Only God Can Unfold the Rose

Plans change, people change, and the world as you know it changes when you get pregnant with your first child. I’ve noticed this particularly in my situation, where the timing of my pregnancy could not have been worse – and yet I am completely happy with it. It isn’t so much that I suddenly changed personalities, but it’s more like suddenly I have more confidence as a woman.

For instance, it was I who proposed to my fiancé. Rubbish with all the traditions. I asked for what I wanted, no more, no less. We had been talking about it for months before I ever found out I was pregnant, but we’d both agreed that we wanted more time to get to know one another. His reaction to my pregnancy – this stubborn, genuine, often opinionated man – forced me, the just-as-stubborn, just-as-opinionated, but lacking in the decision-making department of a woman, to make a decision. No, not the decision of whether to marry me, but the one of whether to keep the baby.

I knew very well that I couldn’t kill her. I may be an advocate for women’s choice in abortion, but that is one choice I would never make for myself.

It took me all of half an hour to agonize over how a baby would change my life – change our lives, change my parents’ lives, even change my brothers’, as little as I thought they would even be interested in being uncles at the time. I thought about how my mother would take it – I was already living at home, jobless, and I’d somehow gotten myself pregnant. I was never certain how my father would, and there was a point where I panicked that I would be out on the street. I knew both Brian’s folks would be thrilled, if not so much with him or me as with having a grandbaby right in town to spoil rotten. Never mind that mom said later that neither set of parents would have allowed the baby to go up for adoption outside of the family – it was simply out of the question.

My very first priority was to triple the search for a job, for both myself and my fiancé. I thought more about things, made more contingency plans; even as I waited to tell my father that he was about to be a first-time granddaddy. (Obviously, I’m still living at home.) I knew from the beginning of our relationship that I would be the main provider of a family for my fiancé and me. It’s not because Brian won’t work, but because, for a variety of reasons, it is exceedingly difficult for him to get work. It causes no end of hurt pride on his part, but I’d actually prefer one of us stay home with the baby.

My financial know-how, learned from experience and from others’ experiences from years of financial stupidity, has been enough to carry us on 600 dollars a month for the past three months. I think that, once I am a teacher, I will be able to make things work. Even a starting wage of 18 grand a year will be plenty enough for me.

A world that was never very kind to me has suddenly opened up to the land of opportunity that America once was touted as. You would never imagine the kind of things that change when people find out that you’re having a baby, your first baby, and you don’t have much. My baby girl is set, almost, for her first couple weeks of life. All that remains is a car seat to bring her home in, and I may yet be able to get that on my own.

I had expected to run into purists who did not agree with my decision to become pregnant before marrying Brian. I had expected rudeness and malcontent. Instead I have faced nothing but arms-open support from every direction. It has reaffirmed my belief that the human race is actually decent at heart, and reaffirmed my belief in God. For only God could put me in a situation that I had never believed I would be in and make me a stronger person for it. As the song goes… “Only God can unfold the rose.”

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