Choosing life isn't always easy...but it's worth it.

I will never forget laying on the couch in my empty apartment with no idea where my live-in-boyfriend was. I curled up with a comforter and hoped  if I hid long enough that all my feelings would go away. I realized I had to make a call I was dreading so much. I picked up my phone and called a number I had memorized for years and still to this day has not changed. As the phone rang, I prayed that my mom answered instead of my dad and luckily she did. 

I could barely speak between sobs before getting to the point.  I finally caught my breath long enough to say it.

"I'm pregnant..."

Being raised as a missionary kid, the religious pressure on my life was intense. Logically I knew my parents were more than just religion but I was still so scared of what I'd hear on the other end of the phone.  "I love you and it's all going to be ok." They never hesitated. They never flinched. Their love never stopped even when my lifestyle was so far from what they wanted for me.

The next thing I remember was her asking, "Are you going to keep it?"  I was in shock because that thought never even crossed my mind. My mom was so loving and scared for me so I can only imagine the relief she felt when I quickly responded with "of course!".

Abortion was never an option for me and that wasn't because things were "easy" for me.  My pregnancy experience was actually far from picture perfect.  To help paint a picture, I want to share some of the mountains and valleys my baby and I encountered.  For starters, my son's biological father decided to not be in the picture.  He wasn't even at the hospital when I delivered Dominic and to this day has only seen him twice by his own choice.  My son is 8 years old now.  

One of the biggest hurdles that hit me right off the bat was I detoxed off of cocaine in my first trimester alone in my apartment.  I was so scared and not ready to be honest about what was really going on in my life that I refused to seek help. In hindsight, I wish I had loved myself enough to seek the emotional and physical help that I needed and deserved.

On top of that, my parents are missionaries overseas.  They were incredibly supportive but because of distance, my in-person support system came from college-age friends.  Our girls nights were spent in apartments, baby in tow, eating frozen pizzas.  When I was 7 months pregnant I lost the place I was living at and spent some nights on friends couches or even sharing a bed with them until my Dad swept in and saved the day by coming to the states to help me move. I lived with the bare minimum for a long time trying to provide for my child and depending on friends to babysit so I could go to job interviews.   

I'm not telling you all of those things to make you feel sorry for me. I'm telling you because I want to be honest.  Was it easy? No.  Were there a hundred sacrifices I had to make for the little human growing inside of me? Yes.  And I wouldn't change it for the world.  I can say that with full confidence and tell you that life looks so different now.  I'm a mother of 2 beautiful boys and a wife to the most loving, supportive, and accepting man that I couldn't have dreamed up.  All of the hard times are worth it and just when you think you can't go on you find a hidden pocket of strength.  

With everything going on politically, the one thing I am grateful for and will boldly advocate for is choosing life for my baby. Through my openness, I have been able to work in pregnancy support centers, teen mom programs, and have built relationships with young and teen moms. The goal I have in all of this is to remind people that I am here. I am an open book to remind you, if I can do it then you can too! If you'd like to hear more of my story or ask me any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.