I have been slacking off majorly in the story department here. I’m pretty sure I left off just before my first visit to LDS Family Services. I’ll start there, I think.
My mother called LDSFS and made an appointment for me. I did not want to go. I did not want to go AT ALL. I went anyway. It was a Wednesday in November. The 12th, if I’m not mistaken.
I have a notoriously poor sense of direction and I had a hard time finding the place. And then someone tailgated me through the parking lot, which is one of my all-time biggest pet peeves. Then they tried to go around me. In a parking lot! I was unimpressed, to say the least.
I went in and checked in with the receptionist. She asked whom my appointment was with, a detail my mother had neglected to write down (if she got it at all). I told the receptionist I didn’t know who I was supposed to see. She gave me a look like I was the stupidest person on earth and she was more than slightly impatient with me. This did not endear me to the receptionist or to LDSFS in general. Nevertheless, I took a seat in the waiting area.
It turned out that the caseworker I was supposed to meet with had to leave the office because one of her kids was sick. So I met with the other caseworker, and I am so glad I did! I met with S that day. We connected right away – we have about a million things in common. In my journal I described her as “fantastically awesome,” which is a phrase I still stand by today.
My mother had told me not to tell H about my pregnancy until I talked to someone at LDSFS, because she was concerned about what rights H’s family might have, specifically his mother. My mom had heard stories from people about custody problems involving grandparents and she wanted to make sure I had answers before I started talking.
S had answers. She explained that while H had rights, no one in his family did. She told me to tell H, and soon. I wasn’t sure how best to do that, since I had told him just two days ago that I wasn’t pregnant. But when I left that office, I felt better than I had in weeks. I felt sure that things would work out. I didn’t feel pressured to go with adoption, although I wrote in my journal that “I’m beginning to see why it’s a good idea.” But then, I thought, how can I handle going through so much and then have nothing to show for it?
The best thing S told me that day was to stop being ashamed of my baby because there was no need for it. What a relief that was! One of the biggest obstacles facing a woman with an unplanned pregnancy is society’s refusal to separate the behavior that leads to pregnancy from the pregnancy itself. A baby is a wonderful thing. S helped me to see that. Regardless of how my baby was conceived, he or she (I knew it was a she, though) was a precious child of God, and nothing to be ashamed of. I never forgot that, and I never will.
My mother and I went out to dinner after that – to celebrate. It was quite a change from my mother’s incredulity at my doctor’s congratulations a few weeks before. It was so nice to not feel like a horrible disappointment to my mother. To feel, for the first time in three weeks, that my baby was a good thing. It seems funny now that I was ever anything less than thrilled at the prospect of mommyhood. Roo is the best thing that ever happened to me. I think I first started to recognize that possibility when I spoke to S.