This is the story of LifeCare Client 871 in her own words (published with her written permission).
Growing up, my parents always told me that I was allowed to live at home, until I began my own family. That realization set in in November of 2014. That was when I found out I was pregnant. I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn't know where I was going to live and I sure didn't know how I was going to afford a baby.
After the doctor told me I was 4-5 weeks pregnant, I told my mom. She was not happy. It was almost Thanksgiving and she said not to tell my dad until after Thanksgiving so I wouldn't ruin his [holiday]. My dad is the hardest person to tell any kind of news to. He is very unpredictable and scary when it comes to hard and big situations. [But] when I finally told him, he was actually more supportive than my sister and mother were. My dad told me that I could live at home until the baby came.
The days dragged on and the thought of becoming a mother was getting to me. My mom, sister and I had been talking for weeks about all of my choices. I had been against abortion my whole life and I knew if I gave my baby up for adoption I would wonder all of my life what they looked like and how they were doing.
My mom wrote a list of pros and cons one night while I was at work. My mom and sister thought that me having an abortion would be the best thing for me. They gave their opinions every day, and it started making me think that it was them making the decision for me. I felt like I had no say whatsoever in any decision I made with this baby. They told me how it would make my life easier if I just aborted the baby; that I wasn't ready, financially or emotionally; and that I could have made a better decision of who the father was going to be.
Knowing something was growing inside of me was the coolest, most amazing thing in the entire world. I had felt a bond with this baby ever since I found out. But no one cared about how I felt or what I wanted. [And] the time was coming. I knew if I was going to make the horrible decision of aborting this baby that I had to make my decision fast because they can't abort a baby after so many weeks of being pregnant. I finally decided to make my family happy. I called Planned Parenthood and made an appointment to have an abortion. I cried myself to sleep every night, [but] I felt like this must be the best decision because I wasn't with the dad anymore, I had no money to move out, and I didn't know where I was going to live if I had the baby.
The following day, my dad took me aside and said that getting an abortion wasn't the right thing to do no matter what the circumstances were. He told me that killing a living thing should not be an option. [Then] he surprised me with the shocking statement, "I will not kick you out if you decide to have this baby." And my heart literally stopped. I had NO idea what I was going to do now.
The next day, I told my mom that I don't care how unsupportive anyone is, I'm going to keep this baby. One day before my appointment, I had decided to keep my baby and not go through with the abortion. It made me feel relieved, scared, anxious and happy beyond belief. I was finally making a decision that had nothing to do with making anyone besides myself happy.
Yes, I don't have the money to have a baby, but there are always people to help. Either people you know or organizations [like LifeCare] can help with having a baby. A few weeks passed and I went to my first doctors appointment, and that was the first time I had heard my baby's heartbeat. I cried for the longest time I could remember. I was so happy and relieved that my baby was growing and had a heartbeat. It was honestly the best decision that I've ever made.
So for all of you women out there going through the same thing, I understand. There are people out there willing to help and get you through this hard decision. It gets better in the end.