It was never my intention to raise a child alone. Sometimes life doesn’t always work out the way you plan—not that I ever planned much. One year ago I believed my life was perfect. I had the cosmopolitan lifestyle; no commitments more serious than dinner plans, a boyfriend that I didn’t take seriously nor plan to be serious with, and the best friends a girl could ask for. To me, this was the good life. It was easy. Yet, I always made an effort to count my blessings no matter how hard things got and when I counted my blessings each day, although my blessings were great, a tiny voice in my head constantly tugged at my heart strings, whispering ‘there’s something missing’.
I enjoyed my job but it wasn’t my dream job—that was an area that needed improvement. I had an unstable relationship with money—it didn’t seem to stick around for long because fun meant not thinking about tomorrow and as it turns out, tomorrow is quite costly.
After years of living this life and knowing no other, I never thought I could change. Commitment haunted me like a determined debt collector, hanging over my life like a wet blanket and as for those who had children—well, they simply had to be nuts. Children were expensive, noisy, annoying, demanding, expensive, expensive…the list was endless really.
When the ‘incident’ occurred with my partner one night, I went into a denial phase. I would deal with it some other time I assured myself. He was the type of man the girls said ‘you deserve better’ than, but he was also the only man I’d been attracted to in a really long time. We dated even though we couldn’t get along for more than a few hours. A headache lingered after he left my apartment each time from the constant bickering. And still, I continued to date him. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?
On March the 1st 2012 I decided to take the pregnancy test. It was my twenty fifth birthday and after a month of carrying this burden of not knowing, I decided finally that I had to know and I had to know now. I assured myself repeatedly, breasts could triple in size overnight. Couldn’t they? But when they felt like solid concrete rocks for three weeks, I knew in my gut that I had really done it this time.
After hell on earth for three months, my partner and I decided it wasn’t going to work between us. And if it couldn’t work between us, he also decided he wouldn’t assist the child in any way because it wasn’t his fault that I’d decided to keep the child; therefore it was my child only. Processing that information was like swallowing a Weetbix without milk; dry and heavy. Keeping positive is the key to living in my opinion, so it was time to start adding. I relaxed into the sheets of my bed and counted. Surely there was something that I could offer this baby.
First I started by counting what I owned. Number one; I owned my bed. Number two; I think I had some cups stored in the house somewhere. Number three; I stopped because that was all I owned. I felt an earthquake rip apart my heart and a wave of tears suddenly erupted. I was going to have a baby and I didn’t even own a spoon! My ‘I don’t commit to anything’ attitude had finally caught up with me and I had nothing to offer this child but love and that seemed a little pathetic in comparison to a house, money, a good school.
I needed to change.
One year later I wake up and it’s my twenty sixth birthday. My beautiful four month old son Mahli is smiling. He is the opposite of me; he is a morning person. In fact, he likes the morning so much that he wakes up at numerous stages throughout the morning for snacks and a chat. I am mesmerized by his perfect features, his large brown eyes and his cute little ga-ga language. No matter how tired and grumpy I am, it always makes me smile too.
I hardly make it out the house these days. I study at university part time and potter around the farm the rest of the time. I shiver at the thought of never having fallen pregnant. The constant whisper of something missing in my life has turned to silence— it turns out Mahli was the missing piece and falling pregnant was the first step towards contentment. It scares me to think what I might have never had.