ever have to tell your parents that they are about to be grandparents before your life is completely put together (but really, is it ever?), make sure you have some reassuring news to follow it up with.
My mom and I are super close, so it’s really no surprise that the first words out of my mouth as soon as I opened the door and made eye contact with her were, “I’m pregnant.”
Of course, she didn’t believe me. In fact, she laughed, and accused me of joking, which in turn made me burst into tears. Once she believed me, I reassured her that it was all going to be okay because I got the internship at my dream company, and there was a very big chance that I’d quickly move into a regular position. We then sat in silence for a minute as my mom gave me strange sideways glances. It was kind of awkward, but mostly a relief. She wasn’t yelling, crying or leaving the house in anger. Overall, the news-sharing was a success. Now I just had to tell my dad when he got home from work.
To give some background that might better explain my anxiety, once upon a time I was a rebellious high school student who liked to sneak cigarettes in the backyard. I never expected to get caught, but one day my dad came home from work early and I did. I tried to hide the cigarette by putting it out with fingers (bad, painful idea), but he knew what I was doing and was so unbelievably disappointed in me that it broke his heart, and thus my heart as well. Ever since then I’ve been terrified of disappointing him, so this day seven years later was a huge deal to me. My dad is a loving and accepting person, but I had no idea how he would react to news that his daughter had been impregnated.
I cried to my mom about how scared I was until we heard him drive up to the house. After he had set his stuff down I told him I had news. This time, I shared the job news first. He had been anxious to hear about it, so I knew it would butter him up for what was about to come next.
“I have other good news too,” I said. “I’m pregnant!”
To my surprise, he was totally cool with it, excited even. His only concern was whether or not my boyfriend was for sure going to “stick around” (I assured him that he was), and he also cracked a joke that it’s probably a good time to stop using all that heroin (he watches a lot of Cops.)
So my mom, dad and I went out for a celebratory Mexican dinner at the restaurant I had yet to leave so we could use my 50% discount one last time. It was delicious. And when I went back there about five months later, the server we’d had that night was sporting a baby bump as big as mine. Little did I know we had been sharing the same secret, it just wasn’t noticeable yet.
So in the end, I realized that all of the fears that had been ingrained in my brain ever since the first time I saw 16 and Pregnant were completely unnecessary. 1. I wasn’t 16, 2. I graduated college a year before I became pregnant PLUS I finally got a “real” job, and 3. I was going to have a baby with the man I’d been in love with for the last two-and-a-half years of my life. We are blessed, and I am so grateful that I am lucky enough to have so much support and love coming at me from both sides of our burgeoning family. Literally everyone around us is excited because babies really are miraculous, beautiful beings. Our little Lorelei (yes, it’s a girl!) has already been an incredible source of peace and joy for all that are going to be a part of her life, and we can’t wait to meet her. I mean, I can wait a little bit because I want her to be as strong and developed as possible, but this little cat tutu outfit has been calling her name for months, and I’m dying to see her in it.
Despite all of the positivity radiating from my loved ones, I was still terrified about one last thing – starting an internship with a secret that, in some cases, has cost many women their jobs. But this part of the story, my friends, will have to wait until next time.
(Image via Shutterstock).