Kim is willingly giving us permission to share her story so that others can realize there is hope in the midst of a difficult situation. All client experiences with Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers are kept with the highest confidence. The stories that are shared come from the real-life experiences that our clients, staff and volunteers had during their unplanned pregnancy.
Her name has been changed but her story is true.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I was ecstatic. I had always wanted to be a mother. However, my son’s father had broken off our relationship and moved out of state two weeks prior, so I knew that I would be alone. It was Christmas Eve, the day before my 25th birthday, and was the best birthday surprise ever. I immediately called my ex, the baby’s father, Thomas. Thomas said he was excited about being a father and said he hoped we’d have a boy. Even more surprisingly, he decided to come back to Kansas to pick me up and move me out to live with him.
Things started to go downhill right away. I was diagnosed with hyper emesis gravid arum, a condition during pregnancy in which you have severe nausea and vomiting 24/7. I had to be repeatedly hospitalized and hooked to IV’s because I couldn’t even keep water down. Then Thomas took a commission-only job, which was a real concern since we had a new apartment to pay rent for and I was too ill to work. We started arguing over the stress of the situation. Thomas had broken up with me and the only reason we were back together was because I was pregnant; he was not in love with me. But I was hopelessly in love with him, and that made me very insecure. He did the best he could – coming to the hospital and laying in my hospital bed with me after he got off work. We had to borrow money from my mom to pay our bills and rent, which made her unhappy. My family felt that Thomas was never going to marry me, and I knew that was probably true. Thomas was a different race and religion than me. He believed that my faith and race were flawed. That scared me because we were going to have a bi-racial baby.
Physical Conditions Cause Severe Issues
My physical condition continued to deteriorate. My gallbladder became infected with 13 marble-sized gallstones and I was throwing up my own bile. In my 1st trimester, I had to have surgery to remove my gallbladder, and it was excruciatingly painful. Two weeks later, my appendix burst after throwing up blood, and I had to have an emergency appendectomy. I was on heavy painkillers on top of being pregnant, in pain and sick, so I was not the easiest person to be around. Thomas began to withdraw from me and started a telephone romance with his ex-girlfriend. We argued, and Thomas, who was 6’2” and approximately 220 lbs., jumped on top of me with his knee in my stomach. The police were called and I decided it was time to leave that state and Thomas for good.
When I came back to Kansas, I had to move in with my mother and her husband. My stepfather became a self-declared enemy over the fact that I had been in a relationship with a man of a different race. At my mother’s home, I was expected to purchase my own food and other necessities, including medical care. As I was unable to do that, I had to go on welfare. That was considered a shameful thing in my family, especially since I was brought up in a middle class family and I had a bachelor’s degree.
Thomas refused to pay child support, so I knew that I was going to be a single mother if I chose to keep the baby. I did not consider terminating the pregnancy until I had that awful breakup with him. Panic set in; I didn’t think I had the means nor the emotional, familial, and social support I needed.
Desperately Looking for Hope
I had driven past the Advice & Aid building many times because I lived close to it. All I knew from the sign was that Advice & Aid helped pregnant women in some way. I was at the end of my rope physically due to the two back-to-back abdominal surgeries I had in my first trimester. I felt emotionally hopeless because I had lost Thomas and had gained an apathetic mother and a venomous stepfather. On a whim while driving by, I decided to see if Advice & Aid could help me in any way. I didn’t know what type of advice or aid would be offered, but my vulnerability made me open to just about anything.
[To be continued next week…]