I made a big decision to move out to Colorado in January 2015. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but as a 19 year old I just felt it was part of my journey. So I packed everything up, and off I went to explore this new city. Little did I know the true reason I was drawn to move there was because I was meant to become a mother but we will get to that part later. I started out nannying my little cousins – I knew I had a passion for kids and that I’d always had a motherly touch and truthfully, little ones seem to love me. It was a dream – I didn’t mind being with them so much because I loved them like they were my own.
Time For A Change
After a little while I decided that I needed to move out of their house and find a different job; I felt like I needed to truly discover who I was and what I wanted to do. After all, that was the reason I moved out there in the first place; to figure out what I was meant to do in life having recently left college. I made the decision, started apartment hunting, and eventually moved to downtown Denver where I was living on my own for the first time ever (scary & exciting). I got a job, made some friends, and was enjoying it. But one night I ended up in a bad position with a group of people I barely knew and ended up getting drugged and sexually assaulted. The night was a blur, and I didn’t fully know what had happened. I felt scared and was a mess but just blacked it out and went to work the next day. People ask me all the time, but no, I don’t know my assaulter, even to this day. I blacked out the memories and tried to forget this heinous event.
What Happened Next
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I found out I was pregnant. It was single handedly the worst night of my life. I took four pregnancy tests at 3am in my apartment bathroom and they all INSTANTLY turned positive – there was no waiting or uncertainty. I felt sick to my stomach. How? Why me? What would I do? Ugh. I ended up sleeping on the floor bawling my eyes out and using the paper towel roll as a pillow. I couldn’t even make it to my bedroom that was right next door. My body was in a total state of shock and I didn’t want to believe the reality of it. The following morning I went to Planned Parenthood where it was confirmed: I was 3.5 weeks pregnant. They set me up with a midwife, helped me cover the costs of my bills and carried out the necessary medical checks. They were so accommodating in such a dark time. They asked me about keeping the baby but I knew from the bottom of my heart that there was no possible way I could abort this tiny life. I love children way too much. It just wasn’t in me. Even if the situation wasn’t ideal for ME, I kept thinking about the little baby inside of me.
Processing, Accepting and Coping
I had so many emotions running through my body and was falling apart. I knew I couldn’t let myself sink in to a depression though and that I had to take care of the baby inside me. I forced myself to eat a lot, even though the morning sickness was more like all day sickness and I was constantly throwing up during those first few weeks. I forced myself to go and get prenatal checks and to continue going to work. I tried not to cry myself to sleep every night and started binge watching Netflix shows to control the stress. At 11 weeks I ended up moving back home to be around family and friends for the support and love I so deeply needed. I will admit, I had a hard time. A very hard time but once I accepted the reality, I decided to make the most out of it. I joked about my back pain, the small bladder I now had, the fact that I finally looked like I’d hit puberty (which rocked), and the perfectly clear skin being pregnant gifted me. Pregnancy glow is a real thing! I did however have my weak moments, many of them, but I tried to not let them shine. “Baby feels everything” was the refrain I was constantly being reminded of. I slept – a lot. According to my friends, I was ALWAYS sleeping. The truth is, it was the best way for me to avoid the rollercoaster of emotions I was going through. I got a job working as a caregiver in a memory loss unit of an assisted living centre. The role helped me hugely to value life and taught me even more life lessons and patience and crucially, a job gave me something to look forward to each week. I started seeing a therapist and had the most amazing OB that I was able to talk to who is still one of my best friends to this day. On top of those two, I had the most amazing parents, family, and friends that carried me through. If it wasn’t for them and the face times, phone calls, and reassuring long text messages telling me that yes, I was going to be an amazing mother, I don’t know how I would have done any of this.
A New Headspace
Pregnancy sickness aside, I enjoyed the baby kicks, shopping for fun baby items, seeing my baby dance around in my belly, reading and singing to him, and the beautiful glow I had. I feel so blessed that I was able to nurture and carry a child. Pregnancy was not my favourite thing in the world – it was no doubt emotionally and physically hard on me and maybe that much more because I was doing it “alone”. But it was an amazing experience to go through and for that I am so grateful. I look back now and realize the bond you grow with your baby is something so special and not everyone gets to go through that. Ever since the day my baby was born, 1/5/16, I’ve made sure to make the most out of every single day because he is my miracle baby. Even more so because a year after his birth I found out that I had endometriosis and had to undergo laparoscopic surgery for it. My OB said it was pretty serious and that it had been there for about 5 years or so, and that there is no way I should have been able to get pregnant. What a miracle…
Once I met my little guy, I knew that that was what love should feel like. He is my whole world. Everyone asks me if my situation bothers me and I always answer the same: of course not. I can not imagine life without him and I am a believer in everything happens for a reason. To this day, I have recovered memories that result in nightmares. I am only human and for the first few months of his life, I had PPD (again, having people to talk to, a therapist and medication did wonders for me). But I know that I would not be the mother, friend, and daughter I am today without the struggles I have been through. It has given me a whole new perspective on life. I am a survivor and I am so proud of how much I have overcome. I am proud of myself for taking on this amazing role of being a mother, and mainly I am so proud of my insanely happy and healthy baby boy. I know he was meant to be my child and I could not be any more blessed to call him MY son. I am still a single mother, but am now running my own photography business and traveling all over the world and for that I thank my beautiful son. He makes me be the best version of myself. Everything happens for a reason, and we need to make the most out of the bad and speak up about our difficult times to help others know they are not alone. It’s okay to have bad days and to not always be okay, but after you allow yourself a little bit of time for that, pick yourself up and fix your crown because we are all here for a reason.
Thank you so much Bree for sharing your story. If you’re undergoing anything similar to Bree’s, she has mentioned to ask anyone to feel free to reach out to her. Thank you so much again, Bree. You’re an incredible and a truly inspiring mother.