“how accurate are these things?” I asked the guy in Louisiana as I stood looking at the little stick and the symbol displayed at its top.
“Pretty accurate,” he chuckled. “Why, are you pregnant?”
I hadn’t seen him in over a year and yet, this friend was the first to know I was pregnant. By the time I called him, I had taken 3 or so tests, each with the same result, positive.
“Have you talked to the dad yet?” came the voice from the Gulf.
“No, I don’t know how to do that.”
Two days later I told him. I believe that I took, yet another test with him so that he could find out for himself. It was easier to have him see proof than to attempt to convince him that yes, in fact, I was pregnant.
The days and weeks after that blur in my memory. I remember the doctor’s visit, the sonogram, and the books upon books I read as I attempted to come to terms with the reality that I would not only be a mom but that my daughter’s dad wanted no part of it.
I don’t recall being scared - I mean, I could do this just as I could live in foreign countries and survive happily. Being a mom wasn’t phasing me nearly as much as the changing of professional dreams and the realization that this man, with whom I shared so much trust and love, was so willingly leaving me to deal with the facing of the truth and the changes to the world on my own.
Ten years. It has been 10 years since I looked at my daughter moving on the video screen. Ten years ago I told people that she was “moving’ and grooving’” which continues to define her today. At 9 weeks, I heard her heart beat. At 14 weeks, I felt her move for the first time… things her dad never did because he never wanted a part of her life or that experience with her.
To date, I don’t know that he ever felt badly about missing those first living moments that I cherished so very much. I don’t know that he ever thought twice about the miracle of life he helped to create and then chose, so easily to pretend didn’t exist. It is something my heart has difficulty understanding.
I remember buying a heartbeat monitor just so I could hear her heart… I remember loving her movements from the endless kicking to the hick-ups (which she had all the time) to the summersaults that resulted in birth by C-section. Her dad chose to miss it all while I loved every moment of the process.
Ten years… it all seems so very far away but now, now that I am running through those choices and learning from those actions, it seems like it all happened, just yesterday.
I no longer call Louisiana but now call Texas. My phone calls are no longer about countless pregnancy tests all confirming the same results, but are about kids and challenges, and politics. My daughter’s father didn’t follow through with his choices of ten years ago in that he has redefined his role in her life several times… another phase of which is in process. Learning, defining and redefining, and evolving.
Ten years and I feel as if I have come full circle – and I feel as if another circle is starting…
Lessons learned, lessons ignored to be learned again, and… it’s the beginning of another circle of life.