Scarlet Letter in July

Last September I turned thirty. I was picking up the pieces after a difficult divorce and string of “never should have been” relationships. I was getting back on the saddle and in a good place. Immediately following my birthday, I found out I was pregnant. I was instantly hit with so many mixed emotions. Excitement for proving doctors wrong after being told I’d have difficulty conceiving again, shame for not being married after having gotten baptized earlier that year, and fear. Fear because being a single mother of two children had almost broken me at one point. How could I ever make it with three children?

 

Transparancy: I considered EVERYTHING. I weighed all my options, even the ones that would make me a bad Christian and condemn me to hell. After much thought, I decided that this life growing inside me was a blessing. I made adult decisions to conceive a child and I was going to stand by my actions.

 

Once I had made my decision, I felt joy for what was to come. I planned my entire pregnancy out in my head. I was going to have a gender reveal, and a grand announcement. My baby shower was going to be a baby shower that people would want to attend and not dread. But unwed mothers aren’t allowed to be excited about pregnancy. We’re shamed to the back of the church. While others commit sins Saturday night and head the usher board Sunday morning, unwed mothers wear scarlet letters and are judged harshly for our “carelessness”. And just like that, the joy I felt for this new life turned into humiliation. Of everything I accomplished, I had people close to me telling me how they disapproved of my choice to have this child.  Condemning me like the worst thing in the world that I could have ever done was get pregnant outside of marriage. I was no longer worthy of praise. I was not allowed to celebrate what should have been a joyous occasion. I was asked to hide my pregnancy for months. A part of me hid being pregnant because I felt disgraced.

 

I spent most my pregnancy battling depression and fighting the urge to consistently cry. Emotionally, this pregnancy had been the worst. It was an uphill battle to find the small joys again. And then I remembered the miscarriages, I remembered how much joy I felt mothering my other two little ones. As this life continued to grow, my joy began to return.

 

No, this is not the life that I intended for my children however, I plan to make it the best that I can for them because that’s all I ever wanted from my parents as a child. I’ve shed the shame of worrying about what people will think of me as a single mother of three, honestly, I don’t have the time to worry about it. What I’m most concerned with now is what my three little ones will think of me as a mother and the examples I set for them.