I was 23, just graduated from college, in the middle of writing a ton of job applications, and ready to take on the world, when, instead of a positive response to one of those applications, I found myself staring at a positive pregnancy test, even though I had been taking a birth-control pill religiously.
It was the worst possible timing. Not only because of my job situation and my plan to move away from my home town in Germany, but also because the father, my boyfriend of 11 months, Wayne, was about to deploy to Iraq with the U.S. Army.
I knew from conversations we had that he was not at all ready to have children or think about a future with me after the deployment, and neither was I for that matter. So much went through my mind, in the first few hours after the doctor told me I was pregnant.
What was I supposed to do? Should I keep it? How would I support a baby? Would he stay with me? Should we get married? What about my career?
I was driving myself crazy and I was terrified of having to tell him, because I was sure he wouldn’t react well. Surprisingly enough, after a moment of utter shock, he gave me a hug and a kiss, told me everything would be okay and that he loved me.
But a few days later, while he was in the field, preparing for deployment, he called and told me he couldn’t do it. I was devastated. I hadn’t told my family yet. How would they react? Did I really have to choose between the man I loved and the baby I was carrying?
With the support of my family, I chose the baby. We actually separated but luckily that didn’t last very long. He couldn’t make any promises, but we loved each other and decided to give it a shot. Marriage was not part of that plan though, at least not at that point.
So when I was eleven weeks pregnant, he had to leave for Iraq, and although the Army couldn’t guarantee anything, they at least tried to schedule his R&R around the due date. He arrived six days before our son, Thomas, was born, and got to spend ten days with us before he had to return to Iraq for another eight months.
My husband told me once that the thought of seeing his son again was the only thing that kept him alive during his 15-months deployment.
Today I am 30, live in Alabama, and am about to celebrate our son’s 6th birthday and soon after that our 5th wedding anniversary. We also had a little addition to our family last summer. Her name is Havyn, and although it took us almost five years to decide to have another one, I am glad to say that our little family is finally complete.