We had a choice to make.
At 16 neither of us had a job or an education beyond completing year eight. We had no plans for a future outside of drinking with friends. At one point I was homeless and estranged from my family as a result of my choices. I turned to alcohol to help deal with the pain of abuse that had happened in my childhood.
Then I found out I was pregnant.
I remember the first time I was asked “What are you going to do?”
The words came out before I had a chance to process what was happening.
“We’re keeping it!” I said.
The choice tug-of-war
I’d like to say I never thought about the alternatives, but that’s just not true. For the first 16 weeks I thought about it almost everyday. I felt like I had nothing to offer a baby, I had screwed everything else in my life up. I thought maybe an abortion would be a way out. I also couldn’t use alcohol to feel numb any-more. I felt every hurt, every memory, flooding back.
I am so grateful for my partner at the time (later husband), Daniel, who as much as he was able to, remained by my side. There was never any doubt in his mind.
Our families were not thrilled. Daniel’s mother asked if we would have an abortion but was supportive no matter what we chose. My mum was delighted, however my Dad took months before he would come near me or speak to me directly. During the eighth month of my pregnancy I saw Dad get excited for the first time about being a grandfather. His grandchildren are now his absolute delight.
Our friends were unfazed, however, after baby was born I noticed my friendship group diminish and only a few true friends remained. Years later when those friends began their parenting journey, I was the go-to expert, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
What unplanned pregnancy taught me
What I’ve learned is that unplanned pregnancy is temporary, and even though parenting is a terrifying concept, life goes on. We can choose to rise to the occasion or live with regret at never knowing what might have been. Back than, I somehow knew that things would be ok, that my father God knew me, and he knew my baby. If she existed, then she deserved to be born. From the moment I felt her kick I knew we’d made the right choice.
Life after unplanned pregnancy
After we married we went on to have two more children. Our third baby was also ‘unplanned’. Daniel and I were in the midst a separation and our second child had just been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and needed a lot of care. The timing and financial circumstances could not have been worse!
I suffered Hyperemesis Gravidarum during pregnancy (a condition that causes severe vomiting) so it was challenging and I can understand why so many might feel enormous pressure to abort. It seems logical. However, I knew that my child deserved life, and I was prepared to suffer so that he could live. We chose life, despite multiple doctors suggesting abortion because of our circumstances. Jaxson (baby no. 3) was born healthy and is absolutely adored by Daniel and I, even though we have since divorced. We are both pro-life and believe support and information can make all the difference.
I have since returned to university to complete my masters degree in social work. Daniel works full time as a machine operator. And Skyla, our first child is top of her class at school and passionate about reading, writing, gymnastics and YouTube! Our second child loves being a big brother and having a baby has actually helped him develop empathy and a better understanding about boundaries and social cues.
We chose life, all the way, and we are so thankful.
– by Amber Rose