I’ve started working on having Thankful Thursday posts…it’s just a random post of things that happened during my week that I am thankful for. It started after I’ve been reading The Frugal Girl blog and she has a feature called Thankful Thursday. This week I am thankful for a choice I made 37 years ago.
Today is my oldest daughter Kelli’s birthday. She’s newly minted 37 years old.
Back in 1986 in May, I found out that I was pregnant with her. At the time I didn’t know it was a girl. At the time, I didn’t know what in the heck I was going to do. I was in college. I was trying to finish a teaching degree. I had been dating my boyfriend for 10 months. We had already talked about getting married but were waiting until I was done with college.
I was on birth control. Back in the day, they had something called a sponge…much like a diaphragm only a sponge. We were using birth control but I was part of that magical 4% or so of women who ended up pregnant. UGH.
I was so sad. There went my college degree…there went the respect from my family…there went the respect of anyone. I was now the town gossip…and gossip they did.
The day I found out, I drove to my boyfriend’s house. I was going to tell him in person. What were we going to do? I had already decided what I was going to do. I was keeping the baby…but I wasn’t sure what he was going to do. I hoped and wanted us to get married. But did he? I was fairly confident that if he didn’t I was leaving and was going to raise the baby myself. After all, I knew deep down my mom might be initially mad, but she’d come around and help me…and I knew she’d get my dad on board. I knew I wouldn’t be completely alone but would I be with him?
Back in 1986, girls “who got themselves pregnant” didn’t live with their boyfriends. They got married or they didn’t.
Abortion never crossed my mind. My roommate from college and I talked about it and both of us knew it wasn’t the right choice for me. I knew I would regret an abortion way more than I would ever regret giving up the life I thought I wanted and become a mom.
It turns out that boyfriend and I did get married…He’s the dad to all five of my kids. We never regretted for a minute the choice we made to keep the baby…to get married…or to go and have four more kids.
Fast forward to a day in the late 90s. I was driving in the van. The kids were all piled in the back. I was a very open mom and told things like they were. One of the kids (likely Kayla) had asked what an abortion was. They were only little. I’m guessing Kayla, our second kid, was only 7 or so…Kelli the oldest likely 8. I’m guessing the question came up because there were a lot of anti-abortion campaigns going on then. I remember one of the slogans of the commercial said, “Life, what a beautiful choice.”
Even though abortion isn’t a pleasant topic, I told my little girls what abortion was. Then I went on to explain that I wasn’t married when I found out I was pregnant with Kelli. I could have gotten an abortion but I didn’t.
About then, Kayla turns to Kelli and says, “You were a beautiful choice.”
Kayla was right. Kelli is a beautiful choice.
Today Kelli is celebrating her birthday…and I am celebrating the beautiful choice I made back in May of 1986. That choice took me down a road I never imagined…but it’s a road I’ve loved traveling and today I am so thankful I made the beautiful choice.