That is wonderful. I hope you don’t mind if I share something with you…
My boyfriend and I got pregnant accidentally last year, and we were in the worst codependent situation you could imagine. I won’t go into details, but suffice to say, it was bad. Like there were head wounds caused by fights, no electricity at home for a year, days without food, I was fired from every job I somehow managed to get in the two years we had been with each other (and these were good paying, highly coveted positions, in extremely great companies, I might add) and he hadn’t worked in over four years himself. Unsurprisingly, we broke up (though I didn’t see it coming, as the months prior were, I thought, getting better). Unbeknownst to me and everybody else, I was six months along.
I thought my period had stopped because of stress, I didn’t get cravings or morning sickness, I actually maintained my figure until around the time of the breakup — and I attributed my engorged belly to the stubborn kind of fat that will never ever go away and it depressed the shit out of me. So there we were, broken up, living back with our parents in our respective households, unhappily so, but still talking every day, fighting a lot of the time, spending a lot of time with one another, sleeping with each other (which was a huge improvement on when we were officially still together, imho) and actually working through the issues that had broken us apart, although we weren’t necessarily doing so in order to get back together. Most of all, we worked on ourselves.
Then, when D-Day came, I was rushed to the hospital because of what I thought were severe stomach cramps (they were actually contractions; my water didn’t break, but I did have a bloody show which kind of tipped me off but because I had not really admitted out loud I was pregnant, I didn’t actually know for certain what was going on until it felt like I had to take the most massive poo ever to grace this earth). I gave birth naturally, no epidural or nothing, to a happy, healthy, beautiful baby boy of 2.84kg and 20cm. My boyfriend didn’t find out until the next day because I had left my phone at home when the paramedics arrived (hell, I left my slippers and arrived at the hospital on a gurney, screaming bloody murder, in my pajamas with my cooch hanging out because I kept on trying to poo).
My mom rode with me in the ambulance, found out I was crowning in the emergency room, checked me into the hospital doing all the paperwork and whatnot, and by the time she had filled up all the forms, the baby was out. I gave birth alone, but it wasn’t all that harrowing. It only took 19 minutes from the crowning to the afterbirth. My dad arrived soon after with some clothes and a robe and underwear and baby things, but no phone and no iPad so I couldn’t contact my boyfriend. He didn’t have a phone at the time, so we communicated through iMessage or Facebook, and I didn’t think he would accept messages from my mom or my dad’s messenger accounts. My dad insists it wasn’t deliberate, forgetting these two integral items at home, but I think it may have been subconscious or something, because I implored him rather emphatically to bring them. Anyway.
I told my boyfriend the day after the baby was born that he was a father. I told him through text. I don’t really remember what I said, but it was very short and direct (unlike this extremely long essay, I’m sorry). Then I sent him a picture of the little guy. Even before I told him though, my boyfriend was pissed at me because we were supposed to hang out the day before and I just dropped off the radar, which was very uncharacteristic of me. Once he saw the picture I sent, he stopped being pissed and told me that he wasn’t going to run away from his responsibility. He told me not to worry, and I told him I wasn’t worried but grateful that my son couldn’t have asked for a better father. He straight away told his parents, who aren’t my biggest fans to say the least, and went to the hospital to see me and meet the baby. He hasn’t looked back since.
While the birth itself was shocking, the even harder thing for me to wrap my head around was the fact that the baby was healthy. No defects, no damage, everything perfect like if I had taken the best possible care of myself during the pregnancy — which I hadn’t at all. I was smoking heavily, drinking heavily, and taking a lot of hard drugs all throughout my baby’s gestation. Ate a lot of sashimi and cheese, too. Hell, I was drunk and high less than 48h before I gave birth. I even discretely told my anaesthesiologist what kind of drugs I was on when she came to apply topical anaesthetic so they could sew me back up again, in case there was an adverse reaction (as I didn’t think that stimulants and anaesthetic could be taken comorbidly). Despite all that nonsense and irresponsibility and poor decision-making on my part, there he was, the most perfect little lifeform you had ever laid eyes on, and, if Kabbalah is right, he picked me.
He picked us, despite how shitty we had allowed our lives to become before his arrival. He picked us, despite our constant conflicts, our deep resentments, our visceral contempt. He picked us, with our fervent desire to love one another in only the best way possible. He picked us, with our genuine compassion for and understanding of one another, even at the worst of times. He picked us. He picked us. He picked US.
More than that, he saved us. He didn’t save our relationship — we began a new one with each other some time after he had been born, without the chains and baggage of our relationship’s prior incarnation. We entered into a new, stronger relationship with each other, not out of reluctant duty to an innocent child that our poor decisions and irresponsibility had brought into the world, but because we both saw that we owed it to ourselves to seek happiness, and that our happiness just happens to include each other. We both saw that the responsibility we owed to this child was not purely administrative or financial, but that we had the opportunity to give him a loving home and a strong support system and solid values. Even greater is our responsibility to him to be the best example of love between two happy, healthy, purpose-driven adults — so that our wee dude doesn’t grow up with a fucked up sense of what family is, of what love is, of what happiness is.
Cut to six months later: my boyfriend has his first steady job in over four years that he’s doing spectacularly in (if you want to buy some luxury real estate in the Philippines, he’s your man), I’m working again as a consultant, a job I love, for two incredible companies with amazingly talented and gifted people, we’re saving up to all move into one house together and be as close physically as we are spiritually and mentally, and the future looks incredibly rosy. For the first time in my life, I can say without uncertainty, that I finally know what it means when “things are coming up Izzy”.
Thank you for sharing this little yet oh-so-amazing tenet of your faith. It gives me such peace. Sorry again for the long-ass comment!! I get carried away sometimes when I share this story; I only hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed living it and writing about it afterwards.