Tag Archive | pregnant

“Merry Christmas, I’m Pregnant”

Gavin & Liam ponder their new sibling, due in July 2013

Gavin & Liam ponder their new sibling, due in July 2013

You know how you watch “American’s Funniest Home Videos” and they inevitably have the clip(s) where the couple informs their parents (on video, of course) via some unexpected way that they are expecting a baby?  I always thought those clips were so phony and the people involved were actors, or just plain ridiculous.  Well, up until now, that is.

We had Christmas dinner at my eldest daughter’s family’s house, and my son-in-law’s parents also came down from Watertown to join in.  After the nice dinner of ham, potatoes, veggies, breads, olives etc., we all sat down in their livingroom to pass around/open Christmas presents each had gotten for the other.  The first thing received was a Christmas card in a beautiful red envelope, and both “mother’s” were urged to open them and read.  Upon opening mine, I became so enthralled with the OUTSIDE of the pretty card that I handed it off to my husband to share the pretty sentiment BEFORE I read the inside.  I saw that there was “something” loose on the inside of the card, figured it would’ve been a photo of my two gorgeous grandson’s, and waited for my husband to finish perusing the outside of the card before he would hand it back to me and I would admire the photo enclosed.  My husband took the time to look at the photo, AND the inside of the card before handing it back… and I’ll never forget that peculiar look on his face.  Meantime, a commotion started in the livingroom, as my son-in-law’s mom had taken the time to read the entire INSIDE of the card and it began to sink in.  I finally grabbed back the card from my husband and looked at the photo (as seen above).  It didn’t take me only about 3 seconds to realize I was looking at a sonogram!  This was something my husband had never seen, so he didn’t know what to make of the photo when he looked at it.  THEN I read the inside of the card and it became all too clear.

For a split second I thought maybe I was being punked.  After all, Kristen’s final words after hours of laboring with Gavin were “never again” in a seething, pained, rasping voice that could only be compared with Darth Vader… and true to her word at the time, Liam was adopted.  And now, could it be?  And then I remembered those silly people on AFV and realized I had just become one of them… without the advantage of being video-taped.  All I remember after that was pandemonium.  At one point, I thought maybe my head had exploded, but I kept checking and it was still intact.  It didn’t FEEL intact. 

 I think it was only about 1-2 months ago I was wistfully telling Al that I wanted to make another baby quilt for someone.  I remember actually searching for someone in my area of friends/acquaintances and even church friends looking for someone to bless with a new baby quilt.  Hallelujah!  Now I have a reason to make a baby quilt… or two or three.  We don’t know whether boy or girl yet, but I can put together something totally appropriate for either in the blink of an eye!  And, once we know for sure that it’s a girl, I can make more… in pink!  Did I say something about a “girl”?  Well, here’s hoping! 

Advertisements

Revealed Chapter 2: The White Picket Fence ~

In my senior year of high school, amidst all the drugs, alcohol and self-pity of losing my first love, a girlfriend of mine told me that her fiancé had a brother who is a Marine who is currently on a 3 month cruise and was lonely and wanted a “pen pal”.  What could it hurt?  It would give me something to do to take my mind off ST, and I loved to write because I had good handwriting skills.  So she gave me his address on this military ship in the middle of the Mediterranean and I wrote my first letter, never really thinking I would get a response, I guess.

 I did get a response, and MS and I continued our pen pal relationship for the three months he was overseas, and for a month or two upon his return to Camp Lejeune, NC, where he was based.  When he finally got leave, he wrote that he would be coming to Syracuse, NY, to see his family (his mom and brothers), so we made arrangements to meet in person.  By this time, I had my first car (a 1970 Maverick) and I had a job working at the Baldwinsville School District Offices as Receptionist after school each day… so I had $$.  Also I had “toned down” my partying from my own school locker, and was only getting completely wasted on the weekends.

This is not my exact first car, but exactly LIKE my first car (including the color).

 When MS and I finally met, it was pretty electric.  Wow!  I was a 17 year old high school senior dating a 21 year old Marine!  And I was finally able to get my mind off ST ~ okay, well, maybe not so much.  But who cares?  I was dating a Marine!  The mutual physical attraction was instantaneous, but then again, I’d had a lot of mutual physical attractions with guys before now… none were Marines.   I guess, by the time MS left Syracuse to go back to Camp Lejeune, we were “boyfriend/girlfriend”, and I promised to continue to keep writing in between infrequent phone calls, and I also had decided to make the trip to North Carolina right after graduation for a week or so of fun in the sun at Camp Lejeune.  I had relatives down there I could visit as well.  It was an exciting time … 1977.

 I’d planned that year to go to college after graduation with a business major and art minor.  I was looking into schools when I found out I was pregnant (yet again), and everything screeched to a halt.  What the he!!?  How did this happen?  And I had to tell that 21 year old Marine that we were going to be parents.  I had no idea how he would react, but was thankful it was positive.  He and I decided to get married and become a family with our little one due the next March 1978.  So it was that he managed to get back to Syracuse 2 days before our wedding day, and we said our vows in Plainville Christian Church with a reception following at my parent’s home where I grew up and would soon be leaving.  I couldn’t be happier!  I was going to have it all… a career husband who would make good money in the service of his country to provide for his wife and child.  And there might be more children, and eventually we’d buy a home somewhere and put up that white picket fence in rural America, get a dog and maybe some cats and live the good life and be in love forever.  I expected nothing less.  And I wanted to be a good mom and wife and do all the “stuff” that was expected of me once domesticated.

My ideal marriage/family dream. After all, the white picket fence holds it all together, doesn’t it?

 And all was well for awhile.  We learned to “play house” in North Carolina.  However, some things were just not meant to last, and my white picket fence was about to come crashing down.

 

Revealed Chapter 1: In the Beginning ~

I remember having a good, “normal” childhood until Junior High when I met my first love.  I wasn’t even interested in boys at all until then, until “ST” started giving me all this attention.  Wow!  I was getting attention!  And from a boy!  He made me feel good; good about myself, good about us.  It only seemed natural to kiss him and to let him kiss me.  And that felt good, too.  It only made sense that during April’s Spring vacation, when I was a month shy of turning 13, that ST should ride his bike the 7+ miles to my rural home while both my parents were working and spend the day with me.  After all, we really liked each other’s company. 

 I’d like to say I was naïve and that it was all his fault, but that would be a lie.  Although I was naïve and inexperienced, and had absolutely no idea what I was doing, I was just as much at fault as ST.  Ignorance is not bliss.  When we became intimate with each other, it was a life-altering experience for me that I could’ve never foreseen.  I did not understand that it would be a defining moment in my life that would set the tone of decades to come, effecting my lifestyle, my children and possibly their children.  Like they say:  “If I only knew then what I know now.”  But, would I have changed anything?  Could I have?  And who is “they” anyway?

 I must admit that the now intensity of our relationship built quickly.  We talked on the phone before school, saw each other and “made out” as much as possible during school, and somehow made arrangements to be together sometimes after school; and I was addicted.  We were in love… at ages 13 & 14.  Is that even possible?  It sure seemed like it then, and I can remember it and still feel it like it was yesterday.  I made it to the ripe age of 13 before I became pregnant ~ surprise!  I won’t elaborate on this time of my life, because I already have covered most of it in my “Forgiven and Set Free” post.  I now have a better understanding and am able to cope with the subsequent abortion, after which my son’s father wanted nothing to do with me… another defining moment.

 The rejection that ensued left me feeling desolate, inadequate and shattered my self esteem.  In 9th grade, I may possibly have been the only student at Baker High School that kept a bottle of liquor available in my locker for daily consumption… who knows?  I drank in private and I drank to replace the feeling of emptiness that was left behind when ST turned his attentions to other girls in school.  I experienced intense jealousy that consumed me every day.  It left me miserable, and desperate to find something, or a someone, to make me feel good again like he had.  So, “someone” it was!  Or perhaps I should make that plural.  Thus, I began what would be a series of “relationships” with pretty much anyone who would look at me and show me any attention.  I didn’t really care.  Some were friends from school, some were acquaintances or friends of friends, some I picked up in local bars. 

When I turned 16, I was frequenting bars in the Baldwinsville area with a girlfriend, and meeting men.  No one ever checked ID back then.  Even the guys over the age of 18 and 21 who often took me home ~ to their place or not.  Talk about risky behavior!  It didn’t feel risky to me.  I was just getting what I needed (attention) from whatever source could be obtained.  At 16 I was with a friend in my favorite B’ville bar, we were enjoying a band that we had been following, and this guy asked me to dance.  I obliged.  He was kind.  He stayed with us the rest of the evening, then took us home to my friend’s house (I was spending the night with her).  On the way, he talked me into meeting him the next day, and he would take me for a ride and we’d just talk.  How absolutely dangerous and exciting!  I had no idea who this stranger was!  But I met him the next day anyway, and got in his car.  He drove me back to Baldwinsville, and to his apartment.  After it was all over, he confided that he was a teacher in one of the middle schools there in Baldwinsville.  I didn’t care about any of that, I’d gotten the attention I craved.  His name?  Never got it.   Next!

 From that point on, it was one selfish, irresponsible thing after another throughout the rest of high school.  I’m not sure how I managed to get through the business curriculum I was enrolled in, and be exceptional at it, but I did, even after I began using drugs at age 16 or 17.  Well, because, all my other new friends were doing it!  And it made me feel good and/or made me not feel at all.  I don’t recall having a “home life” during those tumultuous years of sex, drugs and alcohol in school ~ everything pretty much revolved around getting away from my parents and my home and having fun.  Was this fun?  I couldn’t tell anymore.

Next Chapter:  Senior Year

Forgiven and Set Free ~

I am a child of God.  I am His daughter, His princess, His brown-eyed girl and his devoted and loving child.  I’m pretty happy with this arrangement, and I’m sure so is He.  I spent a good deal of this early summer learning and getting comfortable with myself, and my God.  It took a lot of hard work, tears and revelation to be able to admit, privately and publicly, that I had an abortion when I had just turned 14 years old.  It’s not something you can just discuss over lunch with a friend, or blurt out at some perceived opportune moment.  Even now I have difficulty putting this “out there” for all to know, but the difference is now I know it serves a purpose.  If telling my experience can save just one girl/young woman/woman from choosing abortion over any other option, I will consider this sacrifice of privacy a success.

   Yes, I found myself pregnant at the age of 13, in 1974.  Surprised?  I was!  As a 13 year old in 1974, I was extremely naïve, and just plain didn’t know much.  So when a young man approached me (he was also 13) and wanted to be my boyfriend, and he gave me lots of attention, I was flattered and loved the attention.  Who wouldn’t?  We took that next step, and we weren’t careful.  As I look back I think “What was I thinking???”  Well, obviously I wasn’t.

   There are some blank spots in my memory surrounding that summer.  Somehow our parents found out, and took it from there, making the decisions and all of the arrangements to get things taken care of quietly so that he (the baby’s father) and I would be able to continue on with our lives without interruption or inconvenience… I guess.  The next thing I knew, I was being admitted to Crouse Hospital for three days, and my parents left me there alone.  I wouldn’t discover until decades later that I was never alone.  But here I was.  This was not to be your “simple” abortion, by the way, somehow months had gone by before my admittance, and I was now almost 5 months along, well into my second trimester.  So a “saline abortion” had been ordered by my OB/GYN.  Now, at my age, I had no idea what was even happening, all I cared about was if it was going to hurt.  As I stared at the 10″ needle that was about to be inserted into my uterus, my doctor and his attending nurse tried to reassure me.  I closed my eyes and gritted my teeth, thinking about being able to go home and go horseback riding… after all, it was summer vacation! 

   Somewhere in the middle of the night the contractions began and kept me awake.  I labored for the better part of 10 hours in my hospital room, by myself, as I watched the nurses going about their routine outside in the hall.  I remember thinking to myself when would this end and what would be the result?  When could I go home?  Then I remembered “three days” and knew I’d be able to leave the next day.  The nursing staff pretty much ignored me and left me to myself as I felt like my stomach was about to explode.  Why hadn’t I been allowed breakfast that morning when I woke up?  Finally, after an eternity, I had to push and my child was born in the hospital bed.  I felt the little arms and legs jerk between my legs, and I called for a nurse.  A 40-something year old woman came into the room and seemed surprised to see a baby there, but she began to wrap him up and prepared to whisk him away to who-knows-where.  I quickly asked if it was a boy or girl, and she hastily told me my son had been born alive… then they were gone.  My parents picked me up the next evening after they finished work, and they took me home as if I’d just had my tonsils out.  It was never mentioned again, by them or by me.

   Decades later, when I began having bouts of depression and uncontrolled crying, my husband and I were stumped as to why.  That is, until I began having thoughts and memories of that summer in 1974, and regrets and doubts about what I should’ve/could’ve done to change my baby’s fate.  See, now I had become a Christian woman, a woman of God, and I didn’t believe in abortion… under any circumstance.  I believe in life at conception, and under no circumstances should a person take that child’s life or it would be considered murder.  Was I really seeing myself in that new light?  Certainly I could not be considered a murderer, as I had no control over what my parents did.  And they couldn’t be murderers, they were my parents, doing only the best that they could for my benefit and future.  Certainly neither God nor I could blame them!

   Well the depression and crying continued intermittently.  I sent to Crouse Hospital for a copy of the records of that abortion, and I got a clinical 4 page assessment of what happened.  “Products of conception” he was called.  My baby boy.  This year, 2012, it hit me again ~ very hard this time.  I confided in a friend, who told me about a post-abortion Bible study group from our church that might be helpful, and she gave me a name and a phone number.  I was skeptical, but I made the call and the arrangements to meet with this “group” and commit myself to getting through this and getting better, getting results, getting to the bottom of this.  The group was to be 10 weeks long, and we met once a week.  Two incredible young, devoted and loving women from church lead the group ~ each confessing that they, too, had been there and back, and that we would get through it and come out alive and better for it.  Seriously?  Who ARE these people?  But I devoted myself to my Monday night sessions, and to the homework as well, which consisted of reading a “workbook” and answering a myriad of questions in addition to reading Bible passages that pertained.

   I learned so much from this Bible study.  I was finally able to mourn the loss of my child.  Society supports women who have lost a child due to miscarriage, or after birth, but nowhere is there recognition or support of a woman who has had an abortion ~ also the loss of a child.  And society would say, “Hey, you’ve had 38 years to get over it,” in my case, but does any mother ever truly “get over” the loss of their child?  I put it right up there with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), and in fact, it is referred to PAS (post abortion syndrome), and it is real.  Go figure?  Finally a NAME to address what I’d been experiencing, and an avenue in which to get better!  I learned how to forgive myself, as God has forgiven me, for being complacent in going along with the plans for my son.  I did nothing to thwart his death.  I also was able to forgive all of those people involved in this:  my son’s father, my parents, his parents, even the OB/GYN.  I needed to forgive and show mercy.  Having mercy means that we no longer hope in our hearts that they’ll get what they deserve, no longer want to see them punished.   I could finally put the depression, anger, guilt and even the suicidal thoughts behind me.  I was finally beginning to feel my life come back to me and my spirits lifted.

   At the end of the 10 week study, I felt like a new person (2nd Cor 5:17) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”  I realize that there will be times when I think about my son, who has since been named, but I know how to deal with these emotions, and on who I can rely and trust.  I am my Father’s daughter.  Those of us in the Bible study, and our study leaders had a memorial celebration at the end of the 10 weeks at the church.  It was beautiful!  There were flowers, candles, music and speeches in memoriam of our children.  At the end, we let go of helium balloons outside and watched them glide away.  Al and I also purchased and planted a beautiful red oak tree in our front yard in memory of the loss.  The oak tree will grow big and strong, as I know my son would have.  He must’ve been a strong little guy to make it through and survive as long as he did.

   And now I’ve been able to move on and put the past behind me.  I know someday I’ll be able to see him again in Heaven, and I’m looking forward to that day.  Until then, I can rest each day knowing he’s with Our Father, and that my future is set.  And I’m thanking God each day that I’ve been Forgiven and Set Free!

My little red oak tree, planted in memory of Kirk Leroy Thomas (so named by his father and having the same middle and last name as his father). We call it “Kirkwood” for short. The yellow mums were planted from the memorial, as well as the white roses that were given to me by a special Sister in Christ at the memorial. Kirkwood has survived the weather/storms better than any of our other oaks or maples, including my King Crimson maple that stands not far from the strong little oak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4-3-2013 Update ~ Recently our church, Word of Life Assembly of God, in Baldwinsville, NY, helped facilitate a promotional video of the Forgiven and Set Free experience.  It can be found HERE on You Tube.  It breaks my heart and sets me free each time I see it, remember it, remember him (Kirk Leroy Thomas) and hear that song (about abortion).  I hope you’ll visit the link and listen in … can you tell which one is me?

God bless!