Before my initial doctor's appointment, I told very few people that I was pregnant—the baby's father, the two boys whom I've raised (while they are no relation to me, I call them my nephews), my brother, and one girl I work with. I'll admit that at first I didn't tell people because I didn't know what I was going to do. But even after I had made a firm decision, I didn't really know how to approach the issue. I also wasn't sure I wanted to tell people until the first trimester was behind me.
In these situations, there is a clear-cut order in most people's lives about who gets to know first. For me, the next person who needed to be told was my best friend, Robin. Robin and her family have become my second family. Normally I wouldn't have waited two minutes to text her, but I knew Robin had tried to get pregnant for years. She'd watched friend after friend and relative after relative get pregnant and give birth.
Eventually, she and her husband had decided that adoption was the way they were meant to expand their family. When I found out I was pregnant, she had finally been matched with a child through the adoption agency but was still waiting for the final approval letter. I decided to wait at least until she got that approval letter.
As I reached and then passed my 12-week mark, I thought I would burst! While we looked at nursery patterns for her, I wanted to shout, "Monkeys! I'm planning on doing my nursery in monkeys!" But I didn't. Finally she called with the news that they heard their approval letter was on its way! A few days later, at 13 weeks pregnant, I told Robin I was pregnant. She was very supportive of my decision. I then felt like I could start telling other people. At first, I found myself almost apologizing for the pregnancy. I know I'm not married and the father doesn't want to be involved. However, I soon found out that while my own guilt was weighing on me, no one else seemed to be judging me harshly.
There was still the issue of my family. My brother knew, but my three sisters, their husbands, and my eight nieces and nephews had no idea. I had gained only four pounds and still didn't look pregnant. Eventually, my brother put his foot down, so to speak, and insisted I call my sisters. I was still so nervous that they would be angry with me. I know I'm 34, but no one wants to disappoint his or her family. Once again, though, from my sisters and other family members I felt nothing but affirmation and concern for both me and my baby.
It started to sink in that while my situation isn't ideal and I will face a lot of challenges, most people are not out to punish me. God doesn't make mistakes even if I do. And He was making sure I had plenty of people around me to offer their support and love.