Going Solo: Single Parenthood, Preggers

solo.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

~Lao Tzu

Pregnancy has highs and lows. Tonight should have been one of my highs, but it was a low. At first I thought I wouldn’t write about it, but then I wouldn’t be sticking to my original goal of this blog. I decided to write this blog to openly share my honest experience. This post is not about getting sympathy for my situation, but to be honest with you about even the hardest parts of all of this. It is not about pretending that the single woman’s pregnancy is all strength and wonderfulness. It is not about hiding my real fears and frustrations. It is about telling you the truth.

About a month ago, I signed up for a six-week childbirth class. This is not a Lamaze class but a class all about pregnancy and childbirth and methods to make labor and childbirth as easy as possible. I am so excited to meet my daughter and to be honest; I am excited for the birthing process. I feel like it’s such an amazing thing that can only happen to women and only women can do.  This child birthing class is the first real step towards that crazy wonderful day.

When I got home from work, I got my list, gathered my pillows and blankets, changed my clothes, and filled up my water bottle. I was so excited to go learn about childbirth and what I am about to experience. When I walked into the class, the chairs were set up in a circle in pairs. I didn’t even notice at first until all the other couples came into the room one by one and sat down. I looked around and suddenly felt more alone than I can ever remember feeling before. There we were: ten excited giggling couples and me. I wanted to grab my pillows and blanket and run for the door. I don’t know why I didn’t think this through or predict this would happen. I have enjoyed this pregnancy so much and felt so supported by the people around me that I haven’t really felt like it was any different than any other woman’s pregnancy.

As each of the couples went around the room introducing themselves and talking about how excited they were for their babies, tears welled up in my eyes. The husbands all joked about passing out and hovering in the corner on the day their wives gave birth and the wives laughed and kissed them and I suddenly realized how this is supposed to look. It was the first time I realized I really am doing this alone. It was the first time I felt unadulterated anger towards my daughter’s father. I have tried to tell myself it is better to do this alone than with someone who doesn’t want to be here or who treats me poorly. I have tried to be forgiving towards him.  I have tried not to focus on him or whether or not I agree with how he has handled all of this. But in this moment, in this class, when I sat there beside an empty chair in a room full of couples, all I could think about was how hurt and angry I am with him. I just cannot understand a man who would simply walk away from a life that he created and leave me, a person he once called a friend, to do this alone.

Believe it or not, this has probably been the lowest moment in my pregnancy. I made it through the 2.5 hours of class, said my goodbyes and made it to my car before totally breaking down and crying all the way home. This was not my finest moment in any respect. On the drive home I decided that I am going to focus on my daughter and keep repeating to myself that I am doing this for her. That thought alone is the only thing that will get me through the doors of my class for the next five weeks and it is the only thing that will get me though the other moments I am about to face alone. With each class I attend and each appointment or event  I go to alone, I will get stronger and stronger and it will all be ok.  It will be the immense love I have for her that will teach me to be strong, teach me to stand alone and be ok with that feeling, and it will be that love that will help me truly forgive.

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