Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Facing the Firing Squad

I sent TJ a text telling him I desperately needed to see him.  He said if I was willing to come out to his house, I could see him.  I was nearby so I told him I would meet him there shortly.  I had no clue what I would do.  I had one of the pregnancy tests wrapped up in its instructions in my purse.  My plan was to break it to him as gently as possible, but I knew no matter how I did it, he would hate me.  I had told him about all the doctors and all the years of trying with EH. I had told him pretty much everything about my sexual history and he had been really honest with me too. I mean, we used protection! There was absolutely NO reason we should be pregnant, and yet we were. And now it was my responsibility to destroy his life in two words: "I'm pregnant". I couldn't even say the words out loud!!!

TJ worked third shift & it was one of his days to work so I knew he had been sleeping before I texted him and would likely need more sleep before going to work. This certainly wouldn't help him sleep. I had considered waiting until Wednesday morning to tell him (today was Monday) because Wednesday was his day off, but I couldn't wait that long. I had a deep need to tell him right away.  I pulled in the drive and I don't think I will EVER forget the sight of him standing there in running shorts (with his boxer briefs peaking out the bottoms), a white t-shirt, white crew socks, loafers, and his glasses - smoking a cigarette of course.  Looking back, I wonder if he realizes how ridiculous he looked, or if he even cared. I guess once someone has seen you naked it doesn't really matter how they see you.

He looked pissed off before I even stopped the car, like I had interrupted the best sex of his life (though in that outfit I highly doubt it).  I rolled down the window and he asked how I was. I said "Terrible, but I found out why I have been so sick lately." He made this face that he makes when something is really shocking, disgusting, or just unpleasant. His eyebrows furrow and the whites of his eyes get huge while he kind of tucks his lips into themselves.  He looked kind of like a spooked horse.  He asked, "Why's that?"  I said, "Well, the good news is, it's not cancer." I took a deep breath. I knew it would be hard, but in that moment I just kind of froze for a second or two. Then, I reached into my purse and I couldn't get the damn test out. It was hung up on the zipper of the inside pocket and I jerked at it, dropped the paper, scrambled around in my purse for it, & wrapped it back around the test inside my purse. Then, I looked down at my lap as I reached my hand out the window holding the test in my fist.  I had imagined it would go much smoother than this.

TJ took the test from me, unwrapped it and just STARED at it, like he was staring at some alien technology he had never seen before. Part of me wanted to say the words "I'm pregnant" or explain to him it was a pregnancy test but all I could do was sit there and stare at him, at the wretched, pissed off, confused look on his face. He looked at the test, then the instructions, then the test again, and then up at me with the look of... I don't know, a rape victim!?!?! 

I had hoped he would be as sad and devastated as I was, put his arms around me, and tell me it would be okay, but that's not what happened at all.  He was literally speechless.  He acted as if he was going to fall over and then righted himself by putting one hand against my car. He turned his back to me and slowly backed up against the back door and took a long drag on his cigarette.  I got out and turned to face him. He handed me the test and the paper.  All I could say was, "I'm sorry. I never thought this would happen."  He looked down at me, now with pity in his eyes, and said, "I just need time to process this if you can give me that."  I said, "Okay", got in the car and left, bawling.

Over the next several days I busied myself with research and making appointments. I dug out my old copy of What to Expect When You're Expecting.  I had purchased it years before when EH & I were trying...  I needed to contact the WIC office, the health department, the doctor's office. I had to schedule a pregnancy test with the doctor because I couldn't apply for medical coverage without it. Then, I needed to schedule my first appointment with the OB/GYN. I took care of all of that and tried to keep TJ in the loop, but he didn't seem all that interested.  He was mostly concerned with money. Once I told him the medical card would cover any medical expenses, he seemed to ease up a bit, but any time I brought up baby names, preparing for the birth, or talked about the future in any way, he recoiled.  He could only focus on the moment at hand - what was going on right now. He wasn't capable of discussing the future, and his worrisome nature turned into an obsession with worrying.  I've never seen someone SO worked up over even the most minor of details, like who would drive to the first doctor's appointment.

There was one discussion where he asked if I was open to our "options" (adoption, abortion) & I said absolutely not. After a few days went by, he apologized for that and admitted that he hadn't done his research and wasn't aware of the full consequences of those options, for example, how long it often takes for a child to be adopted.  I have several friends and family members who are adopted. Some spent no time at all in an orphanage or foster care. Others spent years, even as babies.  Besides, in my eyes there WERE no other options. I had waited nearly a decade for this. I wasn't giving my baby up, not even if it killed me!  I believe all unexpectant fathers who get pregnant with women they aren't necessarily serious with go through these stages - similar to the stages of grief. They go through the shock, denial, anger. They blame the mother, blame themselves.  They try to find ways to get out of it - maybe it's someone else's!  That would certainly solve their problem!

TJ did that too. He tried to accuse me of sleeping with one of my guy friends during the time of conception, but then he finally resigned to the fact that the baby was his and we decided to move forward.  I later found out he had contacted Blondie to ask her if there was any way I had been with anyone else or could be lying. I don't know exactly what he asked or how she responded, but it was that same day that we "made ammends".  He admitted that he never would have been able to walk away from his child when it came down to it, and he understood my reasons against having an abortion.  However, he asked me not to expect him to ever be excited or happy about the baby.  He didn't want this, and this was not how his family did things.  They got married BEFORE having kids, and they did NOT have casual sexual relationships with women they barely knew.  However, he did eventually tell his parents, who were "nothing but supportive".  Of course, they never asked to meet me and didn't seem to take anymore interest in the situation than TJ did, but he did agree to be supportive.  He told his best friend, who sort of put the idea in his head about my guy friend & that the baby could be someone else's, but I can't really hold it against his friend. Any man would think the same way.  I asked him once to be honest with me and he replied, "I can either be honest OR supportive. I can't do both." I chose to allow him to support me - but only on an emotional level. I have never once asked him for a single penny and he has only managed to make it to one doctor's appointment (the first one).  Normally, expectant mothers receive their first ultrasound (U/S) at their first OB appointment.  I was no so lucky...


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