In previous posts in which I started telling my pregnancy story, I spoke of how I knew one of the first reactions people would have to finding out I was pregnant would be, “Will there be a wedding in the future?”
That’s right. I got pregnant before even becoming engaged. This is apparently becoming the “norm” for millennials- read the full article and related studies here. If this is happening so often, why are people still being judged and criticized for it? [It was pointed out to me that perhaps religious beliefs people have and follow make up a part of the reason situations like this are looked down on at times. I will admit that while I have respect for whatever you believe in, religion is not a part of my life like it is for others and so that was never a factor in how I viewed unplanned pregnancies.]
When I was a little girl, do you think this is how I had imagined the order of my important life events to occur? Of course not. I grew up thinking I would have the “traditional” experiences. Meet a man, fall in love, date for a few years, move in together, get engaged, buy a house, get married and then start a family.
However several aspects of my life were never that traditional and although I will admit to it not being what I expected, I am completely accepting and happy with how things have turned out. It is almost as though I have felt lost for years, and I am now finally doing what I was meant to. I guess I should give you all a bit of background history.
The Father of my baby and I met 8 years ago and I fell in love with him the second we shook hands when we were introduced to each other. I had been out with friends at the local bar, he came in with more of our shared mutual friends and we began to play games of pool. It was a night full of fun, laughter and good memories. Honestly, when people say you don’t want to meet your SO in a bar- I feel like I am one of the lucky exceptions. At one point, he asked me to give him a kiss on the cheek for good luck before he took his next shot. I went to give him a quick peck, but he was faster than I was and gave me a quick kiss on the lips. Very smooth, wasn’t he? If you ask him about this, his story will include: “I’m just glad it worked. It very well could have resulted in getting slapped. I’m glad that wasn’t the case.”
As the night (and the bar) came to a close, I realized how much I didn’t want to leave. I started to walk the three blocks home and right as I turned on to my street, I heard a car come up behind me. It had started to snow softly (I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried), he got out of his car, came up to me, kissed me and said he would talk to me soon. He texted me as soon as he got home. I was hooked.
To keep a lengthy, 8 year long story as short as possible, we came in and out of each other’s lives for the next few years. He remained a close friend, who I wasn’t able to see too often, but I never forgot the first night we met and the feelings I had whenever I thought of the goodnight kiss he had given me. Relationships came and went for us both and after dating for a second time a few years later, the timing not being right and going through what I thought was our last shot, we were back to being friends. I did not think there was any way we were ever going to become what we had talked about 8 years prior- married and together.
Now, the one HUGE “but”= life is simply crazy and unpredictable. 4 years after what I thought was our last shot, we began to hang out as friends more often. We went to a couple of movies and it was so nice to be spending time with him again. After a terrible break-up on my side, we talked and we agreed. This was it for both of us. It was time for us to stop wasting time and to be in this relationship 100% with no excuses of bad timing, or circumstances allowed to get in our way. We were both in this for the long haul. I moved in with him, we spoke of marriage, and children and our future together. I felt completely blessed to have him in my life again and to finally feel like I belonged and was where I was meant to be for all of these years.
Fast forward a few months and Surprise! The Two Lines that Changed Everything.
When I told my best friends, including my Mother, they all said “After all this time, you’re finally together and it’s clear that it’s all meant to be.” Everyone was so happy for us. As I proceeded to tell more family members about our big news, the more we got the “Do I hear wedding bells?” reaction.
Of course, I didn’t want him to feel like we HAD to get married because we were having a child. I did not want him to feel rushed or forced into this. I did not want to put pressure on him that way, and when he asked me when we found out about our baby, if I wanted to get married before or after, I immediately said after. I did however, want to be engaged throughout most of the pregnancy and for when our baby was born. It just felt like the right thing to do. It was not because of society’s views but because we had wanted this for so long, and I love him. If and when I deal with people who scoff and say things along the lines of “They HAVE to get married now.” or, “You’re only staying together because of the baby” (ugh), I will think back to 8 years ago when we first met and just smile. This is our life together, it is our unique story and I wouldn’t change any of it. Yes, things were unplanned but it’s not like we just met, started dating and are now in this situation. We’ve loved each other in some way or another for 8 years, we know each other well and this is what is right for us. We are the people we are today because of what we went through while we were apart. We learned about ourselves, we have grown and we are the lucky and grateful beings we are because we are now together. Our baby is a product of our love for each other, and so is our future engagement and marriage. No one’s opinion will ever change that. Story of our engagement will be up tomorrow, stay tuned!
It made me think of a photo that went viral on Facebook not too long ago. A woman announced her engagement by sharing a photo of her and the fiance, while she pointed at the ring, saying how blessed she was to have him propose to her. In the corner of the photo, you see a box for a pregnancy test and everyone focused on that instead. She had two announcements in one and the hate comments started right away. The story was even covered by a news station. Sure, she probably did not want to announce either big events that way, but I thought it was sad that people attacked her right away. Although different reactions are expected, it’s still not enjoyable for people to rain on your parade that way and I felt bad for her.
I wanted to read a bit about people who have been in the same situation and when I found the article “First Comes Baby, Then Comes Marriage? The Story of a Pregnant Bride“, written by Chaunie Brusie, I wanted to find this woman and give her a hug. She addresses almost everything I think every woman contemplates when she is unmarried and expecting. Towards the end of the post, she wrote what I my own conclusions about the subject had been and worded it perfectly:
And part of me wanted to make a stand for myself and for all the young moms out there like me who still face judgment and hostility for our unplanned pregnancies. I wanted to show that I didn’t care what people thought – that I could be pregnant, get married, and remain happy all while wearing bridal white, thankyouverymuch.
Overall, ladies, if you’re in the same position and are worried about what people will think of you- breathe, smile and do what feels right for YOU. If you feel like it is the right thing to do, then get married and have the wedding when it feels appropriate for you. You can’t make everyone happy all the time. If you don’t want to get married just yet, or ever, it’s fine! Don’t let society make you feel bad or guilty about the timing of the events in your life. If some of your friends judge you, then they’re obviously not true friends who are there to support you ‘no matter what’.
As Moms-to-be, I think we’re all realizing what truly matters in life now and the people who make you feel small are not on that list. Everyone will have their own opinions but the ones that matter the most are yours and the Father-to-be’s. Surround yourself with the people who, while they may not agree with things, are still there for you. As I said earlier, life is unpredictable and all we can do is enjoy the ride as much as possible.
So, how are you going to enjoy the ride?
Have any of you been through similar situations or have friends who have been in a “pregnant brides” shoes? How did people react and how did you deal with their opinions? Let me know by commenting below, or by finding me on Facebook!
Thank you to all of you who continue to read, follow, comment and support this Montrealer, I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read the thoughts of this Mom-to-be.