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Story Of The Week

Birthing Alone

Real Women – Real Stories

Each year, thousands of women across this country bear children out of wedlock between the ages of 13 and 40 without the fathers being present.  Teenage pregnancy is at an all-time high, and a recent study revealed that there are over 20 million children in this country without fathers in the home.     Here is one woman’s poignant experience.  We’ll call her Gina…

 I was scared…and the screams of the women in the other rooms nearby didn’t help. My mother sat huddled next to my bed with a worried look that added to my fright.  I was thirty four years old, a college graduate with a good job and I was having a baby for the first time and I was alone.

As the pain wrenched through my body again, my scream prompted my mother’s face to turn from worry to anger.  “Why isn’t Tom here?,” she asked through clenched lips.  “You should not be alone at a time like this.  This is his baby, too!”

In the midst of my pain, I almost laughed.  I hadn’t told my mother the truth about my baby’s father because I was too embarrassed.

As I listened to the symphony of screams tear through the walls behind us, tears rolled down my cheeks.  I thought of all the other women down the hall, and the comment my mother had made earlier about not seeing one man in any of the birthing rooms on the entire floor.  Knowing my mother, she had peeked in every door to see if I were the only one having a baby with no man around.

I squeezed my mother’s hand tighter as another pain ripped through my insides.  When the pain subsided, I began to cry uncontrollably, as I recalled the last time I spoke to Tom, which had been five months ago.   I had been begging him to believe that he was the father of my unborn child, but he wouldn’t listen.  He accused me of trying to trap him into marriage and spoke with contempt in his voice.  He asked permission to be candid, and told me that for him, it had only been sex.  He did not love me and could not love me.  He also asked that I never call him again and he wished me and my baby well.

 Sadly, he was right.  For as smart as I was, I had done something too dumb to admit.  Somehow my original thought made sense at the time.  But I now know that it was the act of a desperate woman.  You see, Tom didn’t have any children, and I figured I would lock myself into his life forever if I had his child.  I assumed a child would ensure a bond between us that could never be broken.   Deep down, I resented his freedom to date other women and come to me by mood.  I loved him, and I wanted him to return my love…but he never could.  I did all I could to win his favor, but it was all in vain.   As I lay there waiting for my son to be born, I thought about the beginning of the path that led up to this moment.

I had met Tom at a party two years before given by my neighbor, and he had passed over several beautiful women to ask me to dance.  It was the first and last time I ever felt special, and I spent the next fourteen months trying to demonstrate my gratitude through all means necessary.  But nothing worked…and the pregnancy had been my last resort.

Ironically, I had always been a sharp critic of women who had babies for the sole purpose of trapping a man, and now I was guilty of the same crime.  According to my family’s expectations, I was supposed to know better and do better, because I was smart, educated and raised in the church.  But somewhere along the line, my need to belong to someone rose up against my common sense, and any semblance of principle I had and trapped me against a wall of stupidity.  As I let out the last wail from the pain that accompanied my son’s arrival, I realized that my actions would now impact upon him, and he would probably grew up as I had grown up…without a father, and an overly doting mother trying to compensate for her mistake.

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