Have you ever been in a relationship that was intended to last just a little while… the kind of relationship that you know won’t be forever, but is fun for the present?
That was my story when I was 21. I had just graduated college and was waitressing until I could launch my new career. Aaron* was working at the same restaurant until he left for the military. We had a great summer. Eventually, autumn arrived, and we said our good-byes as he left for boot camp.
Everything was as expected… except when my period didn’t come.
I was pregnant. By a guy I barely knew. Who no longer even lived in Illinois. Not my favorite autumn.
I suspect my reaction to my pregnancy was probably a common one. I did not tell my parents. Although I was still living with them, they somehow didn’t notice the signs (smelling hot dogs was a sure trigger for vomiting!). I pulled back from old friends. I chose one friend to confide in, a co-worker at the restaurant. We spent time talking about my situation, and she shared her opinions. Looking back, I wonder why I would’ve given such influence to a fellow waitress who I barely knew.
I explored what Aaron wanted. What did he think about abortion? How would he picture the future if I continued the pregnancy? Would he ever support adoption? Sometimes I would pretend to be contemplating one option just to learn the reaction it would trigger in Aaron.
During my decision-making process, I went to Avenue Women’s Center. Their services really were completely free. My session was private and confidential. It was a great to sit with someone who was experienced but not pushy! I’m pretty cautious about big decisions, and I wanted to get this one right.
Do you want to talk with someone in Chicagoland about your pregnancy situation? Call, text or chat with Avenue Women’s Center.
Eventually, I decided that my personal best decision was to parent. Besides the fear of telling my parents, I think my biggest worry was that Aaron would feel trapped. Thankfully, we got through all of my fears.
It’s strange to think back to those weeks of decision-making. The whole trajectory of my life was altered because of the choice I made. Since then, I’ve been the friend who others have confided in about their own pregnancy situations. I try to take that responsibility seriously; it’s a lot of influence to have! My goal is always to go easy on sharing my opinions, and to give them plenty of space to explore their own feelings. I’ve had friends choose abortion and others choose parenting. Either way, I make sure to totally honor their privacy. And, if they’re around the Glen Ellyn area, I always suggest they visit Avenue Women’s Center.
I wanted to take time to write out these pieces of my story. Maybe it will reach a blog reader who is worried about a pregnancy decision, or is helping a friend in that position. If so, I’m hoping my encouragement helps you! Whether you’re thinking about continuing or terminating a pregnancy: Everything you’re worried about now – you will get through it. And maybe Avenue Women’s Center can help.
For free pregnancy help in Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn / Lombard, Naperville, or Wood Dale, Illinois, you are invited to contact Avenue Women’s Center.
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.