I have told you all about the plans that I had when I was pregnant here. I have told you, although admittedly briefly, about how they all came crashing down. I have told you about my plan here. The purpose of this blog. The plan to change everything in my life. I have told you about my dating plans (or lack of) here and here.
I realized today, though, that I have never discussed any plans that I had BEFORE Spencer. It’s as though my life truly began when his did. The truth is, I’m not proud of my plans from before. I’m not necessarily proud of myself now, but I am almost ashamed of how selfish I was then.
I never wanted kids. I didn’t like kids. I liked babies, but once they started to move, well I wanted no part of that. I lived for myself. I lived to make myself happy (and I STILL wasn’t). All I wanted was to find someone who loved me as much as I did and do all of the things that I wanted to do, and go all of the places that I wanted to go. Take 18 years out to raise a kid? No thanks!
The truth is, I didn’t know what I wanted then, except that I didn’t want kids. That changed a year and a half or so before I got pregnant with Spencer, and I don’t think I have ever talked about how that changed, either. I guess I will. I had a miscarriage. It was early on, about 6 weeks, and I didn’t even know I was pregnant (which is a whole different story). My ex broke up with me (Spencer’s dad, we got back together later). He was going to New Jersey for a job and was done. We were living together at the time, and I was very, very stressed out trying to find somewhere to live, mourning the loss of what I thought was a good relationship, and working. I was working at a local chain store (that makes sense, right?) at the time, and my boss, who ended up being one of my best friends, sensed that I needed to get out of here for a while. She sent me and a few other girls to open the Michigan store. The owner of the company was there, too, and he kept us well supplied in drinks the whole time.
So, who would recognize pregnancy symptoms in the midst of all that? Who would notice that their period was late? Ok, probably a lot of people, but the point of the story is that I didn’t. I didn’t know. I spent a week in Detroit drunk and chain smoking (sexy, huh?). When I got back, my ex left for New Jersey and I moved. A few days later, when I was sure it was not time for my period (I really apologize to my male friends) I started bleeding. Heavily. Any woman knows what is normal and what is not in that department, and it definitely was not normal.
I called my doctor and she said I was probably just having some breakthrough bleeding because I had switched pills. I knew that wasn’t it, but I went to work anyway. I was in a ton of pain, and after work my friend Danielle drove me to the hospital, where it was confirmed that I was right, it was not just breakthrough bleeding.
On the way home I called my ex and, being completely emotionally numb by this point, told him quite matter-of-factly that I was pregnant yesterday, but now I wasn’t. After that I didn’t talk about it. At all. I was in shut down mode. Everything hurt. Every aspect of my life hurt emotionally (and, it seemed, physically). The next day I went to get the rest of my things from “our apartment,” and it was then that I grew up. Dragging a heavy box behind me because I was not supposed to be lifting anything, I realized that living for myself was not what I wanted anymore.
I had plans to be selfish forever, but that wasn’t meant to be.
I had plans to not have children, but life changed that.
I had plans to stay with my son’s father, but life changed that.
I had plans to breastfeed, but life changed that….
…and there’s nothing I can do. There’s nothing that we can do to have complete control over our lives. We cannot control other drivers on the road. We cannot control other people. We cannot prevent ourselves or anyone else from getting hurt. We can help them back up when they fall, but we can’t prevent it. We can help ourselves get back up, too. If there is anything I have learned from this single parenthood thing, it is that I can be strong on my own.
I hadn’t planned for that…
All of the planning and all of the preparation in the world cannot prevent life from carrying out its plan. So, I’m trying to stop the obsessive planning. The need to feel like I’m in control. Life is doing it for me anyway, and while it’s been a bumpy ride, I’m still here, I’m healthy, and I have the most wonderful son I can ever imagine.
Life has its own plans.