Two lines, or one?
You’re in the bathroom, waiting.
Waiting to see if the test will reveal two lines or one.
Two lines; you’re pregnant. One line; you’re not.
It must be the longest three minutes in history. The tester is sitting on the sink and you’re pacing, wall to door, throwing a glance every few seconds, wanting to look but also too scared to look. Who would have thought that two thin lines could elicit such a strong surge of emotion. Two thin lines that could bring intense fear for one woman and elation for another.
A minute has passed.
You run your hands through your hair and take a deep breath, exhale slowly, ragged, snagging your emotions on the way out.
Two lines like two different paths leading to the same destination. One is a bleak landscape, the other sunny.
Why do you feel this way?
Well, there are all the plans for your future. Your education, career, relationships, travels – all with the potential to be disrupted by two thin lines. They’re important to you right now. Will they always be important? That’s an interesting question. Now, they are everything. In a year, five years, ten… maybe not so much. Could that mean that your feelings should not be treated as your advisor right now, that they perhaps should not be allowed to inform choice? Feelings fluctuate, but a decision made here and now will be irreversible.
Two minutes have passed.
So many women have paced in a bathroom like this. You know that statistics tell us one in three women will have an abortion before the age of 40, and when you think of all the women in your life, the idea that a third of them have been through that is a bit of a shock. But then you start thinking of the women in your life who made hard decisions – to parent alone, to parent young, to juggle motherhood with a career, to embrace motherhood despite everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. You’re seeing with clarity now that their sacrifices didn’t culminate in a sorrowful dead-end. No, their sacrifices elevated them to new heights. The women you’re bringing to mind are stronger, wiser, more driven, more compassionate. They are women you admire. How can that be?
What if I flip this, you’re thinking as you step towards the sink. What if I take what life hands me and I make the best of it? What if I was strong enough to say to the world that it has no right to tell me I’m too old, too young, too inexperienced, too unstable, too poor, too uneducated, too career-focused, too unwell, too WHATEVER to be a mum? I am strong enough, you say to yourself.
And in that moment of testing the climate of the sunny path rather than the bleak path, a load is lifted. Your mind is opened to new possibilities as you think of people who will come alongside you, of the wonder in experiencing pregnancy, of holding your own child in your arms and loving them like you’ve never known love before. Suddenly your head is in a different place… and you might even like it.
As you lift the pregnancy test stick to check the result, you know that two thin lines might be surprising, but they might also be the catalyst for untold beauty.
Are you pregnant?
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